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Celebrate Chinese Language Day!

Instituting Chinese Language Day

On April 20th, we’re celebrating Chinese Language Day!  According to Heather Landon, Director of Documentation Division of the UN Conference Department, “The United Nations Chinese Language Day was established by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010 to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity, as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization.”

Chinese Language Today

Chinese is one of six languages used as the official modes of communication by the United Nations, the others being Spanish, English, French, Russian, and Arabic.  Chinese is also widely used by other international and global governing bodies.

The Chinese people represent one of the oldest and most powerful civilizations on the planet, with thousands of years of sociopolitical history, literature, philosophy, art, and more. The Chinese language is so ancient that its origins are debatable, but the degree to which Chinese has evolved, split into dialects, reformed, changed deliberately or accidentally, cannot be argued. Chinese dialects are now spoken by over a billion people, or about one in seven people.

The Chinese market is an immensely powerful one, and your business might be in a prime spot to open itself to this market. For translation services, our company works with both written forms of Chinese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese depending on the target audience. Simplified Chinese was implemented by Mao Zedong in order for it to be more accessible to the ordinary person in China and literacy increased. By this time, the split between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan had happened and Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau kept the Traditional version of the written language. These two languages are very different now and cannot be mutually understood. It is necessary that a language services company help you make sure you have the right Chinese for the right audience otherwise your message will not be clear.

Which brings us to spoken Chinese. For interpretation services, our translation company needs also to understand the audience of the services in order to provide Mandarin, Cantonese or the required dialect of spoken Chinese of which there are eight major ones. The dialects are mutually unintelligible, and interpreters may actually be required between two Chinese people.

Chinese Language Translation and JR Language

At JR Language Translation Services, we regularly translate English to Chinese and Chinese into English. When the project’s target language is Chinese, Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese is selected depending on the audience of our clients and the locale where the content is going to be used.

Simplified Chinese is used in the PCR and is the more widely used. Simplified Chinese is exported by immigrants worldwide and the vast global economic presence of the PRC demands Simplified Chinese be integrated into business practices. Traditional Chinese is used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau and not as widely used.

Within those translation projects, below are some of the industries we serve:

  • Law. Chinese legal translation lets law firms take on international Chinese-speaking clients as well as domestic clients who understand Chinese best. For serious matters like legal proceedings, having an attorney with resources to serve your language group is a must.
  • Medicine. Medical translation and interpretation services are more vital than ever with the spread of viruses like COVID-19 around the world, patients going to other countries for treatment, and the sharing of medical research around the world.
  • Academia. The academic translation is used for everything from textbooks to transcripts to websites, marketing material, and safety information.  Academic translation often intersects with the other industries on this list.
  • Websites. Website Translation for Chinese Language and its market is important since there are millions of people consuming products and services in that language. The majority of online shoppers prefer to do so in a language they understand well.  Have a professional Chinese translator look over your website copy, product descriptions, and pricing. Contact your web host also, to make sure your site can handle all the new traffic.
  • Interpretation for all of these industries and more. Training presentation for a mining company based in Canada with a branch office in Singapore.  A Chinese-speaking doctor going to Riyadh to speak to a panel of colleagues about a new procedure.  An English-speaking attorney attending a deposition with their client from Tianjin.  There are different forms of Chinese interpretation available remote or on-site, simultaneous or consecutive, and each would require a specific dialect. Understanding the interpretation need is important to design the service that matches your need

How to Celebrate Chinese Language Day

To celebrate the institution of Chinese Language Day in 2010, the UN Headquarters in New York held a lavish exhibition of Chinese calligraphy and paintings, including a workshop by Master Calligrapher Fo Tao. During the three-day exhibition from April 14th to the 17th, Chinese music was played, lectures were given, and special events like tea ceremonies were held.  That was an enjoyable and accessible way to mix culture, customs, traditions with the Chinese language, all strong indicators of how Chinese culture has spread around the world.

Celebrate Chinese Language Day in your own way this year by taking in some Chinese culture.

  • Read a novel or historical account by a Chinese author. Think about the work done by the translator to make each word mean what the original author intended.
  • Cook up your own Chinese feast. You’ll find thousands of user-tested recipes online, and Chinese cuisine is so varied that there are dishes to suit every taste.
  • If there is a Chinese Language Day festival held near you, make sure to attend.
  • Learn some Chinese phrases. With one in seven people and rising speaking Chinese, learning some may help you and others around you in a big way.
  • Try to write in Chinese calligraphy. It is truly an art using specific brushes and inks! Learn about the history and evolution of the language, also where Simplified and Traditional Chinese are used.

Below you can see the difference in the strokes between the two written forms of Chinese for the simple sentences in English.

An Ongoing Appreciation

We value our Chinese translators, interpreters, and clients greatly. We are honored to provide language services that break communication barriers and allow people to trade, inform, help, govern, and teach.  Great ideas, expressions of goodwill, and hilarious stories are only as good as how well we communicate and share them.  We wish our Chinese and Chinese-speaking friends a happy Chinese Language Day and urge all to protect themselves at home and abroad.

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Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs. Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.