Wikipedia, as far as I can tell, has three options for what we would probably just call traditional Chinese in English:




Aside from proportions, shapes, sizes (and 台灣正體's placement of punctuation markers in the middle of the air) I can't really see much of a difference, at first glance.

What are the differences between 香港繁體, 澳門繁體 and 台灣正體?

  • Good question, probably not much, since the conversion is automated, so I don't see if the system is fit for anything more sophisticated than what can be automated.
    – imrek
    Dec 9, 2015 at 11:35

3 Answers 3


Technically speaking, there are mainly two factors diversifying what you see between different versions of Chinese Wikipedia pages:

  1. The HTML language tag: lang

    <html lang="zh-CN" dir="ltr" class="client-js ve-not-available"> 大陆简体
    <html lang="zh-HK" dir="ltr" class="client-js ve-not-available"> 香港繁體
    <html lang="zh-MO" dir="ltr" class="client-js ve-not-available"> 澳門繁體
    <html lang="zh-SG" dir="ltr" class="client-js ve-not-available"> 马新简体
    <html lang="zh-TW" dir="ltr" class="client-js ve-not-available"> 台灣正體

    The lang attribute tells the browser to choose proper display settings such as fonts and styles. Different "proportions, shapes, and sizes" are generally decided by the browser and the locale settings of the operating system.

  2. Wikipedia literal conversion system "字词转换" (TECHNICAL DETAILS). The necessity of the conversion is that different regions sometimes use different Chinese terminologies, e.g.


    The conversion has four stages, which are sequentially executed by the MediaWiki LanguageConverter (a brief history can be found here):

    (1) MediaWiki internal conversion table (MediaWiki内置转换表);
    (2) Chinese Wikipedia local-global conversion table (中文维基百科本地全局转换表);
    (3) Public conversion group (公共转换组);
    (4) Manual conversion for specific entries (各条目内手工转换).

    So even if the automatic conversion steps (1)–(3) fail, the final manual work can rectify all the errors.


There are some words different in those 3 traditional Chinese, such as the example Stan said. This is usually found in loan word.

Also, Cantonese is used in Hong Kong (I am not sure about Macao). In Hong Kong, they put some Cantonese words in their traditional Chinese, therefore there are some words you cannot find in Taiwan traditional Chinese but in Hong Kong traditional Chinese, such as 「佢」、「冇」、「嘅」、「㗎」. You can find more information in Chinese wikipedia.

Another difference of those Chinese is pronounce. In Taiwan, it only has 4 tones, but in Hong Kong, it has 9 tones.

  • 1
    粵文維基百科 is different from 中文维基百科 – they are under different subdomains (zh-yue vs. zh) and their contents are completely independent of each other.
    – Stan
    Dec 10, 2015 at 6:21
  • Even if you wanted to mention word difference, Taiwanese love to call electronics "3C", whereas people in other areas wouldn't be readily able to understand what on earth 3C is.
    – Mou某
    Dec 10, 2015 at 6:43
  • Worth to mention there are some words that are actually valid in both Hong Kong and Taiwan, but have totally different meaning. A favourite phrase of Taiwan pop star Jay Chou, "屌" , is a slang that means "powerful" in Taiwan. However it is the F word's Chinese equivalent in Hong Kong.
    – reTs
    Dec 11, 2015 at 11:32
  • In Taiwan, 「屌」 is still a dirty word. It means penis. Some people may use dirty words, such as the word started from “F”, in different meaning. 「屌」 is similar to it. However, since it is Mr. Jay’s saw, the word became a popular word between a lot of teens in Taiwan.
    – Shiyou
    Dec 15, 2015 at 8:37

Since some nouns are different for their culture, such as motorbike. Taiwanese call it "機車",Hong Kong people call it "電單車". Therefore, there are a few kinds of traditional Chinese for them to choose.

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