Cantonese Translation for Legal and Official Documents 

Rapid Translate Team

Feb 09, 2024 | 6 min read

Cantonese is a Chinese dialect popular in the Southern part of the country. It is also an official language, widely spoken in  Hong Kong and Macau. So, to expand your business to these parts, you must seek a Cantonese translation for legal documents

A good translation will help you legally establish and advertise your business successfully to potential customers.  China, Hong Kong, and Macau are hotspots for many companies. The dynamic and luxurious populace facilitates smooth and profitable transactions. But how do you translate to Cantonese? Let’s see how. 

Why Is It Challenging To Translate English to Cantonese?

Not many people offer translation services into Cantonese, and for good reasons. It is challenging to translate English to Cantonese, and many recognize this fact. Many reasons make translating into Cantonese difficult, and this section discusses some of them. 

First, Cantonese is a very complex language. Although recognized as a language, some consider it a Chinese dialect. That is because it is similar to other variations of the Chinese language, such as Mandarin and Xiang. So, it is difficult for machines to accurately translate documents into Cantonese without mixing it up with other Chinese variants. 

Next, unlike letters used in the English language, Cantonese alphabets are characters. So, a word-for-word translation from English to Cantonese is not an option if you seek accuracy. Translating literal words could cause a loss of contextual meaning in some translations. That makes Cantonese translation difficult. 

Further, Cantonese has a different sentence construction pattern from that of the English language. So, even when you can translate words directly, you may need to rearrange their appearance in the sentence to maintain the correct meaning. 

Also, font conflicts common with Cantonese can affect inexperienced translators and machines when translating formal documents. Sometimes, Cantonese characters appear differently in printed books than on different devices. 

So, it takes a professional to translate court documents to ensure that the right characters appear on official printed documents. 

How the Nuances of Cantonese Affect Every Cantonese Language Translator

Although Cantonese is almost a geographically confined language, native speakers don’t speak it with a one-note tune. Each speaking region speaks the language with a different rhythm. Ling reports ten unique Cantonese accents are spoken globally.  

Unfortunately, this affects every Cantonese Language translator, especially those supporting speech services. Like all Chinese variants and dialects, Cantonese is a toner language. Cantonese also has five tones, including a neutral tone. 

Cantonese tones greatly impact translation because a single word could have up to five different meanings depending on the tone. That is why it is important to employ a professional translator, especially a native speaker. Machine translators face too many limitations with Cantonese.

How To Translate Cantonese to English With Microsoft Translator

There are millions of native Cantonese speakers, and it is the official language of the two countries. However, because of its difficulty compared to other global languages, only a few translation services offer Cantonese translations, even online. So, you may wonder how to translate Cantonese to English. 

You can easily translate from Cantonese to English with Microsoft Translator through the web application on Bing. This translator also supports English to Cantonese translations. The Microsoft Translator is also available on Android and iOS applications, offering the same functionality as the web app. 

This online translator uses neural machine translation to offer contextual and not just word-for-word translations. The service also supports speech services, providing text-to-speech and speech-to-text outputs. 

Microsoft Translator holds a high Bilingual Evaluation Understudy (BLEU) score, confirming the accuracy of its translations. Native speakers have continued to use the Collaborative Translation Feature to improve the translation service. Therefore, your regular and official document translations can rely on its accuracy. 

You may worry about getting the right translation for unpopular words if you operate a business in an unpopular niche. Nevertheless, you needn’t fret. You can use Microsoft’s Custom Translator or Translator Hub to build systems capable of understanding and translating your business-specific terminologies

If you want to communicate with Cantonese foreign partners through video conferencing, use the application’s live feature. This feature supports about 500 participants for a live, in-person translated conversation. What’s more, the service is completely free!

Is English to Cantonese Google Translate Available? 

English to Cantonese Google Translate is unavailable. When seeking online translation tools, many people first go to Google Translate. As a product of the tech giant Google, they assume it is the best and most reliable online translator. Unfortunately, you can’t verify this claim if you seek Cantonese translations. 

Similarly, you cannot translate words and sentences from Cantonese to English using Google Translate. Put simply, Cantonese is not one of the 109 languages Google Translate supports. Although there are over 60 million native Cantonese speakers, Google Translate has yet to offer its translation. 

Where To Get Mandarin to Cantonese Translation

If you’re expanding your business to Southern China, you’re in for a dual translation task. China only recognizes Mandarin as its official language. However, the populace of Southern China speaks Cantonese. So, you may need to translate documents into the legal language for registration but translate products and advertisements into Cantonese. 

Consider prioritizing translating into Mandarin first and then getting a Mandarin-to-Cantonese translation. That is a popular option to ensure a smooth and native translation. But where can you get reliable translations from Mandarin to Cantonese?

Below is a list of seven web and mobile apps that can help you translate from Mandarin  to Cantonese:

  1. Microsoft Translator.
  2. Camp Lingo’s Translator.
  3. Hong Kong Vision.
  4. Stars21 Translator.
  5. Easy Pronunciation.
  6. The Cantonese Translator app on Play Store, developed by KoalaSky.
  7. Cantonese Translate, developed by Tim Cheng Yellow and available on the App Store.

How to Get Cantonese Certified Translation

Translating documents yourself is a good learning experience. But all the tools outlined above use machines to draft their translation. So, they may not provide a 100% accurate translation. 

Moreover, you must submit a certified translation if you’re translating a legal document to present in court. Thus, you may wonder where to find a Cantonese-certified translation.

Only translation agencies can offer certified translations that courts approve. So, find a reputable agency for your Cantonese translation that’ll provide you with a certificate of accuracy. 

You can engage Rapid Translate, an online translation agency that translates documents into over 60 languages! They offer reliable and affordable services with timeline delivery. With Rapid Translate, you can get certified Translation for your legal and official documents. Why hesitate? Order now to enjoy seamless communication as you expand and embrace new opportunities!

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