Gengo provides high-quality Chinese translation services on-demand at affordable rates. Thousands of companies—big and small—trust Gengo to fuel their global growth.
Working with Gengo gives you immediate access to years of translation and localization experience, plus the expertise to work with your existing technology within your eco-system. Our team helps you plan and manage projects of any size, in a way which is scalable and affordable.
Choose between two different levels of quality and pricing to match your translation needs. All English to Chinese translators have been pre-tested for each level to ensure high quality translations.
English to Chinese Translation
Despite being two of the world’s most commonly spoken languages, English and Chinese are extremely dissimilar; each containing its own linguistic subtleties and complexities. The Chinese language is highly contextual, meaning slight changes in character composition can alter the meaning of a phrase completely. This poses a challenge for any professional translator, who must fully understand the intended purpose of a sentence and the language’s intricacies to avoid misunderstandings.
With seven distinct Chinese dialects and many more local dialects – which are often not mutually intelligible – the intended audience of a piece of translated writing must also be carefully considered. A piece of writing that works for one section of the population may not work for another, meaning only translators with a firm grasp of regional differences can be trusted to create work that produces the intended effect. As a language rich in its own idioms and convolutions, a Chinese translator must also be equally confident in their grasp of the English language to avoid any loss of meaning in their translations.
Chinese translation tips
Traditional vs Simplified Chinese
There are two distinct versions of written Chinese. In the mid-twentieth century, in an effort to increase the literacy rate, the People’s Republic of China began a process of simplifying written Chinese. As a result, two versions of written Chinese came into being: Traditional and Simplified. Although this sounds confusing, it is fairly straightforward to decide which form of the language to use based on where your target market are located. Simplified Chinese is predominantly used in Mainland China, Malaysia and Singapore, whereas Traditional Chinese is primarily used in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Avoid machine translation
You should always be wary of machine translation (MT), but especially when translating from English to Chinese or Chinese to English. English and Chinese orignate from completely unrelated language groups, making them vastly different from each other not only in terms of language, but also in terms of their cultural and social reference points. Translation to and from Chinese therefore requires a great deal of creativity and experience, two things that machine translation simply cannot offer.
Popular Chinese translation phrases
Take a look at some of the most popular and searched for English phrases and their Chinese translations.
|What to translate from English||Chinese (Simplified) translation||Pinyin*|
|Good morning||早上好||Zǎoshang hǎo|
|I love you||我爱你||Wǒ ài nǐ|
|I miss you||我想你||Wǒ xiǎng nǐ|
|Good luck||祝你好运||Zhù nǐ hǎo yùn|
|Happy New Year||新年快乐||Xīnnián kuàilè|
|Happy birthday||生日快乐||Shēngrì kuàilè|
* Pinyin, which literally translates as “spell-sound”, is the standard system of romanized spelling for transliterating Chinese.
Chinese language facts
Chinese is the oldest written language on the planet and part of the Sino-Tibetan language family – a language family descended from Proto-Sino-Tibetan. In the 1950s, a form of simplified Chinese was developed. Today, this system continues to be used in mainland China, while the traditional version remains in use in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. Though their grammar systems and pronunciation differ significantly, Chinese characters are also used as part of the Japanese language.
- With nearly 1.3 billion native speakers worldwide, about 15% of the world’s population speaks a dialect of Chinese as their native tongue.
- Written Chinese dates back over 3,000 years. It consists of more than 20,000 distinct characters.
- Chinese is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, along with Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
- The Chinese language has seven major dialect groups, and each has its own variations. Mandarin dialects are spoken by 71.5 percent of the population.
Chinese varieties and dialects
Although native speakers will often describe Chinese as a single language, it is in fact more accurately thought of as a language family all of its own. Linguists disagree on just how many varieties of Chinese exist, but it is generally accepted that there are between 7 and 13.
With approximately 960 million speakers, Mandarin is the most commonly spoken dialect. Mandarin is based on the Beijing dialect and is most typically spoken in northern and southwestern China. Mandarin is also referred to as Standard Chinese and is the official state language of China, Taiwan and one of the official languages of Singapore. Accoring to official estimations, roughly 70 percent of Chinese citizens currently speak Mandarin as a first or second language. Through a national education push, it is hoped that the whole of China will achieve a “basic” level of Mandarin by 2020.
Wu, or Shanghainese, is another key dialect of the Chinese language, second only to Mandarin. Formed of a group of regional dialects spoken in places such as Shanghai, Suzhou, Ningbo and Wuxi, it has roughly 70 million people speakers. With 60 million speakers, Cantonese Chinese is also a main dialect of Chinese, spoken primarily in southeastern China (an area historically known as Canton), as well as by a large number of Chinese expatriates worldwide. Despite sharing some vocabulary, Cantonese and Mandarin are mutually unintelligible, owing to their differing systems of grammar, lexicon and pronunciation.
Gengo’s native Chinese translators are experts in Mandarin, Wu and Cantonese, making them fully equipped to ensure your content is perfectly optimized to reach the right audience.
Chinese translation services
Gengo is a leading provider of professional English to Chinese translation. With thousands of professional English to Chinese translators located worldwide, no other translation company can provide fast and high quality Chinese business translation at a more competitive rate. We currently deliver hundreds of Chinese translation projects each month, easily and at scale.
Our areas of expertise
For your business to succeed in the challenging Chinese market, you’ll need to translate all your content quickly, efficiently and affordably. Gengo supports professional Chinese translation of a wide range of document and content types, including:
- Chinese website localization
- Chinese mobile app localization
- Chinese game localization
- Chinese product description translation
- Customer support translation
- Translate marketing copy, ads and social media
- Translate news articles and entertainment
- Translate travel listings and guides
- Chinese document translation
- Translate emails, letters and more
Gengo’s Chinese translators are experts in their field with years of professional translation experience under their belts. This is why Gengo is trusted by global companies like YouTube, Airbnb and Sony to produce high quality translated content at lightning speed. Our innovative translation platform and global network of translators means that no matter the size or complexity of your Chinese translation project, we are able to deliver on time, every time, with quality assured.
If you are looking to translate your English content not only into Chinese but into other languages too, here are some of our other available languages:
Localizing websites using hreflang meta tags
When translating a website it’s important to ensure that search engines are able to understand exactly what language (or languages) your content is available in. In addition to the language attribute on the
<html> tag, each page should also include a
<head> section in which links to its localized equivalent are listed.
If the primary language of your website is English, for example, and you want to translate it into Chinese (Simplified), then every translated page should include the following block of code in the
<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/about/" hreflang="en" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/zh-hans/about/" hreflang="zh-hans" />
Keep in mind that this block should be added to both the original and the localized versions of your page (in this case: example.com/about/ & example.com/zh-hans/about/). By doing this, each page points to every available localized version of itself, making it easy for search engines to understand the structure of your site and display the appropriate translation for every user.
Targeting a language and a country
In addition to specifying the language that your content is written in, you can also specify particular countries that you would like to target. This is ideal for a language that is spoken in multiple countries, such as Chinese (spoken in China, Singapore and Taiwan, among others). To do this, the country to be targeted is simply included in the hreflang attribute, like so:
<link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/zh-hans/" hreflang="zh-hans" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/zh-hans-SG/" hreflang="zh-Hans-sg" /> <link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/zh-hans-TW/" hreflang="zh-Hans-tw" />