How to Select the Right Chinese Dialect for Translation?

Are you thinking of translating content into the Chinese language? But, how to select the right Chinese dialect for translation?

This is a big confusion that every business owner faces when targeting the Chinese market.

For those who don’t know about the Chinese language, it is way more unclear in which Chinese dialect you need to translate your content into that help you reach a wider audience.

If you are one of them, then we are here to guide you about the different dialects, and how to determine which is the best one while translating to Chinese.

To make your important English To Chinese translation easy and effective, this guide will help you out.

How many Chinese dialects are there?

While discussing Chinese dialects, it’s crucial to first know there are various spoken Chinese as well as written Chinese dialects. The dialects throughout China as well as other Chinese-speaking countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Chinese speakers who don’t fluently speak a similar Chinese dialect will more often be unable to know others.

Let’s now discuss the different dialects of Chinese:

1- Mandarin

It is the key dialect spoken widely in China. The type of Mandarin utilized there is frequently referred to as simplified Chinese. Also, this is one of the popular future language of your customers.

When you view written Chinese utilized outside of China, it’s probably Mandarin, and most individuals without the language knowledge are referring to Mandarin.

2- Wu

This linguistic group primarily has speakers in Zhejiang, Shanghai province and the South part of Jiangsu province and other neighbouring areas.

3- Gan

You’ll hear this dialect in Jiangxi province and other neighbouring areas, such as Hunan, Hubei, Anhui and Fujian provinces.

4- Cantonese

If you essentially know about Chinese language, its a commonly spoken dialect of Chinese which is utilized in daily conversation but not written because of its traditional, highly complicated characters.

5- Xiang

The Xiang Chinese group is spoken widely in Hunan province and various parts of the surrounding provinces of Guizhou, Hubei, and Guangxi.

Also, it’s transliterated as “Hsiang” and at times called Hunanese.

You can easily hear Mandarin in the majority of the area bordering the Xiang-speaking region.

6- Min

Min varieties are derived from Fujian province. Also, they’re spoken by the descendants of individuals from Fujian who moved to Taiwan, Hainan, Guangdong, and a few other southern regions.

In Singapore, people utilize the standard or simplified, Mandarin Chinese which is essential for huge business success in China

In Macau and Hong Kong, the population usually speaks Cantonese.

In Taiwan, people speak Mandarin.

Every country and region, however, writes in traditional Chinese.

But rather than sharing a written language, written expressions differ between these regions.

You can see the complete picture is highly complicated than this, and there are so many specific characters, lesser-used dialects, and various aspects of the language that differ between different Chinese-speaking regions, but this overview will make you answer the following question:

How to Select the Right Chinese Dialect for Translation?

The answer to this question highly depends on who are your target audience.

1- If you want to do business in China

By far the widely used dialect selected for translation is the simplified Chinese that most people in Mainland China will be able to read as well as understand.

Do you know why global brands fail in China? Because they fail to pick the right dialect.

So, for companies that want to tap into the Chinese market, this is the right language for translating your website, product descriptions, contracts, marketing materials and other assets.

The same goes for if you are adapting your personal documents for use in Mainland China, such as, recruitment ads for babysitters, identification for a visa, and so on.

Obviously, in personal translation, there may be specific cases in which you will have to utilize an uncommon regional dialect, but for business, reasons simplified Chinese must be your choice when you want to accurately translate a website into this language.

2- If you want to do business in Taiwan or Hong Kong

If you want to do business in Hong Kong or Taiwan, but, it’s good to go with traditional Chinese.

As mentioned earlier, those who utilize simplified and traditional Chinese importantly speak two other languages, so it’s crucial to choose the suitable one based on your target market as well as the audience.

When Cantonese is the key spoken language in Hong Kong, traditional Chinese is still the suitable way to go when you want to translate and localize projects for your business needs.

Successful Cantonese translation would also come into play for transcription projects, or if you are looking for a very colloquial, informal translation for a familiar audience.

Are you Ready to Enter the Chinese Market?

Believe us or not, it’s a big task but if done right it could have a great payoff. Rather than assigning work to an in-house member, hire a Chinese translator who can help you effectively translate and localize every part of your business to attract local audiences in China and Chinese-speaking regions.

To get an accurate Chinese translation, contact us quickly at +91-8527599523 or request a free quote.

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