The Best Online Chinese Translator 

Many dreams of going on vacation once in a while, especially to beautiful places like China. Sadly, the language barrier is a pain in the neck and significantly affects the quality of communication. That is why a translator comes in handy in these situations. However, what defines the best Chinese translator?  

Criteria for The Best Chinese Translator

1. Accuracy

Nobody wants to be a joke when we want to express our thoughts clearly. That is why a translator must accurately hit the nail on the head for communication purposes. Since Chinese is more complicated in terms of word meaning, structure, and usage, translating is much more difficult due to its long history and cultural heritage. 

2. Convenience 

An app or website’s convenience is a cherry on top. It eases the user experience in translating hassle-free. But, on the other hand, it’s a nuisance if a translating medium demands personal data, over-promoting for subscriptions, or limited functions. So, find a Chinese translator that is straightforward and provides speedy translation.

3. Fitting 

Using the correct words for translation of a language shows how language proficient a speaker is. Some words can be replaced to increase the fluency and feasibility of a sentence rather than directly translating from the original language. Direct translating can be hilarious at times, so practicing fitting words is encouraged for this matter. 

Examples: 

I) What goes around comes around.
Direct translation: 周围发生的事情发生。(Things around happens)
Pinyin: Zhōu wéi fā shēng de shì qíng fā shēng
Better translation: 善有善报恶有恶报。
Pinyin: Shàn yǒu shàn bào è yǒu è bào

ii) Burning the midnight oil. 
Direct translation: 燃烧午夜油。(Burn midnight oil)
Pinyin: Rán shāo wǔ yè yóu
Better translation: 熬夜工作。
Pinyin: Áo yè gōng zuò

iii) It takes two to tango.
Direct translation: 需要两个人跳探戈。(It takes two people to dance the tango)
Pinyin: Xū yào liǎng gè rén tiào tàn gē
Better translation: 一个巴掌拍不响。
Pinyin: Yī gè bā zhang pāi bù xiǎng

iv) Every cloud has a silver lining. 
Direct translation: 黑暗中总有一线光明。(There’s always a ray of light in the dark)
Pinyin: Hēi àn zhōng zǒng yǒu yī xiàn guāng míng
Better translation: 山穷水尽疑无路,柳暗花明又一村。
Pinyin: Shān qióng shuǐ jìn yí wú lù, liǔ àn huā míng yòu yī cūn

Although we are using the exact Chinese word to translate the English proverb, we can observe a huge difference when translating it. It is because most of the time, there is a corresponding proverb or expression in Chinese to indicate the English proverb accurately. Using word-by-word direct translation may suggest other irrelevant or incorrect translations.


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4. Appropriateness And Practicality

As mentioned above, translating Chinese is challenging, and we don’t want to overdo the work. Some Chinese words can be translated into different meanings too. It may cause them to be harder to translate directly from another language. Let’s see an example.

Example:  

方便 (Fāng biàn)

1. Convenient.
E.g. 如今,使用电子钱包支付会更加方便
Pinyin: Dāng jīn shǐ yòng diàn zǐ qián bāo zhī fù huì gèng jiā fāng biàn
Translation: It is much more convenient to pay with an e-wallet nowadays. 

2. Strapped or short of money.
E.g., 我现在手头不方便
Pinyin: Wǒ xiàn zài shǒu tóu bù fāng biàn
Translation: I’m short of money right now.

3. Make an exception.
E.g., 能不能行个方便
Pinyin: Néng bù néng xíng gè fāng biàn
Translation: Could you make an exception this time?

4. To the lavatory.
E.g., 我想方便一下。
Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng fāng biàn yī xià
Translation: I have to go to the bathroom. 

It is how two letters can create numerous meanings. Hence, we must use an appropriate translator to translate correctly.  

Common Chinese Translator

Learning a new language is a fun and interesting journey. Even though Chinese is considered a complex language, it is not impossible to master it. Many non-native speakers may initially find it hard to pronounce and speak Chinese, but perseverance spells success. 

As the Chinese language has been used extensively over the years, so is the English-Chinese translator. Here are some of the suggested Chinese translator apps and websites.  

1. Google Translate

It isn’t surprising as most users can easily access Google. Besides, the first to be seen popping out among all searched results would be Google Translate. Even though Google Translate is notorious for giving quite direct translations to laugh at, we can still obtain accurate translations generally. 

Google Translate also offers several cool features in the App version. For instance, translating the text from an image or a conversation, instant translations using the phone’s camera, offline translating, and many more.      

2. Reverso

Reverso has a website and an App. You can search for a word or phrase in either Chinese or English to get the other language’s translation. 

Reverso also offers a variety of day-to-day examples to provide an enhanced illustration to its users. It also suggests synonyms be correctly used under specific situations.

3. DeepL Translator  

DeepL Translator is convenient, especially for students and office workers. It can translate PowerPoint slides and documents in just a few seconds. 

The translation of this App and website is also accurate in all aspects. So, it is suitable for translating formal documents. It also offers a dictionary function for both languages for a deeper understanding. 

Final Thoughts

In short, the listed translator suggestion Apps and websites above have pros and cons. Combining the usage of all the favored translators is advised to get the best of both worlds. These translators are also gradually enhancing their data and hopefully become more useful for non-native speakers. 

We hope that more advanced technology can be implemented to achieve a more mature translating experience shortly. However, I think the best Chinese translator is always us humans, as we can eventually master any language and overcome difficulties over time. 

That’s why Maayot is here—— to teach you the Chinese language via daily bite-sized stories. So subscribe to us or read our articles below to learn Mandarin fun and interestingly!

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