Several websites offer word-for-word translation from English to Mandarin Chinese, including Google Translate, MDBG.net and FreeTranslation.com. Paper dictionaries are another good resource and are available in bricks-and-mortar bookstores and online at Amazon.com.
Mandarin Chinese is one of many dialects spoken throughout China; it is the most widely spoken and the basis of what is considered Standard Chinese, the common language in China. Written Mandarin uses characters to represent each syllable in the spoken form. It is a tonal language, so a single word may have several meanings depending on pronunciation. Translation can be done directly from characters or using pinyin, a form of Mandarin that uses the Latin alphabet to simplify pronunciation for non-natives.