Orange Translations provides professional Chinese translation services to companies of all sizes in industries such as consumer electronics, industrial engineering, finance, marketing and market research. Among the documents we routinely translate are technical manuals, marketing materials, website content, financial and legal documents, corporate communications and market research questionnaires.
All of our translators go through an in-house accreditation process. In addition, we have a stringent quality assurance process in place to continuously ensure that our work meets the highest professional standards. If you need your texts translated with a specific target country in mind, for example, Mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan and Singapore we will assign translators from those specific locations. These in-country translators know the local dialect and can craft translations that work perfectly for that location, taking into account any country-specific linguistic or cultural nuances.
Our pool of translators covers both major Chinese dialects, Cantonese and Mandarin, as well as the Simplified Chinese characters set used in Mainland China and the Traditional Chinese character set used in Hong Kong and Taiwan. To help you navigate these differences we have provided some guidelines below.
In English, each letter has a sound, but no meaning. You only get meaning by combining several letters into a word, but a letter by itself has no meaning. To read or write the language you need to know all 26 letters of the alphabet and know how to combine them into words.
By contrast, Chinese uses characters, not letters. Each character conveys a meaning. There are thousands of characters and you need to know at least several hundred to be able to read a newspaper or a book. If you know the meaning of a character, you can, in fact, understand it, even if you do not know how to pronounce it. This is also the reason why in Chinese, people can share a common written language, even if they use different spoken languages. The written languages are called character sets. The spoken languages are called dialects.
The Traditional character set is used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau and by some Chinese speakers in other countries. The Simplified character set was developed in the mid-20th century in Mainland China (the Peoples Republic of China) with the goal of simplifying the written language and increasing literacy. Today Simplified is the standard in Mainland China.
Mandarin and Cantonese are the best known, but there are also many more.
Even though they share the same character set, a Cantonese speaker will use different expressions a different writing style than a Mandarin speaker. These differences are noticeable to the reader and can potentially create confusion. Our rule of thumb:
When translating English to Chinese:
When choosing which dialect to use: