Chinese Challenges

There are currently some 1.3 billion Chinese speakers in the world.  China is growing and developing business relationships with the west, therefore Chinese to English and English to Chinese translation services are being requested more and more. At the same time, however, Chinese translations present a few specific challenges; unlike European languages, Chinese is based on characters rather than letters. Each Chinese character can mean more than one thing and often has subtle connotations as well. Translating documents into Chinese or from Chinese into English requires a vast vocabulary as well as a good knowledge of Chinese culture. It is therefore important to select a professional translator, in order to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

What is more, Chinese is actually not one language but several. Standard Chinese is the most common form of the language used in China but there are also many Mandarin Chinese speakers and speakers of other dialects. If you want an accurate translation of your documents, you need to find a translator who is familiar with the specific dialect or form of Chinese to be translated. Make sure you seek advice therefore.  For now though, enjoy the celebrations of Chinese New Year – 新年快樂!!

Posted on by Elizabeth Lake in Translation & Interpreting