I'm trying to translate my website into Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

I have a full human translation for it into Traditional Chinese and I was wondering about what errors and inaccuracies can be caused by machine translating into simplified.

(I'd use a tool like Google Translate, the Word 2010 translation plug in or another online tool)

Although there's a reasonable amount written about the problems translating from Simplified to Traditional there's very little I can find for the reverse.

There seems to be only a small number of characters which are 2:1 for traditional to simplified and I didn't think there were any grammar differences. But I also can't quite imagine something as complicated as language translation by machine would work perfectly. What kind of problems exist for traditional to simplified translation?

EDIT: I chatted to an IT technician in Hong Kong. His points on the subject were:

There's still a margin of error from traditional to simplified, get it proof read if you can.

Watch out Chinese punctuation. It's different heights (middle in traditional and bottom in simplified).

Doing any of this in Adobe if you want pdf's is very hard.

2 Answers 2


You might be interested in the opencc project. Besides trad-to-simp and simp-to-trad conversion, it can also convert different common word usage in different areas. For example, 「程式」 to 「程序」. And it also deals with the small difference between Simplified and Traditional Chinese you've mentioned in your question.

  • Thanks very much! I'll probably end up using that. Although I admit I struggled to follow all of the readme. Got intense fast. Is there a place where I could read about examples of possible problems when translating traditional to simplified, I'm still not sure I understand quite what can go wrong(aside from the 2:1 chars). Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 17:08
  • It deals with the n:1 chars problem. You can try out the online demo. I can't help further because I haven't directly used it. I know my Pinyin IME use it.
    – hrzhu
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 17:40
  • Agree with hrzhu's suggestion, mine is: Sometimes traditional Chinese characters may have more than one. Maybe some of them are right (I mean they are compatible). However some of them are obsolated (this means we don't use such characters any more).
    – xqMogvKW
    Commented Jan 28, 2014 at 1:16
  • So I've tried a couple and they all give similar results(90%), I ended up going with opencc. I'm getting it proofread in a week or two so hopefully I'll be able to report back about accuracy. Commented Jan 30, 2014 at 13:07

Another useful tool for translating between Simplified to Traditional Chinese would be "cjklib". It has a Python API as well as a command-line interface cjknife.



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