Using Google translator from Simplified to Traditional Chinese and viceversa
Thread poster: mdesantis
mdesantis
Local time: 21:47
Jul 16, 2009

Hello all

I work for the digital sales department of a company in the UK. We are currently translating our sites in Simplified and Traditional Chinese.

I am a translator myself, from English and Russian into Italian so I am aware of how bad online translators are.

I don't speak any Chinese but I will need to oversee the translation of the sites I am responsible for, into Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

Someone told me Google translator works well to switch from SCH to TCH and viceversa. Is it true?! My experience tells me not to believe them.

Any comment from Chinese translators would be very welcome!

Many many thanks,
Marina


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Xiaochuan Cao
China
Local time: 04:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
Generally ok, but... Jul 17, 2009

Simplified and Traditional Chinese are in fact pretty much the same language. So it's essential "intra-lingual" translation.

As the naming suggests, "simplified" Chinese transform many complex Chinese characters into simpler ones, reducing the number of "strokes" in character, and thus allow faster and easier handwriting, and perhaps also facilitating learning.

There is a list, which you can find in many bigger and older Chinese dictionaries, where you can match the simplified characters with the complex (traditional ones). I guess that this is the kind of work that computers actually do better than human. So in this regard, Google can really do very well translating between TCH and SCH, since it's not really "translating", but merely "matching" and "replacing."

The problem is that in some cases, two or more traditional characters are transformed into one same simplified character. So I guess there might be some problem for Google to translate from SCH into TCH.

Another problem is differences in some vocabulary use and nomenclature. The simplified Chinese was created in the 1950s on the mainland of China and has since been popularized there. Hong Kong and Taiwan have continued to use Traditional Chinese to this day. The geographical and political separation for many decades has differentiated the Chinese language used in HW, TW and mainland , especially in terms of new concepts and proper names introduced from the West. For example, "information" is 信息 for mainlanders but 資訊 for HK and TW people. Nevertheless, as exchanges among these parts of the Greater China area increase, people are growing accustomed to these differences and generally understand each other's nomenclature. Indeed, many people understands both SCH and TCH.

In sum, I believe Google Translator can do a pretty good job translating between SCH and TCH, far better than between two different languages. But if you'll still need to do some revision if you need a very precise translation, considering vocabulary variations. Hope this helps!


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mdesantis
Local time: 21:47
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jul 17, 2009

Thank you very much! Your knowledgeable reply was exactly what I was looking for.
Marina


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chica nueva
Local time: 09:47
Chinese to English
Could this answer be an article? Jul 19, 2009

@ David
I thought that was a pretty good answer. Perhaps it could be published on the ProZ articles database ... Lesley
http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/categories/Language-Specific/Chinese/


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Xiaochuan Cao
China
Local time: 04:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
Sure! I'm glad you find it good. Jul 20, 2009

@ Lesley
I'm so glad that you find this answer useful. Of course I'd love to have it added to the database after correcting the spelling mistakes. Or maybe other interested friends can contribute their new ideas to make the answer better.


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lbone  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 04:47
English to Chinese
+ ...
Professional study Jul 20, 2009

There is an entry in Wikipedia with professional study on this topic. It's only in Chinese.

Google's ChS-ChT translation is merely better than the most basic one-character-to-one-character conversion. It's far from enough for professional use.

http://zh.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=簡繁轉換&variant=zh-cn


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:47
Member (2011)
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
different Chinese scripts for MT Sep 5, 2009

Also see the reply from Christian Boitet about variant Chinese language scripts for MT at:

http://www.mail-archive.com/mt-list@eamt.org/
thread topic: MT for languages with multiple scripts


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