In English I can do:

  • 1, 2, 3...
  • I, II, III...
  • alpha, beta... (for instance, the "alpha version" of a software)

What options are available for enumerations in Chinese? Specially to identify versions of not yet released software?

  • 一,二,三...
  • ?

I know Chinese use the Ten Celestial Stems and Twelve Earthly Branches for enumerations. Is this the best way to describe initial versions of a software? I only need to translate alpha and beta right now.

3 Answers 3


China software company use:

1, 2, 3...

I, II, III...

alpha, beta

内测版, 公测版

I am a developer.


Don't use the Ten Celestial Stems and Twelve Earthly Branches,they are rarely used and hard to understand.

You can translate "alpha version" as 测试版.

  • Thank you! And the "beta version" would be...?
    – Rodrigo
    Oct 29, 2020 at 13:41
  • You can translate "beta version" as "测试版" too.You can thanslate "Alpha version" as "Alpha版" and translate "Beta version" as "Beta版"."Alpha" and "Beta" doesn't have a chinese word for them.
    – shawn_xu
    Oct 29, 2020 at 13:48
  • I see. And what about something like 第一版、第二版?
    – Rodrigo
    Oct 29, 2020 at 13:51
  • 1
    "第一版" means "First edition" and "第二版" means "Second Edition"
    – shawn_xu
    Oct 29, 2020 at 13:54
  • 1
    I don't think the 天干 are rarely used or hard to understand, at least the first four (甲乙丙丁). Probably not the best translations for alpha/beta testing though, which have specific meanings beyond simply "first/second". Oct 29, 2020 at 22:58

In Chinese software industry, people usually avoid using Roman numbers in version numbers. You'd better translate them into corresponding Chinese characters.
For alpha and beta versions, you have two alternative solutions:

  1. Translate them into "内测版" ("internal test version") and "公测版" ("public test version"), respectively.
  2. Leave them as they are, i.e. "alpha" and "beta".

For example, "Version III" is translated into "第三版" ("Third Version"), "1.0.0-alpha" can be left as it is.

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