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Common Problems Encountered with English to Chinese Website Translation

Common Problems Encountered with English to Chinese Website Translation


Translating an entire website is never an easy job. It can be daunting and with so much content to work on it is always expected for a few things here and there to not be as polished as desired. Some agencies do excellent work where the issues are rare and few in between while others commit errors all the time.


You should be prepared to encounter these problems ahead of time so you’ll know how to properly deal with them in case they do occur. Here is a quick look at some of the more common problems you will most likely experience when translating your website from English to Chinese.


Literal English to Chinese Translation

Cultural differences can be a major barrier when translating English to Chinese and this is more obvious when certain words or phrases or literally translated. In the US you would see a sign saying “Restroom for People with Disabilities” and if translated literally into Chinese then the Mandarin phrase would often read as “Toilets for Deformed Human” and such.


Every word and phrase needs to be double-checked. This is because many translating agencies use computer assisted translators or CATs that automatically translate the text. It is very important to employ human workers for quality assurance.


Machine translation gives out the worst output but it does speed up the process. A good balance is to combine both machine translation and manual human translation.


Coding Errors

Translating agencies also work on a website’s coding. This is because the website’s format, visual layout, and database need to be edited to properly display the new Chinese content. It’s important that everything is altered or else the web pages will load into a mountain of unreadable mess.


Simple coding errors could lead to a website that fails to properly load. Graphical content might not be available or certain links in Chinese might not be displayed properly.


You can expect a lot of coding errors to occur, especially during the early stages of translation. However, there are times when the coding can turn into an avalanche of problems.


This problem increases when the translating agency is only experienced in one type of website coding process. If they specialize only HTML but aren’t equipped for dynamic PHP coding or mobile coding then you can expect a lot of issues to arise if you force them to give it a try.


Lack of Chinese Expertise

Believe it or not but there are translating agencies that aren’t that great in Chinese. Some are translating agencies that say they specialize in eight or even ten different languages but there is always going to be one of those languages they aren’t that good in. At some point, that language might be Chinese.


This could lead to improperly translated graphic content or improper use of Chinese characters. Sometimes the mistakes can be funny and forgettable but there could be glaring mistakes that native Chinese would consider insulting.


English to Chinese website translation is quite different from the traditonal translation. For details of our Chinese web solution such as English to Chinese website translation, Chinese web design, and Chinese SEO and eMarketing, please contact us.




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