S2E10 - Chinese: What to Know When Localizing for the Chinese-Speaking Audience


Junbo Hou is a Chinese linguist with Smartling who wears many different hats. With the Chinese language having many branches, dialects, and uses, translating the language can be difficult. Junbo joins us to discuss the importance of culture, regional distinctions, and understanding your audience when translating Chinese languages.

Jump into the Episode
[01:07] About Junbo and his background.
[02:48] How long has Junbo been in the localization space?
[03:11] Does Junbo have any specific interests or fields?
[04:04] A quick introduction and history of the group of Chinese languages.
[05:05] The most commonly used forms of Chinese languages that are used in the wider world.
[08:04] Is the type of Chinese spoken dependent on the region?
[09:25] The different dialects and how many people speak Mandarin versus Cantonese.
[11:25] What are the cultural and linguistic differences between Mandarin and Cantonese?
[14:20] What should companies looking to expand into the Chinese markets understand when localizing content?
[16:38] What is Junbo’s translation process?
[18:24] Understanding the audience that you are translating for.
[21:55] Why cultural empathy is needed when localizing for a Chinese audience, regardless of region.
[24:16] Final thoughts from Junbo.

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