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I'm wondering how is the difference between traditional and simplified Chinese?
For example think of the following sentence:

在StackExchange網站中建立遙感探測和攝影測量問答網站的這個提案,仍處在委託階段 ( commitment phase) 。

That has been written in pure Taiwanese version by a native who has studied in USA as the translation for the following:

a proposal for creating a remote sensing and photogrammetry Q&A site in StackExchange Network is in commitment phase now

  • Now how can it be converted to a pure mainland Chinese version?

  • I mean are the differences just in typing?

  • Are there any difference in the vocabulary?

  • Is there any service on the net which gets a traditional word (or a word typed in traditional Chinese) and then gives you its simplified version?

  • Do I have to apply grammatical changes, too?

  • Do simplified Chinese (People who are living a mainland China) understand traditional Chinese easily? What about vise versa?

  • Which one is used wider in the world (traditional or Chinese)? (I mean for promotional purposes is it better to translate a passage into simplified or traditional to be understandable by more people?)

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Now how can it be converted to a pure mainland Chinese version?

It's a big project. Best to find a professional translator who knows both well to do the job.

I mean are the differences just in typing?

No

Are there any difference in the vocabulary?

Yes. Quite a lot are different. Like software, in Taiwan it's 軟體 and in the mainland it's 软件. I'd like to show another example, the word cache in computer science. In Taiwan they adopt 快取 while in the mainland 缓存 is used. The two versions seem quite different at the first glance. One uses 快 fast, the other 缓 slow. But they describe the very same thing from two aspects. Both 快取 in simplified and 緩存 in traditional will be odd.

Is there any service on the net which gets a traditional word (or a word typed in traditional Chinese) and then gives you its simplified version?

Character-to-character is available, like from 體 to 体. But word-to-word is not that easy. 软体 is improper. Besides, there are cases that multiple traditional characters can be transformed into one simplified one.

Do I have to apply grammatical changes, too?

Grammars of both are almost the same in the written language, but I'm not sure about it.

Do simplified Chinese (People who are living a mainland China) understand traditional Chinese easily? What about vise versa?

The written language can be easily understood. The characters can be recognized easily though one may find it hard to write them by hand. I know little about the case vise versa since I'm from the mainland. Traditional characters are never forbidden though they cannot be used in the official documents like laws. We learn to recognize the traditional ones but not how to write in the school. I have read a lot of novels printed in traditional Chinese. Both of them can be widely seen in daily life, of course the simplified more than the traditional. Anyway both are precious legacies from our ancestors of the past thousands of years.

Which one is used wider in the world (traditional or Chinese)? (I mean for promotional purposes is it better to translate a passage into simplified or traditional to be understandable by more people?)

So far as I know, many softwares, webs and manuals provide both. But I myself find it okay to read only the traditional version.

  • so you're from mainland china and have learned the to write simplified version at school? And you also know English very well? Would you please have a look at the whole paragraph posted in the chat room and tell me if you're understanding my main purpose from the chinese version? If it's easy for people in to understand the traditional, then I think there is no need to convert the passage to simplified chinese? Also would you please provide me the link that enables me to convert traditional characters into simplified ones? – Sepideh Abadpour Oct 17 '16 at 10:52
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    @sepideh I have read it. I could imagine it was written by a non-native speaker or translated by Google if not told that it was by you. The words and expressions seem a bit unnatural, maybe the way I am using English. But yes, I can understand it and what you are trying to tell us. I'll try to find one converter. – ElpieKay Oct 17 '16 at 11:05
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    to OP. As a Chinese speaker in Taiwan. I will say the problem is not with the grammer. It's with how certain words are used. 委託階段 ( commitment phase)? 委託人? However, I can see the taiwanese speaker had a problem with this as well since he had the english word (commit) right next to it. To be honest, I think this can open up as a new post in Chinese SE. Ex: What is a good translation for "commitment phase", "commit" – 辛祐賦 hsinyofu Oct 17 '16 at 11:24
  • @辛祐賦hsinyofu you mean this translation is really awkward? seems that chinese is really difficult?!!!! To explain you what i did to translate this passage, I should say at first i did some researches about the grammar and vocabulary and wrote an awkward translation my self and then submitted it as my three first entries to lang-8 and asked the natives to correct it, providing them the original english version, when I received the corrections, I applied them on my own translation. The result was... I'll continue – Sepideh Abadpour Oct 17 '16 at 11:50
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    @sepideh Google translate can convert traditional characters to simplified character-to-character. – ElpieKay Oct 17 '16 at 12:09
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How can it be converted to a pure mainland Chinese version?
Using Google Chrome, there is an extension for translating websites. In the past this used to be extremely popular, until English only speakers realized the translations were not only horrible, they were machine translations. For your case, you can use machine translation if you have either Simplified or Traditional Chinese because in essence they are the same, only the writing is different.

I mean are the differences just in typing?
The differences are just in typing. However, a few exceptions to this rule applies when you are talking about the different dialects of Chinese (Standard Madarin is the one all Chinese speakers know, Cantonese is slightly different, Taiwanese is also different).

Are there any difference in the vocabulary?
Vocabulary is basically the same. Slang wise, they will be different. There might be some slight variations in how common certain words are used, but overall, Mainlanders can communicate with those in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and even communicate among chinese speakers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore.

Is there any service on the net which gets a traditional word (or a word typed in traditional Chinese) and then gives you its simplified version?
Google Translate (the plug in) will quickly help translate from Simplified to Tradition. Granted, you have either one or the other as the source language.

Do I have to apply grammatical changes, too?
Grammar is the same. The only problem occurs when users use local slang.

Do simplified Chinese (People who are living a mainland China) understand traditional Chinese easily? What about vise versa?
Traditional Chinese is used only in Taiwan now. That being said, Taiwanese can read simplified, (maybe not as fast or fluent as reading traditional). You can use this Chinese SE as an example. There are many users on this site that use simplified/traditional/both.

Which one is used wider in the world (traditional or Chinese)? (I mean for promotional purposes is it better to translate a passage into simplified or traditional to be understandable by more people?)
In terms of promotion, it would be simplified. However, this is talking about marketing. I heard you want to promote on facebook. Is facebook blocked in China? Yes it is blocked, but it is so easy to get around to the point, no, it's not blocked to anyone who has a college degree. Is this a good marketing strategy? I won't comment on this because this starts to become irrelevant to Chinese SE.

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    Link for Interview with Mark Zuckerburg. Is Facebook blocked in China? youtube.com/watch?v=dvSV7bgsClo Answer is at 16:25. – 辛祐賦 hsinyofu Oct 17 '16 at 10:37
  • Hi, thanks for providing the link to the video and also thanks for being along with me from my first post in this forum. I had heard that facebook is blocked in China. I don't know if it is blocked by the government of China or by facebook itself? (I'm downloading the video, and probably I'll be able to watch it in 10 minutes), but facebook, twitter, ... are also blocked in Iran (my home country) by the government and that's not an issue for us. We use VPNs to have access. Also I said that the main social network which I want to promote in is facebook, but I have accounts in twitter, Google+, – Sepideh Abadpour Oct 17 '16 at 11:10
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    There are english subtitles, so remember to click on CC. Excellent, if you know how to use VPN, then you will better understand the marketing strategies for the Chinese Mainlander Market. Good luck! – 辛祐賦 hsinyofu Oct 17 '16 at 11:18
  • LinkedIn, etc. I have linked my facebook and twitter pages, so these will be posted automatically there. And based on what you say facebook is not blocked for higher educated people in China. Any way based on what you say and because I'm not gonna using slang or spoken Chinese, the vocabulary and grammar is not so different and the conversion can be done even through machine translators. There is an another option, too. Cambridge English to Chinese has both the traditional and simplified versions. Do you think that it can be helpful? I mean I – Sepideh Abadpour Oct 17 '16 at 11:21
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    Personal suggestion is that machine translation is only good for Traditional <-> Simplified. Never from English -> Chinese or from Chinese -> English. Simple phrases are ok. Anything above that will be prone for mistranslation. – 辛祐賦 hsinyofu Oct 17 '16 at 11:27

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