Comparison of 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.
|China||simplified Chinese characters||List of Commonly Used Characters in Modern Chinese, Xin Zixing|
|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 pavement in British English, sidewalk in American English and footpath in Australian 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||Malaysia / Singapore||Taiwan|
|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 / 員警||警察 / 员警|
- Regional variants of the Chinese language
- Regional differences in the English language
- Regional differences in the French language