OUR RANGE OF SERVICES

CTS offers a wide variety of language services to support your business communications and operations. We work with customers of all sizes, across many industry sectors, delivering consistent quality in all of our services.

Interpretation

Chinese interpreting services for your face-to-face meetings and phone and video calls.

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Translation

Professional Chinese translations of your documents, websites, software, and videos.

english to chinese CHINESE TO ENGLISH
Subtitle

We'll create subtitles that are as funny or informational as the original programme.

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CTS IN NUMBERS

Our very first project was to translate a single-page leaflet for 20 GBP. Since then, we have helped over 18,000 businesses with our Chinese translation and interpreting services.

337M

Words translated since 1998

2.3M

Minutes transcribed since 2011

1.1M

Minutes subtitled since 2014

95.3K

Projects completed since 1998

CHINESE TRANSLATION COMPANY

As a leading Chinese translation company, we are well positioned to support your Chinese communications and operations in Mandarin and Cantonese. Our presence in the UK and China gives us a deep understanding of both markets, and it shows in the translations we produce.

LOCALISATION & BRANDING

We deliver effective Chinese translations that resonates strongly in your target market.

LONDON AND SHANGHAI

We are ready to assist you from our offices on both sides of the world.

OUR CSR PROGRAM

A small percentage of our profits goes towards panda conservation projects in China.

QUALITY ASSURANCE

We utilize cutting-edge technology to eliminate errors and improve accuracy.

TWO DECADES OF EXPERIENCE

We have been providing clients with Chinese translation services for over two decades.

QUALIFIED TRANSLATORS

Our certified Chinese translators are members of professional translation associations.

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CHINESE TRANSLATION SERVICES

CTS is a specialist provider of Chinese translation services. We help Western and Chinese companies enter each other’s markets through professional Mandarin and Cantonese translations. As a business, we are customer focused, this means that our team is empowered to do what’s right for our clients.

LEGAL

Our team of legal translators and ex-lawyers is the ideal partner for your projects.

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CERTIFIED

Certified translations of your documents, accepted by most UK authorities and banks.

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WEBSITE

Boost audience engagement and brand appeal by working with our localisation specialists.

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PATENT

Accurately translated patents that will help you protect your Intellectual Property.

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MARKETING

Companies of all sizes trust in our ability to promote their brand in global markets.

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BUSINESS

The world’s leading companies have chosen us for their business translation needs.

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FINANCIAL

Multinational companies relies on us for the translation of their financial documents.

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DOCUMENT

Professional Chinese translations of your business documents, on time and on budget.

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EXPERTS IN CHINESE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Here, we share our knowledge and insights on the Chinese language and culture, as well as a few translation and localisation tips to ensure your project is a success.

Proofread for Chinese Typos

The red wavy line under a spelling mistake in Microsoft Word is an iconic feature; however, it is not a functionality that is available for Chinese users. This is because there are no spelling mistakes in Chinese, only incorrect usage. The best way to eliminate typos is to hire a Chinese proofreader to read through the Chinese document on a word-for-word basis.

Text Expansion and Contraction

A page of English text contracts by 25% in volume once it is translated into Chinese. Expanded or contracted text can affect the layout and appearance of your website, book, or magazine, so it is important to work with a translation agency that can assist with the formatting of your documents post-translation.

Avoid Machine Translation

Despite recent breakthroughs in machine learning and neural networks, machine translations are still unable to produce native-sounding Chinese translations. This is because English and Chinese have vastly different sentence construction, grammar, and culture, having originated from unrelated language groups.

Cultural Preference

An effective localisation should take into account cultural preferences in colours, symbols, numbers, and societal norms and beliefs. For example, whilst the colour red is universal for “anger”, it also represents “luck” in Chinese culture. Therefore, a direct translation of the phrase “I’m seeing red” would be confusing to a Chinese audience, whereas a localisation which indicates anger would make sense.

Localising Numbers

Where large numbers are broken down by thousands and millions in English, the Chinese counts in a metric called Wàn which represents “ten thousand”. For example, one hundred thousand is localised as ten Wàn, or ten sets of ten thousand. Adopting the use of Wàn is a vital part of Chinese localisation.

Converting Currency

When localising your documents to Chinese, it is important to convert the currency to RMB or Chinese Yuan. China’s official currency is the Renminbi (RMB), and the Yuan is the unit of measurement. Both the Renminbi and the Yuan are often used interchangeably.

One of the most common questions we receive from clients, is whether they should translate their documents to Mandarin or Cantonese. This is technically incorrect as Mandarin and Cantonese are spoken languages, not the written form of Chinese.

Between 1950 to 1960, the government of China promoted the use of a simplified version of Chinese characters to boost literacy. As the name implies, Simplified Chinese is written with fewer strokes, making them easier to write compared to Traditional Chinese.

The introduction of Simplified Chinese characters faced strong resistance from the public and academics. Since then, Simplified Chinese has been officially used in Mainland China, Malaysia, and Singapore. Whereas Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan have continued to use Traditional Chinese characters.

Generally speaking, Chinese people can read both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. However, there are many expressions and terminologies that are used differently, so it is important to select the correct variant when translating your documents to Chinese.

Contrary to popular belief, Chinese is not a single language but instead, a group of languages spoken by the ethnic Han Chinese majority and many other minority ethnic groups.

It is estimated that there are seven to thirteen major groups of Chinese languages, each of which has its own variations and dialects. Mandarin, as the official language of China, is the most widely spoken with approximately 800 million speakers. This is followed by Min, Wu (Shanghainese), and Yue (Cantonese) with 75 million, 74 million, and 68 million speakers, respectively.

Whether you require Mandarin, Cantonese, or another Chinese language, our native translators are fully equipped to ensure your translations are perfectly localised.

  • Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world with more than 1.3 billion speakers.
  • Chinese is one of the oldest languages in the world. Oracle bone inscriptions dated to 1250 BC are the earliest records of written Chinese.
  • Chinese became an official language of the United Nations in 1946. It is one of the six official languages, along with Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
Appearance

Unsurprisingly, the biggest and most obvious difference is the appearance. Whilst English uses alphabets to help readers pronounce words, Chinese uses Hànzì which are written symbols that cannot be sounded out. Chinese characters do have components called radicals however, which can sometimes give advanced readers a rough idea of the meaning.

Tone

Chinese is a tonal language. This means that it uses pitch to distinguish word choice. In English, changes in pitch are used to emphasize or express emotion, but in Chinese, pitch indicates meaning. Mandarin has four basic tones and Cantonese has nine basic tones.

Sentence Structure

It is common to use long sentences in English to express ideas, after all, it adds flair, rhythm, and poetic power to writing. Chinese, on the other hand, does not depend on sentence structure for expression. Instead, it divides long sentences into shorter phrases separated by commas, leaving the use of Chéngyǔ (four-character idiomatic expressions) to bring life to the language.

Below are some of the most commonly searched for phrases in English and their Chinese translations.

English Simplified Chinese Translation Pinyin (Romanized Spelling)
Hello 你好 Nǐ hǎo
Thank you 谢谢 Xièxiè
Goodbye 再见 Zàijiàn
Good morning 早上好 Zǎoshang hǎo
I love you 我爱你 Wǒ ài nǐ
I miss you 我想你 Wǒ xiǎng nǐ
Good luck 祝你好运 Zhù nǐ hǎo yùn
Happy New Year 新年快乐 Xīnnián kuàilè
Happy birthday 生日快乐 Shēngrì kuàilè
Guanxi

A word you may often hear when doing business in China is “guanxi”. Many agree that this roughly means “relationship”, but a more literal translation is “to go through the back door”. It means an exchange of personal or business favour through relationships. Often misunderstood by Western counterparts as unethical behaviour or corruption, it is a core part of doing business in China which can often help open doors.

Politics

When it comes to doing business in China, it is important to understand the culture of the Chinese people. Whilst it is acceptable in the UK and other parts of the world to openly challenge or criticise government, the Chinese do not feel comfortable doing the same. In general, topics which are off-limits, include China’s territorial borders, Tibet and the Dalai Lama, Xinjiang, Tiananmen Square, Taiwan, Chairman Mao, and the Cultural Revolution.

Face

Like the English expression “saving face,” the concept of “face” in Chinese culture is also a metaphorical expression of avoiding embarrassment or humiliation. The Chinese will go through great lengths to protect face, even if it means telling an outright lie, denial, or feigning ignorance. In a business setting, it is expected that both parties would be able to read between the lines instead of openly disagreeing or making criticisms, to prevent a loss of face.

LANGUAGES WE COVER

Due to popular demand, we have expanded our services to include additional languages. Please get in touch if the language you require is not on our list, we may still be able to cover it.

FRENCH

GERMAN

ITALIAN

SPANISH

RUSSIAN

CHINESE

JAPANESE

KOREAN

FRENCH

GERMAN

ITALIAN

SPANISH

RUSSIAN

CHINESE

JAPANESE

KOREAN

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TESTIMONIALS

Our clients praise us for our accurate translations, personable service, and on-time delivery.
Here are some of the amazing things they have said about working with us.

5.0

Google average rating

We work hard at CTS to ensure our service will exceed your expectations.

We strive to provide you with high quality and hassle-free translation and interpreting services.

  • thumb jeremy hayes 5 star review  

    Working with Alex at CTS is a real pleasure, clear communication, fast and high quality work and he goes the extra mile to make life easier for his customers. I... read more

    9/01/2021
    thumb Viktoria Neményi 5 star review  

    I have had the pleasure to work with CTS on a professional and personal level and in both ways, they respond fast, they are cooperative when it comes to including... read more

    8/13/2021
    thumb Vitor Ducatte 5 star review  

    I've requested Waterstone's services for Portuguese and French to English translations of official documents. Awesome experience: fair prices, fast (couple of days) and great customer service - Alex is responsive and... read more

    8/06/2021
  • thumb Murray Owen 5 star review  

    Waterstone Translations has been a trusted partner for the last two years. Alex is always very responsive, turnaround time is fast, and rates are very competitive. I'm very happy to... read more

    2/03/2021
    thumb Grace Liu 5 star review  

    I had a small quick job that had to be done in a few days. I wasn't sure if Waterstone would be interested in this job. But Alex &... read more

    2/02/2021
    thumb Meiying Lin 5 star review  

    I am very happy about the service. It's very efficient too.

    1/13/2021
  • thumb Liam Flaherty 5 star review  

    Great service provided by Alex & the team. Had an urgent document that needed translating 15 minutes before COB on last day before Chinese new year, the team worked o/t... read more

    4/03/2020
    thumb Ayreen Irwin 5 star review  

    We required a birth certificate to be officially translated for a government application. Waterstone Translations provided fast, professional and personable service. They were prompt to respond to my initial query... read more

    10/30/2019

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CTS stands for Chinese translation services. We are a UK-based Chinese translation company with two decades of experience providing English and Chinese translations of documents, websites, software, and videos for businesses with operations in Chinese-speaking markets.

Yes. We started as specialists in Chinese translations, but we now provide translations for all the major languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and of course, Chinese!

We charge on a per-word or per-page basis because it is the fairest and most accurate way to calculate fees. After receiving and checking your documents, our team will send you an exact quote and delivery date. We’re fully transparent in our pricing, there are no surprises, and all costs are included and upfront.

The answer depends on which market the translations will be used in. If your audience is in Mainland China, Malaysia or Singapore, your documents will need to be translated into Mandarin (Simplified Chinese). On the other hand, if your audience is in Hong Kong or Macau, your documents should be translated into Cantonese (Traditional Chinese).

When it comes to doing business in China, building good relationships or “guanxi” is key. Furthermore, China’s “face” culture is incredibly unique, understanding what it is and how to deal with it will greatly improve your chances of success. Additionally, the Chinese people are huge believers in creating win-win situations, so an agreement which can give both sides a win, would be extremely favourable.

Translation is the process of accurately converting written text from one language into another. Localisation, on the other hand, is the process of adapting a translation to a target market so that it is linguistically and culturally appropriate. Contrastingly, interpretation is the process of translating spoken words.

Certified translations, or ‘official’ translations are documents that have been signed, stamped, and dated by a translator to state that it is a true representation of the original text. Generally speaking, any document that is used for official purposes that is not in the language of the intended country will require a certified translation.

There have been many occasions where a client needed to revise the original document during the translation process, which caused delays to the project and increased costs. Before you send a document for translation, make sure that it is the final version. Furthermore, if you have preferred terminology or would like us to follow a glossary and style guide, please send it to us before the project begins.

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