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Traditional or Simplified? Mandarin or Cantonese?

Multicultural Marketing whats changed?!

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But marketing your product or service to Chinese consumer may seem daunting at first. Cultural issues need to be considered. At the very least theres the issue of language. Until we cancommunicate via image only, lets tackle some of the most common questions:

Q: Whats the difference between Traditional and Simplified Chinese?

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Traditional Chinese characters date back 2,200 years ago to the Han Dynasty. During the 1950s the government in China implemented theFirst Chinese Character Simplification Scheme, with reduced number of strokes this is what is now more commonly referred to as Simplified Chinese.

Since not all the characters are different, most of the time readers could guess the meaning by only understanding parts of the sentence. However, there is a risk of misunderstanding.

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You dont need to be a futurist to see that Chinese consumers, with their ever increasing wealth, will be even more important customers in years to come. Domestically, theyre important too. Over 600,000 people in Australia speak a Chinese language. Mandarin is now Australias most spoken language other than English.

As a very, very general rule, most Chinese print media use Traditional characters, for online its Simplified and for radio its an even 50/50.

Thats a major misconception. Those from Southern China use Cantonese but write Simplified. Those from Taiwan speak Mandarin but write in Traditional Chinese. The only thing you can be sure of is that people from mainland China use Simplified Chinese characters.

Whats the difference between Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese?

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They refer to the two most spoken form of Chinese (there are in fact another 20 spoken dialects in China). Cantonese has nine tones while Mandarin only has four, which leads some to argue its easier for Cantonese speaker to learn Mandarin, but harder the other way around.

Heres a list of preference for key Asian countries with a large proportion Chinese speakers.

Whats the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese?

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Simplified Chinese has less stokes, i.e. Traditional: Simplified:

Q: Traditional, Simplified, Cantonese and Mandarin when should we use what?

This refers to Chinese writing which is in characters.

Key difference between Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese:

In Australia, Chinese language media are a mix of all of these, depending on their audience. So your advertising material should match the language used. The Australian Chinese Daily uses Traditional Chinese characters, so your advertising should match that. Radio 2AC broadcasts in Mandarin. The majority of Australias local online publishers use Simplified Chinese.

Q: So Mandarin speakers use Simplified Chinese and Cantonese speakers use Traditional Chinese?

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Q: Whats the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese?

Cantonese speakers and Mandarin speakers would have a hard time understanding each other given the huge difference in tones. Thats why when producing radio or TV advertising or any other communication involving the spoken language, you should cater for the relevant language preference.

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a range of Traditional characters including , and

One Simplified character could have the meaning of several Traditional characters (polysemy) i.e. one Simplified character of


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