China and the US are different in so many respects. Both linguistically and culturally, the gulfs between the two countries are deep. This can mean that business arrangements need handling with great care. It also means that translating between Chinese and English is often an exciting and intricate task.
A recent Tomedes client needed to undertake a US English to Chinese website translation as part of his company’s global growth plans. We were delighted to provide a highly skilled Chinese language professional in order to assist him.
Chinese is a fascinating language in many respects. Its tonal nature means that the emphasis placed on a particular syllable can change its meaning. This is something that English speakers who are just starting to learn Chinese often struggle with. There are five tones in Mandarin, for example, each with its own distinctive pitch contour: four main tones and one neutral one.
When it comes to their writing systems, Chinese and English are also worlds apart. English has an alphabet made up of 26 letters. Chinese has a system of characters (logograms), with each character generally representing one syllable. There is no alphabet, per se – just thousands of characters to learn. Achieving functional literacy involves learning between 3,000 and 4,000 characters. Being capable of undertaking something more complex – such as medical translation, as per the example below – involves learning significantly more!
Read more: English to Chinese Medical Translation
The Chinese writing system that is in use today dates back some 2,000 years, to the Han Dynasty. It evolved significantly over that time then, in 1950, a simplified set of Mandarin characters was introduced. This was to tackle China’s sizeable illiteracy rate and it has been highly effective in doing so. Back in 1950, the literacy rate in China stood at around 20%. According to Statista, the overall literacy rate had risen to over 96% by 2015.
Those translating English to Chinese need to have an instinctive grasp of the quirks of both languages. Chinese translators can help businesses to forge strong cross-border partnerships that benefit all those involved – which was the purpose of this client’s website translation project.
When most people want to find out about a business, they search for it online. It’s not just customers who do so, but potential business partners, suppliers and anyone else with a financial interest in the company in question.
As such, website translation is a hugely important service for any business that is serious about bridging the cultural gulf between China and the US. Given the major differences between the two nations, the localization element of the task is key to successful English to Chinese website translation. The human touch is essential to this, as shown by a previous website translation task that we completed.
While translation involves reproducing content in another language, localization means adapting that content to suit its new audience. The purpose of localization is to cross cultural divides in order to ensure that the content reads as though it was written for the target audience originally. With English to Chinese translation (and vice versa) this is often quite an ask!
Providing localization expertise of this nature is core to the service that Tomedes delivers. In order to best serve our clients, we’ve built up a network of professional translators that spans the globe. Their expertise includes everything from website localization to technical translation.
We take care to pair our translators’ skills and experiences with our clients’ needs. Doing so makes for happier translators who enjoy their work more and happier clients who receive high quality translations. It’s a win-win situation!
We’re also careful to ensure that all of our translations go through our quality assurance system – it’s why we’re confident in the quality of the translation services that we provide. This acts as a final system of checks and balances. Along with the superb skills of our professional linguists, it gives us the confidence to issue a one-year guarantee with each of our translations. Customer satisfaction is our top priority.
That commitment to delivering an excellent customer experience is reflected in Tomedes’ service in multiple ways. For example, we assign a dedicated account manager, as well as an expert translator, for every job that we undertake. And we deliver support in whichever way best suits our customers, from email to telephone to live chat.
If you would like to experience our customer-focused translation services for yourself, we’re ready and waiting to assist you. We deliver a huge range of language pairings and provide expertise that spans all manner of business sectors, so all you need to do is let us know what you need. If you’re in a hurry, there’s an instant quote form on our website. If you have time to chat, our friendly team is here to help. We look forward to working with you!
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