Chinese Translation a shoe in for Chinese tourists?

Open Closed sign in Simplified Chinese

An unusual tourist destination for Chinese tourists in the UK is revealed by the Metro today. The Clarks shoe museum, in the small Somerset village of Street, is hoping for coaches full of tour groups.

Stephanie Cheng, managing director of China Holidays, thinks that Chinese tourists “will definitely come here to the home of Clarks and the shoe museum”. Clarks have been making footwear since 1825, and it has gained popularity in China.

Cheng comments “Clarks shoes are a phenomenon in China, their quality and design are famous. When Chinese people come to England, they find the price is comparatively low and they buy for the whole family, perhaps five to ten pairs.”

It’s hardly news that the Chinese economy is growing, and some individuals are becoming wealthy. Only last month, the Chinese economy became the second largest in the world, surpassing Japan. It is predicted to become the single largest economy in the world before 2020. Only today, a Guardian blog highlights some of the incredible figures (and risks) behind this enormous growth: “China plots world domination and an almighty shopping spree”.

Against this background, the number of Chinese visitors to the UK can only increase. Chinese tourists are certainly a group that are being newly looked at by many serious luxury brands, hotels, visitor attractions, service providers, and so on.

Returning to Somerset, the local County Council and Tourism Association have been working hard at building links. Cllr David Hall said: “The Chinese are now recognised as being bigger spenders than the Arabs, Russians or Americans and their visit will give a tremendous boost to Somerset’s economy and local employment.”

At WorldAccent we’ve undoubtedly seen an increase in publicity requiring Chinese typesetting. After all a exhibit leaflet or information on a website can be created in key languages such as Chinese quickly and for a relatively small outlay. However you can’t help but wonder how many attractions, services and companies are still caught in the old world view, seeing China as source of affordable manufactured goods rather than a source of well off visitors and consumers.

To help this process on its way, WorldAccent has produced a free download of 4 shop information signs in Simplified Chinese for shops and visitors’ attractions. You can download and print the PDF with signs in Simplified Chinese for Open, Closed, Toilets and Special Offer. Feel free to pass it on, but please link back to here as a credit if you do.

Thumbnail of Chinese shop information signs

7 Replies to “Chinese Translation a shoe in for Chinese tourists?”

  1. Since Chinese market is expanding so rapidly we are most likely to witness an increase in Chinese translation as well. By the way, would anyone recommend a good Chinese translation of Harry Potter? Much appreciated!

  2. Pingback: Thoughts On Mandarin Chinese Translation Online | Chinese Translations and Interpreting Service
  3. Hm, I have never heard about Clarks shoes popularity to Chinese people. But, your truth – every year more and more Chinese people join to community of wealthy people. And in spending money, they are really endless… Chinese people have a great respect to factories who producing a high quality products, like Clarks shoes. According to China business cilture, buying the goods from somebody will show a favour to that person or company 🙂

  4. As a conveyor of meaning on so many levels (visual by shape, color, location and reference to location i.e. context, text in itself and context), signs are probably among the hardest things to translate anywhere.
    It’s no wonder that the English translations of many Chinese signs are the source of great amusement to a lot of people… except maybe confused tourists.

  5. I wouldn’t want to miss the fun that is reading all those English to Chinese translation, but when it’s important for life and limb, please consider a professional translation service!

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