Translating a website from English to Chinese is one of the first steps in reaching to well over 1.3 billion Chinese speakers. However, to see good results you need a good translation job done.
This will require you to hire an experienced firm that has done a good job for previous clients, who charge a reasonable fee, and who understand the ever-changing world of the internet and how people use it. You will also want to make sure that the firm has native Chinese speakers working on the task.
Nobody Speaks Chinese Like the Chinese
Even Americans don’t have perfect grammar and spelling skills when it comes to American English but just about every American understands how the language works, what is culturally accepted, and what different slang words mean.
An American wouldn’t use the word “nigger” to describe a black person on their website content. They would use more accepted words such as “Africa-American” or simply the word “black”.
This cultural grab over the language and cultural dynamics is just the same when it comes to the Chinese. Only a person who was born in China or at least spent a majority of their life there will understand what is accepted and what is not.
Keen Eyes on User Behavior
Did you know that Q1 of 2015 already sees well over 1 billion smart phone users and it is estimated that by the end of the year there will be nearly 1 billion tablet users. The desktop computer is a dying breed in China, seen mostly for hardcore video gamers, office workers, and the movie industry.
This is just one example of the changing landscape of the Chinese online market. The Chinese are always on the go so quick and short online content is a must. If your website features too much content on a single page it is very likely that it will be ignored in favor of something more concise and appealing to read.
Transliteration Over Translation
There’s nothing funnier than seeing an English phrase like “Careful, slippery floor” translated into “Slip carefully”. Unfortunately, such poor translation jobs are bountiful and it would spell instant doom for your website if the translation job is botched.
You wouldn’t even know that the translation was done poorly because it is highly unlikely you and your employees are fluent in reading Chinese.
Native Chinese speakers will be able to identify when words or phrases cannot be literally translated or when words need to be semantically rearranged to make sense in Chinese. They understand when things need to be transliterated to fit into the Chinese culture and make sure that Chinese readers understand the context of what they are viewing.