The Importance of Correctly Translating Business Cards

By David Mendoza

As the world recovers from the pandemic and international trade resumes, companies must return to some old global business practices. One, in particular, is having professionally translated Chinese business cards when working with Chinese partners/parties. That is if you want to build strong and lasting relationships with your Chinese counterparts. Below, we’ll explore the importance of having a translated business cards and how they help to foster lasting relationships.

The Significance of Translated Chinese Business Cards

A well-translated business card demonstrates professionalism and attention to detail. It shows that you’re serious about doing business with Chinese and committed to establishing a long-lasting relationship. In China, exchanging business cards is customary in professional settings. By translating your cards, you conform to international Chinese business standards and make it easier for others to remember and identify you.

Drawing from our experience working with clients, we recall assisting a business delegation that attended an international trade fair in Guangdong. They observed that their competitors had professionally translated business cards. Realising the significance of creating a powerful impact on potential Chinese partners, the marketing and business team invested in professionally translating their business cards into Chinese for future trips.

In a follow-up trade event, our client confidently presented their new bilingual Chinese business cards, leaving a notable impression on the potential trade partners. The well-translated cards not only offered clear contact information but also conveyed the company’s dedication to cultivating strong relationships. Consequently, they forged several valuable partnerships, which paved the way for their successful expansion into the Chinese market.

Challenges and Considerations in Translating Business Cards

Translating business cards into Chinese can be challenging due to the need for the correct Chinese fonts and layout. Sometimes, clients only have scanned copies of their business cards, which need to be recreated and that is when you will need the help a professional graphic designer. Another factor to consider is choosing the right Chinese fonts. Incorrect fonts can make the text look odd or illegible, depending on the character, and can be considered extremely disrespectful. It’s essential to have any translation double-checked by NAATI-certified Chinese translators to ensure accuracy and readability.

The Value of Phonetic Transliteration

Another factor to consider is how Chinese pronounce your name, a phonetic transliteration will be helpful. This process involves using Chinese characters to create a representation of your name that helps others pronounce it correctly. For example, the English name “David” could be phonetically translated into Chinese as “Da Wei,” which sounds similar to the English pronunciation, and making it easier to know when you are being addressed.

The All-important Title

As vital for your Chinese interlocutors as being able to pronounce your name correctly is to be able to understand your seniority and where you fit it. Chinese decision-makers like to know that they are meeting senior representatives. And because China’s structures are very different to ours, it is a process of mapping titles from one culture or system to another. We have developed a process to create matching titles. Sometimes for our clients, we recommend a more senior title be used for the Chinese. It is a discussion we always like to have to help our clients put forward their best face.

Cultural and Social Factors

When exchanging business cards in China, it’s important to be aware of cultural conventions, such as using two hands when presenting your card with a slight bow. These small gestures go a long way to show respect and help create a positive impression. Understanding these cultural nuances and adhering to them can significantly enhance your business relationships in China.

A Service to Meet Your Business Card Needs

To create professional, translated business cards, consider only using professionals that specialise in translation, layout, and printing. We have 30 years of experience assisting Australian businesses to succeed in the Chinese market. We can handle the entire process, from translating your name, title and contact information to printing your cards. Working with our Chinese experts ensures that your cards maintain their visual appeal and brand consistency while accurately representing your information in Chinese.


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