Traditional Chinese, Mandarin, Taiwanese or Min Nan Dialect?

Posted on Apr 8, 2015 in Linguistics

Traditional Chinese, Mandarin, Taiwanese or Min Nan Dialect?

Traditional Chinese is currently used in Taiwan (Republic of China), Hong Kong and Macau and takes its form from standardized character forms dating back since the late Han dynasty. Overseas Chinese communities generally use traditional characters, but simplified characters are often used among mainland Chinese immigrants.

Spoken Chinese has numerous regional and local varieties (dialects), many of which are mutually unintelligible. Cantonese is the predominant dialect of Chinese spoken in Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese is also the only variety of Chinese other than Standard Mandarin to be used in official contexts. Since the early 1900s, China has promoted Standard Mandarin (Putonghua) for use in education, the media and for official communication, though a few state television and radio broadcasts are in Cantonese in a couple of South China provinces.

The dialect most commonly spoken in Taiwan is call Min Nan (Southern Min) dialect. Min Nan dialect is a family of Chinese languages or varieties spoken in parts of China such as southern Fujian, eastern Guangdong, Hainan, and southern Zhejiang, and in Taiwan (Republic of China, ROC). Southern Min is a first language for the Hoklo people, the main ethnicity of Taiwan. There are many Southern Min speakers also among Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia. Southern Min dialects lack a standardized written language. Southern Min speakers are taught how to read Mandarin in school. So when speaking of Taiwanese translation, or Mandarin translation, it is treated as Traditional Chinese translation, while Min Nan dialect is treated as only spoken language.

MLT has its branch office in Taipei, Taiwan (ROC), and can provide Chinese translation and Mandarin interpretation services by our native Taiwanese translators and Mandarin and Min Nan dialect interpreters.

For more information, please refer to
Simplified Chinese translation
Traditional Chinese translation

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