Why Chinese Translation Services Remain Popular In Singapore

Chinese Translation Services Singapore

Chinese is the most spoken native language worldwide. With 1.3 billion native speakers, making it the main rival to English as a leading language. Because the official language in China is Chinese, it is already spoken by at least 950 million people in China alone.

Furthermore, China’s rapid growth in global economic and political power has made it hugely relevant to any organisation that communicates globally. Hence, it’s necessary for businesses and organisations to familiarise themselves with Chinese, or at least understand it and communicate effectively.

As one of the ancient and most complicated languages due to the number of dialects, it comes with serious translation challenges. That is why Chinese translation services in Singapore are needed, because our grasp of Chinese is probably nowhere near as professional as those in China.

This article will discuss the many challenges in Chinese translation, and why Chinese translation services are needed, even though most of us may be Chinese-speaking.

1. Using characters instead of letters

Chinese is the only modern language that is completely character-based. There are around 3,000 Chinese characters often used and 6,000 others for writings, such as for literature and technical. Each character represents a word or a concept. In some cases, they can represent several.

For instance, the Chinese word can be pronounced as zhe, zháo, zhuó, or zhāo, depending on the context or the other word that is paired with it. The translation accuracy depends on the literal meaning of each written character and the context.

Hence, to fully grasp Chinese for translation, a translator needs to know the number of syllables each Chinese word has and the corresponding character each syllable should have.

Moreover, the translator should know which character can be used alone and which can only be used when paired with other characters.

2. Different characters for traditional and simple

In Chinese, they have two different written forms: traditional and simplified. As the name states, simplified Chinese is a simpler version of traditional Chinese characters. On the other hand, traditional Chinese keeps the orthodox characters set for many millennia. Hence, traditional Chinese requires more stokes to complete a single character.

Simplified Chinese usually combines some traditional characters, so simplified Chinese commonly has fewer characters. Traditional Chinese uses a single character to express a word or part of a phrase, whereas a single simplified Chinese word can represent one or more words or concepts.

The character in Simplified Chinese equates to either (hair) or (become/develop) in Traditional Chinese. Hence, when writing 头发发白 (hair turning gray) in Simplified Chinese, the centre two characters are the same, but they have different meanings. On the other hand, traditional Chinese will have unique characters for the centre two, and it will be written as 頭髮發白.

3. Grammar Rules

When understanding Chinese grammar, context plays a huge role. Unlike English, they do not have singular or plural terms or verb conjugation to state the tenses.

Even something as simple as “I eat” can be used for all the tenses in Chinese. The verb remains no matter what the subject of your sentence is. Their verbs always stay the same and never need to be conjugated because they cannot be. The only thing that can change this phrase is the context.

Hence, the translator has to figure out the entire context first to translate.

4. Diversity in Dialects

Chinese is already challenging enough, but Chinese has multiple dialects, adding layers of complexity. There are hundreds of dialects, of which seven to ten significant dialects are recognised. These dialects have a unique vocabulary and are generally distinct from one another.

Because it’s a dialect rather than an actual language, the written language is the same. Even if someone has a good grasp of Chinese, only a few Chinese translators can translate all of the major dialects, and most would concentrate on one or two of them. Hence, it’s difficult to tell which dialect is being used unless it’s being spoken.

That is why a Chinese translation service in Singapore is needed, and what a good one can do for you.

Conclusion

While Chinese may seem like a simple language at first glance since most of us in Singapore speak it, the complications lie in the number of characters, context and dialect that Chinese can be derived from. That is why if you are using Chinese for professional purposes, it’s better to hire a Chinese translator to aid you for better communication.

As a professional translation service provider in Singapore, Eureka Translations have a team of experts, ready to translate any language to the target language. Should you need help translating from Chinese, contact us, or visit our company at Raffles Place today.


 

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