Chinese (Simplified): Translation Style Guide


This guide is intended for everyone working on translations: external translators, internal linguists, and validators, offering general guidelines for localization, communicating the localization standards specific to Simplified Chinese.

Writing Style


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Active vs Passive voice

Try to avoid using passive voice when translating into Chinese. You can use active voice or 无人称句 in Chinese to translate passive voice. But you can also use “被” in Chinese when it is really necessary. Here are some examples:

English Chinese (Simplified)
The blog post is deleted. 博文已删除。
A blog post must be selected first. 必须先选择一篇博文。
If you select Yes, the image you uploaded before will be added to this folder. 如果选择“是”,您以前上传的图片将被添加到此文件夹。

Many Chinese words equivalent to “被” in the passive voice should be considered for tone sounds more natural in Chinese. For example, 让、受、遭


In English, we use some words to differ genders, such as he, she, his, her. Chinese has corresponding words for them, which is 他, 她, 他的, 她的. You can use the corresponding Chinese words directly in Translating gender words. But the cases below need some attention:

  1. When the gender of an object is unknown, “it” is commonly used to refer to this object in English.
  2. The original English text uses “his/her” or “he/she” to indicate the object may be a male or female.

In such cases, you can use some other words to reflect it.
For example:

English: His/her comment

Translation: 该用户的评论

Literal translations

Literal translation is not supported. You need not to translate the original English text word by word. The main goal as a translator is to deliver the most natural-sounding translation that convey the original message. What is important is to capture the intended meaning and transfer it into natural Chinese.


There is frequent use of humor in our material, intended to catch the reader’s attention, help them to remember the product and present the product in a more informal way. While the translation must attempt to capture the humor of a certain phrase or sentence, it should not do so at the cost of clarity.

For example, the famous Orkut error message: “bad, bad server, no donut for you”, translates well into most languages, but not into Simplified Chinese as it does not have a pun for such message. Therefore, it is best to translate the message simply, so as not to confuse the users. Perhaps you can keep in just a few jokes, or some subtle irony, or consider a friendly form of address.


Try to translate the slangs in equivalent Chinese words, if it is not available, focus on the meaning rather than translate it literally.

Format of address

Address should be listed in this format:

  1. Postal Code
  2. Province
  3. City/County
  4. Detailed Address
  5. Company Name
  6. LastName+FirstName+[Title/Honorific]

Example Address:

518040[Postal Code]
广东省[Province]深圳市[City]福田区深南大道 6035 号深航大厦 G 座 3201 室[Detailed Address]
某某有限公司[Company Name]
李[Last Name]小明[First Name]先生[Title/Honorific]
Local Postal Code Format: 6 digits: xxxxxx

Note: When local addresses are used, please follow Simplified Chinese word order. Please write the Simplified Chinese zip code as a six-digit block. When you need to translate foreign addresses, please translate them with the official names in Simplified Chinese.


Convention for punctuation localization

Half-width Full-width
[ ]


《 》
“ ”

Information for some other usage of punctuations can be found in the following sections.

Non-breaking space

If a space is needed between the content beside the Non-breaking tag, leave it as it is. Otherwise, delete it directly.


  1. One single-byte space is needed before and after any English words.
  2. No space is needed before or after any Chinese punctuation.
  3. When the first word of the sentence is an English word, do not add a space in front of the word.
  4. One single-byte space is needed between Chinese characters and Arabic numbers.
  5. For HTML files, if the strings between tags are localized, don’t leave any space between the tag and the preceding/following text. But if the strings between the tags are in English, leave a space between the tag and the preceding/following text.
  6. When Chinese text meets an icon or image, pls leave a single-byte space in between. If the sentence ends with an icon or image, we don’t need to keep a space between it and the ending punctuation, such as period or question mark.


Not applicable.

Accented characters (incl. accented uppercase)

Not applicable.

Decimal & thousand separator

Please delete the thousand separator in Chinese, but leave the decimal separator as it is.

Compound words

Please delete the hyphen between two words, and translate it two corresponding Chinese words, such as user-friendly UI (用户友好型界面).

Formatting & Layout


Please translate the currency as below:

¥ 元

£ 镑

$ 美元


Dates should be written in the following format:

English Chinese
October 22nd, 2007 OR
22nd October 2007 OR
22nd October, 2007
2007 年 10 月 22 日


The time should be written in the following format: hh:mm or hh:mm:ss. Please follow product-specific instructions, if applicable.

English Chinese
6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 下午 6 点至下午 8 点
9:00 am through 5:30 pm 上午 9:00 至下午 5:30

Bulleted lists

Keep the same format with the original English text.


See the related information in Punctuation section.

Accented characters (incl. accented uppercase)

See the related information in Punctuation section.


Keep the same format with the original English text.


Remove hyphenation in translation.

Measurements/Units of measure

Normally we should use metric units of measurement (公制单位)in Chinese, such as 毫米 [millimetre(mm)]、厘米[centimetre(cm) ]、米[metre(m) ]、公里[kilometre(Km)]、千克[Kilogram(Kg)]、平方公里[square Kilometre]、公里/小时[Kilometre per hour(km/h)] and so on. However, if there’s space limit or in formula, we should use their abbreviations such as mm, cm, m, kg and etc.


If the amounts are numbers, you should use numbers too. If the amount is in a non-numeric format and it is a very big data, you can also use number to reflect it. For both of the two usage, remember to delete the thousand separators.


No matter the percentage in English text in what format, words or numbers, use a numeric percentage in Chinese. For example, 10% or ten percent is all translated as 10%.



HTML code

For most of the HTML code, you need not to handle it. But if the characters that these codes represent need to be special handled, you need to handle it accordingly. For example:

&​nbsp;, sometimes you need to delete it.

<​img​><​/img​>, you need to leave a space between the code and the content beside it (Chinese punctuation are exceptions).


All of the character entities need to be translated.


Can be moved around within a string, but should not be translated or modified. Leave a space before and after it unless the content beside it is punctuation.


Can be moved around within a string, but should not be translated or modified. Leave a space before and after it unless the content beside it is punctuation.

Brand, Upgrade, and Feature Names

For such content, please follow the validated names available in reference materials provided. If it is a new Brand, Upgrade, or Feature Name, and you are not sure about it, please submit a query. Most of the brand names need not to be translated. But you need to translate the update and feature names in most cases.

Here are some examples of each: Jetpack, VaultPress, Akismet (brand names), Domain Mapping, No Ads, Custom Design (upgrade names — these are premium, aka paid, features), Publicize, Stats, Polls (feature names — these are free features available to all users).

Titles and Headings

Titles and headings should be concise. There should be no punctuation in the end.

Acronyms & Abbreviations

Most of the acronyms & abbreviations need to be translated unless it is specified or common used in Chinese, such as IT.

Proper Names

When translating proper names, you need to search it on the Internet and professional materials, using the widely accepted terms in Chinese.

Leave the copyright and trademark as it is, and leave a space between the symbol and the content after it. If you are not sure about such content, please submit a query.

Terminology & Consistency


Please use the terminology supplied for your language.

UI consistency

When encountered UIs, please always check the live page. If you cannot find it on the live page, please submit a query.

General consistency

For consistency in the whole translation process, the priority as below must followed:

  1. Client feedback
  2. Terminology
  3. TM


When referencing another section or chapter in the same file, use quotation marks for the section or chapter name;

When referencing another book or a magazine, use 《 》 for the book/magazine title when it has a Chinese equivalent, and use the form of 《CN translation》(EN source) for the title when it does not have a Chinese equivalent.