Chinese Translation Services Specialists Explain the Key Dialects
Mandarin is spoken by about 955 million people and natively by 918 million. The variant is most widely spoken in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. Almost any Chinese translation services specialist can translate into and from this dialect.
Cantonese (or the Yue dialect) the fourth-largest Chinese language with 70 million speakers, is the official language of Hong Kong, Macao, and the lingua franca of a vast portion of Guangdong province that includes the Pearl River Delta, China’s economic powerhouse.
Although it counts fewer speakers, its importance far outweighs that of the second and third most spoken dialects, the Wu and the Min, due to the dialect being the language of everyday life not only of the region’s economic capital of Hong Kong and the gambling mecca of Macau, but also of Guangdong province, the region responsible for 11% of the Chinese economy. A translator specializing in professional Chinese translation for business can certify the accuracy of their work in this dialect. The importance of Cantonese when your market includes Hong Kong, Macao, and, to some degree, Southern China, is that the vast majority of the population remains much more comfortable reading texts written in the style of the region. Any marketing materials destined specifically for Hong Kong or Macao must be localized with Cantonese Chinese translation services.
The Wu and Min dialects each have about 75-80 million native speakers. The Wu dialect is mainly spoken in the Eastern Chinese provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu as well as in Shanghai. The Min dialect’s speakers are principally clustered in Taiwan and in China’s Fujian and Hainan provinces. At variance with Cantonese speakers, the vast majority of Wu and Min speakers is fluent or at least conversational in Mandarin and is comfortable with Mandarin-styled content. Thus, if you hire our agency to provide a translator or interpreter for English to Chinese translation service, Mandarin will help you communicate effectively with people in this area.
The Gan, Jin, Hakka, and Xiang dialects are the next four largest, at less than 50 million native speakers each and are almost exclusively spoken in individual regions of China. There is generally no need to consider content written in the style of the region unless your program specifically targets one of these regions or groups.