Typesetting in Chinese

I need some help here - client wants me to recreate his leaflet and has a printed sample but no artwork on disk. The text is in 2 languages, English and Chinese.

It looks like Traditional rather than Simplified Chinese, but I don’t even know if it’s Cantonese, Mandarin or whatever else.

I have the standard Chinese fonts that come with the Mac, and TBH the font won’t really matter as long as it looks similar.

My problem is, how do I go about typing it out? Do I have to look up each character one by one? Any tips?

I have a fair bit of experience with Chinese-translated material, and my advice would be to get the assistance of a trustworthy Chinese person. You’re at a major disadvantage if all you have is a hard-copy specimen. You could try to look up the characters and perhaps use Google Translate or the like to help the process, but you’ll be flying blind.

I tried Google Translate on my phone, which in camera mode gives you a ‘live’ translation on screen, but the translation did not match the English text. I typed in a paragraph of this and changed the typeface to a Chinese font but of course that didn’t work either. Looks like I’m stuck.

HB is right. Like any other language, proofreading is supremely important.

I’ve worked on several foreign language projects and hired native tongue speakers through https://www.upwork.com/. Too much potential for error to try and do it yourself, in my opinion. I’ve had good experience with Up Work.

Written Chinese languages are totally different in almost every way from the Latin-based alphabets used in the West. I wouldn’t even consider doing what you’re attempting because I’m certain I’d screw it up. If it were me, I’d subcontract that part to a company specializing in translations. Honestly, if all it involves is them typing it back in from a printed sample, it would take them all of 20 minutes, whereas you’ll spend days on the thing and likely make all kinds of crazy errors in the process. Even just finding a native Chinese speaker to do it would be better than doing it yourself.

Yup. We sub that stuff out. Even if it’s Spanish or French.


I realised that whoever did the original job may have copied and pasted the text so I looked for the English text (Google search for the first few phrases) and found it.

I couldn’t do the same with the Chinese, but I did a Google Image search with a scan of one of the lines in Chinese and found it, as text on a Chinese website. I got some help proof reading the Chinese text but it was all there.

Customer is going to pay extra for the artwork on this one …

Happy days :slight_smile:

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