China is home to one of the most ancient cultures of the world, and finds itself today at the epicenter of globalization. This duality is mirrored in the challenges that the Chinese translator faces, especially in the areas of business and legal translation: The expression and rendition of modern concepts in one of the oldest languages known.
Some will argue, however, that our conception of Chinese as one language is not even accurate. Chinese has been classified as a “macrolanguage” with 13 sub-languages and it is indeed crucial, when it comes to English to Chinese translation and Chinese into English translation services, that the translation agency understands if the Client is looking for a translation into or from Mandarin (official language of Mainland China and Taiwan) or Cantonese (one of the two official languages of Hong Kong and Macau).
While Standard Written Chinese for all Chinese language variants is, in essence, Standard Mandarin, Cantonese also has a written form that includes unique characters not found elsewhere, and records of legal documents in Hong Kong, for instance, often use written Cantonese to record exactly what a witness has said. Taiwanese Mandarin, on the other hand, has developed different terminologies for newer concepts compared to Mainland China due to the political separation in 1949 – including common daily terms like “CD”, “Software” or “database”.
Most importantly for Chinese document translation is the fact that two different writing systems exist today, traditional and simplified characters, and while the latter is norm in Mainland China as well as in Singapore, traditional characters are still used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.
So in order to assign the right professional Chinese translator for a particular project, it must first be established what type of text the Client would like to have translated, and what audience it is intended for.
At Legal Translation Solutions, we only recruit and retain highly skilled, professional Chinese translators who assist us in identifying the specific needs of our Clients in terms of source and target markets. We make sure that all questions pertaining to style of character and layout are discussed beforehand.
Considering the complexity of the rapidly evolving Chinese legal system as one of the most important aspects of the economic modernization in China, Chinese legal translators must be aware of the context of the document(s) to be translated to ensure that the appropriate terms and concepts are used. Furthermore, the text must not only be technically correct but also look familiar in the target language. Nuances in tone and form are crucial to guarantee legal validity.
With judicial and contractual framework being the foundation of business growth worldwide, Legal Translation Solutions’ high quality Chinese translation services facilitate global relationships that bring East and West, old and new worlds closer together – never overlooking the fine differences within each culture.