Tips for Translation from English to Chinese

If you are a travel enthusiast, you may know the importance of learning a new language and translating it into your native language. Translation from one language to another may seem like a tough task to many, but with the right translation tools and support, even the toughest languages can be translated with ease.

The Chinese language is one such language that is considered difficult to learn and translate by a large number of people. Although Chinese translation services are always available to help individuals translate content from their native languages to Chinese, learning some useful translation techniques can go a long way in ensuring new languages are added to their skill portfolio. English may be the officially-used language of the world majority, but it lags behind Chinese in the number of speakers globally. This is why it is important to learn some useful tips to translate from English to Chinese without any hassle.

Translation Made Easy: Tips for English to Chinese Translation

Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, with over 1.4 billion native speakers. Mastering how to translate from English to Chinese is a guaranteed way of ensuring a person makes it big in the global market. Translation agency and linguists across the world use these techniques to translate from English to Chinese, enabling business success and acclaim.

Tip #1: Know the Type of Chinese

Before deciding to translate from English to Chinese, you need to know the type of Chinese that your audience speaks. It is important to understand that the written and spoken forms of Chinese are different and vary according to the target country. In mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia, Standard Chinese, or Mandarin, is the language of spoken communication. If you are planning to set up your business in any of these countries, you may need the help of a Mandarin interpreter.

On the other hand, translating from English to Chinese in written form requires knowledge about your target market. For example, if your target market is Singapore or mainland China, it is necessary to translate your documents into Simplified Chinese. If you intend to grow your business in Taiwan or Hong Kong, you need to have your written documents in Traditional Chinese. It’s important to know the differences between different dialects, and therefore, it is better to hire professional Chinese translation services.

Tip #2: Opt for Detour Translation

English and Chinese are two very different languages, and their differences become evident once you decide to translate these two languages. Since these languages cannot be translated directly word-for-word, translators may need to search for other ways. “Detour” translation is one such strategy that translators can use in these cases. For example, English may prefer affirmative statements such as ‘staff only’, but it may be natural to use a negative statement in Chinese for the same idea, such as ‘non-staff not allowed’. Although this sign can be translated literally, it may not appear as natural Chinese. This implies that detour translation ensures the translation is natural and fulfills the intended meaning.

Tip #3: Paraphrase for Space

Have you ever come across Chinese and noticed how little space it takes compared to other languages? Languages such as English, Spanish, and Portuguese generally contain bigger words and take up more space on a website or text. Although a Spanish translation service agency may know best how to manage space for Spanish text, the case of Chinese words is different. In comparison to English, a paragraph in Chinese takes up about 30% less space than words in English. So, translating from English to Chinese or the other way around can be quite a challenge for translators, especially on web pages. In these cases, paraphrasing may be the right strategy to follow. Understand that Chinese takes up less space than English, and any English word that you intend to replace with a Chinese one may need extra characters to “fill” up the space. Here, you can adapt your website to cater to shorter Chinese phrases so that the target language is easily represented.

Tip #4: Use repetition

When undertaking the task of translation, many translators use repetition to avoid any misunderstanding and ensure clarity. English uses pronouns to refer to words and complete sentences, such as “Leo put his bag on the table, which was lying on the porch”. Here, English uses the pronoun “which” to connect the sentences.

However, the Chinese language does not use pronouns. Instead, it repeats the original word in the sentence for better understanding. So, while English would use the word “which” in the above sentence, Chinese would repeat the word “table” in the sentence. Translators can use this repetition technique to ensure their translations are accurate and maintain clarity while preserving the intended meaning of the source text in the translation.

Key Takeaway

The Chinese language is one of the most difficult languages to translate, particularly due to its characters and the variations in their types. Translating from English to Chinese may require an understanding of the differences between the two languages. This is why translators and linguists may need to use some techniques to ensure the intended meaning of the text in English is preserved in the process of translation into Chinese. Likewise, these translators should also make sure to maintain clarity in translation so that the intended message is not distorted during the translation from English to Chinese. For the best results, you need to hire a professional translation agency. They have skilled resources to help you get accurate results.

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