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Financial Translation for Global Business

Financial translation services

Last updated on November 30th, 2020 at 09:48 am

Financial translation for global business

Financial Services Translation

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

Financial translation is the conversion of foreign financial documents (as well as other financial material like educational videos, presentations, and software) and the associated financial terminology from one language into another.  Sounds simple, but it takes linguistics skills, and knowledge of the usage of financial terminology, plus elements that are proper for the local financial system.

Let’s discuss financial translation services in more detail.

Types of Translation

In general, there are four areas where translation services are needed:

  • Commercial and marketing translation of documents and content for business purposes.  
  • Literary translation for fictional or non-fiction themes. The scripts for movies can be included in this group, sometimes they need adaptation and transcreation.
  • Specialized translation demands in-depth knowledge of a particular subject or industry.
  • Certified translation, that is used in a legal setting, and brings an affidavit in which the translation company attests to the accuracy of the translation work.

Financial translation services fit into the specialized category.  Like legal translation and medical translation, financial translation has its own language, terminology, and acronyms.

Financial Translation for Businesses

As we said, financial translation has its own language and therefore not every translator specializes in financial translation and can do the 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 under a deadline. 
  • The ability to work across jurisdictions both domestic and international.
  • Awareness of dialects.  Parisian French may be the default, but that will not work if the translation is to be used in Canada. The target audience needs to be taken into consideration when selecting the professional translator.
  • The ability to work across formats.  A financial translator needs to know how to lay out clear and accurate ledgers, prospectuses, invoices, and more.
  • Dedication to accuracy and complete confidentiality.
  • Capacity to research and evaluate previous translation to select the best approach for new financial content.

The language of finances, from an individual’s bank statement to a multinational corporation’s cash flow records, leaves no margin for error.  Every number, label, notation, and punctuation mark need to be in the right place.  This must all be combined with the existing nuances of converting one language to another, like syntax, keeping figures in the right order, or using the metric system versus the imperial system.

Some examples:

  • In English we use 1,000,000.00 for one million but in a Spanish translation that number will be written as 1.000.000,00. In many languages when formatting numbers, periods, and commas are switched in their uses.
  • Dates are written in the USA mm/dd/yyyy and in Canada dd/mm/yyyy so for a payroll system, elements like that need to be known to make the appropriate translation. December 25, 2020 in the United States is 25 December, 2020 in other countries.
  • The symbols for currency are written in different order depending on the language. For example, forty dollars in English for the US is $40.00. This would be 40,00 dólares or 40.00 $ in Spanish. Other currencies – 40,00 Bs (40 Venezuelan bolívar), 40.00 € ( 40 euros in French)

A Financial Translation Agency

Our translation company offers multiple approaches in our financial translation services; the approach depends on the needs, applications, and the content that is going to be translated.  Human translation is the approach most widely used. Machine translation is useful for common terminology and can be improved using glossaries and style guides to educate the machine translation engine.  We offer post-editing while comparing the output to the original by a professional financial translator before delivery.  We also provide certified translation for financial translation offering a certificate of accuracy.

Translation for Financial Institutions

Financial translation is used across countless industries. 

  • Financial services firms that help people preserve and grow their wealth. 
  • Banks, domestic and international, that hold assets measured in dollars, yen, rubles, euros, and more.
  • Businesses who want to serve a multilingual community need document translation services.
  • Non-profits and advocacy organizations.
  • Law firms, who must have internal documents translated as well as financial documents for their cases. 
  • Local governments need to distribute financial information to their constituents.

Why Use Financial Translation?

Let’s take a step back and look at the larger concepts behind the need for financial translation for businesses.

  • Globalized commerce.  With a rapidly globalizing economy and millions of online transactions closing every day, even the smallest businesses can reach the world by using language services.
  • Legal compliance.  Want to sell your widget to another language group and/or legal jurisdiction?  Your legal papers, like patents, contracts, and licenses, will need to stand up to legal scrutiny. 
  • The need for accurate, responsible, and efficient record-keeping. 
  • Opportunity!  Our translation company is essential for our clients to achieve their goals for a wider, global outreach reaching across language boundaries.
  • Brand improvement and better customer service.  When your clients know that they can shop on your website using the language and currency they are most comfortable with, plus get support in that language, you will gain repeat customers and a better reputation.

What Kind of Financial Materials Do We Translate?

What are some of the specific items we translate on a daily basis? 

  • Ecommerce for websites in multiple currencies and numerical systems. 
  • Bank statements for accurate records and disclosures.
  • Business plans for internal and external use.
  • Annual and on-demand audit reports to stay in legal compliance as regulations evolve.
  • Tax records to retain and produce for domestic and international authorities.
  • Insurance documents like policies, endorsements, certificates, and claims.
  • Income statements and cash flow reports. 
  • Regulations from government authorities and oversight agencies so that our clients can understand and comply with them. 
  • Profit and loss statements to help the company monitor its progress. 
  • Press materials to interact with the media and public. 
  • Board meeting minutes and resolutions. 
  • Correspondence with shareholders, attorneys, and oversight agencies. 
  • Legal contracts between the business and the client, vendor, or any other party entering into a legal agreement. 
  • Sales projections to drive the company to greater accomplishments. 
  • Website and software with financial content for general use or specialized use.
  • Training for people working in the finance industry.

 When are Financial Translation Services Used?

What are some specific situations or processes that require financial translation?  This is what we’ve been doing to help our clients:

  • We assist 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 into a single entity. 
  • We assist businesses in the US with Spanish financial translation to help them better serve the growing Hispanic community.
  • We assist Hispanic-owned businesses in the US with Spanish to English financial translation for convenience and a greater reach. 
  • We help companies coming from Latin America open offices in the US.
  • We guide US businesses to success in Canada with English to French translation and adjusting English material to the Canadian usage and languages. 

Translating Finances in a Global economy

What is the universal language?  Depending on who you ask, you might be told that it’s a smile, or music, but math might be the answer.  Financial translation promotes multilingual commerce, protects multilingual and/or international businesses, and stimulates growing economies.  We have industry professionals available for your financial translation needs in multiple language combinations.  Contact us at JR Language to discuss your needs and we will assess them to offer solutions to manage your content, files, and satisfy your audience or users.  

Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs. Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.