Chinese Language Translation
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Chinese is actually a group of related language varieties. Most linguists classify all varieties of Chinese as part of the Sino-Tibetan language family.
There are between 7 and 13 main regional groups of Chinese of which the most spoken, by far, is Mandarin (about 850 million), followed by Wu (90 million), Yue (70 million) and Min (50 million). Most of these groups are mutually unintelligible. Standard Chinese (Putonghua / Guoyu / Huayu) is a standardised form of spoken Chinese based on the Beijing dialect of Mandarin Chinese, and is the official language of the People's Republic of China (PRC.)
Chinese can be written using either simplified or traditional characters. The People’s Republic of China introduced simplified characters in 1949 in an effort to promote literacy. This should not be confused with Pinyin, a standardised spelling system, which uses the Roman alphabet to spell the pronunciation of Chinese characters. Pinyin is used as a reference tool in dictionaries, as a supplement to characters on signs and titles, and as the means of introducing standard pronunciation of characters school children. In 1979, China's news agency began using the Pinyin spellings of names and places in dispatches, and so Mao Tse-tung became Mao Zedong.
If your document is intended to be read in mainland China or in Singapore, simplified Chinese will be needed. Traditional Chinese will be required for Hong Kong or Macau. The Traditional Chinese variant in Taiwan is slightly different to that used in Hong Kong, often being referred to as Taiwanese.
The choice between the language variants should be carefully considered when translating documentation into Chinese, in order to demonstrate awareness of cultural sensitivity to your chosen target audience.
We offer professional Chinese to English and English to Chinese translations - and other language combinations including Chinese.
A tip to bear in mind is to allow flexibility in the layout of your documents. English to Chinese translation typically contracts by about 60% depending on the subject matter.
We work to the following ‘golden rules’:
Please contact us for more information on Chinese langauge translation.