As 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 a full range of multimedia services including Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese voiceover or subtitling 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! The written form used in the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) since the 1950s has been Simplified Chinese – see below.
The Chinese communities unaffected directly by the Revolution – including Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau – use Traditional Chinese. 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.
The official written form in the PRC, as well as in Singapore and much of Malaysia, is Simplified Chinese. 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., including the “official” PRC spoken form of Mandarin 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 on top of 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 Western characters are less than pretty, 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 live typeset document from working correctly on another system unless that has been very careful set-up.
Unfortunately, opening and re-saving Chinese typesetting on un-prepared systems will often “break” it. We’d always recommend we finalise it for you, delivering as press-ready fully proofread PDF.
Popular for research and conferences, Chinese transcription can be mono- or bilingual (with a Chinese to English translation). Spoken Chinese is mainly Mandarin or Cantonese, although a number of other dialects exist which can considerably complicate Chinese transcription! For legal use we offer certified Chinese transcription too – there’s more on our Transcription page.
There’s more info – including a downloadable guide on getting the best Chinese voiceover – on our voiceovers page. Remember that unusually among language voiceover providers, we’re primarily a translation company. Our Chinese voiceover scripts are all mother-tongue professionally translated and 100% reviewed. That’s often not the case for many commercial voiceover studios! Chinese subtitling is also popular.
TIP: watch script length – checking translated voiceover script length for “fit” is generally by wordcount. However, the glyph “alphabet” means Chinese really doesn’t work like that! While the translation looks far shorter than the English source, it often takes much longer to read, making experienced Chinese voiceover translation really important if your product isn’t to sound like Minnie Mouse!