Global Translation: Words & Etiquette in China

China is progressing so fast as a country that even companies in Britain see it as a lucrative prospect. It is experiencing an increase in population, which in turn means an increase in potential consumers. Also, what is particularly important for British industries is the demand for the more luxurious end of the market.

One particular problem is communication and with China having a huge population, it’s even more important that a global translation company trains and markets translators who know and understand well all the different Chinese languages. Once you have a good understanding of Chinese culture and at least some words of Chinese language it will make communication easier.

Greetings are important for translation services

If you are a translation company trying to work your way into the Chinese market first impressions are very important so getting to know the Chinese expressions for greeting Chinese people moves you in the right direction.   Smiling and simply nodding are acceptable and common greetings when a meeting starts. Some of the more common greetings found in a meeting environment include ‘hěn gāoxìng rènshí nǐ’. This means ‘nice to meet you’, and the word ‘jiǔyǎng’ is a formal expression which means ‘I`ve long been looking forward to meeting you’.  Without a doubt, Chinese business people normally are appreciative when foreign guests try to speak in Chinese.

Using the right words is important in a Chinese culture

Many people from China like positive comments, particularly about their culture and country, but they don’t like to discuss politics. This means if you have an advertising campaign you wish to use in China it should be ultimately straightforward avoiding any controversies.

Keep your cool in business interactions

Even if you aren’t happy about a business outcome, you should not show it, but remain cool, calm and collected.

Business meetings with Chinese counterparts

There is a general trend globally to use digital formats in business meetings, but this is not what Chinese businesses prefer. They still like to see all information in a hard copy so they can make their own decisions. Also, you can’t expect to gain a good, firm relationship in just one meeting this will only develop over time.

Emotional responses are not approved in a Chinese context

Showing emotions won’t endear you to a Chinese business person, so they are best avoided.

The opportunities for translation services in the Chinese context are great as business people need to understand and communicate with their audience as effectively as possible.

Happy Earth Day From The Migration Translators!


Coming up soon on the 22nd April 2016 is the World’s 46th Earth Day!

The Migration Translators’ staff will be celebrating the day, both individually and together by either walking or cycling to work or using sustainable transport. They welcome you to think about the meaning of Earth Day and how you can contribute.

How can you involve yourself in Earth Day?

This may be the 1st time you have ever heard of Earth Day, but it’s never too late to be involved. Here are some things you can do on Earth Day and after the event.

  • Save trees by using unwanted paper scraps to write out lists instead of using a new sheet.
  • Stop buying lunch that contains palm oil which contributes to deforestation, especially in South East Asia. This means checking the ingredients.
  • Switch off the lights in your office when you don’t need them.
  • Use fans, not air conditioning, to keep cool.
  • Encourage your colleagues to place waste paper in the recycle bins.
  • Be careful how you use fresh water in the kitchen and bathroom.

One of the most productive ways of celebrating Earth Day is to make use of it as a chance to increase awareness of all the things we can do every day, to give a helping hand to the environment and our planet.

Protecting our environment and sorting out climate change on this year’s Earth Day is far more important than in previous years. We share this planet with 6 billion others plus a vast variety of living things. We know how our planet is now having to face the effects of climate change and growing pollution and we are keen to help keep what is remaining and ensure the planet has a future for us all.

Earth Day is a yearly event which is supported throughout the world to offer support for ways to protect the environment. The aim of Earth Day is to help to encourage people to act in a way that will be of benefit to the Earth, like recycling more, installing solar power or planting trees.

At least a billion of the world’s population is expected to openly celebrate Earth Day, including avid environmental campaigners such as Emma Watson and Leonardo di Caprio.

What happened that initiated Earth Day?

Earth Day was first initiated following an enormous oil spill 50 years ago which prompted peace activists to begin to promote environmental awareness.

The UNESCO conference that took place in 1969 in San Francisco was greeted by a proposal by John McConnell, a peace activist, who suggested that a whole day should be dedicated just to honour the environment and the Earth we live on. He said that we humans were under an obligation to protect our earth and that means not only using resources sparingly to suffice our needs but also to ensure that future generations will gain as much as we have from the resources the earth has in store to share.

There will be events happening throughout the world on Earth Day and there is bound to be one taking place near you. The Migration Translators’ team say you should get involved and not sit on the fence!

Key Ways to Team up with the Right E-learning Partner for Translation

In this world of global markets, multinational companies operate far beyond borders that speak just their own language(s). They have set up factories and bases all around the world. This doesn’t mean that managers, executives and workers come with them from the country of origin. Depending on their skills, they could be based anywhere around the world and even work remotely if this is economically a good option.  For example, marketing personnel could be outsourced from India, especially if the multinational is U.S. or British based, as there is a large pool of highly experienced English speakers from India who have a wide range of skills.  A company may find it can source well qualified personnel from Saudi Arabia, if it’s involved in the oil industry.

If the workforce is widely spread out it has to somehow be brought together to learn about the company they are working for. The use of e-learning courses has become popular but it is preferable that the e-learning platform be presented in the employees’ native languages. This means the company has to source an e-learning professional translation partner who has the capability of finding the right translators to meet the customised training requirements.

How to find the right translation company: Here are some tips.

  • The first thing to look for is experience in translating for e-learning purposes and that means both on and off the screen as required.
  • The second thing is ensuring the translation services can come up with competent translators in all the languages that your business requires in the e-learning program.
  • The chosen company will need to provide translators who are competent in translating both audio narrations as well as written material in the language and tone required by the business.
  • An approved translation company will have testimonials from past clients that will state how competent the translatorsare.

In Australia, where a national accreditation authority (N.A.A.T.I.) controls and regulates the suitability of Australian based translators and interpreters, you can’t go wrong if you hire a N.A.A.T.I. accredited translation company. These translation agencies are ranked globally as some of the best qualified translation services in a vast number of languages with a high level of competence.

Joint Translation Award to Author Yuri Herrera and Translator Lisa Dilman

Of all the different ways that translation is conducted it only comes out well if a human translator is used. Yuri Herrera, the author of ‘Signs Preceding the End of the World,’ and his translator, Lisa Dillman, have proven this by winning the book award for the best translated book. The book is the story of a young woman who crossed the border from Mexico to the U.S. It relates how this young woman, Makina, goes out to look for her long lost brother and negotiates a deal with a gang leader that if she takes a packet for him he would guarantee her a safe crossing of the Rio Grande.

Herrera is the 1st Spanish speaking novelist to win the $10,000 fiction award, the prize being divided equally between translator and writer. Herrera and Dillman beat other well-known authors such as Elena Ferrante, who is Italian and Claris Lispector from Brazil.

The Guardian newspaper reported that Herrera said that Lisa took on the translation as if she was preparing to run in a marathon. She saw it as a challenge, but persisted until she got the translation just right. He said she not only read the text carefully but she questioned the context of the text until she got the translation perfect. He believed that professional translation services and translation services in Australia were not recognised or paid as well as they should be, given their skills and expertise.

Another commentator, Grunebaum, stated that the novel was just perfect in the way the language had been translated so that both author and translated converged to bring about a perfect translation that enables readers to immerse themselves in the wall-building world that today is.

It wasn’t just a novel that won a translation award but Angélica Freitas, a Portuguese poet along with her translator Hilary Kaplan, walked off with the poetry translation award with Rilke Shake.

The judge Tess Lewis awarded Freitas and Kaplan $5,000 each for the poetry collection. There were 6 poetry collections amongst the short list which included Liu Xia from China, who is the wife of Lui Xiaobo a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who was imprisoned. Also, ‘Load Poems Like Guns’ which were written by 8 Afghan female poets.

How much do translation services cost in Australia?

This question can be uppermost in many people’s minds when it comes to seeking out appropriate professional translation services. The answer is quite complex as it depends on a number of variables. The best approach is to learn what these variables are going to be and then sit down and ask yourself exactly what you want from translation services in Australia before asking for a quotation. In that way, it is less likely that you are going to get a nasty shock!

One of the most significant aspects of Translation Services Anywhere in Australia, whether it is translation services in Melbourne or any other major city is that costing is largely done by the number of words rather than by time. There may also be a fixed rate quoted for certain standard document translations such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, and so on.

Another aspect of translation services is that if the translation is necessary for any government agency such as for a visa, then it must be done with an authorised and accredited translator. This means that the translator must be accredited with the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) and cannot be someone who is a friend or a neighbor who thinks they can do a translation for you more cheaply! This does not follow the other way around and if you need a translation done for anywhere else in the world, you may not need a NAATI translator to do it for you. Beware that this might mean a more inferior translation, though!

Other considerations which can affect the price include

  • Whether the language pair is unusual. An English / Chinese translation, for instance, is likely to be cheaper than one from Zulu or Amharic into English or vice versa, simply because there are more translators around for certain languages.
  • Technical, medical, and legal documents are generally pricier than more general documents because of the difficult language used. This may be a contradiction to what has been said about the cost per word rather than the time statement already made, but is a reflection that translation costing is not necessarily straightforward.

The short history of translation

The oral translation is as old as the need for two language groups to communicate. There have always been those people who have played a part either for their own gain or to help to understand. As people began to travel more in search of trade and new lands the need for translators would have grown to match the demand for their services. Strictly speaking, most of the early translators would have been interpreters. Translation really started when writing began. As soon as written communication became an important development, there was a need for it to be translated into other languages.

Continue reading “The short history of translation”

NAATI Translation Helps the CSIRO’s Research Efforts

Australia changed the way it managed skilled migration a few years ago, making it easier in some ways to attract skilled workers in a number of occupations where there was an existing skill shortage. Some of the overseas migrants come for a year or two then return to their own countries, others love the life here and go on to apply for permanent residence.

Continue reading “NAATI Translation Helps the CSIRO’s Research Efforts”

Legal Deadlines Need Efficient Document Translation Service

The legal market today is one where deadlines are tight and documents are invariably complex. An efficient and experienced document translation service is vital when it comes to translating legal documents.

document translation service
Legal documents whatever the language in which they are written are often highly technical. They may contain sensitive material which is necessary for litigation. Contractual documentation, financial documents, infringement cases, judicial transcripts and statutes, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) material – all of these legal transactions may need to be translated into English or from English into any number of different languages by a NAATI accredited translator who is fully versed in the technical language typical of legal documents, not just as it is used here in Australia but in the country in which that language is used as well.

Legal Deadlines Need Efficient Document Translation Service
Mistakes in translation or interpretation of technical information can have severe consequences down the line. At the minimum, a small mistake in translation can mean delays in the implementation of an agreement or in the progress of a court process, for instance. In more extreme cases, the translation error can lead to a total breakdown in the process for which the documentation is being reviewed.

Whatever the legal documents that you need to get translated, it is important to choose language translation services that are fully versed in the sort of terminology used in legal documents as well as one that is able to respond to time pressures and deadlines.

Large document collections may need to be reduced in quantity so that you only get the documents translated that are actually relevant to the business at hand. This document culling is a cost effective solution to dealing with surplus information. Translation services of the calibre required are not cheap, so choosing a NAATI translator that is skilled in dealing with legal document collections is important.