The Difference Between Taiwan Mandarin and PRC Mandarin

Standard Mandarin is the official language in China and it is one of the five official languages in the United Nations. Traditional Mandarin is spoken in Taiwan. Any localization project or marketing targeting Mainland China or Taiwan needs to be recorded in Mandarin. The Traditional Mandarin in Taiwan has a very distinct accent, so the Taiwanese market often requires a dedicated audio version in Taiwanese Mandarin (Not Taiwanese, which is a different language).

Taiwanese (Traditional) Mandarin Mandarin in Taiwan generally has a higher pitch than standard Mandarin in Mainland China. It is more enticing and sounds very pleasant. Standard Mandarin in Mainland China generally has a lower pitch and sounds more authoritative. Separation from the two straits as well as cultural differences resulted in such a difference.

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A native Chinese speaker can easily distinguish if the voice over is conducted by a person from Taiwan or Mainland China. In general, in the United States, Chinese TV stations and radio stations use anchors and announcers from Taiwan for important shows, as Taiwanese influence in overseas Chinese communities in the US is stronger than Chinese influence. However, Chinese influence is becoming more significant as well.

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