NUMBER OF CHINESE SPEAKERS
The common usage of “Chinese” usually refers to Mandarin, but other well-known dialects in North America include Cantonese, Minnan (Taiwanese), and Hakka.
CHINESE is by far the most-spoken language on the earth. It is also the fastest growing language in both number of speakers and economic value. More than 955 million people—or 14.4% of all humans—use it as their first language. That’s more than twice the second most widespread native language—Spanish—with its 405 million speakers and 6.15%. Ironically, though, it’s not easy to find Chinese language specialists who know the ins and outs of this important and unique language. This is partly because the language and culture is very different from the rest of the world and partly because the language itself is so complicated.
In truth, “Chinese” is not a completely correct term since it encompasses many—often mutually incomprehensible—dialects spoken by Chinese people. The common usage of “Chinese” usually refers to Mandarin, but other well-known dialects in North America include Cantonese, Minnan (Taiwanese), and Hakka.
The most familiar classification distinguishes the language between Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Most people in the translation industry will tell you that Simplified Chinese applies to mainland China (and Singapore) and Traditional Chinese is used in the rest of the world. This may be acceptable in common business, but linguistic professionals know that it’s a generalization. Even the Traditional Chinese used for the Hong Kong, Taiwan, and North American markets employs different terms and styles within each region. And more and more simplified words and characters are finding their way into North American usage as the number of people from mainland China begins to outnumber the other Chinese speakers.
At 1-StopAsia, we help our clients identify their target market or audience and then fine tune the language, writing system, style and tone of the Chinese they need. Our rigorous quality assurance procedure ensures that your translation is translated and reviewed by a native Chinese translator with a specific subject-matter specialty before it is proofread by a second translator. This guarantees that every detail of the document is checked, double-checked, and quality ensured.
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