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3 Essential Tips for Chinese to English Translators

Posted by Chloe G. on March 08, 2023.

Perfectly translated and localized material should be your first priority if your firm is growing in the Chinese market. However, with Chinese to English translators, professional translation from Mandarin is not a simple task. Understanding the variations in sentence construction, grammar, and culture is essential but it is not enough to have flawless results.

So this blog post will point out 3 useful pieces of advice for any translation provider who is always aiming at the best Chinese-to-English documents.

1. Understand The Source Material 

A fair translation must convey the accurate content of the original text to the reader. So the Chinese to English translators should attempt to understand how the original meaning and make sure that it may be transmitted across two languages while preserving the form and style of the original text to the greatest extent. Here are some notable tips to consider.


1.1. Look up terms you know

A terrible truth for people who have studied Chinese for years is that every new text will contain vocabulary that you have never seen before. Identifying the terms you already know is an excellent way to start comprehending the text since, in some cases, this is all that is required to understand the text’s overall meaning and the meaning of the words you don’t yet know.

The characters in a Chinese text are not often divided like English words are; this gives a hurdle for novices but presents less of a problem for people who already know a good number of characters. In modern literature, punctuation is also frequently employed very “arbitrarily”. This is in contrast to ancient texts, when there isn’t even any punctuation.

1.2. Look up unknown words

With new words, Chinese to English translators are free to consult a dictionary (simply Google Translate or Pleco, a really helpful Chinese app). In order to find the appropriate English term after having a clearer understanding of the overall meaning, it is best to make a note of the most relevant meaning.

It’s possible that certain terms made up of numerous characters won’t be in dictionaries because they are freshly modern or because the author invented them. In these situations, it’s usually a good idea to only look at the individual characters to determine the meaning of the word as a whole.

Being able to translate a text’s title can be quite helpful, but as Chinese is a rather “cryptic” language, every Chinese to English translator sometimes needs to read at least the first paragraph before trying to understand it.

Never lose up at the first hint of difficulty is a very helpful piece of advice. If you can’t interpret a phrase, you may only need to go on to the next sentence to grasp the one before it.

2. Use The Right Translation Tools

Chinese is a relatively challenging language to translate, even if it might be exaggerated to claim that it is the toughest written language in the world. That is why translation software is something that Chinese to English translators can use to make reading Chinese easier. Here are some must-know tools that can be helpful for Chinese translation projects.

2.1. Pleco

As mentioned above, Pleco, a favorite among Chinese language students, is jam-packed with practical character translation functions. 


Simplified and Traditional Chinese characters are both supported by Pleco. There is a ton of information in the dictionary entries, such as information on each character’s radical and component parts, related terms, example sentences, and parts of speech.

There are no adverts in the app, which is free. You may get extra features that are equally as good as the rest of the app for a little charge.

2.2. Papago

This translation tool may be used on the web and is presently accessible as an app.

Chinese to English translators can use the PC version’s basic text translation functionality, or use the Papago app to get the tool’s photo and handwriting translation features. It is easy to get a translation immediately by pointing your camera at the text or typing the words in.

2.3. Bravolol

The Dictionary Bravolol can translate text between a variety of languages, including Chinese and English. For people who travel frequently, the app offers the pronunciation of common words in addition to the textual version.

Chinese to English translators may use Bravolol as a dictionary and search for specific words in addition to the translation feature. Each entry in the dictionary includes audio pronunciation, relevant terms, and example sentences. Words can be bookmarked for later review.


3. Be Aware Of Cultural Differences Between China And Other Countries

In general, every culture might discover the common human motivations in comfort, wealth, supporting one’s family, work fulfillment, and security. But the ways that each culture achieves these objectives vary, and on the surface, they may appear to be incompatible. Successful cross-cultural communication may be achieved by having a solid understanding of what drives people to act in particular ways. So Chinese to English translators need to recognize some cultural distinctions between China and other nations.

3.1. Americans value the individual while Chinese society is all about the collective.


Unlike China, where every achievement is seen as a success for the team, family, or organization, the United States is a meritocracy where people may flourish. Instead than merely thinking about oneself, a Chinese individual would examine how their actions may influence the group as a whole.

3.2. The pace of U.S. business differs from that in China.

Americans prioritize efficiency and speed, and they move rapidly to complete tasks. To put it another way, time is money. Meetings are anticipated to start on time, and deadlines are expected to be met. 

Chinese people, on the other hand, tend to make decisions slowly and seek to establish connections and reach a consensus before taking any action. Only when the project is deemed finished and the timing is suitable can deadlines be fulfilled. 

While the Chinese will take advantage of the American demand for speed in talks by playing the waiting game to gain a better deal for themselves, Americans may find this approach toward timeliness unpleasant and time-wasting.

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In Short

It might be challenging for an overseas business to enter the Chinese market since the efforts must go beyond simply creating localized materials. You should then work with a reputable translation agency that has professional Chinese to English translators to provide first-rate Chinese translation services.

GTE Localize may be one of the top options since we have a solid understanding of the Chinese language, culture, and market. Our staff of native Chinese speakers is skilled in localizing content and is aware of the difficulties that Chinese localization projects might encounter.

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So set up a free 1:1 call with our experts and start your project as soon as possible!