Translate your website

Translate your website

Translate your website

Should you translate your website into Chinese?

Chinese language on the internet check list

Our recommendation, you should not translate your website into Chinese for the internet in China;

  • Your business website needs to remain foreign-looking so giving confidence that your products are genuine.
  • The overheads translating your website into Chinese will be high and ongoing maintenance will slow down adding and updating information.
  • Chinese people reading your website can and will use translation options in their browsers to translate your website as and when required.
  • We do recommend translating the SEO data.



Performance Improvement


Do Nothing

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No change


Automatic translation

More information

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Automatic translation can be inadequate. The Chinese reader will not know it is an automatic translation and reflect poorly on your business

A few days’ work

Add additional information page in Chinese to your existing internet site.

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Gives the Chinese an insight into your business and increase your Chinese search engine ranking

A few days’ work

SEO data translation. For more information, Chinese SEO

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Increase your Chinese search engines ranking

A few days’ work and on-going maintenance

Add Search engines results page (SERP) to webmasters in Chinese

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Increase your Chinese search engine ranking’s

A few days’ work and on-going maintenance

Multi-media translation, e.g., Subtitles, etc.

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Allows a better understanding of your media content

A few days’ work

Key products and services translation

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Increase your Chinese search engine ranking’s

A few days’ work and on-going maintenance

Create marketing website and point it back to your local internet contents

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Active feed for the Chinese search

One week's work and on-going maintenance

Fully translate your website

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Increases your Chinese search engine ranking’s

One month's work and high on-going maintenance


Chinese language Background

The Chinese language is one of the most confusing subjects to resolve in publishing/selling on the Chinese market.

Chinese different language types

For the basis of trading in China, there are three groups of languages:

  • Local language - most cities/regions have a local language. In most cases, this is not a local dialect. They are languages in their own right. While the characters are shared between the words in most cases, simplified Chinese, in the same way, we share the Latin characters between most of the European languages.

People between cities/regions will not understand each other’s languages.

  • Mandarin is the primary language of China. The emperors of China started the everyday use of a single Chinese language and fully implemented by Chairman Mao. “One country needs one common language."

Mandarin was used as it was already the language of government.

  • Hong Kong, Taiwan, and many areas of southern Asia use traditional Chinese for their local language; e.g., Cantonese and Taiwanese. These two languages share a common written language but is spoken differently in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Cantonese is spoken in areas world where Chinese people emigrated before the 1930s, e.g., California, USA.

Most people in China speak Mandarin, often their local language and increasing numbers, English as part of their international language education at school and college. It is estimated that more than 100 million people are learning English in any given year.

There are three forms of written Chinese language, partly covered in the above:

  • Traditional Chinese – The original written language of China. The handwriting of the Traditional Chinese language is an art and takes many years to perfect.
  • Simplified Chinese – is the written language of China.
  • Romanisation systems – There have been many ways developed for writing Chinese in Latin (European) characters. It is not practical to have a keyboard for Chinese characters. There are too many of them.

Pinyin is the standard that has been adopted by the internet. Most Chinese people under the age of 40 years use Pinyin. If you were schooled over 35 years ago, you would have been taught one of the other systems (like Pinyin).

Pinyin enables you to type in Latin characters and then select on your PCs, mobiles, etc., the appropriate Chinese Character from a drop-down list. While this may sound like a slow why of typing, it is speedy, possibly faster than typing English. To learn more about Pinyin; there is an excellent summary on the BCC website

Automatic translation to Chinese

Most browsers for the last five years have a built-in APP to translate internet content.

Chinese people are not put off by internet content in a foreign language. The translation software used in China, in browsers, mobiles, etc., has been developed to translate Chinese to and from most international languages.

Whatever languages are on your internet site, do not use automatic translation. The Chinese reader will not know that they are reading an automatic translation. Your Chinese reader will see a poor translation content which will reflect poorly on your company.

The Chinese reader will use an automatic translation as when needed, e.g., Baidu automatic translation. In doing so, the Chinese reader will know that the Chinese language presented has been automatically translated and does not reflect poorly on your company.

If time and resources allow, have a Chinese speaker read your internet content in Chinese using Baidu automatic translation. Check for any significant issues in automatic translation Chinese language. Where major translation issues are identified in the Chinese language, look at changing your local language content.

Automatic translation will not help your ranking in the Chinese search engines.

Who do use to translate?

Chinese translation can be very technical. A word for word translation can leave you with a translation that is technically correct and a meaningless description of your business, products, and services.

Many Chinese people will not necessarily understand your business. When translating, it may be a word for word translation and will not reflect your business correctly "Lost in Translation."

We recommend using a translator from your own country. Many colleges and universities are producing good Chinese translators who will have a far better understanding of your business.

Once you have a translation, ask a few Chinese people what they understand about your business, products, etc. Do not ask if it is correct as it will not be a word for word translation.

Chinese language translation options

  • Do nothing – No Chinese translation

Leave your internet content in your local language. The two internet languages of the Chinese internet are Chinese and English. It your internet content is not in English or Chinese except very little internet traffic from China.

If your internet content is in English then except, provided your Chinese search SEO is setup, to receive internet traffic from China.

  • Automatic translationAutomatic translation – Automatically translate your website pages using software like Google Translation

Automatic translation can be inadequate. The Chinese reader will not know it is an automated translation and reflect poorly on your business. Let the Chinese read use their local automatic translation software. Any errors created in the translation will be known to be an issue with the translation software and does reflect poorly on your business contents

For more information, please see the Automated translation into Chinese.

  • Create a Chinese page – An additional description of your business in Chinese

An additional page to your internet content, a “Welcome Page” in Chinese with the critical elements of your business explained.

Provided the Chinese SEO data has been created, this will help your website be indexed in Chinese search engines

  • Translate your SEO data into Chinese

Create a copy of your website and translate the SEO data.

Combine with a Chinese domain and your internet content hosted in China / Asia this should increase your Chinese internet traffic speed in China.

For more information, please see the Chinese SEO.

  • Chinese search engine SERP

Baidu Search Engine Result Page (SERP), like Google Rich text, much supports your search engine ranking.

  • Multi-media translation

If your business has multi-media, add Chinese subtext etc.

While automatic Chinese translation will work on your internet content text, it does work on spoken words and in the main not on multi-media conten

  • Key product and service translation

The translation of your essential internet products and services. 

Beneficial approach when promoting an essential business activity. A translation is also required if you are using Chinese e-Malls.

For more information, please see the Chinese SEO.

  • Chinese marketing website

Creating an internet marketing/brochure in Chinese and point the essential products and services in the Chinese contents back to your overseas pricing / on-line cart.

This approach is far better than creating full translation of internet content provided you keep the descriptions to the minimum so not generating a significant overhead in translation maintenance.

  • Full translation of your internet contents

This option is not recommended unless you have an existing customer base in China that demand a site in Chinese.

Remember that Chinese users have an automatic translation option in their browsers.

Chinese Social Media

Chinese social media are the exception to the above options.

Chinese social media content is usually entered in Chinese. You can enter your content in your local language. There is no method in Chinese social media platforms for Chinese users to translate content from your local language into Chinese automatically. Using your local language in the Chinese social media will significantly reduce the opportunity for your content being followed.

Our recommendation, Chinese social media contents are entered and maintained in Chinese.   

last modified: November  2019 - Version 2.10a