Translations into traditional Chinese

To ensure that your translation is accurately and carefully translated into traditional Chinese characters, we work exclusively with native-speaking translators who possess many years of experience. They have been raised with traditional Chinese characters and are familiar with the characteristics of the Chinese language and culture. They will always translate your documents with the correct tone.

Do you need official documents translated from traditional Chinese into English (or another language)? We specialise in these as well, from birth certificates to medical licenses. Just use the button to upload your document. Our system will show you pricing and quality options instantly.

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Why traditional Chinese?

As the name suggests, it’s an older writing system used to express the Chinese language. In modern-day China, they use something called simplified Chinese, which consists of simpler versions of the traditional characters based on historical forms – like 万 instead of 萬, both of which mean "ten thousand". Newly developed characters can be distinguished by shortened forms of the classifier characters or "radicals" and typical abbreviations for certain character combinations.

This simplification was necessary because the traditional Chinese characters were very complicated and difficult to learn. An example of this is the word "zhe," meaning "much too talkative." It consists of the character for "Dragon" 龍 four times! Because many people were incapable of remembering such complex characters and access to education was difficult, between 1956 and 1986, the simplified form was introduced with several reform waves in an effort to improve literacy in China. These reforms were then adopted in Singapore and Malaysia as well.

Why are the traditional characters still used today?

Some call the traditional characters “zhengtizi” because countries that still use them often have a political reason for doing so. That's why the traditional characters are referred to as the "correct" or "proper" script. Taiwan, in particular, uses the traditional characters, but Hong Kong and Macau still use them as well. Clearly, this has a lot to do with political entities wanting to differentiate themselves from the People’s Republic of China, since their government is not recognised as legitimate.

After the Second World War and a long Civil War between the Nationalists and Communists, which the latter won, the Nationalist government established itself in Taiwan.

Taiwan and its supporters see themselves as the only legitimate keepers of Chinese culture. Therefore, they insist that the traditional characters continue to be used. When translating, these politics should be in the back of one’s mind, as both the Taiwanese and Cantonese (in Hong Kong) languages tend to express their local dialects with newly created characters. This is not possible in simplified Chinese because new characters are only introduced by the Chinese government. These dialectical characters have become a huge challenge in the computer age and for translators, as they are hardly known outside of Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Translation pitfalls

Translating from English into Chinese is generally not a big problem. It’s just important to note that Chinese characters don’t have to be equivalent to the English translation, as many are situation-specific. The correct application is usually not in the dictionary. The translator has to learn them and gain the proper experience.

There is no definite difference between traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese translations. A difference would come when deciding whether to translate into Standard Chinese, local dialects, or slang used in Taiwan or Hong Kong.

Whatever the case, our vast network of professionals ensures that we have the perfect translator for your project. Let our project managers assist you by phone or email. We would be happy to provide you with a no-obligation quote.