As a global business, expanding into the Chinese economy is very important. If you don’t you’re likely to find yourself on the wrong side of history. China is home to the world’s second largest economy according to nominal GDP — about $15 trillion. If you use Purchasing Power Parity, China’s economy is actually the largest in the world, at about $24.2 Trillion with the United States at close second with $20.9 Trillion.
At Hansem Global, we’re professionals who can help smoothen your company’s entrance into the Chinese market through our professional simplified Chinese translation and localization services.
Simplified Chinese is used as opposed to Traditional Chinese. The distinction between simplified and traditional Chinese comes up when trying to write Chinese. Spoken Chinese is the same whether it is simplified or traditional Chinese. Of course, there are dialects like Cantonese, Hakka, and so on, but when it comes to written Chinese, it’s either simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese.
Traditional Chinese is what the Chinese civilization has been using in their writing for thousands of years. However, writing traditional Chinese is very difficult. It has about 50,000 characters. This is humongous if you compare it with the relatively simple 26 letters of the English alphabet. This complexity of writing traditional Chinese was a problem for the literacy of China, especially in the modern age, and there were moves to make it less complicated. This was what led to simplified Chinese.
In 1956, the Chinese Communist Party decided to introduce simplified Chinese in order to make it easier for Chinese citizens to get more literate. There was a further update in 1964, and one in 1977. The 1977 update was unpopular and as such, it was scrapped in 1986. Simplified Chinese is used in mainland China and Singapore. This means that about 1.4 billion people make use of simplified Chinese. The traditional Chinese system is still in use in places like Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia.
So, if you’re looking to break into the mainland Chinese Market, it would be best for you to get professional simplified Chinese translation and localization services.
The difficulty with learning Chinese comes with learning how to write it. This was the reason why the communist party introduced the Simplified Chinese writing system. However, although this has made it easier to write Chinese, it is still a very complex task that has to be done delicately. For instance, while traditional Chinese has about 50,000 characters, simplified Chinese has about 8,105 characters. It is possible for you to make it easier to learn the characters if you memorise about 214 radicals. However, this is still a lot, as it is about 8 times the 26 English alphabets. Chinese characters are also complex to pronounce. Unlike the Latin characters, Chinese characters are not pronounced the way they are written. So, if you see a strange Chinese character, you have to look it up in the dictionary. That is even made more difficult as you can’t even spell the Romanized version of Chinese (Pinyin) because you don’t know how to pronounce the words just from their characters.
Thankfully, with a professional service like Hansem Global, you don’t have to go through the esoteric techniques needed to navigate through the Chinese character system.
There are parts of simplified Chinese grammar that are easy to grasp — like the tenses, as Chinese words have only one form for present or past tense. However, there are other areas of Chinese Grammar that are quite complex.
For instance, when measuring something, there are different words, depending on what you’re measuring. In English, for instance, you can use “one” to measure a dog, chicken, or shoes. Chinese has different words for measuring different things. Dog, shoe, and Chicken have different measuring words, and this goes for a host of other nouns. In Chinese, you have to memorise these contextual measuring words.
Another complex aspect of Chinese grammar are the words for “Yes” and “No.” Unlike English, there are different words for Yes and No, and they depend on the context of the situation. Once again, you have to memorise the words you’ll use for each of the contexts. You don’t want to use the wrong word for “Yes” when you’re trying to agree to a multi-million dollar contract.
Like most other Asian languages, Chinese is also a tonal language. This means that different words have different meanings depending on the tone of their pronounciation. This is especially important if you’re trying to translate from the latinized version of Chinese (Pinyin) to simplified Chinese. Knowing the right tone to use depends on the context of the situation. You can only be sure of this if you’ve been a long time speaker and are literate in the Chinese language. Which we are!
All over the internet, there are different lists on the most difficult languages to learn. On any of these lists, Chinese is usually among the top five. According to the Foreign Service Institute of the United State Department of States, learning Chinese takes roughly 2200 hours, about 1.6 years. As a global business, many things can happen within a year. As such, you can’t slow down business operations because you want to learn simplified Chinese. Thankfully, with Hansem Global, you don’t have to put your business on hold. With our professional Simplified Chinese localization and translation services, we can make the process of pivoting to China smooth, while you focus on growing your business.
If this sounds nice to you, feel free to get in touch with us for your professional simplified Chinese translation and localization services.