Don’t Let Your Message Be Lost in Translation

Related entries: Business Issues, General, Services

Have you ever been at a loss for words when addressing an audience in China – or when trying to make sense of translated Chinese? A recent report suggests why this might be (assuming you have not been a diligent student of Chinese).

It is estimated by the Training Center of China International Publishing Group the that the translation and interpreting sector in China employs around 500,000 people, but that only about 60,000 can be considered high-quality professionals.

There are nearly 3,000 registered translation firms in China, with more than 400 in Beijing alone, according to the Translators Association of China. However, it is noted that many are “briefcase companies” with no real depth of resources.

To help address the problem, The Ministry of Education made English a compulsory course in most elementary schools, and a national translation testing system was launched in 2003.

To tackle the challenge of communicating, businesspeople need to find experienced resources who understand not only the language in question, but also the business aims and culture of the parties, otherwise key messages may get lost. Alternatively…learn Chinese. The podcasts at are a good place to start experimenting, or to brush up on rusty mandarin skills.

China Business Services provides high-quality translation and interpreting services, including expertise in a variety of sectors. Please contact us for more details

China reports lack of translators, interpreters
Xinhua – China
20 (Xinhuanet) — Despite the growing popularity of foreign language study throughout all age groups, China still suffers from a major lack of competent …

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