Translations from Simplified Chinese by Fasttranslator
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Radicals play the same role in the lexicon of the Chinese language as does the alphabet in the West. Words and characters are not sorted alphabetically but must be looked up according to their radicals. In a good character dictionary, usually at the front or back of the book, radicals are listed according to the number of their brush strokes. Each radical has a meaning, and this is how a Chinese speaker determines in which semantic field a word belongs. Thus words like sea, pond or ocean are found under the radical for water. This logically comprehensible structure provides foreigners a straightforward way to search for the meaning of unfamiliar characters and becomes an indispensable aid in translation. But the logical connection between radicals and word meaning can also be more abstract – for example, the names of countries, all of which are located across the sea in the minds of the Chinese, also have a logical link to water. A character is more than just a radical, however. For this reason a translator should always be a native speaker of a language in order to produce an appropriate text in it. All our translators draw on years of experience in addition to being specialized in various fields. This enables us to find the right translator for every project. Put us to the test and contact us with your questions, or just send us your text either by email or by using the request form at the right.
Combinations of two or more characters are called composites. The radical occupies a fixed position where anyone familiar with the language can immediately find it. The other parts of the character are also characters that have meaning in their own right. Unfortunately, the whole is not always the sum of its parts, except in mathematics. A language begins with nouns. These are words that have a naming function and indicate an object, a visible signifier of meaning. But since a language can only assign one character to an object and since there is a finite number of possible characters, composite words quickly emerge. Groups of two or more nouns thus form a single word in which each element has its own meaning that differs slightly – or significantly – from the meaning of the composite.
Composites often use content-based connections in names. Western languages have rough equivalents to this – for example, adding the word ‘school’ or ‘university’ to indicate a specific kind of educational institution. Chinese forms similar combinations in much the same way, where the corresponding characters are included either before or after the main character. Composites created in this way are easy to understand and also easy to translate. Expressions naming individual scientific disciplines are much more difficult. Their composites are often very complex and the individual elements quite small due to the number of these. In addition, a translator is always faced with the major challenge of staying abreast of the many newly created words describing abstract concepts. This is not a problem for our professional translators. We always deliver high quality translations to you. Send us your text using the request form or by email and be the judge of our prompt and competent service. We look forward to hearing from you!
Difference between Traditional and Simplified Chinese
Below, you'll find a link to an interesting article explaining this.
Translator Café Article – (161 KB)
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