What form of Chinese for a website?
Thread poster: Libero_Lang_Lab

Libero_Lang_Lab  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:00
Member (2006)
Russian to English
+ ...
Jul 20, 2006

We've been asked by a regular client to take care of a website translation from English into Chinese. The subject matter is very much part of our expertise, the language pair - as you'll guess by the fact I'm asking such a basic question - is not. When I asked the client what form of Chinese they required they were not sure themselves! Obviously the ball is in their court, but I'd like to help them decide what they need.

What are the factors that should shape their decision?

[Edited at 2006-07-20 17:03]

[Edited at 2006-07-20 17:46]


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xxxchance
French to Chinese
+ ...
This link is from Libin'site, it may help: Jul 20, 2006

http://www.asiana.com/faqs.html#Simplification?

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Angus Woo
Local time: 13:00
Chinese to English
+ ...
Target audience Jul 20, 2006

Once you know who would be your target audience, the answer to your question would be only too obvious.

Mainland China and Singapore use simplified Chinese; HK, Taiwan and most of those who live in north America as well as Europe use traditional Chinese characters.


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pkchan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:00
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
What form of Chinese? Jul 21, 2006

Daniel Brennan wrote:

We've been asked by a regular client to take care of a website translation from English into Chinese. The subject matter is very much part of our expertise, the language pair - as you'll guess by the fact I'm asking such a basic question - is not. When I asked the client what form of Chinese they required they were not sure themselves! Obviously the ball is in their court, but I'd like to help them decide what they need.

What are the factors that should shape their decision?

[Edited at 2006-07-20 17:03]

[Edited at 2006-07-20 17:46]


Correct me if I am wrong. You original message was about whether or not you should use Cantonese for the translation. The answer for that is a big NO. Cantonese is only a regional dialect used in certain parts of China and overseas Chinatowns. It is not a written form.

If you are asking about the choosing the simplified version of the Chinese characters over the traditional form, my suggestion is to persuade your client to agree to use both. It is simply because of the fact that you will probably have both types of customers who will be comfortable in reading one form or the other. Besides, you can charge your client more for doing the translation in two different versions. I am quite sure they will be willing to pay you extra for both the traditional and the simplified versions if you can mention the word "customer first".

What if your client is willing to pay you to translate only one version, then you will do it in simplified form. Tell your client that he or she is aiming at the huge China market where only simplified version is used. Those who are using the traditional version, to a certain extent, can also read the simplified one. At least that is the case for those living in Hong Kong. So don't forget your strategy is to aim at both and then scale it down to one- the simplified version. Good luck for your salesmanship and to your project.

[Edited at 2006-07-21 00:32]

[Edited at 2006-07-21 00:47]

[Edited at 2006-07-21 01:17]


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