When you use an online English to Chinese dictionary, remember that the translations are based on a computer's word analysis, not a human's reading and translating of the words. If you are a student of Chinese, you get study help by using English to Chinese online translations. Free translation sites offer basic translations which are fine for personal communications, but not professional communication.
Simplified Chinese versus traditional Chinese
When you use online language translators, you will have a choice of simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese online Chinese translations. Chinese has a huge amount of different characters. China started using simplified characters so that more people could understand the language and learn to read simplified Chinese. Understand the context of the sentence The problem for translation services is that some of the words which are distinctly different in traditional Chinese are now represented by the same character. So, the online translation service needs to understand the context of the sentence to correctly translate the word. Clues The English equivalent of this is found in homonyms. Polish could be read as 'from Poland' or as 'an act of to make something gleam.' The clue to the difference is in the usage and the capitalisation of the word. Simplified Chinese characters depend on those clues so that the correct meaning of the word is used. When you are using an online language converter, use Google Translator because it offers multiple translation version for simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese.
How to use Google for English to Chinese translations
When you go to Google Translate, you will see a text box field and a URL field. You can enter text into the box or enter a web address into the URL box. Google will automatically detect the original language. However, you can set it in the 'from' drop down menu if Google detects the wrong language and you want to manually override Google's choice. The use of both versions In the 'to' field, you can choose either simplified Chinese or traditional Chinese. There is not a limit to how many times you can use the translator. So, if you are copying and pasting text to send to a pen pal, you can use both versions. When you put in your words to be translated, press Translate. You will see the characters, and have the option to hear the words and see a phonetic pronunciation. On the bottom right, you will see an option for different versions. This will give you more translations to choose from so that you can have the most accurate version.