Individuals seated around a table, discussing localisation strategies for Technical Communicators to thrive in the Greater China Market
Individuals seated around a table, discussing localisation strategies for Technical Communicators to thrive in the Greater China Market

In an increasingly globalised world, multinational companies need to localise technical communication into different languages for different target markets. In East Asia, multinationals often regroup China Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau under the same Greater China business unit for convenience or to spread overheads. Time and money could be saved by reducing the overall localisation efforts. However, certain nuances must be addressed carefully to support company success across different zones in this region.

When foreign language documents get translated for the entire Greater China region, it is uncommon to translate into both simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese at the same time. Usually, the source language text is translated at first into either simplified Chinese or traditional Chinese. Subsequently, the localisation process between simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese takes place.

Here are 3 tips that will help technical communicators succeed in technical documentation projects for such a homogeneous yet diverse market.


Punctuation has been standardised by different authorities in slightly different ways in Greater China over the past. Technical communicators can handle such conversions automatically with plugins or lightweight applications. The rendering quality is generally acceptable, but proofreading by an in-country professional is strongly recommended.

Characters in Localisation

It may be tempting to imagine that all characters could be converted automatically and accurately between simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese. However, the actual picture is rather nuanced because sometimes one simplified Chinese character has multiple equivalents of traditional Chinese characters, and on rare occasions, the reverse is equally true. Technical communicators can use advanced IT solutions or, in some cases, even human intervention to eliminate cross-contamination between simplified and traditional characters.

Terminologies in Localisation

The economic and technological evolution has followed different curves in the Greater China region over the past 70 years. Consequently, sharp differences in terminology usage are observed in certain fields, including foreign names, IT terminology, etc. For example, if the localization project is about an IT product, the technical communicator needs to remain extremely vigilant and take extra care on this issue to improve the readability for target readers.

On the terminology level, there are mature terminology management solutions that could help technical communicators control consistency and prevent cross-contamination between simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese texts in the localisation process. 

If you wish to enhance your skill sets in localization, terminology management, and other cross-culture subjects in multi-language technical communication fields, feel free to contact us at Université de Strasbourg in France for this eLearning Tcloc master program. It’s 100% taught in English and accessible to students from all over the world. 


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