China has the world’s second-largest economy and maintains its status as a leading exporter, manufacturing and industrial powerhouse, contributing to the country’s exponential economic growth over the last three decades.
With such a large global footprint, ALM’s professional Chinese translation services have always been in high demand, from translating technical manuals for specialist machinery to creating exciting and culturally engaging transcreated marketing material.
ALM’s translators are qualified native speakers who specialise in various fields of industry and commerce. Our internal processes are designed to ensure all translators receive ongoing training and assessment, enabling us to maintain a consistently high quality of work for our clients.
Localisation can be the key to success when trading in overseas markets, and due to the large cultural differences between the East and the West, working with a translation partner who understands local nuances is critical for driving high conversion and engagement rates for your copy. Our Chinese localisation professionals work with a diverse range of media, including digital marketing collateral and press releases, engaging directly with your in-country team to achieve seamless workflows.
Mandarin (also known as Standard Chinese) is the official spoken language of Mainland China and Taiwan. It is also an official language in Singapore.
The other most significant form of the spoken Chinese language is Cantonese. This is spoken primarily in Hong Kong (China S.A.R.) and Macau (China S.A.R.), as well as in the south of China.
There are two main written forms of Chinese: Simplified and Traditional. The simplified version is mainly used within Mainland China, Singapore and Malaysia. Traditional Chinese is used in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Because of the significant Chinese populations living around the world, both Mandarin and Cantonese are spoken in countries in the Americas, Europe, Oceania and Africa as well. For example, the US has a Chinese-speaking population of about 6 million, with high concentrations in the Chinatowns in New York City and San Francisco.
There are variations in terminology and usage depending on the locale so it’s important to be clear which market you are targeting when localising for Chinese-speaking audiences.
Chinese is thought to be the oldest written language in the world with character inscriptions dating back 3,000 years. As a character-based language, Chinese does not have a direct connection between the written and spoken forms. Unlike in word-based languages, such as French, Arabic and Greek, where the word “la” (written as لا and λα) has a roughly similar pronunciation based on how the language pronounces the letters “l” and “a” even if the meaning differs (to give us “the”, “no” and “la”, respectively), a Chinese character represents a concept, so different Chinese dialects will pronounce the same character differently, but the meaning will remain the same. This is why there is no direct correlation between the areas that speak Mandarin or Cantonese (or other dialects) and the areas that use Simplified or Traditional Chinese in writing.
Chinese encompasses 7 main dialects: Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Wu, Min, Xiang and Gan, with the Beijing dialect, Mandarin, being the standardised version of Chinese. Because these dialects are not necessarily inter-intelligible, the written form is the most common way to communicate.
As the world’s second-largest economy, hot on the heels of the USA, China has the world’s largest purchasing power parity. Its reach is felt globally thanks to its vast export operations. Notable industries include:
To find out how ALM can help you with your Chinese translation and localisation requirements, get in touch to speak with one of our experts today.