Financial translation for global business

What is financial translation? Who uses financial translation? And why? What are some scenarios in which financial translation is useful and necessary?

Financial translation is the conversion from one language to another of foreign financial documents, as well as of different materials, such as educational videos, presentations, and software with their respective financial terminology. It sounds simple, but it requires linguistic skills and knowledge in the use of specialized terminology and the elements that are specific to the local financial system.

Let’s take a closer look at financial translation services

Types of translation

Generally speaking, there are four areas in which translation services are needed:

  • Business and marketing translation, as well as content for commercial purposes.
  • Literary translation, whether real or fictional. Also, film scripts, which sometimes need adaptation and transcreation, can be included in this group.
  • Specialized translation demands in-depth knowledge of a particular subject or industry.
  • Certified translation, which is used in legal fields, and is accompanied by an affidavit, in which companies attest to the accuracy of the translation.

Financial translation services fall into the category of specialized translation. Just like legal and medical translation, financial translation has its own language, terminology and acronyms.

Financial translation for business

As mentioned above, financial translation has its own language, therefore not all translators specialize in this type of translation nor can they all perform the same job effectively. A professional financial translator must have:

  • The right qualifications and practical experience in the financial industry.
  • The diligence to do their best work with a deadline in mind.
  • The ability to work with both domestic and international jurisdictions.
  • Awareness of language variants. For example, Parisian French comes to be considered the standard, but that does not mean it is suitable for translation in Canada. The audience should be carefully considered when selecting a professional translator.
  • The ability to work with different formats. A financial translator needs to know how to organize and structure accurate accounting records, newsletters, invoices, among others.
  • Dedication to accuracy and total confidentiality.
  • The ability to research and evaluate previous translations to select the best approach to new financial content.

The language of finance, from a bank statement to a multinational’s cash flow records, allows no margin for error. Every number, label, notation, and punctuation mark needs to be in the right place. All of this must be combined with the nuances and challenges that come with translating a language, such as syntax, keeping numbers in the correct order, or using metric versus imperial.

Here are a few examples:

  • In English, “one million” is written “2,000,000.00,” but in an English translation, the same number is written as “2.000.000,00.” In many languages, semicolons are used interchangeably when formatting numbers.
  • Dates in the U.S. are written in the format mm/dd/yyyy, while in Canada the format dd/mm/yyyy is used. For a payroll system, for example, elements of this type must be taken into account for a proper translation. Another proof of this is dates. In the United States the date of Christmas is “December 25, 2021”, while in other English-speaking countries it is “25 December, 2021”.
  • The symbols for different currencies are written in a different order depending on the language. For example, the amount of forty dollars in U.S. English is “$50.00.” In Spanish, this would be “50,00 dólares” or “50.00 $”. Other examples are Venezuelan bolivars (50,00 Bs), or French euros (50.00 €).

Financial translation agency

Our translation company offers several approaches in our financial translation services; the approach will depend on the needs, applications, and content to be translated. The method used is human translation. Machine translation is useful for typical terminology, and can be enhanced by using glossaries and style guides to refine the machine translation program. One of the services we offer is post-editing, in which one of our professional financial translators compares the machine translation with the original document before delivery. We also offer certified financial translations and provide certificates attesting to their accuracy.

Translation for financial institutions

Financial translation is used in a variety of industries and industries.

  • Financial services companies that help people preserve and grow their wealth.
  • Banks, domestic and international, that hold assets in dollars, yen, rubles, euros and other currencies.
  • Companies that serve multilingual communities and need document translation services.
  • Non-profit organizations and interest groups.
  • Law firms, which need to translate their internal documents, as well as financial documents for their cases.
  • Local governments that need to distribute financial information to their constituents.

why use financial translation?

  • Taking a bit of perspective, let’s take a look at the general concepts related to why companies use financial translation.
  • Globalized commerce. With a rapidly globalizing economy, and millions of online transactions taking place every day, even the smallest businesses can reach customers around the world using language services.
  • Legal compliance: Would you like to sell your products to a population with another language and/or another legal jurisdiction? Your legal documents, such as patents, contracts, and licenses will need to be exposed to legal scrutiny.
  • The need for accurate, reliable and efficient data records.
  • opportunity! The services our translation company offers are essential for our clients to meet their goals with a broader, global reach across language barriers.
  • Improved branding and better customer service. When your customers know that they can navigate your website using the language and currency they are most familiar with, and receive support in that language, you will gain repeat customers and a better reputation.

What types of financial materials do we translate?

what are some of the specific types of documents we translate on a daily basis?

  • Annual audit reports upon request to remain legally compliant as legislation evolves.
  • Bank statements for accurate records and statements.
  • Board minutes and resolutions.
  • Business programs for internal and external use.
  • Correspondence from shareholders, lawyers and supervisory bodies.
  • E-commerce for websites in multiple currencies and number systems.
  • Income statements and treasury reports.
  • Insurance documentation such as policies, endorsements, certificates and claims.
  • Legal contracts between companies and customers, suppliers or other entities that are part of a legal agreement.
  • Press materials to interact with the media and the public.
  • Profit and loss statements to help companies monitor their progress.
  • Regulations of governmental authorities and supervisory bodies for our clients to understand and comply with.
  • Sales projections to guide companies to greater success.
  • Tax records to be kept and filed with national and international authorities.
  • Training for people working in the financial field.
  • Web sites and software with financial content for general or specialized use.

When are financial translation services used?

what are some of the specific situations or processes where financial translation is required? This is what we have done to help our clients:

  • We support our clients with language services during acquisitions, where one entity is absorbed by another.
  • We offer financial translation for mergers, in which two or more parties combine forces to become a single entity.
  • We support companies in the United States with Spanish financial translation to help them serve the growing Hispanic community.
  • We support companies of Hispanic origin in the U.S. with financial translations from Spanish to English for better outreach.
  • We help companies from Latin America open offices in the United States.
  • We guide American companies to achieve business success in Canada with translations from English to French, and with the adaptation of English material to Canadian usage and vocabulary.

Translating finance in a global economy

what is the universal language? Depending on who you ask, the answer would be a smile, or music, but an answer could also be numbers. Financial translation promotes multilingual commerce, protects international or multilingual companies, and stimulates growing economies. At ABC Translations we have professionals available to serve your financial translation needs, with various language combinations. Contact us so we can discuss your needs, evaluate them, and provide you with solutions to manage your files and content to satisfy your audience or users.

Nathan Woods

About the author

ABC Translations