Understanding Chinese Document Translation & Dialects

Understanding Chinese Document Translation & Dialects
Understanding Chinese Document Translation & Dialects

A common misconception many people have about languages is that certain populations all speak the same language, or that all dialects are understood by people regardless of the region they are from. Many people assume that everyone in China speaks Chinese, when there are actually seven official dialects spoken across different regions of the country. Each dialect is unique and not easily understood just because it falls under the umbrella language of Chinese. Dialect distinction is key when providing accurate Chinese document translation services.

Understanding Dialects

The seven Chinese language dialects are Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Wu, Min, Xiang and Gan. Each of these languages are tonal, meaning that pronunciation is a vital part of correctly speaking any of these dialects. It’s not just a difference of accents and vocabulary; the differences in tonality mean that someone who speaks Mandarin cannot easily understand someone who speaks Cantonese, even if they are saying the same thing. This example from Asia Society perfectly explains the difference.

你好 (Nǐ hǎo, “hello”) is said almost like “nong ha(o)”; 不好意思 (Bù hǎoyìsi, “sorry”) sounds something like “ve hei yisi.” In addition, 上海话 (Shànghǎi huà, Shanghainese) is pronounced “sang hei wu.” If you say them out loud, or even just compare the sounds, you can see a certain similarity, but they seem similar in the way that the Romance languages seem similar.

Chinese Document Translation

Even though each of these dialects sound different and aren’t easily understood between speakers, they all use the same written characters. While each dialect uses the same characters, they do not use them in the same way. Knowing popular terminology and sentence structure for each region is vital to achieve accurate Chinese document translation. Grammar and sentence structure play a major role in dialect-specific Chinese document translation. ASTA-USA Translation Services, Inc. can provide dialect-specific translations. From business documents, legal contracts and marketing materials to technical manuals, websites and government papers, our accredited Chinese translators are equipped to translate any document.

Our professional linguists are native speakers of the Chinese dialect your company needs, have completed an extensive education and at least 10 years of career translation experience. Unlike other translation companies, we pay close attention to dialects and their differences, ensuring that only the best and most skilled translators work on your project. We strive for perfection and 100% accuracy the first time your document is translated in order to eliminate unnecessary back and forth and to help you receive your document back as quickly as possible.

Free Document Translation Quote

Still not sure you’re ready to partner with ASTA-USA? Contact us today and receive a free quote on your Chinese document translation project. Our helpful Translation Directors are happy to listen to your project needs and answer any questions you may have about our services. We’re confident that you will be 100% satisfied when partnering with ASTA-USA to receive fast, accurate and dependable document translation services.

Get the help you need – Contact ASTA-USA.

In a hurry? Call us for your free quote today: 1.866.446.1860.