We are currently working on a translation project into Simplified Chinese for a regular client. Like many UK clients, they were unsure about the type of Chinese required. There are two forms of the written Chinese language. Traditional Chinese is used predominantly in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Simplified Chinese was introduced by the Peoples Republic of China, and is the official character set of the country. As the name suggests, the characters are written in a simpler form than Traditional Chinese, there are also less characters. Further complication arises because the spoken language is referred to as Mandarin, with Cantonese being spoken predominantly in Hong Kong and neighbouring regions. Like all languages there are accent differences between different parts of China.
In order to help clients determine which form of the language is required, we normally start by asking the geographical area they are targeting. We translate into both written forms of Chinese, we can also typeset Chinese in any major design programme. Both written forms of Chinese are an art workers dream to work with, providing they have the necessary fonts. Because each symbol is a word in itself, you can normally wrap text between any two symbols, Chinese is also shorter than an English equivalent text, again because in English we are writing individual letters, whilst each Chinese symbol is a word. Sometimes clients are nervous about whether the characters will display correctly, but this is usually straightforward with the correct fonts. Larger artwork or design houses are likely to have the necessary fonts, but they can be expensive to buy for a smaller company, where it is likely to be more cost effective to outsource the work to someone like ourselves.
We are very selective in using Chinese translators, as with all languages, the skill of the translator is dependant on expert knowledge of both source and target languages, as well as any specialist technical knowledge. Many translators in China don’t have the level of exposure to English, (not only the language but also the culture), although this is of course changing. This tends to mean that many of the best Chinese translators are based in English speaking western nations. Recently a piece of work was compared by one of our clients to that of a Chinese Agency, the feedback we received was that our Simplified Chinese was better! We are very happy to discuss Chinese Translation Services, contact us for advice and support with Chinese translation.