Lost in Translation Chinese-English

Why is it important for you to use professional translation services when dealing with Chinese language?

As China continues to grow and develop, it attracts an increasing amount of international business. Expansion and development make Chinese-English translation incredibly important.

Lost in Translation Chinese-English

However, the translation industry in China is relatively young and many difficulties exist when it comes to the translation itself.

Translational Landscape

Most translators in China are university students who have been taught how to write and read in English via the nine-year Compulsory Education System. Students can understand English, but the level of English speaking skills acquired during their education hardly qualifies them to be translating at a professional level.

Even so, Chinese businesses often turn to these students for low-cost Chinese to English translations. This leads to incorrect translations, but it also discourages professional translators from entering the translational landscape because they can’t compete with the extremely low rates the students can be hired for.

Language Differences

In addition to challenges that exist within the industry itself, there are linguistic complications that make Chinese-English translation difficult. For instance, tense doesn’t exist in Chinese. A single character placed at the end of a sentence can change the meaning entirely.

The same characters can also mean different things when combined with different sets of characters, so context is huge. These subtleties are almost impossible to translate without a thorough understanding of both languages. Visit our blog.

Location Matters

To add to the complexities of Chinese-English translation, where your text will be read is important, as well. In Hong Kong, you’ll speak Cantonese and write in Traditional Chinese for Hong Kong. However, in Mainland China, you’ll speak Mandarin but write in Simplified Chinese. Knowing which dialects are spoken and written in the location for which you’re translating a document is incredibly important if you want to be understood.

Translation Chinese-English: How We Can Help

Translating alone is not enough if you want to translate between Chinese and English. You need a transcreation expert to help you transform your document into a meaningfully equivalent, effective, and accurate version that your target language audience will understand. Contact SemioticTransfer today and see how we can help.

Do you have an upcoming project already planned? Request a non-binding quote today.

Further details can be discussed with us directly per telephone.
We look forward to receiving your call + 41 56 470 40 40 or email contact@semiotictransfer.ch.