I'm working on translating the following sentence:


The book takes place during the Second Sino-Japanese War which is during the Republic of China era.

I would like to make the numbers more relevant for modern readers, but I'm struggling to figure out how much a thousand and four or five hundred is actually worth in today's currencies.

My searches keep bringing up info about Taiwanese money, and not Mainland Chinese money.

Any ideas?

  • try search 法币, the value changes vastly before WW2 and after WW2 Jun 13, 2019 at 13:45
  • 1
    Given that Taiwan is the successor of the Republic of China and the PRC did not yet exist during the time-period you're asking about, isn't Taiwanese money what you want? Jun 17, 2019 at 17:13
  • 2
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a historic question.
    – zyy
    Jun 17, 2019 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


According to Wikipedia, in 1941 20 Chinese yuan was equal to 1 United States dollar, so 1 Chinese yuan was equal to 0.05 US dollars at the time.

Using an inflation calculator for the US dollar, 1 Chinese yuan would be 0.87 US dollars in 2019. This would give the cost of the school fees to be 870 US dollars or 27,500 NTD, and the children's uniform to be 350–390 US dollars or about 11,000 – 12,000 NTD.

  • Uh, I was asking about Mainland China, not Taiwan.
    – Mou某
    Jun 17, 2019 at 15:13
  • 4
    Given that Mainland China and Taiwan were both governed by the KMT before 1949, this applies both to Mainland China and Taiwan. If you want, you can convert the figures in US dollars to Chinese yuan.
    – Toby Mak
    Jun 18, 2019 at 0:06

The answer depends on which year between 1937 and 1945, the Sino-Japan war time.

According to Foundation for Economic Education

The value of China’s paper money on the foreign-exchange market reflected this huge depreciation of the currency. In June 1937, 3.41 yuan traded for one U.S. dollar. By December 1941, on the black market 18.93 yuan exchanged for a dollar. At the end of 1945, the yuan had fallen to 1,222 to the dollar. And by May 1949, one dollar traded for 23,280,000 yuan.

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