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Travel and Tourism Translation Chinese to English

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Travel and tourism translations is one of our preferred fields of translation. It's always a pleasure to remember places we have visited or review new ones. As can be seen below our staff have visited many destinations around the world and in China. Even if a requested travel translation is less familiar to us, it is good for us to learn new routes whilst still being experienced enough generally to achieve an excellent translation.


At least one translator has travelled to every province (some 30 plus) in China and certainly most big cities. We were even based in Beijing for over a year working for the 2008 Olympics. China is a huge country with a vast diversity of landscape from big deserts to the Himalayan heights. Being familiar with its topography, architecture and diverse people is a must for a correct translation to English. Imagine a translation describing the karst scenery around Guilin without having seen it. Found in a short band stretching north to south in Asia, these steep clusters of high limestone hills are mostly to be found in China. The inexperienced translator would be hard put to describe the white pock-marked cliffs rising hundreds of feet from the plains to be capped by a dome of green trees with sometimes a Chinese style temple with its curved-up eaves. Rivers and streams flow gently between and are unusually clear because of the limestone base.


In describing this karst scenery, the Chinese use the words 'Shan Shui'. This translates literally as 'mountain water'. We get a glimpse of the meaning as mountains and streams. However we would not describe the part of the Himalayas in China this way. The true translation of the Chinese to English would be 'picturesque'. In this way our translation would describe a scene of tranquility where the rivers were not swift or dirty, the mountains would be more like interesting hills, and there would be the green of plants and flowers all around.

Coupled with this our translators have either visited or lived in over 100 countries worldwide including all the big economies and are fluent in such diverse languages as French or Nepali. Further, we have been exposed to all the major cultures and religions of the world. Let us take a pair of examples for translation. 'Speakers’ Corner' in England compared with 'English Corner' in China. Translating these concepts is almost impossible for a translator who has not lived in both countries. For English speakers, 'Speakers’ Corner' would be the familiar idea where people can get up and have their say. By comparison, sitting around an evening 'English Corner' group in China learning English from a foreign volunteer once a week wouldn’t seem obvious from the start in English speaking countries.


Even closer to home, Chinese need a visa to visit Hong Kong, reunited with China already more than 10 years, while English speaking people do not. For the benefit of Chinese tourists every crosswalk in downtown Hong Kong has written on the road in big letters and arrows, 'look right', as Hong Kong drives on the left. North Americans would understand, but this is specifically for Chinese visitors who are also used to driving on the right on the mainland but inexperienced elsewhere. England and all its ex-colonies who drive on the left wouldn’t think twice of the idea, but displaying it so boldly appears odd. These markings solve a surely dangerous situation for some.


Let us translate another descriptive term 'Feng Shui'. A literal translation is 'wind water'. This makes no sense at all to English speakers. The closest one can get in English is 'vibe' which needs a descriptive adjective also. Good or bad will do. Feng Shui can describe both landscape and manmade structures and how they feel. It goes hand in hand with the Yin and Yang idea, the balance of the 'light and dark' of Asia.

To finish, all our translators have experience in translating parts of guidebooks and travel brochures, which we enjoy translating as I mentioned at the start. We have even translated successfully trekking routes inside and outside of China, both trekked by us and unfamiliar. Often we receive menus, recipes and travel blogs to translate as a continuation of this travel translation theme. Did you know fondue bourguignonne from France is the closest thing to Chinese hot pot outside of East Asia? We look forward to any translation of travel guides and tourism literature and advertising you send on to us and guarantee a great translation to English or Chinese.


                     For Chinese to English travel and tourism translations:
                    Travel guides  translation            Travel brochures translation 
                    Tourism literature translation       Tourism advertising translation 
                    Travel itineraries translation        Travel blogs translation 
                    Walking trails  translation            Trekking routes translation 


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