Growing up in America, Chinese kids often get teased and taunted by westerners who “speak” Chinese by saying “ching chang chong”, “ding dang dong”. The bullies make incoherent babbling noises before dissolving into fits of laughter. If only Chinese translation were that easy!
Chinese Calligraphy translation adds another layer of difficulty, given the various styles. An elementary (primary) school kid who can read a fair number of Chinese characters probably cannot read many types of Chinese calligraphy. The same goes for western educated Chinese folks who have some level of reading ability.
Since Chinese is a pictoral language that’s not based on any alphabet, learning how to read or recognize Chinese symbols is a continuous spectrum. It’s actually also easy to forget these symbols if you don’t consistently use them.
Perhaps you’ve been gifted a piece of Chinese art work and have been wondering what on earth it means. Without having studied Chinese extensively, figuring out what that art work says using google translate maybe quite difficult.
In general Chinese sayings often have a greater level of depth than expected at surface level. Many pieces of artwork have fairly short 3-4 character idioms (proverbs) or commonly used sayings. Or they may contain 1-3 short characters that have significance beyond the face value translation.
Take the following characters “Faith, Hope, Love”. On its own these 3 characters are a beautiful reminder of the determination needed to achieve almost anything. Another context involves religion, because these words are often used by the Christian faith to highlight their beliefs in God. Placed on their own, there is also the connotation that either you believe in these principles deeply, or are wishing them upon the beholder.
Chinese calligraphy translations produce meanings rich with different context and stories.