When most people talk about a language called Chinese, they really mean Mandarin. “Chinese” is not a single language—rather, it’s a subfamily of the Sino–Tibetan language family and consists of dozens of closely related yet mutually unintelligible languages. There are a number of subfamilies even within the subfamily of Chinese languages, and a prominent one is the Yue family, spoken in the south of China. Cantonese is the most famous Yue language, but a lesser-known cousin is Taishanese.
Taishanese is distinct from Cantonese, but it’s sometimes called Cantonese, since the languages are spoken in neighboring areas and both come from the Yue family. Cantonese, the native language of Hong Kong, holds more prestige, leading to the partial erasure of Taishanese. Nonetheless, even if Taishanese is marginalized within China, it remains one of the dominant Chinese languages spoken in Chinatowns in North America, particularly among older people. But still, finding translation services for Taishanese can be a chore. At TranslationServices.com, we stand proudly as one of the rare translation firms offering Taishanese translation services.
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Here are some of the characteristics of Taishanese.
Taishanese is native to the Chinese province of Guangdong, which borders Hong Kong in southern China, and particularly to the city-level county of Taishan. In the early 20th century, significant amounts of emigration from this area resulted in Taishanese becoming one of the most spoken Chinese languages in Chinatowns in North America, although modern-day youth are shifting to Cantonese and Mandarin. Taishanese exhibits a number of differences from Mandarin—not only in pronunciation but also in grammar and vocabulary—which makes it tricky for Mandarin speakers to read and understand.
Regarding vocabulary, Taishanese has, in some cases, preserved words from Old Chinese that Mandarin has not, and different characters may be used for these words, affecting the mutual legibility of the languages. Taishanese pronouns are different from those of Mandarin, as well—meaning that even the most basic words differ between the two languages. Another interesting feature of Taishanese is the reduplication of adjectives, which is not found in Mandarin—reduplicating an adjective makes it stronger or weaker. For example, 辣 (lat32) alone means “spicy,” but 辣辣, when read as “lat32 lat325,” means “somewhat spicy,” and the same characters when read as “lat325 lat32” mean “very spicy.”
Our Taishanese translators are proud speakers of the language and work hard to ensure high-quality Taishanese translations.
We can translate any sort of content to or from Taishanese.
It’s important to distinguish between translation to Taishanese and translation from Taishanese because a single translator may not be capable of both. Our team is staffed with translators who specialize in both directions, so no matter what you’re looking for, we can provide it. How about translation from Taishanese to English for historical documents, traditional literature, or modern-day writings? This can help promote awareness of and appreciation for Taishanese culture. Or what about translation from English to Taishanese for business content, questionnaires, or creative content like books, poetry, and games?
Producing more content in Taishanese makes the language more accessible to speakers and helps preserve it into the future.
Whatever your reason for needing Taishanese translation services, we’re here for you. Contact us today to get started.