The Chinese language is among the most widely-spoken languages in the world and is one of the official languages of the United Nations. As of December 2020, there were about 1.31 billion Chinese language (which covers varieties such as Mandarin and Cantonese) speakers in the world.

Being able to communicate in Chinese can, thus, be a major gamechanger for a business looking to expand.

With its immense size and growing wealth and buying power, China has become one of the world’s most attractive marketplaces for many businesses. After all, successfully penetrating this lucrative market could deliver your products or services to the doors of about 16% of the world’s population.

Chinese Translation Services and Its Significance in Business

Doing business in China or in other Chinese-speaking countries without knowing Chinese, though, is like walking into a lion’s den naked. You’ll be vulnerable, helpless, and not in control. If your team lacks Chinese speakers, investing in quality Chinese translation services that can help you effectively communicate is your business’s first step to cracking this market.

Translation services are the key to succeeding in the Chinese market. By using a trustworthy translation service, you’ll be able to convey your messages as accurately as possible, penetrate new markets, and get on the radar of over 1 billion people. How far you can go,, though, will hinge heavily on the quality and competence of your translator.

You’ll likely need a reliable Chinese translation service for every step of your expansion journey, whether you’re trying to set up partnerships with local businesses or entertaining and hosting clients. These interactions can make or break your business, so it’s important that you can entrust your words to an objective translation service. But what should you look for when trying to find a good Chinese translation service?

Tips in Choosing the Right Chinese Translation Services

Chinese translation has actually been around for more than 2,000 years, starting from when scholars worked to translate and spread Buddhist texts up to this modern era. Today, translators work in almost every industry to bridge gaps in communication and open new avenues of understanding between different cultures, whether they specialize in translating movies, songs, books, speeches, academic studies, conversations, or interviews.

Aside from being experts in Chinese and its many dialects, translators, of course, also need to be fluent in foreign languages and possess the ability to switch seamlessly between different languages. Beyond linguistics, a good translator should also be somewhat of a cultural expert to help you avoid any missteps while communicating and to make sure that nothing is lost in translation.

On top of being skilled in translating other languages into Chinese, translators who are well-versed in business trends, or so to speak, understand the language of business, are also in high demand. The business world and different industries can have technical jargon that a layperson, no matter how fluent they are in a particular language, may find difficult to understand or describe. As such, it can pay off to look not only for a fluent Chinese speaker, but someone who is also a specialist in your industry.

Finding the right translation service can also be tricky because there is never just one correct way of translating a document or a phrase. That’s because language is fluid and words and meanings are open to numerous interpretations based on the speaker and the receiver. Thus, choosing the right translation service will also rely partly on your gut feeling and whether you feel an affinity with the translator.

Before choosing a Chinese translation service, it’s also helpful to know a bit more about some Chinese language basics.

  1. Chinese Business Name

Names carry a lot of weight and symbolism in China and even if you have an established brand in your home country, you may have to work with a translator to find its Chinese equivalent. However, translating your business name into a foreign language while maintaining your brand’s identity can be tricky. For example, Nike is known as “Enduring and Persevering” in China, while Coca-Cola is known as “Happiness Power.” Survey translation companies to see which one can give you the best pitch for your business’s Chinese name! The one who does probably understands your business and your voice best.

  1. Simplified Characters VS Traditional Characters

Written Chinese can use simplified characters or traditional characters. Which variation is used usually depends on geography. For example, simplified characters are usually used for audiences in Mainland China, Singapore, or Malaysia; while traditional characters may resonate better with audiences in Taiwan, Macau, or Hongkong. Your Chinese translation service provider should know which variation to use depending on your business and communication goals.

  1. Graphic Design for Chinese Text

Unlike the Roman alphabet, there are a number of complexities that need to be considered when crafting graphic designs for Chinese texts. Applying the same graphic design principles and layouts your brand usually uses to Chinese may not automatically give you the same results. Chinese characters are usually taller and more complicated with more lines and curves. This means you may need to provide more space in your documents when writing Chinese text to ensure that your business maintains an aesthetic yet professional look. If your Chinese translation partner takes this into account, they are certain to be a step ahead of the others!

When trying to start or expand a business, it’s understandable to want to be as cost-effective as possible. However, hiring the wrong Chinese translation service can end up costing you more in the long runin terms of lost opportunities, damage to your reputation, and miscommunications. Don’t hire a translator or translation company without at least doing a little research about the language, culture, traditions, and customs.

Learning more about your target audience’s language will not only help you select a translation service, but will also position your business to enter the exciting Chinese market with more confidence and direction.