Respected Chinese to English and English-Chinese translation partners to leading UK business and industry, our Chinese translation services and skilled Chinese typesetting assist dozens of UK exporters across the technical/engineering, logistics, insurance, legal and financial sectors.
That’s supported by professional mother-tongue Chinese interpreting services for meetings and training and certified Chinese translation services for legal and private clients use. We also offer a full range of multimedia services including Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese voiceover and Mandarin or Cantonese transcription.
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There are two forms of written Chinese, and which you need depends on where you’re looking to use it.
Traditional Chinese – surprisingly – isn’t (officially) used in China! Since the 1950s simplified Chinese has been the written form used in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) – see below. Traditional Chinese is used in the Chinese communities unaffected directly by the Revolution, the main ones being Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. Traditional Chinese is also the written language for many wider diaspora communities. Most of our demand for Traditional Chinese translation is for public sector material to support these communities, along with legal and commercial work for Hong Kong.
Simplified Chinese is the official written form in the PRC, as well as in Singapore and much of Malaysia. If you’re exporting to China, you need simplified Chinese translation.
The (main) difference between Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese is the characters used; as the name suggests, Simplified Chinese translation uses simpler characters (and fewer) than does Traditional Chinese. The two are NOT interchangeable – if you’re not sure which you need, just ask us!
Our FAQ and Really Helpful Friendly Guide to Language Translation offer advice on sourcing translators and getting better translation.
We provide Cantonese and Mandarin interpreting services for liaison, conference, court and medical interpreting UK-wide and beyond. However, Cantonese and Mandarin are not the only languages Chinese interpreting may require. Others include Wu, Min, and Yue and several more. The “official” PRC spoken form of Mandarin is called Putonghua. We offer Chinese interpreting in several of the main languages. For more information, just call our friendly helpful team on Freefone 0800 783 4678 or e-mail our interpreter team.
Our in-house expert Chinese typesetting services are available in Quark, InDesign, Illustrator and more and of course include full proofreading by our mother-tongue linguists. Chinese typesetting has numerous wrinkles in addition to the choice of correct font (simplified Chinese or traditional Chinese) and isn’t for the amateur.
As well as strict presentation rules, there are several other factors to consider – not least the inclusion of Western text such as tradenames. In most Chinese typesetting fonts the Western characters are plain ugly, so professional Chinese typesetting will usually use compound fonts to combine the presentation features of the Chinese face and e.g. Helvetica. Unfortunately, this prevents the typeset document working correctly on another system without very careful setting-up.
This along with font licensing issues and the need to handle the detailed layout rules means Chinese typesetting is usually “broken” if opened and re-saved on the wrong system. We’d always recommend that we finalise it, delivering a press-ready fully proofread PDF.
Certified Chinese translation gives your Chinese translation (or Chinese to English translation) legal “weight” for legal purposes. In order to offer certified Chinese translation, the translator needs excellent language qualifications and experience. We offer both certified Chinese translation (and the more stringent notarized Chinese translation) for commercial use, and notarized and certified Chinese translation for private clients. If you need either service please just e-mail our translation team.
Popular for research and conferences, Chinese transcription can be mono- or bilingual (with a Chinese to English translation). For legal use we offer certified Chinese transcription too – there’s more on our Transcription page.
There’s more info – including a downloadable guide to Chinese voiceover – on our voiceovers page. Unusually among language voiceover providers we’re primarily a translation company. THAT means our Chinese voiceover scripts are ALL mother-tongue professionally translated and 100% reviewed – surprisingly uncommon in commercial voiceover! Chinese subtitling is also popular.
TIP: watch script length – checking Chinese voiceover translated script length is generally by wordcount, but Chinese really doesn’t work like that! While the translation looks far shorter than the English source, it often takes far longer to read, making experienced Chinese voiceover translation really important if your product isn’t to sound like Minnie Mouse!