It’s always pretty confusing when it comes to language in Singapore. Our national language is Bahasa Melayu, but English is our first language. To top it off, all of us are required to know our mother tongue.
For the majority of us, it was Chinese. Though we have to admit that once ‘O’ or ‘A’ levels are done with most of what we have learnt would be given back to the lao shi, leaving us only with enough vocabulary to order food at hawker centres.
That’s why when it comes to ordering from Chinese language online merchants, most of us are hopeless at it. And even we at BuyandShip have to admit that using the Google Translate function to search for a specific item takes a certain art.
And it’s even worse now because we only have a few more days until the end of the $3 per pound CNY promo and you want to order things in a rush! Your Secondary school lao shi can’t save you now.
So here are three useful tips we always use when it comes to using Google Translate to get the things you need!
1. Chrome it Up
There are many web browsers to choose from and everyone has their preference. But the one reason to use the Chrome web browser (apart from all the great add-ons you can download) would be to use the automatic translation function that you can apply on a full page of Chinese text, or any other language for that matter. Just click the tab on the prompt at the top of the window, and BOOM! English!
2. Break it Down
We’ve watched enough funny Google Translate videos about lyrics that don’t quite make sense to know that grammar and sentence structure works differently for both English and Chinese. Using CTRL-C and CTRL-V for a whole paragraph of text might give you something that doesn’t sound… quite right. So when it doubt, break down the sentence, sometimes it’s even necessary to translate the Chinese text word by word. This will be exceptionally useful if you need to chat with the seller on QQ.
3. Switch it Around
Something that might mean what you think it means in English, may not even exist in another language. That’s the reason why Singlish was formed! There just isn’t a word in English that can replace the word “shiok”. That’s why when you’re searching for something in Chinese and it isn’t yielding any results, try using other descriptions in Google Translate. “Honeycomb shelves” may not give you as many items compared to using “hexagonal shelves”.
Now you have even more tools to shop with! Your old lao shi may not have been able to help you, but BuyandShip can!
REMEMBER!The CNY promo is ending on 16 February. No better time to make good use of your credits!