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a question about Mandarin/Cantonese publishing


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When a book written in Mandarin is published in Hong Kong, or vice versa, there obviously has to be a different version, because one uses traditional characters and the other simplified. This can be done pretty easily by computers, with perhaps a swift check by a human editor to make sure there are no glitches (and presumably there's a list of the most frequently occuring glitches). This approach would work for publishing British and American versions of books in English - colour to color, pants to underwear, pavement to sidewalk, and then a quick read to make sure the jokes still work. My question is, is this how it is actually done, or is there a more skillful editing process, to deal with the grammatical and lexical differences? I'm noticing some real differences between written Canto and Mandarin, and there must be plenty of books that have crossed over to the other market. Do readers just live with it, or do editors get involved. A similar question for Taiwan, where I don't think the grammar is much different, but there is some divergence in vocab.

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I don't have any deep insight to share on this one but my take is that sometimes there isn't the step of making that conversion.

It is my knowledge that people in Hong Kong can also fully comprehend Mandarin. So they wouldn't have problem reading something written in mainland style Mandarin, even though it may be using simplified characters. And if the text is written in Cantonese, it is also the language that they use frequently.

So maybe some books don't need the conversion step that you are inquiring about.

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Books published in Hong Kong are almost exclusively written in standard written Chinese, which is essentially mandarin. The only issue is converting between simplified and tradition characters. No translation between dialects is involved.

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