What You Must Know  About Chinese    Translationfor project managers & vendor managers            By Frank Wei            ...
Content                                     1.                                     1   Chinese Language                   ...
Chinese Language• Chinese is the most used language in  the world. Nearly one-fifth of the world  speaks Chinese as their ...
Evolution of Chinese Characters
MajorCharacteristics• 1. Basically monosyllabic characters  – Chinese characters are the written symbol of    the Chinese ...
Versions of Written Chinese•   There are two variations of Chinese written languages: Simplified    Th                 i i...
Traditional vs Simplified            vs.
Simplified Vs Traditional                    Vs.•   Dont    D  assume that Chi                      h Chinese i a one-size...
Versions of Spoken Chinese• Many dialects exist, but they can be  roughly classified into one of the seven  large groups, ...
* Data source: David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, 1997
Cantonese vs Mandarin          vs.•   Mandarin and Cantonese are dialects of Chinese    language,    language not written ...
Chinese Input & Coding•   Pinyin and Wade-Giles       y     – Pinyin is the term used to refer to the system of writing   ...
DBCS Encoding & Fonts•   On English windows systems all the symbols found on the standard English                         ...
Chinese vs.Japanese and Korean•   While Chinese is treated equally with    Japanese and Korean as an Asian    language in ...
Chinese Translation Peculiarities•   Professional Chinese translators usually work with only    one of the two Chinese ver...
Certified Chinese Translation•   A certified Chinese translation in China needs to be    p o ded    provided by a t a s at...
Accreditation Tests•   Translators Association of China (CTA) is a national    association of translators Its members incl...
How to find a qualifiedChinese Translator• Alth  Although there is a huge number of Chinese          h th     i     h     ...
Frank Wei•   Professional English-Chinese translator with 20 years of    experience           i•   Holds a MA degree in En...
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Chinese basics and translation guide

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This is a presentation about Chinese language basics for translation outsourcing managers and project managers. It tells you the difference between various versions of Written Chinese (Simplified vs. Traditional) , versions of Spoken Chinese (Cantonese vs. Mandarin for example). It also tells you about Chinese Input & Coding and Chinese Translation Peculiarities.

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Chinese basics and translation guide

  1. 1. What You Must Know About Chinese Translationfor project managers & vendor managers By Frank Wei frank@mts.cn
  2. 2. Content 1. 1 Chinese Language 2. Versions of Written Chinese 3. Versions of Spoken Chinese 4. 4 Simplified vs. Traditional vs 5. Cantonese vs. Mandarin 6. Chinese Input & Coding 7. 7 DBCS E Encoding & F t di Fonts 8. Chinese vs. Japanese & Korean 9. Chinese Translation Peculiarities 10. Certified Chinese Translation in China 11. Accreditation Tests 12. How to find a qualified ChinesePlease note that this presentation translatoris not intended to teach you tospeak or write Chinese! k it Chi !
  3. 3. Chinese Language• Chinese is the most used language in the world. Nearly one-fifth of the world speaks Chinese as their native tongue.• Over 1 Billion Speak a Chinese Language• Written Chinese is not an alphabetic language. We call Chinese characters as squared characters‘. Chi h t d h t ‘• The Chinese script is a logographic script structured so that eac character represents a s g e co cep ; a each c a ac e ep ese s single concept; characters are then combined to form compound words. Although there are several distinct languages (or "dialects") spoken in China including Mandarin and dialects ) Cantonese (Hong Kong), they can all read the same "written words" because it is based on meaning, not on sound. sound
  4. 4. Evolution of Chinese Characters
  5. 5. MajorCharacteristics• 1. Basically monosyllabic characters – Chinese characters are the written symbol of the Chinese language.• 2. Tonal language – The meaning of a word changes according to its tone tone.• 3. Less Morphological Changes – There is no grammatical distinction between singular or plural, no declination of verbs according to tense mood and aspect tense, aspect.• 4. Subject-verb-object Order – The basic order of modern Chinese language is “subject-verb- object”. bj t” – ....... – Consult with frank@mts.cn if you are interested in this.
  6. 6. Versions of Written Chinese• There are two variations of Chinese written languages: Simplified Th i i f Chi i l Si lifi d Chinese and Traditional Chinese.• Chinese Traditional is the older form of the script and is used in p Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other locations outside of China, including various "Chinatowns" in the West. Chinese Traditional characters are more complex and more numerous numerous.• Simplified Chinese is the result of reducing some strokes from the traditional characters to make it simpler to remember and write. Simplified Chinese was d Si lifi d Chi developed i M i l d Chi ( d adopted l d in Mainland China (and d t d in Singapore) as a way of simplifying the older system in order to increase literacy. As part of the simplification, several Traditional Characters were collapsed into one character in Simplified.
  7. 7. Traditional vs Simplified vs.
  8. 8. Simplified Vs Traditional Vs.• Dont D assume that Chi h Chinese i a one-size-fits-all l is i fi ll language. I i It is difficult to determine which version to use when requesting translation• If youre not sure which version of Chinese you need to use, please check with frank@mts.cn.
  9. 9. Versions of Spoken Chinese• Many dialects exist, but they can be roughly classified into one of the seven large groups, i.e., Putonghua (Mandarin), groups i e (Mandarin) Gan, Kejia (Hakka), Min, Wu, Xiang and Yue (Cantonese). ( )• Putonghua (Mandarin) is the most widely used spoken language for all Chinese, a “common” language.• Most Chinese speak a local dialect and Mandarin!• Difficult to determine which version to use when requesting t h ti translation. l ti
  10. 10. * Data source: David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, 1997
  11. 11. Cantonese vs Mandarin vs.• Mandarin and Cantonese are dialects of Chinese language, language not written languages and should not be used when requesting written translation.• It is quite correct to use them if you are looking for an interpreter. You would also risk g p getting the wrong g g version.• For example, Mandarin is spoken both in China and Taiwan, and increasingly in Hong Kong. Many people in the i th overseas Chi Chinese community also speak it l k Mandarin. When a client from Taiwan requests Mandarin translation, she or he is actually asking for Traditional Chinese Chinese.• If a project manager from a US agency asks for Mandarin translation to be used in Mainland China, what she or he wants is Simplified Chinese. p• Therefore, the best way is to verify the target region, then offer the correct version from the above list and ask the client to confirm. In this way, you will never end up with a wrong version. ith i
  12. 12. Chinese Input & Coding• Pinyin and Wade-Giles y – Pinyin is the term used to refer to the system of writing Chinese words in the Latin (English) alphabet. This was developed in the 1950s in Mainland China to help increase literacy. – Wade-Giles is the older transliteration system for writing Chinese words in the Latin alphabet. For instance, Peking and Canton are Wade-Giles, but Beijing and Guangdong are the pinyin versions. Most specialists use pinyin to transliterate Mandarin Chinese. M d i Chi• In the computer realm, Simplified Chinese uses GB2312 encoding while Traditional Chinese uses Big5 encoding. g g g They have different Windows, operating systems, application software and technical terminology. – Translation departments of large corporations, therefore, treat the two versions as different languages and have separate teams to handle• Chinese support on Microsoft Windows. Windows 2000 and XP both have an excellent level of built in Chinese built-in support.
  13. 13. DBCS Encoding & Fonts• On English windows systems all the symbols found on the standard English systems, keyboard are represented internally as one-byte ASCII codes. In comparison, each Chinese character has to be represented internally using two bytes. Such a difference implies that in order to use Chinese within a Win32 application, that p particular application should be designed to handle two-byte encoded texts p p y pp g y properly. It is not the case that all the Windows applications come readily with such a capability.• Correct font settings to display Chinese characters in your computers: – Traditional Chinese Fonts by Platform • Windows - MingLiU, PMingLiU • Mac OS X - AppleLiGothiic Medium, Li Hei Pro, Apple LiSung, BiauKai, LiSongPro • Mac System 9 - Taipei, others – Simplified Chinese Fonts by Platform • Windows - SimSun, NSimSun, SimHei, others • Mac OS X - Hei, STHeiti Light and Regular, STFangsong, STKaiti, STSong, Kai • Mac System 9 - Beijing, others
  14. 14. Chinese vs.Japanese and Korean• While Chinese is treated equally with Japanese and Korean as an Asian language in the US translation market, the translation of Chinese is in reality much more demanding than that of Japanese and Korean. The main difference is in the translation of technical terminology.• In Japanese and Korean, all technical terms are transliterated using Katakana and H d Hangul. F example, " l For l "computer" will b phonetically spelled out as con " ill be h i ll ll d pu ta using Katakana (not conceptually translated) and it takes only seconds.• In Chinese, each term is conceptually translated into a specific word To make Chinese word. things more complicated, for the same English term, different translations are used in different scientific and engineering disciplines. You need to either know the particular translation used in that particular field, or know where to look it up if you are lucky enough to be able to get your hands on the right specialty dictionary.
  15. 15. Chinese Translation Peculiarities• Professional Chinese translators usually work with only one of the two Chinese versions, Simplified Chinese or , p Traditional Chinese.• Simplified Chinese was developed in Mainland China (and adopted in Singapore) as a way of simplifying the older system i order t i ld t in d to increase lit literacy. – As part of the simplification, several Traditional Characters were collapsed into one character in Simplified. – Although it is relatively easy to convert from Chinese Traditional g y y to Chinese Simplified, the reverse is not always true.• Traditional Chinese used in Taiwan is different from that in Hong Kong and also from that in Chinese communities in Europe and America.• Many companies treat them as two separate languages and have separate teams.• Always check with clients the target market to determine the correct version to use.
  16. 16. Certified Chinese Translation• A certified Chinese translation in China needs to be p o ded provided by a t a s at o co pa y, not by a ce t ed translation company, ot certified translator. The translation company is required to have credentials.• The requirements are: (1) valid business license showing the translation company is in the translation business; (2) a declaration that the translation is a faithful translation of the original document and stamped with company seal (likely with a director’s signature). (3) sometimes the translator is also required to include a duplicate copy of his certificate and signature as well well.• Documents to be used in Court and Immigration processes require certification by a translation company.• Translators are required to pass accreditation tests to obtain translation certificates. Certificates are not required for translators to work in a translation company.
  17. 17. Accreditation Tests• Translators Association of China (CTA) is a national association of translators Its members includes translators. individuals, educational organizations, translations companies and provincial translators association. Unlike ATA, CTA does have a accreditation program.• There are several accreditation tests in China, some run b l by local authorities, such as Sh l th iti h Shanghai h i Interpreting Accreditation Test and Fujian Translators Accreditation Test.• China Accreditation Test for Translators and Interpreters (CATTI) is the most authoritative translation and interpretation proficiency qualification accreditation test which is implemented throughout the country according to uniform standards and in compliance with the national system of professional qualification certificates. M lifi ti tifi t More and more t d translators l t take this test now.
  18. 18. How to find a qualifiedChinese Translator• Alth Although there is a huge number of Chinese h th i h b f Chi translators in the market, translation as a profession is still in its very earlier step. – Many part-time translators and language students, but very few freelancing and soho professionals – Translation is a new program in China’s universities, although every student is required to study a foreign language. – Most Chinese translators have never been trained to use CAT tools. – Most translators claim they can translate from Chinese into foreign languages, as it is not required in China that g g g , q only native speakers of target language can translate into his language.
  19. 19. Frank Wei• Professional English-Chinese translator with 20 years of experience i• Holds a MA degree in English-Chinese comparative studies• Founder and General Manager of Master Translation Services• Founder of Translation as Love (“ ” translation forum (http://www.translators.com.cn ), which is the most popular t t l translation f l ti forum in Chi i Chinese l language.• Visiting professor of Xiamen University of Technology• Member of China Translators Association (CTA)• Executive Director of CTA Fujian Province Division Please feel free to contact frank@mts.cn for any Chinese related questions. is
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