Taipei, Aug. 13 (CNA) A dictionary featuring the differences between the Mandarin Chinese used in Taiwan and in China was published Monday, which is expected to enhance cultural exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, according to President Ma Ying-jeou.
"It is yet another successful example of Taiwan and China being able to set aside disputes to reach common ground," Ma said at a ceremony to launch the print edition of the dictionary.
Ma proposed in 2008 that Taiwan and China compile such a dictionary, which was launched in digital format this February.
In Taiwan, people learn and use traditional Chinese characters, while people in most other Chinese speaking communities use simplified forms of the characters.
The dictionary, which includes common Mandarin Chinese words and phrases used in Taiwan and China, is part of a cross-strait cooperation project aimed at compiling and publishing Chinese language reference books and setting up a database for the languages used on both sides.
The 1,800-page dictionary, which contains 5,700 words and over 27,000 phrases, took some 200 Taiwanese and Chinese scholars more than 15 months to compile, according to the the dictionary's Taiwanese compiler, the General Association of Chinese Culture.
The entries cover a wide range of daily vocabulary, including some slang used by younger people, said the association's project manager Lee Hsiao-ju.
After Monday's first edition of some 5,000 copies, Lee said the cross-strait team will continue to expand and update the dictionary and expects to launch a new edition in January next year.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)