Chinese – Simplified or Traditional?

Agnew always tries to let you know ahead of time about possible upcoming linguistic changes that may affect your marketing efforts. A few years ago the distinction between the use of Simplified and Traditional Chinese characters in translation was clearer – outside of the People’s Republic of China, Simplified characters were initially embraced only in Singapore. Today they are beginning to be used throughout the world, with the exception of Taiwan.

This change is also beginning to affect Chinese translation in the United States. With the influx of businessmen, students, tourists and immigrants from China who are not always comfortable with Traditional rendering, many of our clients are producing materials in both the Traditional and Simplified Chinese, including those in the entertainment, tourism, and museum industries. Others, such as utilities and health providers are still using Traditional characters, but a few are beginning to offer some of their materials in Simplified Chinese. It may be a good idea to survey the contacts on your mailing lists to see which variant of Chinese each one would prefer.