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Companies and business locations wanting a slice of the Chinese market are increasingly looking to get their names and identities translated into Chinese; but this is not an easy task, because a translation into Chinese will involve Chinese characters which are assigned both phonetic and descriptive meanings.

Big consumer brands were making forays into Chinese territory years ago, with their company names and key branding messages, translated into Chinese and some of this first wave of entrepreneurs have already been caught out by the famous ambiguities of the Chinese language, which Chinese speakers must find mildly amusing. Bing, for instance, Microsoft’s search engine, was reported in the China Daily newspaper as having gone for a translation which was a Chinese name inspiring queasiness due to its similarity to the word for “sickness” in Mandarin.

However, the island of Guernsey, which has only recently decided to adopt a Chinese translation of it’s business name, has done quite well for itself, registering characters with the meaning “finance island”, a trademark making it harder for other tax havens to describe themselves in a similar manner.

If you’re interested in getting your business a Chinese identity, or need advice on getting your materials translated into Chinese don’t leave it to chance, but speak to the experts. Our translators will make sure that your company is projecting the image you want and inspiring confidence, not laughter.