My Chinese Translations

chinese writingAbout 60% of my emails originate from China.  I get so many emails from China in fact, that I have written up some of my standard responses in Chinese (with the help of Google Translate of course).  I didn’t have to do this but I notice some of the emails I get are a little less well worded than others, which tells me that they are probably using a translation program to write them, or they aren’t as fluent in English as some others may be.   I figured taking the time to translate a response back into their native language would be a nice gesture, and a time saver for them not having to run it through translation software.

Something I noticed though, was interesting.   My standard response when I don’t want to review an item had always been: “No thank you, but keep me in mind for future reviews.”  But when I translated it to simplified Chinese….

“不,谢谢你,但让我记住了将来的审查。”

….and then translated it back to English it read:

“No thank you, but I remember a future review.” 

This does not make much sense.  They probably thought I was a bit batty.  Evidently translating back and forth between languages is not so cut and dry.  So it made me realize to get a understandable response I have to translate it from English to Chinese, then back to English to make sure it’s understandable – or so I thought.

What I have now is “No thank you , but give me an e-mail in the future, when you have more items for review.”

Which translates to: “不,谢谢你,但给我的电子邮件在未来,当你有审查多个项目。”

And it translates back to a somewhat imperfect “No, thank you , but to my e-mail in the future , when you have multiple items to review.”

This seem slightly more understandable.  I think they can get the idea that I want them to send me an email when they have other items.  I have tried multiple iterations but this one was the closest to intelligible that I could manage.

To all my Chinese partners on the other side of the globe, I’m sorry I butchered your language.   Which translates to: “对不起,我宰了你的语言” And translated back to English reads:  “I’m sorry, I could kill your language.”

*****

Edit:  No sooner was the proverbial ink dry on this blog post when one of my Chinese contacts helpfully corrected my bad Chinese translation:

translate

It is clear I’m never going to be good with the Chinese language, but thankfully I can get a little bit of help when I need it.

By the way… if you are reading this and reside outside the United States, and the English language is not something you are proficient in, I help foreign sellers on Amazon and elsewhere write their product descriptions in English.  I have experience in technical writing (Both SOP and ISO certified written documentation) as well as creative writing (I am a paid professional blogger for two online companies), and I also possess marketing/SEO experience.  Contact me if this is a service you are interested in receiving.   My rates are quite reasonable.

 

My blog archives have amazing vocabulary and sentence structure, see for yourself!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s