Standard Chinese is the official language of China, the world’s most populous nation. An enormous amount of content is produced in China and exported to the rest of the world; unfortunately, Chinese-language content is often difficult to translate.
Translating Chinese into English, or vice-versa, can result in inaccuracies, miscommunication, and other problems. That’s why it’s essential to hire an experienced and reputable translation service. Get in touch with us to learn more about our services.
What factors should you consider when hiring a Chinese translation service?
Knowledge of Mandarin, Cantonese, and other dialects
Mandarin is the most popular dialect of Chinese. People learning to speak Chinese often choose to learn Mandarin, since this dialect is widely understood. However, Cantonese is another popular dialect and is commonly spoken in Hong Kong and Macau.
When hiring a Chinese translation service, make sure your translator knows the Chinese dialect you need help translating to or from.
Experience with traditional and simplified characters
During the 1950s and 1960s, the People’s Republic of China attempted to standardize the seemingly infinite number of Chinese characters by creating simplified Chinese characters. However, some regions of China still prefer the more complex, traditional form.
Look for a translation service with experience in both writing systems, so they can advise you about which version, simplified or traditional, is appropriate for your audience.
Native speaker status
Chinese translation presents particular difficulties for non-native speakers. For example, characters may have different meanings depending on the other characters around them. To accurately understand what each Chinese character means, you have to know how it is being used.
These contextual nuances can be hard for non-native speakers to learn and accurately translate. That’s why native Chinese speakers are often the best translators.
Deep experience with Chinese translation
Being fluent in both English and Chinese is a good foundation, but it’s just the beginning. Look for a translator who has at least five years of experience translating to and from Chinese. Remember to be specific about the Chinese dialect, too.
Additionally, you may want to seek someone who has experience translating the particular types of documents or subject matter you need. Jargon and other specialized terms can be particularly difficult for inexperienced translators.