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We handle all types of Chinese translations
As businesses expand their reach to new markets, it becomes increasingly important to be able to communicate with potential customers in their native language. This is where professional translation services can be a valuable asset.
When it comes to Chinese translation services, there are a few things to keep in mind due to the complexity of the language. Mandarin and Cantonese are the most common dialects, but there are also many others such as Wu, Xiang, Gan, Hakka, Min, etc.Depending on the target market/audience, different dialects may be more appropriate.
Asian Absolute offers native-speaking Chinese translators who are also experts in your particular industry or field to help ensure that your message is communicated effectively. Whether it’s marketing materials, internal communications, website or app content, product packaging, or e-learning materials, we can help you localize for any Chinese-speaking audience.
Do you need Mandarin or Cantonese translation? Or both?
When considering English to Chinese translation, which written and spoken variant of the language should be used depends on your target market. Read our in-depth page on the Chinese language variants for more details. For most projects you will want to choose one of the four most commonly used variants:
Mandarin, written using short-form / Simplified Chinese characters – Mainland China and some overseas communities
Mandarin, written using short-form / Simplified Chinese characters and Singapore-specific vocabulary – Singapore
Mandarin, written using long-form / Traditional Chinese characters – Taiwan
Cantonese, written using long-form / Traditional Chinese characters – Hong Kong and some overseas communities
Although the four are mutually intelligible, there are distinct differences in vocabulary and writing style between them.
If you’re targeting the entire Greater China region, we strongly recommend that you produce separate translations for Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. You should ideally have your documents translated into Simplified Chinese for Mainland China, into Traditional Chinese for Taiwan, and into a separate Traditional Chinese version for Hong Kong.
It’s unwise to cut costs by translating into only one variant to cover the whole of Greater China as there are long-standing rivalries between the different ethnic groups. Failure to distinguish between them displays a lack of cultural sensitivity and can be seen as demonstrating an inadequate commitment to the region.
Fortunately, the linguistic similarities between Mandarin for Mainland China, Mandarin for Taiwan (sometimes also referred to as Taiwanese), and Cantonese for Hong Kong are sufficient to enable us to translate into more than one variant in a very swift and cost-effective way.
Target any industry or sector in the world
Whether you need Cantonese or Mandarin translation services, you can count on us to deliver accurate, specialized translations by industry experts.
Our Chinese translators are all experts in their respective fields, with the qualifications and/or experience needed to understand the unique terminology of different industries. This is vital, as many Chinese dialects have different words for things depending on the region. In some cases, there may not even be a word for something yet.
Our team has the expertise needed to handle translations for any industry, including:
Banking & Finance
Marketing & PR
Travel & Tourism
Source Chinese translation services
What part of the world are you targeting with your project? The geographic focus of your Chinese translation services determines the best choice of Chinese dialect or dialects.
For example, if you’re targeting the entirety of Greater China, you need separate versions for Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Anything less and you risk displaying insufficient commitment to the region.
Get recommendations from us as part of your project. We’ll usually recommend:
- Mainland China and some overseas communities – Mandarin (written using Simplified Chinese characters).
- Singapore – Mandarin (written using Simplified Chinese characters and Singapore-specific vocabulary).
- Taiwan – Mandarin (written using Traditional Chinese characters).
- Hong Kong and some overseas communities – Cantonese (written using Traditional Chinese characters).
Translate for different dialects and characters
Take a look at the list of regions above. You’ll see that some regions prefer different dialects of Chinese written using different characters.
Since the 1950s, efforts to simplify Traditional Chinese characters have resulted in Simplified Chinese. In this script, there are fewer lines required to write each character and the overall number of characters has been reduced and the selection process streamlined.
Certain parts of the world – namely Taiwan, Hong Kong, and some overseas Chinese communities – haven’t followed this process. Find out more about Chinese language variants here. Or simply discuss it with an expert when you call to plan your project.
Rely on us to provide both English to Chinese and Chinese to English translation services for a huge variety of dialects and variants. More than twenty tears of specialising in the region give us a huge talent pool of linguists to call on.
Looking for a Chinese interpreter for your next event?
No matter what industry or sector you’re in, we can help you find the ideal Chinese interpreter for your needs. Whether you need interpretation services for a business meeting in Singapore, a corporate event in London, or a site visit in Beijing, we have you covered.
All of our interpreters are highly skilled in both Chinese and English and are experienced in a variety of industries. They are also attuned to the nuances and subtleties of meaning in both languages and are familiar with expected etiquette and body language.
This way, you can be confident that you’re getting accurate, professional interpretation services that will help you communicate effectively with your Chinese counterparts.
Why Asian Absolute?
Over 20 years’ experience of specialist Chinese translation
Used by the Financial Times and numerous other household brands
Subject matter specialist translators in dozens of industries
ISO 9001-accredited quality
Award-winning project management specialists
Discuss your Chinese translation with an expert
If you’re looking for a professional Chinese translation, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of experts is available to discuss your specific needs and requirements, ensuring that your translation is accurate and culturally appropriate.
We translate both Mandarin and Cantonese, so regardless of which dialect you need, we can help.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our Chinese translation services. We look forward to helping you with your project!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need Mandarin or Cantonese?
This depends on where in the world your audience or target market is. There are at least eight very widely-used spoken dialects of Chinese. Mandarin and Cantonese are simply the most common of these, and even they have regional variations.
For example, Mandarin is the official language of the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. It’s also one of the four national languages of Singapore. But even the Mandarin spoken in China, Taiwan, and Singapore has unique features or dialect words.
Get in touch with us if you need commitment-free advice regarding the language to use in your latest project.
Do I need Simplified or Traditional Chinese?
There is a similar geographic divide in written Chinese. This divide is between Traditional Chinese characters and the more modern Simplified Chinese that were introduced in the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
Simplified Chinese requires fewer strokes to create each character – it is, quite literally, simplified. But, as you can see from the table below, there is no constant link between the dialect spoken and the characters used across regions:
|China||Simplified||Mandarin and many others|
Contact us for free and impartial advice about the most suitable language for your next project.
What is Chinese Pinyin?
Chinese Pinyin (sometimes called Hanyu Pinyin) is the official Romanisation of the Chinese written language.
There used to be several systems for phonetically writing out Chinese in the Latin script. But Pinyin was slowly adopted by the Chinese government as part of the campaign to create a national language – a standard form of Mandarin based on the Beijing dialect of Chinese.
For people trying to learn Chinese, Pinyin is an incredibly useful tool to aid in pronunciation.
What is the best way to translate Chinese to English?
If you need a fast translation of Chinese text into English, there are apps out there that can do the job. Of course, you should never use them for business, professional, or office purposes as they will never produce a translation of any quality.
But on top of the usual Google Translate (or China’s Baidu search engine’s translation software), if you want a rough approximation of what a piece of Chinese text says, you might try:
- Pleco – most people’s Chinese language learning app of choice includes a good free translator that also features a “point camera at target” function.
- WayGo – point this app at some Chinese text and you’ll get some idea of what is written. Its translations aren’t always the best and it does struggle with some fonts, but you should get the gist.
- Papago – this Korean app is free and surprisingly good at translating Chinese and several other Asian languages into English.
Learn more about the Chinese language
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