Chinese Translation and Localization
TrueLanguage offers timely, precise Chinese translation and localization services. We can handle virtually any type of translation project. Our team of professional linguists includes native speakers of Chinese and certified subject matter experts who can perfectly translate material following your exact specifications. We use cutting-edge translation and project management tools and follow ISO 9001 standards, guaranteeing efficient, high-quality, and authentic results.
Language Facts and Information
Chinese is a complex and tonal language with a rich history and cultural significance. It is the most spoken language in the world, with over 1.2 billion native speakers. Chinese is the official language of China, Taiwan, and Singapore and is also spoken in other parts of Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. The language features a unique writing system of characters that are pictographic and ideographic in nature. Chinese is known for its four tones, which can completely change the meaning of a word. Learning Chinese can open up a world of cultural and business opportunities, as China is one of the world’s largest economies and a major player in international trade.
Chinese Facts and Trivia
Where it’s Spoken
With the growing importance and influence of China’s economy globally, Mandarin instruction has been gaining popularity in schools throughout East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Western world. Besides Mandarin, Cantonese is the only other Chinese language that is widely taught as a foreign language, largely due to the economic and cultural influence of Hong Kong and its widespread usage among significant Overseas Chinese communities.
There are currently 929 million people using Chinese as their first language. Also, according to studies from 2022, there are more than 198.7 million people who use Chinese as their second language, having a total number of 1.2B speakers worldwide.
Impact of Chinese Worldwide
The Chinese language has evolved beyond its ancient roots and is now a rapidly developing commercial lingua franca in Asia. China recognizes the importance of promoting its language through public diplomacy, especially through the 51 million overseas Chinese who serve as platforms for these efforts. Host countries like Australia and New Zealand see the value of Chinese as a business language. Beijing has implemented various initiatives to promote Chinese language and culture worldwide, including through the National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, Hanban. Hanban oversees two important programs: the Confucius Institutes (CIs) for universities and colleges, and Confucius Classrooms (CCs) for primary and secondary schools.
Chinese, also known as Sinitic, is a branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family consisting of hundreds of local varieties, many of which are not mutually intelligible. Variation is particularly strong in the more mountainous southeast of mainland China. The varieties are typically classified into several groups: Mandarin, Wu, Min, Xiang, Gan, Hakka, and Yue, though some varieties remain unclassified. These groups are neither clades nor individual languages defined by mutual intelligibility but reflect common phonological developments from Middle Chinese.
Like any other language, Chinese has absorbed many loanwords from other cultures. Most Chinese words are formed from native Chinese morphemes, including words describing imported objects and ideas. However, direct phonetic borrowing of foreign words has continued since ancient times. Chinese varieties differ most in their phonology and, to a lesser extent, in vocabulary and syntax. Southern varieties tend to have fewer initial consonants than northern and central varieties but more often preserve the Middle Chinese final consonants. All have phonemic tones, with northern varieties tending to have fewer distinctions than southern ones. Many have tone sandhi, with the most complex patterns in the coastal area from Zhejiang to eastern Guangdong.
Origin and History
The earliest examples of Chinese (Old Chinese) are divinatory inscriptions on oracle bones from around 1250 BCE in the late Shang dynasty. The next attested stage came from inscriptions on bronze artifacts of the Western Zhou period (1046–771 BCE), the Classic of Poetry, and portions of the Book of Documents and I Ching. Middle Chinese was the language used during the Northern and Southern dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th through 10th centuries CE). It can be divided into an early period, reflected by the Qieyun rime book (601 CE), and a late period in the 10th century, reflected by rhyme tables such as the Yunjing constructed by ancient Chinese philologists as a guide to the Qieyun system.
Since the Chinese language is constantly evolving, you must have informed and highly experienced professional linguists to produce accurate and culturally appropriate translations. At present, Chinese features approximately 378,103 words and adopts numerous new words and phrases each year. Will you need a Chinese translation that will easily be understood in all regions where the language is spoken? Or do you instead require a regionally specific translation? Select either our TrueGlobal™ or LocalVoice™ approach as appropriate.
Consider a Partnership with TrueLanguage
Are you looking for a partnership with a language service provider? If so, you may wish to consider TrueLanguage. We offer ISO-Certified state-of-the-art business translation services that are on budget, on time, and to your exact specification. Every time. Or perhaps you’re just looking for a cost-free, no-obligation estimate for your next translation project. Either way, we’d love to hear from you!