Last bastion for Trad Characters... even on our Intranet!

I was presented an interesting question this afternoon by my company’s IT department back in home office (we were chatting over SameTime). They were wondering how people would feel if Traditional Chinese was no longer offered as an option for our global intranet.

I work for the Taiwan branch of a multinational company from the UK. I’m part of a cross-department taskforce that has been looking to move our local intranet to our global one. Simply put, right now, if you open your web broswer at work, your home page is some file in our office network. Eventually, when we complete our task, opening a webbrowser when you are connected to a company network will make you start at a “Taiwan-version” of our global intranet.

My friend in the home office, Dave, tells me today that our HK branch no longer needs the Traditional Chinese User Interface (UI). UI includes the buttons, titles, error messages and other little details.

Apparently, Taiwan is the only other market that ever uses it - and since my taskforce hasn’t accomplished the migration to the global network, I can tell you with certainty that only a very few of us here use the global intranet at the moment (but I know this will change after the migration)

I start to tell Dave my understanding of the Big5/GB-Hanyu/Tongyang-TWese/Waishengjen debate. I’m far from an expert, but Dave is then saying, “OK, the National Identity thing was never considered”

In the end, I actually told him that we could more than survive not having Trad Chinese as an option (it will always be an option in our browsers, so this does NOT affect content, just the UI).

Would people here be offended? Sure, especially when they learn they can choose their own language options (we were planning to teach them how to do that), and then discover that Simplified is offered but Trad is not.

Given that this project team will be seeking to advocate more use of shared resources on the intranet, that would probably just make people make a smartalecky comment once in while to us now and then. No biggie, I figure.

But then, I’m not Chinese/Taiwanese nor did I grow up here. I wondering if my telling him not to worry about it was a little quick of me.

Kinda sad though that this is the last bastion for those complicated Chinese characters, eh?

Those goddam commie characters give me a headache, I give up after a paragraph or two. Most of my co-workers are even less tolerant of simplified than I am…

Goose Egg, you run Forumosa and you caved so easily on the traditional character question? If your co-workers are mostly Taiwanese, do they know about this yet?

I don’t think I caved that easily. I asked a number of colleagues for their thoughts and summarized my findings for Dave. They was pretty consistent: yes, it would bother them, using English is apparently easier to understand than guessing at Simplified Chinese, and it would be better if no Chinese at all were offered instead of only one.

No surprises there.

We’ll see how Home Office treats the feedback. My office mates are a pragmatic lot, they’ll shrug this off if the decision does go against us.