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Translating from English to Chinese
What type of Chinese is on Wikipedia's site?

 12:42 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm considering translating my English website into Chinese.

Now I'm left to decide between Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

I think I want to align myself with Wikipedia's approach, and use the Chinese they use.

Would somebody who knows Chinese be able to tell me what type of Chinese is used at [zh.wikipedia.org...]

I tried using translators with Simplified and Traditional settings, figuring the one that translated better would be the matching script. But both seemed to work.



 12:59 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

It depends on your target market. Who is the web site for? Visitors in China? Hong Kong? Taiwan? Singapore? Figure out who your audience is and use the character set they use.


 1:13 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reply.

I know that translations and internationalization are a pretty big topics, with lots of aspects that need much focus, including localization to specific markets.

With my understanding, Chinese uses the language code zh. But that doesn't seem to fully represent the problem. I know there are at least two major character sets, one thats Traditional, and one that is Simplified, and that different parts of Chinese speaking countries use one or the other.

I see Wikipeida's Chinese website at zh.wikipedia.org, and I'm wondering, how do they get away with it? How are they dealing with the Traditional/Simplified Chinese divide?

I'm thinking about translating into both, with one folder called "zh", and the other with a different title. But I wanted to use zh for the same type of Chinese characters that wikipedia calls zh.

Anyone have any ideas?



 1:18 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

@ LifeinAsia

Hi, I have an increasing interest in oriental languages

I find the mandarin script very hard, so my question is , is Pinyin widely read and used by people in China and other parts of the world?


 1:26 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

There is no "Mandarin" script. Pinyin is (IIRC) the method used to transcribe the Mandarin (Beijing) dialect into Latin letters, but is not used to write with any more than say English is written with the IPA.

The Chinese script (Hanzi) is used in its simplified variant throughout the PRC, and in its traditional version in other Chinese-speaking areas such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.


 1:35 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks, well I'll learn the script , I hope


 4:59 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

pin yin is usefull for us ghosts to get the phonetic sound of the language ;-)..makes all the people I know in Hong Kong fall over laughing at me ..:)

edited for "tiredness" typo

[edited by: Leosghost at 5:01 am (utc) on Jan. 9, 2007]


 6:38 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't know that the wikipedia model is the best to follow for all sites. They have a few Chinese language versions, and the one you're looking at is the Simplified Chinese which would be targeting the mainland China market.

A site targeting that market has unique special considerations that you need to look at. There are several useful threads covering this topic here, many of which are listed in our Golden Threads [webmasterworld.com].

I tried using translators with Simplified and Traditional settings, figuring the one that translated better would be the matching script. But both seemed to work.

I really hope this doesn't mean you plan to use software to translate your content. That is absolutely not an option. If you're going to make a different language site you must use human native speakers of the language to assist with translation and copy (re)writing.


 7:09 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Even though the Chinese wikipedia is not available for the Mainland China user(forgive me, it is blocked by the authority), i can tell you the text on [zh.wikipedia.org...] is written in simplified Chinese. For the simplified Chinese language, we usually set the language code as "gb2312" , while for the traditional Chinese, it is "big5"
if you want to choose Wikipedia as your script, what i want to remind you is: urls of the Chinese wikipedia appear to be the Chinese characters in google China SERP, so it is helpful for your SEO strategy on Google, while baidu will consider these urls as garbled codes, it won't help your marketing strategy on baidu.


 11:53 am on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

My PC is set up for Korean & Chinese script, so are there urls in Chinese script?

That is for example


would that be done in the Chinese script or Pin yin?


 12:29 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

My PC is set up for Korean & Chinese script, so are there urls in Chinese script?

CNNIC offers full Chinese language domains [cnnic.net.cn]. Instead of .com, .net, .cn there are Chinese equivalents (which I can't list here because they won't display in this forum). So technically you could have an entirely Chinese language URI.

However, in order for such URIs to be used your users have to be using compatible browsers with the appropriate plug-ins. To assure universal access you'd be better off using standard ASCII domain names and paths.


 2:57 pm on Jan 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

The wikipedia page you mentioned uses Simplified Chinese, though the charset of the page is in utf-8 instead of gb2312. utf-8 is believed to be a better and widely accepted charset encoding. Many search engines, such as Google, uses it.

In regards to translating, you might consider other options instead of machine/software translation which has usually a lower level of accuracy. hope this helps.

[edited by: Woz at 10:04 pm (utc) on Jan. 22, 2007]
[edit reason] No URLs please, see TOS#13 [/edit]


 8:55 pm on Feb 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

total agree with peter lee.
The wikip chinese page use Simplified Chinese and utf-8.
your best choice is hire a chinese student abroad to transfer your web.The machine transfering will mix your chinese surfer's mind.

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