Chinese is often presented as a single language with several dialects—but this classification is largely political. Linguists have long classified Chinese languages as a subfamily of the Sino–Tibetan language family, as the numerous Sinitic languages exhibit such stark differences that they cannot be understood mutually. In fact, they may be even more different from one another than the Romance languages of Europe are. Mandarin is the most well known and widely spoken, given that it’s the lingua franca and has been strongly promoted by the Chinese government, but the Xiang languages, a smaller subfamily, are also spoken by around 38 million people.
In most countries, a language spoken by 38 million people would likely be at least a regional administrative language, if not a national one. But in China, where the government effectively promotes only Mandarin, this is not the case. With Mandarin so common around the country and held in such high regard, the Xiang languages are under threat, so most translation companies don’t see the value in translating them. At TranslationServices.com, we don’t let that deter us. In fact, we proudly translate endangered and minority languages, including Xiang.
Would you like a quote for our Xiang translation services? You can request one for free by contacting us.
Learning a little about Xiang
Xiang is a subgroup of closely related Sinitic languages that is sometimes also called Hunanese. The languages are divergent from Mandarin and even more so from the Wu and Yue groups, and it bears more a resemblance to the Gan languages spoken in neighboring areas to the east. The number of speakers of Xiang languages is around 38 million, and the language group is mostly spoken in Hunan Province, as well as nearby areas of Guangxi, Guizhou, and Hubei. Xiang is in some sense famous as a “revolution language,” playing an integral role in the Chinese Communist Revolution, including by being the native language of Mao Zedong.
The Xiang language grouping is further divided into five smaller groups. The largest is the Chang-Yi languages, with 17.8 million speakers. The next is Lou-Shao, followed by Chen-Xu Xiang, Hengzhou Xiang, and finally Yong-Quan Xiang. Its differences from Mandarin are most prominent in its phonetics, but Xiang also shows grammatical and vocabulary differences from the Chinese lingua franca. In some cases, different characters are used—sometimes as a result of Xiang preserving vocabulary from Old Chinese that have fallen into disuse in Mandarin.
Our Xiang translators translate their language with pride, and they’re here to serve you.
Let us know what you’re looking for in Xiang translation services.
Our mandate is to serve you in your quest for Xiang translation services, regardless of the content or direction. Yes, we cater to both clients seeking Xiang-to-English services as well as those looking for English-to-Xiang translation. If you’d like to make historical documents or Xiang literature more widely available to the outside world, our Xiang-to-English translation services are the way to do it. If, however, you’re instead looking to produce more Xiang-language content, we can help by translating books, poems, websites, apps, games, and more into Xiang, which will help preserve the Xiang languages into the future.
All you have to do to get started with Xiang translation services is reach out to us with your specifications.