Some of the languages listed above (marked with *) are not yet available in our order form due to their lower demand. If you need to translate into any of these languages, you can contact our Sales team and we'll do our best to accommodate your request.
I need languages not offered as part of your service. What can I do?
If you don't see your language pair listed, hopefully we'll get them added soon! You can suggest additional languages by contacting our Sales team.
If you have a super high volume long-term project (over 500,000 words), but you don't see your language pair above, tell us more about your project. We can add translation languages, normally within four weeks, for customers with sufficient volume.
If a language has regional variations, which one should I use?
Some of Gengo's supported languages are spoken in several countries or regions (e.g. French, Spanish, Chinese or Portuguese).
Each country where one of these languages is spoken has its own unique regional characteristics and vocabulary so it's important to localize your text for your target audience. If you're looking to expand your user base, start by asking yourself where your new users are likely to reside and which markets are your next target.
To help reach the right audience, our order form offers the following regional variations:
- Chinese (Simplified) / Chinese (Traditional)
- French / French (Canada)
- Portuguese (Brazil) / Portuguese (Europe)
- Spanish (Latin America) / Spanish (Spain)
So, what regional variation should I use?
Let's break it down by language:
Chinese (Simplified) / Chinese (Traditional) / Chinese (Hong Kong)
Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese are two writing systems. Simplified Chinese is the main writing system used in mainland China, Singapore, and Malaysia, while Traditional Chinese is mostly used in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.
The majority of terms in Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese are formed from different characters. For example, the term "purchase" is 購買 in Traditional Chinese and 购买 in Simplified Chinese. Visually, it is easy to see that the characters used are different between the two writing systems, even though their meaning is the same.
On the other hand, terms can also be made by combining completely different characters together. For example, even something as simple as a potato is written as 土豆 (earth bean) in Simplified Chinese regions, but as 馬鈴薯 (horse bell potato) in Traditional Chinese regions. This is similar to the different regional variations between British and American English, where a certain popular sport is called either "football" or "soccer".
So, which one should I order?
When ordering Chinese translations, focus on your target region and select the variation used in that region for the best results. For example, if your target users are spread across both mainland China and Taiwan, we suggest ordering both Simplified and Traditional Chinese translations.
If you want to target an audience in Hong Kong, our recommendation is ordering Traditional Chinese and specifying Hong Kong as the target region in your instructions. While Hong Kong and Taiwan use the same Traditional Chinese writing system, there are notable differences regarding terminology and wording, so ensure you don't end up selling unmentionables instead of slacks by giving translators information about your target market.
If you're working with a limited budget but need to reach a wide audience in several Mandarin-speaking regions at once, ordering Simplified Chinese may be the best choice for you. In many cases, a user who lives in a region using Traditional Chinese would be able to roughly read and understand a Simplified Chinese text.
French is the official language in 29 countries across five different continents. It is spoken as a first language in France, some Canadian provinces (e.g. Quebec or Ontario), Belgium and western Switzerland, and as a second language in many other places around the world, such as Madagascar, Cameroon or Haiti.
When speaking with each other, a speaker of standard French (European) and Canadian French will instantly recognize where the other speaker is from due to differences in pronunciation, tone, grammar, and terminology.
In writing, the two dialects mostly follow the same formal grammatical and syntactic rules. The main difference is terminology. Canadian French often creates new words and translations for new concepts rather than borrowing English words, which is the go-to strategy in France. For example, the word "email" is "courriel" in Canada but "mail" in France.
This is very apparent in IT industries and business where new concepts are born daily. Words like "business", "meeting" and "sponsoring" will be used in France, while "affaires", "réunion" and "commanditaires" are preferred in Canada.
Are they interchangeable?
There is no simple answer, and whether your target audience will respond better to one regional variation or another depends completely on the topic. A text using neutral terms will be understood by all French speakers, regardless of region.
However, a reader will be able to tell if a text was localized for their region if they are reading business or IT articles, texts meant for younger audiences or marketing campaigns. Even a word as simple as "dîner" means "dinner" in France, but "lunch" in Canada.
So, which one should I order?
Always consider the target audience to avoid misunderstandings. If your target audience is users in Canada, use Canadian French. If you're translating for other countries (e.g. France, Belgium, African countries, Caribbean countries), use standard French.
If your budget does not allow for a translation into both varieties but you need to reach as many users as possible, we suggest using standard French. Canadians will have no problem generally understanding it, while you will have the added benefit of reaching French speakers in Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and beyond.
The Brazilian variety of Portuguese is spoken in Brazil while the European variety of Portuguese is spoken in Portugal, Portuguese-speaking African countries like Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique, and some Asian countries like Macau.
Although speakers will mostly understand each other, there are numerous significant differences between the two variations. Historically, the same Portuguese language evolved in different ways due to cultural and regional nuances, with the most evident differences being in spelling and phrasing. The terminology, especially jargon, used in Brazil may not be understood by speakers of the European variety and vice-versa.
One of the most important differences between the two is the use of the pronoun meaning "you". Portuguese is a language that uses different forms of politeness depending on the audience, and using the wrong one may come off as rude or impolite. Because addressing your users correctly may mean the difference between further engagement and churn, carefully consider your target market when looking to expand into Portuguese-speaking countries.
So, which one should I order?
Consider your target audience when deciding which variety to choose. If the translation will be used in Brazil, choose Portuguese (Brazilian). If the translation is aimed at users living in any of the other countries listed above, choose Portuguese (European).
If you're looking to expand into both Brazil and any other Portuguese-speaking country, we recommend translating into both variations to ensure your readers fully understand your message, the specific terminology used by your brand and are addressed accordingly to their regional expectations.
Spanish is the main language spoken in Spain and nearly 20 countries in Latin America, from Mexico all the way down to Argentina. While Spanish is spoken by over 45 million people in Spain, it is interesting to note that 420 million people speak it in Latin America (which includes 120 million in Mexico!). There is also a large population of Spanish speakers in the U.S. (58 million people), mostly using the Latin American variety.
Even though all Spanish speakers will mostly understand each other, there are significant differences between the Spanish used in Spain and the variety spoken in Latin America. They are not interchangeable.
Does the content type matter?
Yes, absolutely. A more technical text, one without regional or cultural nuance, is easier to localize for a wider audience. On the other hand, a marketing text, or a text meant for the younger crowd, would need a regionally-specific approach due to the terminology and tone being used.
As is the case with Portuguese, Latin American Spanish has developed its own rules on how to address the audience, employing several different forms of "you". In general, Latin American countries do not use the informal second-person plural pronoun “vosotros,” and countries such as Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay use “voseo”. When read by a European Spanish speaker, the difference is striking and may come off as inappropriate or rude depending on the kind of message your text is trying to convey. Choosing the right language variety is, therefore, an essential step before the start of any translation project.
So, which one should I order?
Always consider your target audience when selecting your target language. If your audience is based in Spain, you can feel at ease ordering Spanish (Spain). If your target audience resides in Latin America or the U.S. in general, choose Spanish (Latin America) for the best results. However, if your audience is in Mexico or in a specific U.S. state with a large Mexican population, your best option will be Spanish (Mexico).
Another important aspect to consider is that Latin America covers a large geographical area. If you are targeting users in a certain country (or countries), mention it in your instructions to the translators when you order. This ensures your translation includes the correct regional terms and phrases appropriate to where the translation will be used. For example, in contrast to South America, Mexico uses the decimal point to separate thousands and the comma is used in larger numbers (7.3 %; $1,563), much like these are used in the US. The terminology used for food in Mexico is also very different from the terms used both in Spain and Latin America.
If you have a broad Latin American expansion plan in mind, make sure to leave instructions for a "neutral" Spanish that could be clearly understood by most people in all Latin American Spanish-speaking countries.
Looking to reach the entire Spanish-speaking community in both Europe and America? We recommend tailoring your message to each region separately, translating into the three varieties of Spanish.
Tone - a special mention
When ordering your Spanish translations, it is important to choose your desired tone of the translation. There are two options available on the Gengo order form: formal or informal. Spanish has different ways of addressing the audience, as the English "you" can be translated in a friendly or in a more formal way.
Choose one of these options to keep consistency across a large project, especially if multiple translators will be working with your text.
Our order form has the option to choose the tone in this last step: