Language FAQs

The following are some FAQs that clients often ask in respect to languages and local markets. If you wish to have
more information about a language that is not on the list or would like to discuss your oncoming project please call
or send an email to the CTC office nearest to you: Dublin, Galway, London, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney


Arabic is a right to left reading language. Although Arabic is considered a single language, significant variation may
exist between the spoken dialects, resulting in the need to localise Sales and Marketing material to the different styles
of Arabic to suit the different countries where Arabic is spoken. When designing your layout you should consider the
need for to accommodate reverse reading - which also means publications will open from back to front!

The Chinese languages have recorded the highest world wide growth, for both business and tourism. There are two
types of Chinese script: Simplified & Traditional. Simplified Chinese (using a character set that has been “simplified”
from the traditional Chinese characters) is used in Mainland China, Singapore and broadly throughout South-East Asia. Traditional Chinese is used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, in Australia and elsewhere in the English speaking world.
The Chinese market is by no means homogeneous: Marketing/Sales collateral and presentation require significant adaptation to accomodate the different ways the written and spoken language is used. There are also several forms
of spoken Chinese: Cantonese is the dialect spoken mainly in Hong Kong and Canton and other provinces in Mainland China. Mandarin is often used to refer to the principal dialect of Chinese spoken in Beijing. Taiwanese is another
spoken dialect.

The choice of script and dialect ultimately depends on the Chinese speaking region you are targeting. CTC can assist
you to ascertain the most appropriate script for your readers and visitors to your website. Some vertical typesetting reading right to left still occurs but horizontal layout reading left to right is standard these days.

Predominantly a community language in Australia. Today it is important to cater for all of the former Yugoslavia's
language groups as it is important not to offend by exclusion. The main ones are Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian and Macedonian. Beware - they do differ.

A popular commercial language. French is spoken mostly in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada, Mauritius and New Caledonia. Although written French has a standard form, some regional variations do occur. French is also an official language for many international organisations such as the IMF, the WTO, the WHO, the United Nations, NATO, etc.

German is a high demand commercial & technical language spoken primarily in Germany, Austria & Switzerland.
Long multi-syllabic words are characteristic of German, which means that correct hyphenation of words is critical. Your layout should be flexible enough to accommodate what might turn out to be up to 20% longer than your English source text!

There are significant ethnic communities in Australia and New Zealand where Greek is spoken. Most translated text
tends to be up to 20% longer than the English source content. Always make sure your design is flexible enough.

Italian is continually gaining popularity in the EU as a commercial language. Modern Italian is less formal, having
eliminated the use of the plural that implied a 'polite' form of address in recent years. This is something the older community might not be that happy about!

One of the most significant languages for business and tourism. Sales and Marketing information often requires
significant alteration in order to suit the unique Japanese business style, design and graphic illustration. When producing publications to accommodate Japanese translation, keep your layout flexible - Japanese script should not be too small otherwise it will 'fill in' and line breaking is critical.

Korea offers a large target market to exporters from USA, Europe and Australia.

Predominantly a community language in Australia, the USA, and more recently in Ireland and the UK.

Spoken in Portugal and Brazil, Portuguese differs enough for the locals to notice. It is best to ascertain your destination before embarking on Portuguese translation, particularly if you are intending to sell to them!

Predominantly a community language in Australia, USA and the UK. Today it is important to cater for all of the former Yugoslavia's language groups as it is important not to offend by exclusion. The main ones are Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian. Beware - they do differ. Serbian uses a Cyrillic script.

Spoken in a large number of different regions from Europe to South America - in a number of different ways. Spanish
is also the first language for over 15 million Americans living in the United States. Spanish from Spain is likely to be understood in many countries, but there are some major differences with Spanish from Latin America. It is different enough that European Spaniards often read the Spanish subtitles/captions, when watching South American Spanish programs on TV. It is advisable to ascertain your target destination to ensure the most appropriate translation - which
will always be more welcome by your customers.

When designing your layout, make it flexible because Thai line breaks are critical - random hyphenation could change
the meaning of the whole sentence! A flexible layout will enable CTC's typesetters to set the text right and keep your layout looking good.

A strong community language in Australia and Germany. Unlike other Middle Eastern languages, Turkish uses a Roman based script.

Vietnam is a community language in the USA and Australia. It has also more recently been the focus of multinational engineering/infrastucture and resource companies. Most translated text tends to be up to 20% longer than the English source content. Always make sure your design is flexible enough to accommodate this.