- Differences between national standards of Chinese
The Chinese language enjoys the status as official language in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore and Taiwan. However, the language shows a high degree of regional variation among these territories.
Before 1949, the traditional Chinese characters were the writing system used by the entire Chinese-speaking world. The simplified Chinese characters were prescribed by the authority in mainland China in the 1950s and were promoted in mainland China since then.
Nowadays, the traditional Chinese characters are used in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and most overseas Chinese communities, while the simplified Chinese characters are used in mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore.
Jurisdiction Writing system Standardization China simplified Chinese characters List of Commonly Used Characters in Modern Chinese Hong Kong traditional Chinese characters List of Forms of Frequently Used Characters Macau traditional Chinese characters none Malaysia simplified Chinese characters character set promulgated by the Malaysian Ministry of Education Singapore simplified Chinese characters character set promulgated by the Singaporean Ministry of Education Taiwan traditional Chinese characters Standard Form of National Characters
In many cases, Chinese speakers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan use different words to convey the same meaning. This difference is analogous to that between lift in British English and elevator in American English.
This section seeks to illustrate the differences in vocabularies by some selected examples. Note that the Malaysian vocabulary is pretty much identical to the Singaporean vocabulary.
Meaning China Hong Kong Macau Singapore Taiwan Traditional Simplified Traditional Simplified Traditional Simplified Traditional Simplified Traditional Simplified bus 公交車／大巴 公交车／大巴 巴士 巴士 巴士 巴士 巴士 巴士 公車 公车 taxi 出租車 出租车 的士 的士 的士 的士 德士 德士 計程車 计程车 police 公安 公安 差人／警察 差人／警察 差人／治安警／司警 差人／治安警／司警 警察 警察 警察 警察 town square 廣場 广场 廣場 广场 前地 前地 廣場 广场 廣場 广场 laser 激光 激光 鐳射 镭射 鐳射 镭射 激光 激光 雷射 雷射 rapid transit 軌道交通／地鐵 轨道交通／地铁 地鐵 地铁 地鐵 地铁 地鐵 地铁 捷運 捷运 light rail 輕軌 轻轨 輕鐵 轻铁 輕軌 轻轨 輕軌 轻轨 輕鐵 轻铁 instant noodles 方便麵 方便面 即食麵 即食面 即食麵 即食面 快熟麵 快熟面 速食麵 速食面 Standard Chinese 普通話 普通话 普通話／國語 普通话／国语 普通話 普通话 華語 华语 國語 国语 potato 土豆 土豆 薯仔 薯仔 薯仔 薯仔 馬鈴薯 马铃薯 馬鈴薯 马铃薯 pineapple 菠蘿 菠萝 菠蘿 菠萝 菠蘿 菠萝 黃梨 黄梨 鳳梨 凤梨 lorry 卡車 卡车 貨櫃車 货柜车 貨櫃車 货柜车 羅里 罗里 貨車 货车 tights/pantyhose 連褲襪 连裤袜 襪褲 袜裤 襪褲 袜裤 褲襪 裤袜 褲襪 裤袜 lunch box/bento 盒飯 盒饭 飯盒 饭盒 飯盒 饭盒 盒飯 盒饭 便當 便当 butter 黃油 黃油 牛油 牛油 牛油 牛油 奶油 奶油 奶油 奶油
- Regional variants of the Chinese language
- Regional differences in the English language
- Regional differences in the French language
- Regional differences in the Korean language
- North-South differences in the Korean language
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