A good Chinese translator should have a keen knowledge of the 3000 characters that are commonly used in Chinese newspapers and magazines, and the 6000 characters that are employed by literature and technical writers. To date, there are actually 56,000 characters in the largest Chinese dictionary that a Chinese translation company or provider should be concerned about.
An effective Chinese translator also knows the number of syllables that each Chinese word has when spoken, and the corresponding Chinese character that each syllable should have. In addition, it knows which character can be used alone or can only be used if combined with other characters. The complexity of the characters proves that Chinese translation can only be performed by those who use the Chinese language for a significant period of time.
When translation, however, needs to be colloquial, the translation becomes more complex. For example, textbooks for self-study or classroom use should follow the language habit of the region from which they will be available. When doing a colloquial Chinese translation, a translator should remember to always consider the customs and linguistic styles of the target Chinese.
The Chinese use of its three central colors – red, black and white – is an essential part of the Chinese translation. Here is a summary of what each color means:
- Red is the most important color of all, because it symbolizes everything that is positive in life, such as family, wealth, happiness, good career, etc. Red is associated with good luck.
- Black, on the other hand, represents darkness, evil, worry, anxiety, hatred, suffering and everything else that is negative; thus, black should be avoided.
- White is between red and black, the balancer. It means purity and life. Believed to be a harmonizer of all elements and neutral, white is used in rituals and ceremonies, including funerals.
These colors play an important role in Chinese translation because translators usually base the color of their ink or paper on them.
Language constantly evolves and changes; when not used regularly, will be easily obsolete. A company that provides excellent Chinese translation services always stresses the importance of having translators residing in China as it knows that translators in the country are constantly informed about any developments in the language.
Any company that translates documents using translators whose primary non-Chinese language must be disregarded. Reputable Chinese translation companies or providers will produce works that are not only translated perfectly but also submitted on time and reasonably priced.