At a Glance: Chinese-English Translation
Chinese-English translation isn’t a simple matter. If you’re converting English-language copy for a Chinese-speaking audience, for instance, you need to determine whether you want the text to use simplified or traditional Chinese script, and whether you want it translated into Mandarin or Cantonese—or even one of the less-common dialects.
Whether converting to or from English, the translator needs to have impeccable skills in both languages—not just in terms of vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and punctuation but also in understanding colloquialisms. On Upwork, you’re likely to find Chinese-English translators who are native speakers of one, if not both, languages. They can also advise you as to whether you should translate your English copy into simplified Chinese (most commonly used in mainland China and Singapore) or traditional (the method of choice for Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia, though it’s also becoming more common in mainland China). In addition, they can suggest whether you should translate into Mandarin—what most people think of as “Chinese” and the official language of mainland China—or Cantonese, the dialect used in Hong Kong, Macau, and China’s Guangdong Province. Some translators even have expertise in specialties such as legal and technical writing.