Translations for the Asia-Pacific region

Modern Asian languages go back much further than their contemporary European counterparts, with examples of Chinese dating from 3000 BC and Japanese dating from 700 BC.

Asian languages differ significantly from those originating in Europe. Grammar, writing systems and even cultural norms are distinct in Asian languages, and require highly skilled translators to ensure meanings are kept intact and messages are correctly presented to their audience.

To complicate matters further, Asian languages are far less interrelated. For example, Japanese has virtually no linguistic connections with Chinese except for the use of Chinese characters and the adoption of some ancient Chinese phrases.

Then, of course, there are the writing systems. Only Vietnamese is currently written using a modified form of the Roman script. Chinese uses characters, Japanese uses a mix of Chinese characters and phonetic scripts, Korean uses the Hangul script and Thai, Khmer, Burmese, and Laotian each use their own phonetic alphabets.

At Blue South, we work only with expert translators who live in location and know the target language inside and out, so you can be confident your message won’t get ‘lost in translation’. Our most 

frequently requested languages for the region are Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

How do we translate place names?

The documents we translate for the Asia-Pacific region often include place names, such as Christchurch, Te Anau and Auckland. To translate these, our translators select characters which result in the best phonetic translation – that is, they match the sound of the place name. However, care must be taken to ensure that the characters selected, each of which has its own meaning, do not result in a unsuitable, irrelevant, or negative word.

For translators unfamiliar with the correct pronunciation of a name, such as Whakatane, Armagh Street or Lake Wakatipu, we use proof-readers based in New Zealand to ensure that the final result is correct.

How do I get started?

To discuss your translation requirements contact us today.