I need some basic tutorials in Chinese on how to use iNaturalist

Hi all,

We have several students from China here in Moscow, who want to learn more about iNaturalist. Since they can’t understand perfectly either Russian or English tutorials, I need links on some basic educational materials on iNaturalist in Chinese. Short videos, infographics, how-to, etc.
I failed to find something myself.

Thanks a lot!


I believe Mandarin is the main language that is called ‘Chinese’, do you know if that is the language they are speaking? I know very little about Mandarin and other Chinese language so this may be a total dead end but, you could try talking to the people who do the Hong Kong City Nature Challenge which seems quite active. I feel like Hong Kong is the Chinese-speaking place most active on iNat, but a quick google search indicates Cantonese is the main language there so if you want Mandarin that may not be the way to go (but maybe you want Cantonese?) Anyway here it is https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021-hong-kong . I feel like the main part of China is somewhat less represented on iNat, I don’t know if this relates to that country’s laws regarding Internet access, if maybe they have another similar site that gets more use, just random variation from place to place, or something else. Anyway i will leave it at that in hopes someon who is actually Chinese will be able to provide you with better info.

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just statistically, students from China are likely to be from China China, as opposed to Hong Kong or Taiwan or other such places. the written form of Chinese used in China is a simplified form of what is traditionally used in HK or Taiwan, though i suspect college-level native simplified readers should be able to figure out the traditional and vice versa. there are slight differences in phrases and word choices, but again, most native readers and speakers should be able to figure things out based on context.

for videos (and other works containing spoken language), i suspect videos done in Taiwan are likely going to be done in Mandarin (as opposed to Taiwanese), while videos done in HK are potentially going to be more of tossup – possibly done in Cantonese or possibly done in Mandarin (or possibly even done in English). folks from China are going to need a Mandarin version, as Cantonese and Taiwanese are different enough from Mandarin that i doubt most folks will be able to make the translation without having learned the other language (like German vs English).

here’s a previous forum topic that talks about a couple of iNat evangelists in Taiwan and HK. so if no one else responds, i would try reaching out directly to one of these guys: iNaturalist in Taiwan, Growing an iNaturalist Community - General - iNaturalist Community Forum.


Hong Konger here: The main difference script wise is that Hong Kong uses traditional characters whilst in the mainland simplified characters are used, and its not uncommon that one can read both scripts.

There are also a number of observers in China (ie. not foreigners living in China) that may be able to help (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6903&view=observers). Those who are more recently active may be worth contacting for advice.

Also, I noticed in https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/translate, the bottom link sends you to https://github.com/inaturalist/inaturalist/blob/main/config/locales/CONTRIBUTORS.md, so you can also try contacting those people also.


@manassas is an active Chinese user on here, maybe you can ask them for help



i was poking around a little more, and it looks like @mutolisp has translated much of the iNaturalist Help page from English into (Taiwan) Traditional Chinese over at: https://hackmd.io/@mutolisp/HJeoP4chG. i suspect this will help even Simplified Chinese readers.

there’s also a relatively active iNaturalistTaiwan group on Facebook where folks help each other out on various topics, sort of like a Chinese version of this Forum. that group also has a Guide section which may or may not be useful.

it may also be worth noting that at least a few of iNaturalist’s standard videos have Traditional Chinese subtitles, courtesy of mutolisp. for example: https://vimeo.com/246153496.


I’d first try simple steps like using iNat itself to learn, and (such as when starting from English version) using translators in browsers, or in PDF viewers (if pages of interest can be downloaded in an applicable format). After that, I’d search for additional materials if more are needed. Also somewhat confused what the language issue is because Chinese citizens already use iNat, but apparently there’s more to the iNat language issue than I realized. It may also help to review/ID observations in China e.g. Beijing, where some of the users are already commenting etc. in Mandarin I think.

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Thankyou so much for sharing this .

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If someone makes a translation analogous to these help links for “too many species in observation” issue, I would love to add it to the list:

"you have variable species per photo
https://www.inaturalist.org/posts/49611-duplicando-observacoes-ou-separando-uma-com-multiplos-organismos "

It would be very useful for next November in Hong Kong, for example.

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