Professional Cantonese Translation Services


All of our Cantonese translators are specialists in their chosen field. They will all have a minimum of five years’ experience and will hold a Diploma, BA or MA in translation. What this ensures is that whether you need medical notes, legal documents, manufacturers’ specifications, or any other high-priority, high-importance document translating, they will capture both technical jargon and nuance accurately so you can be confident that what is meant is actually conveyed.

Things to consider:

  • Like other forms of Chinese, Cantonese is almost invariably written in ideograms; small and stylised pictures which denote a particular word or concept. There are two basic groups of these ideograms, traditional and simplified, which are used by the languages grouped together as “Chinese”.
  • Cantonese is the primary dialect in much of Guangdong province in southern China and, in particular, in Hong Kong. It is the dialect most likely to be encountered outside China itself, thanks to Hong Kong’s historic role as a trading gateway. It is also the dialect of Chinese used in Macau.
  • In Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, traditional ideograms are still used, while elsewhere in China, simplified ideograms are favoured. The set you wish to be translated into will depend on what demographic or demographics you intend to read your text.
  • Because of the nature of ideograms, a translation from English to Chinese will usually result in around 30% more text. This should be taken into account when laying out your brochure or website. Similarly, Chinese documents translated into English will be significantly shorter in terms of numbers of characters or words, though not necessarily the amount of space used.
  • One of the things that keeps Cantonese alive is its lively and evolving use of colloquial slang. A native translator is required to ensure that this challenge is correctly navigated.

Some interesting facts about Cantonese:

  • While there are many dialects of Chinese, there are only two which still receive the recognition of use in State-approved media. Mandarin is the language of government, but for the duration of the twentieth and twenty-first century, Cantonese has defended its position as the primary trade language.
  • Cantonese is spoken as a badge of pride and individual identity in Hong Kong, which retains the use of Cantonese as its state language and the language of political activism.
  • Cantonese may also be referred to as Guangdong language, Guangfu, and Metropolitan Cantonese.
  • Cantonese popular music, commonly known as ‘Cantopop’ is so popular throughout Chinese-speaking Asia that Mandarin pop singers are encouraged to learn the dialect to performance standard in order to increase sales.
  • The art of Cantonese film-making was kept alive in Hong Kong, which produced stars like Bruce Lee, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan and Jet Li. One of the most successful Chinese-language films of all, The Emperor And The Assassin, is a fusion of the style of Cantonese cinema with State backing and Mandarin dialogue, representing its importance to the country as a whole.

 

"It's been absolute pleasure working with you. We received an outstanding and fairly priced service. You are our absolute favourite translation agency and we look forward to working with you again in future."

Research Manager Research Agency

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