Translated's Research Center



To which language should you translate to localize in Macau?

What we know from our community

Macau’s linguistic heritage is closely interlinked with the city’s history as a former Portuguese colony. It has two official languages: Chinese and Portuguese. Macau Chinese, which utilizes standard written Chinese for formal written communication and Cantonese for spoken communication, is the language that closely connects with the Macanese. Cantonese is the most widely spoken language used in everyday life, while Portuguese having a significant presence in legal, governmental, and cultural contexts. With the influx of gaming finance into the city, English has also come to a role of increasing prominence especially in casino resorts and main tourist areas. There are also substantial number of Filipinos working in the city who speak Tagalog as their primary language. 

In terms of writing system in Chinese, Cantonese Chinese in Macau uses traditional characters, similarly to Hong Kong, while Mandarin Chinese in Mainland China uses simplified characters. The Cantonese spoken in Macau also has a distinct accent and vocabulary compared to other Cantonese-speaking regions. It is also interesting to note that the language has a large number of loanwords from Portuguese, such as 馬介休 (‘bacalhau’), 葡萄牙 (‘Portugal’), and 前地 (‘largo’).

Traditional Chinese (Cantonese)


Piyen Ho, Translator



Official language
Chinese, Portuguese


T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.


Capital: Macau
Currency: Macanese Pataca
Population: 658,391 thousands
Population density: 19,737/km2


GDP: 29.91 billion USD (2021)
GDP per capita: 45,421.6 USD ‎(2021) ‎
Exports: 1.35 billion USD (2020)


Internet users: 86.5% penetration, 573.4 thousand
Unemployment rate: 2.6% (May 2020)
Literacy: 96.5% (2017)


Numbering system
Arabic numbering system with comma as decimal separator.

Date format: yyyy-mm-dd
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 00853

Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal

Facts and data


$6.41 billion (2020). Electricity ($414M), Jewelry ($341M), Cars ($313M), Trunks and Cases ($267M), and Beauty Products ($185M), importing mostly from China ($2.27B), Hong Kong ($1.61B), Italy ($286M), United States ($275M), and Japan ($266M).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 80% have an account with a financial institution
• 3% have a credit card
• 2% have a mobile money account
• 4.3% make online purchases

$ 1.35 billion (2020).  Jewelry ($174M), Broadcasting Equipment ($150M), Precious Metal Watches ($106M), Telephones ($85.9M), and Trunks and Cases ($67.8M), exporting mostly to Hong Kong ($827M), China ($143M), United States ($93.2M), Australia ($54.2M), and Netherlands ($32.2M).

Main local online stores

Service Imports (2018)

Source: OEC

Service Exports (2018)

Source: OEC

Most complex products by PCI

Product Complexity Index measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters

Source: OEC

Most specialised products by RCA Index

Specialisation is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage, an index that takes the ratio between Macau observed and expected exports in each product

Source: OEC

Export Opportunities by Relatedness

Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product, the barchart show only products that Macau is not specialized in

Source: OEC



Reach most of the online purchasing power

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.

Try it now


Media main languages
Chinese and Portuguese, English

Information channels
The local government is the main media player in Macau; it runs terrestrial TV and radio stations and subsidises the press.

The law provides for freedom of expression and the media express a range of views. However, the local government “occasionally sought to restrict this right” the US Department of State said in its 2018 human rights assessment. It said that media sometimes self-censor.

A survey published in 2017 found that journalists working for Chinese-language media operate in “a tougher environment [with] more challenges, restraints and pressure” than their counterparts working in Portuguese and English.

There were 538,000 internet users by June 2019 ( Facebook is the most popular social network. The government did not restrict access or censor content, the US Department of State said in 2018.

The press

Macao Daily News – main daily, Chinese-language
Va Kio Daily – Chinese-language
Hoje Macau – Portuguese-language daily
Jornal Tribuna de Macau – Portuguese-language daily
Ponto Final – Portuguese-language daily
Macau Daily Times – English-language
MacauNews – online news in English, Chinese


Teledifusao Macau – operates Chinese and Portuguese-language networks
Macau Asia Satellite TV (MASTV) – private


Radio Macau – operates Chinese and Portuguese-language networks
Radio Vila Verde – private

Media data source: BBC

Internet Data

Internet users
86.5% penetration, 573.4 thousand

Share of web traffic by device
40.7% mobile phones, 52.6% computers (laptops and desktops), 6.7% tablet devices, others 0.03%

Median speed of mobile Internet connection
41.07 Mbps

Median speed of fixed Internet connection
116.1o Mbps

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population 235.5%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 100%

Most popular web search engines
Google (94.63%), Yahoo (3.14%), Bing (1.06%), Baidu (0.91%), Sogou (0.07%), Shenma (0.06%)

Most used social media
Facebook (63.03%), Twitter(22%), Pinterest (7.8%),  YouTube (4.1%),  Instagram (2.45%), Linkedin (0.24%)

Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter

Social statistics

Life expectancy
84 yrs (2020)

Average age of the population
39.8 yrs (2020) 

Localization tips
Portugal’s longstanding influence over Macau shaped business relations into a mixture of Portuguese and Chinese customs. However, particularly outside the world of business, Macau’s cultural practices are strongly related to Chinese traditions. 

Healthcare expenditure
1.48% of GDP (2018)

Graduates (tertiary education)
Despite the lower share of adults with tertiary education, India has a relatively balanced gender distribution across the various fields of tertiary education compared to other OECD and partner countries, especially in fields such as education, humanities and arts, and health and welfare.

Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF

Number of students in Macao in 2019, by educational institution

Source: UNESCO

The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at imminent@translate

Languages research

Languages spoken in Macau

The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to

Photo credit: Jimmy Woo, Unsplash