English to Chinese translation requires translators to be on their toes for several reasons. While any kind of translation takes more than the ability to fluently speak the language, English to Chinese translation can be even more challenging as far as linguistic styles, nuances, idiomatic expressions, and other content – more than many other languages. For this reason, anyone seeking a Chinese translation with even a semi-professional reason should consider only a professional translation company, with experienced Chinese translators.
There are several reasons which make Chinese translation a bit more difficult when translated to or from English, because of the differences not only in vocabulary, but formality as well. Following is a short list of things to be aware of when receiving any kind of professional English to Chinese translation:
Chinese words are consistently longer than English words. Additionally, a Chinese translation uses more words for the same text in English. For English to Chinese translation, one should always expect that their document will be a good bit longer than it was originally, sometimes up to 30% longer. For any situation requiring a layout design or prepared space (such as print advertising), keep in mind the Chinese translation will require more room.
The English language is extremely flexible in regards to language formalities. Most academic and scholarly materials, as well as liturgical and religious texts, are written with the highest form of English formality. Texts that are a good deal less formal than scholarly texts, such as a lot of print and broadcast media content, are still considered formal language, as are most speeches being delivered to general audiences. Then you have a wide range of informal language – anything from conversational articles to humor writing, or two friends talking to each other on Facebook.
The Chinese language does not have anything remotely close to this range of language formality. Chinese language formality is very black and white: either extremely formal, or extremely informal. For this reason, there may stylistic nuances, tones, expressions, and other linguistic techniques which can be lost in an English to Chinese translation. Often translators have difficulty trying to decide which version of Chinese to use – the very informal Chinese can potentially be disrespectful, yet using the formal Chinese language is often not appropriate; have an awkward or unnaturally stiff result. This is one of the primary reasons that only skilled and experienced Chinese translators should be used for any English to Chinese translation.
Chinese word order differs from English, and this is an area which many under-qualified Chinese translators produce horribly inaccurate translations. Often texts need to be rearranged from the English source to the Chinese translation, in order to produce a natural translation which rtains its original meaning. Inexperienced translators often use the same word and sentence order, which results in ugly, unclear Chinese translation. Again, this is why it is so important to use only translators from a high quality professional translation company.
Professional English to Chinese translation services can be found from many leading translation companies, but even among these, you will find that many claim to have perfect translations when they do not. Be sure that you can trust your translation company with your documents and texts when you are unable to verify them yourself. Its also a good idea to have previously provided Chinese translations proofread by another professional translation company, to guarantee accuracy and optimum translation quality.