What are the most frequent words I'm likely to encounter when using a computer in Chinese.

Stuff like file menu, cut, copy, paste, edit, properties, ok, cancel, back, refresh, save, print etc...

Just want to learn a few so I don't get lost everytime I have to use a Chinese computer.

Is there a list somewhere?

What are the 250 most common menu items / words I am likely to encounter when using a Chinese computer?

  • 5
    Well, this list includes both terms in mainland and Taiwan. Just a little too comprehensive. You may rank them into your "Top 250" list.
    – Stan
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 16:54
  • There are many differences between the Mainland vocab and the TW vocab when it comes to computer terms.
    – user58955
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 17:21
  • 1
    In my case, if you use the same version of software or OS, you could probably dope out the meaning, according to your habit, the shortcut key, the position of menu item, and so on.
    – user4072
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 1:28
  • The best way to familiarize with computer vocabulary is to get yourself a Chinese computer. This helped me when learning a couple of languages.
    – agriprop
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 6:35
  • Traditional Chinese (TW), Traditional Chinese (HK), Simplified Chinese (PRC) have quite different computer terminologies. However, just type it into google translate, the answer is normally correct since in IT, most translations are quite straight forward. Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 6:46

6 Answers 6


menu - 菜单
cut - 剪切
copy - 复制
paste - 粘贴
edit - 编辑
properties - 属性
ok - OK / 好的
cancel - 取消
back - 返回
refresh - 刷新
save - 保存
print - 打印

  • hopefully we can get more items added to this list, but that is indeed the type of thing I was looking for Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 9:59
  • computer - 电脑
  • internet - 因特网
  • software - 软件
  • program - 程序
  • Windows - 视窗
  • Mac - 苹果(电脑)
  • Apple - 苹果 (公司)
  • Microsoft - 微软 (公司)
  • Google - 谷歌
  • file - 文件
  • copy - 复制
  • save - 保存
  • delete - 删除
  • open - 打开
  • close - 关闭
  • click - 点击
  • double-click - - 双击
  • turn on - 打开
  • turn off - 关掉
  • plug in - 插入
  • image - 图片
  • video - 视频
  • connect - 链接
  • network - 网络
  • wireless - 无线
  • email - 电子邮件
  • inbox - 邮箱
  • browser - 浏览器
  • URL / Internet address - 网址
  • send an email - 发邮件
  • reply - 回复
  • forward - (v.) 转发
  • chat - 聊天
  • hard disk - 硬盘
  • keyboard - 键盘
  • drive (n.) - 磁盘
  • screen - 屏幕
  • mouse - 鼠标
  • USB drive - U盘
  • crash - (v.) 电脑死机
  • broken - (adj.) 怀了
  • desktop (computer) - 台式机
  • laptop (computer) - 笔记本
  • desktop - 桌面 (means: computer background)
  • icon - 图标
  • Excel - Excel (软件)(no translation)
  • Word - Word (软件)(no translation)
  • Powerpoint - 简报 (软件)(more commonly called PPT; no translation)
  • spreadsheet - 表格
  • Word document - Word文档
  • slideshow - 幻灯片

:) Self-compiled.


Institute of Information & Computing Machinery is maintaining a comprehensive list:


which cites standards by the Ministry of Education of Taiwan and by Authorized Committee of Science and Technology of PRC. This may offer some useful information.

  • that's indeed very comprehensive. a good reference, but not particularly useful for studying. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 9:56
  • Thumbs up for that link! I used it quite a lot while translating software from English to Chinese. That and a decent dictionary covers almost everything!
    – Olle Linge
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 2:17


This is a collection of pages from University of Maine at Farmington I think. It's a good summary of computer/tech/internet related words. Mouse over 电脑 at the top left and the following topics will show:

  • Computer Terms 计算机词语 ji4suan4ji1 ci2yu3
  • Using Windows 视窗基准 shi4chuang1ji1zhun3
  • Programming 程序设计 cheng2xu4she4ji4
  • Internet WWW 网络 Wang3luo4
  • Keyboard 键盘 jian4pan2
  • Computer Games 电脑游戏 dian4nao3 you2xi4
  • Internet shopping 网购 Wang3gou4
  • Computer equipment 计算机设备 ji4suan4ji1 she4bei4
  • Computer problems 计算机问题 ji4suan4ji1 wen4ti2
  • Brand names 品牌 pin3pai2
  • Social networking 社交网络 she4jiao1 wang3luo4
  • E-mail 电子邮件 dian4zi3you2jian4

Some samples from the Using Windows page:

  • click and drag 单击及拖动 dan1ji1 ji2 tuo1dong4
  • You need to unzip that file. 你需要解压缩那个文件。Ni3 xu1yao4 jie3ya1suo1 na4 ge4 wen2jian4.
  • default; to give tacit consent, to give tacit approval 默认 mo4ren4
  • extension (computer -- after the dot) 后缀名 hou4zhui4ming2
  • file format 文件格式 wen2jian4 ge2shi4
  • icon 图标 tu2biao1
  • print preview 打印御览 da3yin4 yu4lan3
  • status bar 状态条 zhuang4tai4tiao2

A deep dive way to learn terms is to go to a discussion board, the more specific the better. Here, you also get to see acronyms/slang native Chinese speakers use as well.

  • Interesting site! I found the design quite horrible and it's hard to navigate, but it's really cool that most phrases and vocabulary are recorded by more than one speaker.
    – Olle Linge
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 2:22
  • Yeah, bad design, but the content is good. The space between each character is annoying too.
    – Steve
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 10:16

I think my answer may not be what you are looking for... but your best bet is to go into control panel and change language setting instead to learn a new language.


Another source is directly looking up internationalization of computer software into chinese. It's slightly more limited vocab than the enormous iicm.org.tw one, but unfortunately still not sorted by frequency, so a bit overwhelming.

If you go on github and search for "i18n zh-cn" you may find a few: jupyter notebook discourse telegram

I also switched my computer over to chinese, however since you can't really "copy" out of a menu item, it's time consuming to copy. So I thought I'd go straight to the source, the internationalization files.

Update: Also, if you have the Pleco smartphone app, it has "screen reader" function which will pull out Chinese words on your screen, and you can then add them to your Pleco flashcards (and/or export those)! Unfortunately the screen reader function does not work on the System Settings menus, but it's perfect for the settings within apps etc.

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