Hi! It’s more than just Ni Hao
English is the prevalent language of the nations today and Chinese soon would become the next
English Language, thanks to their rising global dominance. With a rise in international
commerce, the importance of marketing collateral cannot be undermined and it is essential that
when dealing in billions of dollars, both the accuracy and the legitimacy of the official
documents has to be established.
China is being roped in for its products and the abundant manpower and a gap in the culture and
language can pose issues for both employers and corporate entities. How many of us do really
know beyond “ni hao”? English to Chinese translation and vice-versa can be a bit daunting for
those not familiar with the terminologies.
Take the language for example, the Chinese language itself is full of variations and unless one
has a complete knowledge of the different adaptation, the document would never be presented
with its exact definition intact. There are at present seven distinct variations of the language and
each, although close enough can be intercepted differently.
The dialects have been modified as per the geographical boundaries in which it is predominantly
spoken and someone with a lack of regional knowledge of the language would not be able to
zero in on the exact meaning. If you are aiming to translate a document from English to one of
the regionalized version, you have to have a good grasp of that version or else the meaning can
get lost in translation. In order to not lose the essence and emphasis of the terminologies in
translation, it thus becomes imperative to hire the professionals.
For the ancient language, the characters called Hanzi is not the conventional one and a non-
native could easily be confused. Only a professional, who’s well-versed in the intricacies of the
language, would be able to do complete justice.
The advent of translation software has made translation easy but they are not good enough, in
fact they can do more harm then good. The next time you want to impress that pretty Chinese
girl in your class, do not resort to Google translator. I once tried the same and in an attempt to
ask my crush out to the beach, I translated “I want to see the sunset with you” into Chinese and
messaged her. She gave me the cold shoulder since that day, confused I copy pasted the same
line and translated it to English and it came out as “I want to see your sunset’; no wonder she
thought I was after her life.
If you are part of a corporate entity that is on the lookout for getting information translated from
English to Chinese, ensure that you select a professional who is aware of the nuances of the
language. Simply being able to read and write Chinese is not enough, the translator must be
either a native speaker or someone who can be at par.
For individuals too, if you do not want the sun to set on your proposed intentions, hire a veteran!