Challenges Faced by a Chinese Translator When Translating From English to Chinese or Chinese to English

The official language of China is Mandarin, which is also called “Putonghua”. More than 70 percent of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin, but there are other major dialects that are used in China.

Challenges faced by Chinese translators when translating from English to Chinese or Chinese to English.

  • Use of characters instead of letters

Even though there are different types of Chinese the Chinese text use exactly the same written characters. This is similar to languages like Korean and Japanese. Chinese does not have an alphabet that is like English. However, China has taken on a phonetic system that uses Latin letters, which helps children to learn to speak and write but it is not often used. Latin languages form words using 26 letters but the Chinese language uses literally thousands of characters to form words and phrases. All characters take up one syllable. 

Two main styles are used for writing these Chinese characters which are Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Simplified Chinese is the most modern and started to be used in the 1950s and 1960s. The key differences between Simplified Chinese are the number of characters and the use of a simpler style. Western punctuation is used with Simplified Chinese.

  • Understanding sentence structures

When in the process of learning a new language you need to gain a good knowledge of sentence structure. Chinese word order is not much different from the English language word order. The most basic word order in Chinese is subject and then verb. Simple sentences can be formed with only two words.

  • Different dialects

These are Xiang (Hunanese), Yue (Cantonese), Gan dialect, Min dialect, Wu dialect, and Hakka or Kejia dialect

  • Complex grammar system

Chinese grammar is quite straightforward and doesn’t have plurals or tenses. Chinese nouns don’t have plurals, and verbs do not have any changes in voice, tenses, and the subjective. Chinese words only use one unique form. Chinese often puts adverbials that indicate place, time, and way in front of a sentence, while English normally puts these at the back of the sentence.

  • Tones

Pronunciation is essential to speaking Chinese. Four main tones will totally alter word meaning based on how it is spoken:



Sounds Like-A constant, a high pitch that is similar to the way an English speaker pronounces an exclamation of surprise



Sounds Like-An upward, rising inflection, similar to the way an English speaker ends sentences with a question.



Sounds Like- A tone that is low and dips down as it is spoken. It is similar to the way an English speaker ends sentences with a period.



Sounds Like-A hissing, low sound like a whisper.

The use of tones significantly changes the meanings of Chinese words and is as difficult to learn as are agreements, tenses, or the word order of a grammatical structure of a Latin language.

What to look for in a Chinese translator 

If you would like your business to enter the Chinese market, you should request the best translator you can find. This means an experienced language translator who has ties with a reputable and certified translation agency and is able to create a professional Chinese translation.  Asking for previous client testimonials from the language translator is a good way to learn about the qualities of the Chinese translator and their ability to perform English to Chinese and Chinese to English translations.

Hire a professional Chinese translator to do your Chinese to English translations and English to Chinese translations and you will get the accurate translations you require for the interactions you wish to have in China.

Qualified Professionals Provide Accurate Translations

The Legal Perils of Cheap, Inadequate Translations

Manufacturers who produce cheap, copied merchandise don’t usually invest much in professional language translations but they still run the risk of being sued if instructions are misinterpreted and a customer is injured.

Investing in Quality Language Translation Services

For a business to accurately get their product information translated a well-qualified and certified reputable or professional language translation service in Australia can offer a NAATI translation service which is the accreditation given to approved translation companies in Australia. This includes professional translation services that offer specialized legal and medical translators who know how to use the different vocabulary required for these disciplines as well as providing industrial, academic, and technical translators.

The Significance of Accurate Language Translation

Providing an accurate language translation is of great importance for a business to be effective in its promotional campaigns and it ensures that errors are avoided and communication is clear.

Demand Proof of Competence

What you must do is ask your chosen translator to provide proof of their competence in the language or languages that you wish to market your product. This means in Australia asking for NAATI credentials provides quality assurance. You should also ask how the translation company ensures that the translation provided is of indisputable quality. You may have to pay a little more for that quality assurance but it’s worth it if it means your business grows as you are able to reach more customers.

Preserving Your Reputation in the Global Market

If it’s your first step into the global world you want to ensure you look good. The best way to mar your reputation as a provider of a product is to get the product specs poorly translated by using an unreliable online machine translator so that your target audience has virtually no idea what your product is. You have to have some certainty that your chosen language translator doesn’t let you down and this can be difficult, particularly if you have no knowledge of your targeted languages.

Seeking Quality Assurance

This is where a country like Australia can provide quality assurance because they provide NAATI accreditation for those translation companies that reach the required standard. You have to research in your own country for translation companies that have been accredited in a similar way to translation services in Australia so that you have peace of mind that your product message comes across effectively.