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Recently, I've come upon two words to say "database" - 资料库 and 数据库.

What is the main difference between two? Which one is used in the context of programming?

Thanks for the help!

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

In programming, they are the same, namely database.

資料庫 is mainly used in Taiwan and Hong Kong. 數據庫 is for Mainland China.

The word "Database" comes from "data" and "data" itself means "facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis". 數據 focuses on numbers and only explains the statistics parts while 資料 encompasses both fact and statistics and is much closer to the meaning of data.

資料庫 is a better translation from above analysis. You might mind of your target audiences and choose a right word.

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They are different translations for the same word "database"

数据库 is used in Chinse mainland


資料庫 is used in Hongkong, Taiwan etc.

More examples could be found on Wikipedia.

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In mainland China,

  • 数据库 is the standard translation for database in the context of computer science. It is used very extensively in both formal and colloquial language.

  • 资料库 is not a computer science terminology and it is a more conceptual term for information bank, which can be referring to a library, an archive or a computer database.

For computer related terms, Hongkong/Taiwan translations are usually very different, but I am not familiar with them. If that's what you're looking for, you should wait for other answers.

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资料库 means Database while 数据库 means repository

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Moreover, 数据库 means a place, building, or receptacle where data are stored while Database is a structured set of data held in a computer – user3919509 Aug 7 '14 at 20:43
that's not correct. 数据库 is literally translated from data+base. The thing you said is called 数据中心(data center)。 – lgylym Aug 8 '14 at 10:20
@lgylym no not really lgylym. 数据中心 IS data center and 数据库 is repository. If you're a programmer / computer science BSc you should know – user3919509 Aug 8 '14 at 14:21
I am very much a programmer/database researcher. Any textbook on database that has a Chinese version will give the same translation, e.g., – lgylym Aug 9 '14 at 19:28

Not a native speaker, but if you compare the search results on 百度, 数据库 seems to be the more often used term with mySQL, Oracle, SQL Server and the like, the digital programmer techie version.

资料库 seems to refer to the more analog version of a database although the results returned the word used with iTunes and movie databases.

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No difference, whether in Taiwan or mainland, people can understand you mean "database".

In Taiwan, 資料庫 is more nature.

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Nope, 资料库 is not understood as 'database' in mainland China. – NS.X. Aug 8 '14 at 18:19

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