5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Financial Translation

Last Updated December 13, 2021

financial translation

Maximize returns with the translation of financial documents for international markets.

Keeping track of your company’s financial flows generates a great deal of documentation, like statements, reports, audits, estimates, and contracts.

For businesses that operate internationally, there is an added obligation: financial translation.

Handling financial translation is a complex process that presents some unique challenges. With specific terminology, differing international requirements, and a multitude of legal obligations, the possibility of something important to get lost in translation can be high.

We’ve gathered the best advice to make sure financial translation is always precise from the key figures to the bottom line.

Here are the five qualities you should look for in a financial translator.

1. Multilingual Financial Expertise

Most native speakers have difficulty understanding financial terminology used by their own country so translating financial documents for another country is not a straightforward translation task.

To add to the complexity, the same financial term in one country can mean something different in another – or even within the same country.

For example, the word ‘stock’ can mean an inventory of goods, shares in a corporation, an evaluation of something, a fund due for money loaned, and capital available for investment or trading. And those are just the financial definitions!

When it comes to financial translation, all words and phrases must maintains their local and professional meaning. For that to go smoothly, the translators would have to have financial expertise in both the source and the target countries.

2. Numerical and Technical Literacy

Financial translation not only needs linguistic and sector-specific expertise, it also requires an understanding of numerical analysis, and how numbers work in different cultures.

Around the globe there are a variety of numeral systems, methods of calculating, and presenting data.

For example, in the US and the UK, a dot indicates the decimal marker and commas group three digits within a large number. Most European countries, however, use a comma as a decimal marker, and a dot or a narrow space to group three digits within a large number.

This numerical information could then be presented in several ways, such as written in a text document, stored in a spreadsheet, or integrated into a CAD image, documenting the cost of product parts, for example.

Financial translators will know the appropriate syntax based on the target language. Mistakes could cause confusion of your company’s financial standing.

3. Financial Compliance Across Global Markets

Tax and other legal documentation also vary from country to country—and they are always evolving. A thorough understanding of local markets is necessary to having accurate financial reporting in each region.

In the US, for example, businesses follow the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) system. In the European Union (EU), the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) harmonize member states’ financial and accounting norms. Although most large companies use IFRS, most SMEs do not.

Compliance across cultures can present challenges. For instance, the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requires a global business with a presence in EU to make their core financial documentation available in member countries’ local languages. In addition, country-specific policies will also need to be taken into consideration.

4. Consistent Brand Messaging

There is more to financial communications than cash and contracts. Financial communication is a vital part of a company’s brand. The importance of having a clear financial identity that doesn’t get lost in translation cannot be overstated.

Financial communications can shape a company’s reputation in the eyes of all stakeholders—investors, partners, and customers alike.

The impact of the home market’s advertising, marketing, SEO, paid search, email marketing, social media etc. must not, be diminished when translated into other languages.

5. Comprehensive Financial Translation in Every Context

Financial information comes in many forms.

When translating any of the documents listed below, it is important to recognize the specialist skills that are required to ensure an accurate and localized translation.

  • Financial statements
  • Audit reports
  • Management reports
  • Annual and quarterly reports
  • Datasheets
  • Business plans
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Share issue reports
  • Stock market reports
  • Compliance reports
  • Risk analyses
  • Investment reports
  • Market analyses
  • Investment fund prospectuses
  • Trading software
  • Financial press releases
  • Marketing material

Make an Asset of Financial Translation

In any form of financial communication, details matter. A misplaced comma or an additional zero can have catastrophic consequences. A shift in meaning or unintentional non-compliance can have costly repercussions.

Don’t take any chances. Summa Linguae Technologies makes it easy for your business to present any kind of financial content to stakeholders in any part of the world.

For expertly localized financial translation that will benefit your bottom line, contact Summa Linguae today.

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