Chinese Translation and Interpreting
Chinese, including all the dialects under the “umbrella” of Chinese, is one of the most difficult languages for non-native speakers to learn. Yet with a vast population of native speakers worldwide, the Chinese-speaking market is of critical importance. There are two features that make Chinese particularly challenging to learn. First, a fluent, academic-level Chinese speaker must be able to read and write at least 8,000 of the more than 50,000 complex characters that make up the written Chinese language. Secondly, Chinese is a tonal language, and failure to use the correct tone or inflection can completely alter the meaning of a word or phrase; these tonal nuances can be difficult for a novice learner to discern.
Both of these points are critical when it comes to professional-quality Chinese translation and interpretation. The stark reality is that failure to hire the right translation firm for your company’s needs can seriously affect how you and your company come across to Chinese business professionals and diplomats.
The language services team at Chang-Castillo and Associates (CCA) understands how important even the most subtle nuances are to the final product. That is why we only work with native Chinese speakers who are experienced and professionally trained translators and interpreters. Settling for anything less than that would compromise the integrity of our work.
Contact us to schedule a consultation so we can assess your current and future needs for both written and spoken Chinese. Call +1 (877) 708-0005 to speak directly with one of our language solutions specialists.
Mandarin and Cantonese are Not the Same
Another challenge in the world of Chinese translation is the fact that the term “Chinese” is an umbrella term, encompassing multiple dialects, the most widely known being Mandarin and Cantonese. While written language is shared between the two, the spoken language is quite different.
In today’s global marketplace, you need to hire a language services firm that can handle translation, document creation and full-spectrum interpretation services in the main dialects of Chinese. It is important to know which dialect suits your client’s needs. To give you an example of the differences:
- Mandarin Chinese. Mandarin Chinese, pǔtōnghuà 普通话, is considered the “official language” of Mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore. It is actually a collection of dialects, concentrated predominantly across the northern regions of China, and the original dialect spoken in Beijing, China’s Capital (hence its place of linguistic dominance over Cantonese). As the official language, Mandarin is taught in the wide majority of Chinese schools. Currently, about 1.3 billion people speak Mandarin Chinese in China, 847 million of whom are native speakers. When second-language learners say they are learning and/or can speak Chinese, they are almost always referring to Mandarin. And, of course, as the result of increased emigration over the past several decades, Mandarin is now spoken all over the world.
- Cantonese Chinese. Cantonese Chinese, guǎngdōng huà 广东话, is actually a subset of a language “family” found across the southern portion of China. As a result, there are multiple Cantonese dialects in use today. Cantonese is spoken by roughly 70 million people in mainland China and Hong Kong. It is important to note that many of the Chinese immigrants in the United States speak Cantonese, rather than Mandarin, as the result of the high emigration rates from Hong Kong and Guangzhou (Canton) during the 20th century.
So, knowing your target market – and determining whether or not Mandarin or Cantonese is the most relevant target language – is an important first step when working with native Chinese speakers or recent Chinese immigrants and their families.
Do note that because the Chinese writing system is not phonetic, there is no difference between written Cantonese and Mandarin. However, there is an important difference between the writing system in Mainland China and that used in Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong: Simplified vs. Traditional Chinese. Simplified Chinese was developed in Mainland China under Mao Tse Dong’s rule in order to make written Chinese more accessible to the general population, and is currently used only in the PRC and Singapore. Taiwan and Hong Kong use traditional characters. CCA can, of course, help you determine which written Chinese form is the most appropriate for your particular client and/or project.
How to choose the best Chinese translators and interpreters
It won’t take you long to realize that there are a plethora of companies who advertise the services of professional Chinese translation and interpreting services. However, the quality of services is as varied as the dialects found throughout that vast expanse of Chinese geography.
Some of the features that set Chang-Castillo and Associates apart from the pack are:
- The fact that our company is founded and owned by experienced and qualified interpreters and translators. We get the ins-and-outs of this business in a way that other fly-by-night companies do not.
- We only employ native Chinese speakers, preferably those who are regionally and culturally familiar with our clients’ particular target market and/or project niche.
- Our extensive language services menu, which includes a range of offerings above and beyond basic translation and interpretation.
- Superior quality control for all of our projects, which are led and micro-managed by highly-qualified and passionate project managers.
- Our ability to translate cultures as well as language, so your company and its employees are always represented in their best light, while still remaining authentic to the company’s brand and your team’s unique personalities.
These are just a handful of the reasons why CCA is considered the platinum standard for global language translation and interpretation services.
Highly trained Chinese translators and interpreters
In addition to being native speakers, our translators are highly-educated and must have years of professional translation experience before they are trusted with our projects.
Our interpreters must have a multi-tiered list of credentials before being contracted to work with us. Among other credentials, they must have: a college degree, preferably an M.A. or Ph.D. in Conference Interpretation from a recognized school, membership in one or more of the prestigious, globally-recognized professional interpreter associations, accreditation or certification by one of the leading interpreter organizations and five or more years’ experience in conference interpretation.
We translate both language and culture
One of the reasons Google Translate is not effective is because while it can provide boiler-plate, basic, word-for-word translations, real language works in a totally different way. In addition to words, tones, and inflections, languages are intricately woven into the fabric of their native culture, and vice versa.
Thus, without the right nuance, context and even body language, your message can land flat, overly bold and presumptuous or, in worst case scenarios, downright offensive to the client. By hiring translators or interpreters who are native speakers, and who are familiar with the cultural sensitivities of your clients or a specific target market, your message will be translated respectfully and accurately.
CCA offers an extensive language services menu
Today, you may want brochures and document translation; in a week, you may decide you want assistance with a teleconferencing call; before you know it, your team is traveling to Beijing where you’ll need simultaneous interpretation services that you can trust.
It is always best to plan for the future. With CCA’s extensive global language services menu, you can plan for ever-increasing expansions without ever having to change language services providers.
We offer translation services for:
- Your full spectrum of marketing materials
- Presentations, paper and digital
- Technical manuals
- Government documents
- Corporate communications
- Speeches and transcripts (and we can coach your staff to ensure their delivery of these materials is clear, smooth and easily understood).
- Training Materials
- Other types of documentation
When it comes to interpretation, Chang-Castillo and Associates provides:
- Consecutive interpretation (ideal for more intimate meetings, smaller groups, and business negotiations)
- Simultaneous interpretation also called UN-style interpreting (targeted for large conferences, seminars or large group meetings)
- Interpretation equipment rental
We are more than happy to customize our services to meet your needs, so please reach out to us. If your needs pertain to translation or interpretation of Chinese or another language, here in the U.S. or abroad, odds are we can help you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 (877) 708-0005.
Enjoy the security of superior quality control
We understand that trusting your proprietary information, and your company’s message and brand reputation, with an outside entity, is no easy feat. It takes a tremendous amount of trust, and we honor that trust by putting straightforward and transparent quality control procedures in place.
Your Chinese translations will become part of CCA’s quality assurance process that includes:
- A dedicated project manager working exclusively as a liaison between you and the translation team. He or she will be in regular communication with you and will oversee the movements of documents every step of the way, from the project’s inception to completion.
- A team of linguists. Your Chinese translation(s) will be handled by not one, or two, but three separate linguists, providing triple-tier protection from any error in spelling, grammar, punctuation, meaning, style and nuance.
There are very few competitors who offer this level of expertise, and it is one of the main reasons why CCA is considered a leader in Chinese language and interpretation.
Benefit from clear, accurate and brand-specific Chinese translation and interpreting
With any translation, it is important that documents are translated, and conversations interpreted, with respect to the country, nation and culture in which they’ll be read, used, and – sometimes – reinterpreted. This is critical in the case of Chinese, which is not only used and spoken in China, Hong Kong and Singapore, but also in the United States, Canada and many other countries around the world.
Each of these regions adds their own cultural stamp on the way language is written and spoken, so it’s important that your company work with a global language solutions firm who understands that and has a business plan that accommodates it.
Contact us here at Chang-Castillo and Associates. Let’s discuss how our worldwide language services, including professional Chinese translation and interpreting services, will help to position your company ahead of the competitors. We guarantee our team will communicate your message accurately, and with heart, each and every time.