Chinese Translation

 

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Chinese translation services for individuals and companies in London and the UK

Get the precise type of translation services you need for projects targeting any part of the world where Chinese is spoken.
Because Chinese is a complex language. It is spoken in a huge variety of areas and has a wide range of dialects. Mandarin and Cantonese are the most common. But there is also Wu, Xiang, Gan, Hakka, Min, and many others.

Which is best for you? It depends on the part of the world you want to do business with. Is it a specific part of mainland China? Singapore? Taiwan? Hong Kong? Macau?

Wherever your audience happens to be, Asian Absolute ensures you have native-speaking Chinese to English or English to Chinese translators – who are also subject matter specialists in your particular field or industry – to help you get your message across loud and clear.

Whether it’s your marketing. Your internal communications. Your website, app, or online content. Product packaging. E-learning materials. Whatever you need to localise 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

Count on Chinese to English and English to Chinese translation delivered by industry specialists. Each of our Chinese translators is an expert in a specific field. They will have matching qualifications and/or years of experience in their industry.

This is vital. Because in many Chinese dialects, the terminology of different industries varies by region. In some cases, it has yet to be defined.

This calls for extensive knowledge of both your industry and the language itself. We regularly provide this expertise in sectors including:

Engineering

Electronics

Life Sciences

Banking & Finance

Marketing & PR

Legal

e-Commerce

Gaming

Insurance

Travel & Tourism

Automotive

Manufacturing

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.

Chinese characters

Find Chinese interpreters for any event in London or globally

Source the ideal Chinese interpreter for a site visit in Beijing. A corporate event in London. A business meeting in Singapore. Or any other kind of event in any part of the world.

Because as well as our written Chinese translation services, we also have a global network of Chinese interpreters covering London and the UK, all dialects, and all regions. All of our interpreters are:

  • Masters of both languages
  • Qualified and experienced in the same industries as our written Chinese translators
  • Alert to nuances and subtleties of meaning
  • Intimately familiar with body language and expected etiquette

Why Asian Absolute?

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Over 20 years’ experience of specialist Chinese translation

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Used by the Financial Times and numerous other household brands

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Subject matter specialist translators in dozens of industries

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ISO 9001-accredited quality

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Award-winning project management specialists

Discuss your Chinese translation with an expert

Talk to a specialist today about the Chinese to English or English to Chinese translation you need in London, the UK or anywhere in the world. Get in touch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and start with a free quote with zero obligation.

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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:

RegionCharactersSpoken
ChinaSimplifiedMandarin and many others
Hong KongTraditionalCantonese
TaiwanTraditionalMandarin
SingaporeSimplifiedMandarin
MacauTraditionalCantonese

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

How Many Languages are Spoken in China?

How Many Languages are Spoken in China?

Chinese Language Day is the 20th April. It's a time chosen to fit in with the Chinese celebration of Guyu, which honours Cangjie - the four-eyed mythical figure who is traditionally understood to have created Chinese characters in the time of the Yellow Emperor,...

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