Banking and Finance translations: what you need to know to get it right

June 15, 2015

Translations in the Finance world are more complex than you think There are several challenges associated with the translation of texts related to the financial sphere. This field employs a vast variety of, specialized, industry-specific vocabulary which even native speakers may be unfamiliar with.

The terminology used varies a great deal according to country and the particular sector of the market. For this reason many companies choose to employ in-house translators dedicated not only to financial themes, but also to a specific branch of the industry.

Accuracy and Consistency are very important

Clients requesting translations of financial texts may be private companies or banks, and texts translated may be produced for public consumption or internal use. During a typical day a financial translator may come across: Annual Tax Reports, Income Statements, Business Plans, Public and Private Offerings and Balance Sheets.

Since financial material is often so jargon-laden, avoiding obscurity while maintaining accuracy and consistency is of the highest importance. A useful reference is the Oxford Dictionary of Finance and Banking, currently in its fifth edition and available in an online version.

It covers vocabulary used in banking, money markets, foreign exchanges, public and government finance, and private investment and borrowing. There are also a number of financial dictionaries on the web, which may be helpful to consult due to the rapidly changing vocabulary of the industry.

Always keep learning

To remain up to date, the working financial translator is expected to read specialized newspapers such as the Financial Times as well as general interest publications such as The Economist. In addition, translators need to maintain close ties with those working in other sectors, especially the legal field.

The overlap between these two spheres is significant, and the translation of contracts employing financial terms is frequently a responsibility that falls to an in-house financial translator.

Time sensitivity is expected of all translations, but in the financial world it is especially key. The fast-paced nature of stock market transactions and the international nature of many companies means that turn-around times are often very tight.

In order to maintain a fast pace and achieve exactly what the customer wants, companies must invest a lot time in hiring staff that’s willing to constantly investigate and acquire new and updated techniques, in that way they’ll be up to date with the precise words that would give the exact meaning to the project they’re working on.

As we previously mentioned there are many online dictionaries which can be helpful in this task, and although these can be used to give definition to a word, you should always take into account that you wouldn’t obtain the same result if you used one of these word definition publications, that the one you’d get with a properly trained translator. Frequently the definition would be correct, but it wouldn’t fit with the context of what you want to publish.

Our recommendation:

It is always advisable to seek a professional team for a Banking and Finance translation, with respectable track record and satisfied customers, because the content tends to be delicate and subject to interpretations that must be done by trained personnel to ensure a good work.


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