Mandarin vs. Cantonese and Chinese Translation
|Q:||What are the differences and similarities between Mandarin and Cantonese?|
The main differences between Mandarin and Cantonese are different pronunciations. For example, in Mandarin, the word for "look, see" is pronounced as kan, while it is tai in Cantonese. There are other differences in usage of words and grammar.
Mandarin and Cantonese share the same written language, Chinese. Standard written Chinese is understandable to all Chinese dialects. This is like the Americans and the British. Both can read English even though Americans and Brits have different dialects.
Mandarin and Cantonese both use "pinyin" to represent the pronunciation. "Pinyin" means "spelling the sound". It is in the form of alphabet.
|Q:||Will a Cantonese speaker understand the document translated by a Mandarin speaker?|
Yes. A Cantonese speaker can understand the Mandarin speaker's Chinese translation because the translation is in standard written Chinese. When Chinese language is in standard written format, it is understandable to all Chinese people. Only spoken Chinese has difficulty in communication among different Chinese dialect groups due to dialect diversities.
There are situations where the expressions are standard in Mainland China, but uncommon to other Chinese outside of the Mainland. Further explanation may be needed for both spoken and written Chinese for these types of expressions.
|Q:||Will a Mandarin speaker understand the document translated by a Cantonese speaker?|
Most likely, yes; unless idiomatic characters are used. The Cantonese speaker's Chinese translation will be in standard written Chinese. When Chinese language is in standard written format, it is understandable to all Chinese people.
However, the Cantonese-speaking communities, such as Hong Kong, have created some words that match the pronunciations of the Cantonese dialect or are of unique expression. Under these circumstances, the written Chinese translated by the Cantonese speaker will not be understandable to a Mandarin speaker, or to other Chinese with other dialects.
For Chinese translation, White Song's translators always use simplified Chinese, the standard in the business community in China, unless otherwise requested.