English to Chinese Translations
All you need to know about this type of Chinese translation.
Why it is different than ‘Chinese translations’ in general?
English to Chinese translations are required for content written in English being translated for Cantonese or Mandarin-speaking population. Such English documents are usually:
- Content from the US, England, or Australia in English
- Content developed in English by countries other than those three. The content is first written English with the purpose of then translating this English version into many other languages (English is the ‘language hub’ for translation projects)
Main ‘English to Chinese’ Applications
Some of the applications for English to Chinese translations are:
- Targeting Chinese communities in the US. Targeting the Chinese community within the United States and Canada for example. Chinese is heavily spoken by immigrants from China.
- Targeting China. China is the largest market in the world accessible by using a single language other than English. That’s another reason why Chinese is the most translated language after Spanish.
English Chinese translation varieties
In terms of ‘preferred Chinese variety’ the following order of preference will apply:
#1: Mandarin Chinese also known as Simplified Chinese: Mandarin is the simplified version of the Chinese language. It was co-developed by the Chinese government with the purpose of unifying the many writing systems in China while reducing the number of characters and facilitating its teaching.
#2: Cantonese Chinese also known as Traditional Chinese: this is the ‘old Chinese writing’ variety. It has a much larger number of characters, it is more complex, and it is not supported by the Chinese government.
While most of China has already adopted the Mandarin Chinese some areas like Taiwan are still attached to the Cantonese Chinese. One of the reasons for keeping the Cantonese Chinese is a political bias against the powerful Chinese government.
Main requirements for an English Chinese translation:
#1. Native in Chinese. The ‘native proficiency’ is required for the ‘target language’ Chinese. So, in ‘translation English to Chinese’ the professional translators to be employed must be native Chinese speakers. The translator should have a strong command of the English language as well. But, since she or he won’t be writing in English, a less than perfect proficiency in English will not be detrimental.
#2. Other requirements. in general the translator should also have the following: (a) expert in the knowledge field being translated; (b) a certification by a recognized translation association; (c) relevant experience as a translator; (d) meeting deadlines and following quality standards
Tips for English translations to Chinese
#1. Pick Chinese translators living in China. the Chinese language is a live entity. The translator must be living in her/his native country to be able to be up to date with the current idiomatic expressions and terminology. The best ‘English to Chinese translators’ will be living in China. Avoid hiring a Chinese translator living outside of China.
#2. Get referrals. Standards in China are not as nearly stringent as in the US and developed countries. Don’t right getting a low quality translation.