In this post will have a brief look at the Chinese language and how it’s gained prominence among languages used in finance and business around the world, and its competition with the English language.
It’s been predicted for quite a while that Mandarin could well become the main language of the global business world, replacing – or at least equalling – the dominance of the English language. Today, Mandarin Chinese is spoken by over 8 million people both within and outside China. Cantonese and Wu are southern Chinese dialects, but Mandarin is the primary spoken form of Chinese.
Will Mandarin Overtake English as the ‘Language of Business?’
It was believed until quite recently that Mandarin Chinese would probably replace English by the year 2017 as the primary language of business. This prediction was made due to the rapid and growing economic importance of China today, including its role in international business. At this point we don’t know to what extent Mandarin will surpass English, if at all, leaving it at the moment in second place worldwide. But we do know that proficiency in Mandarin is certainly becoming increasingly more valuable.
Quoting Documents in Chinese
For professionals working in the translation industry there are several details that one must be familiar with when working with texts from Chinese into other languages. Perhaps the first point to examine prior to commencing a project would be to ask ourselves how one should quote a document in Chinese – this also applies to other Asian languages such as Korean and Japanese – because the majority of translators (and indeed translation agencies) measure their word-count based not on the number of words but on the number of characters. Some words in Mandarin have two characters because the characters have separate meanings; which leads to the question: Should we charge for one word or two characters? Of course this difference will only have a greater or lesser impact depending on the size of the translation project.
At One Hour Translation we have a worldwide community of over 15,000 professional translators, covering 75 languages. This includes Mandarin translations. You can be assured that you’ll be assigned a professional and highly qualified translator for your Mandarin translation; with a countdown timer indicating when your translation is ready for delivery.