Simplified and Traditional Characters in Unicode

I don’t understand much about computers, and I don’t really know who to ask about the problem that came up yesterday: As I will be working closely with our Shanghai office and we will have to exchange Unicode-based texts, we were wondering how to “convert” Simplified characters in Unicode to Traditional characters. As I grasped with my limited understanding for computer stuff, in Unicode, all characters exist parallel. So you can’t just convert from Simplified to Traditional, as it works with GB and BIG5. Is there any way to tell the Simplified characters that I need them as Traditional characters?

You could convert from Unicode to GB or Big5 and then from GB to Big5 or vice versa. Unionway, Twinbridge and a few smaller, specialised programs should all do the job. But if you really need your own Fanti and Jianti that much, why would your company use Unicode at all?

I’ll probably need a tool that can convert a number of text files from GB to BIG5 and vice-versa. I tried to do a search for the best software (not necessarily the cheapest) but couldn’t come up with anything. I know Chinese Partners et al., so if you think that’s good, we’ll stick to that. If somebody has something else to suggest, please go ahead.


What’s the file format of the original documents? If you are exchanging Word files, then you can use Word itself to make the conversion. Go to
Tools --> Language --> Chinese translation…

Traditional to simplified is no trouble. The other way 'round is more problematic.


Thanks. I know about the conversion in Word. Thing is, it’s text files, and I must not open them in word.

Actually, it’s Transit files, the files of our TM software. Transit imports almost any file format, stores fomatting etc. info in tags, and you get an original language text (e.g. English) with the file type .eng for english and a target text with the file type .chs for Simplified Chinese where you type in Chinese instead of the English. After the translation, you export the .chs file and get the original file format with more or less the original formatting, but the text all in Chinese (at least that’s how I understand it and would explain it :? ).

Now, as we have customers who want translations for Simplified and Traditional Chinese, we’d usually just convert the .chs file in a code converter, change the .chs to .cht, open the file in Transit and proofread to make sure all characters had been converted. This should work with any odd converter that is able to convert text files, but it looks like my really old version of Twin Bridge Chinese Partners isn’t in the mood right now, maybe I need some more time to convince it (that is, play around and try out). So, if anybody has a suggestion for software, I might as well listen to it before I just rush out and buy a newer version of Twin Bridge. It would be nice to find a tool that can handle a number of files at once!

As to the Unicode problem: the newest version of Transit doesn’t store the language files as text format anymore but uses Unicode, and I’ve never heard of a converter that could actually convert Unicode Simplified Chinese to Unicode Traditional Chinese. We have figured out sort of a work around, I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s supposed to work.

I’ll play around with my Chinese Partner some more first :wink: .


One step further: My Chinese Partner changed its (his?) mood and is ready to convert the files now. Unfortunately, it will only convert one file at a time, and I have about 2.000 to convert. Any suggestions for software that can handle that?

Thanks! :slight_smile: