11 November 2022

Prospectus translation: how it works and all the benefits

Categoria: Linguistic Services

Prospectus translation is one of the services we provide at Way2Global, a translation agency that considers the financial sector its core business, so we can explain how prospectus translation works and its associated benefits.

To an even greater extent than all financial documents, prospectuses require flawless professional translation. Indeed, investors make their decisions based on this information, so it is essential to translate these documents as accurately as possible.

To get a professional translation, a specific process must be followed, especially for texts concerning highly regulated fields such as finance.

Turn to us for prospectus translation. We have been supporting major financial companies in translating their specialized documents for more than 30 years.
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How it works

To better illustrate how prospectus translation works, we would like to share the steps that we follow at our translation agency.

We start by gathering the information needed to assess the work that needs to be performed through a feasibility check, in this specific case the following information is required:

  • Contextualization of the prospectus (type of financial product, issuer, relevant financial market, …);
  • source language (the language in which it is written);
  • target language(s) (the languages into which it must be translated);
  • text length, preferably in terms of word count;
  • document format (file format, layout requirements);
  • delivery date of the translation.

Based on all this information, we come up with a quote and, if accepted, we arrive at the most delicate stage: assembling the project team. The quality of translation depends on the professionals used, which is why this stage is crucially important.

In this regard, an essential aspect is appointment of a project manager (PM) to whom management of the order is entrusted. As a rule, our orders and customers are assigned internally to the team who handled previous jobs, so in the case of a prospectus, the choice will fall to the PM who specializes in handling financial translations and who is in charge of the customer’s orders. The PM will then personally select the members of the team of linguists, always operating on the basis of previous allocation: translators, proofreaders and subject matter experts (SMEs).

Of these, the best-known figure is certainly the translator. In the specific case of prospectuses, the translator must – in addition to having an educational background and solid past experience in the language field – have in-depth knowledge of finance. Indeed, translating a prospectus requires knowledge of the fundamentals of financial markets and specialization in the specific niche of prospectuses and their regulation, so as to ensure a timely, adequate translation. This is not even to mention keeping constantly abreast of an ever-changing subject matter and the specific situation of the relevant financial market, with in-depth knowledge of the technical jargon used in the field and its cross-linguistic two-way correspondence across different lexical systems.

As for the other professionals, while the reviewer must also have the same characteristics as the translator, requirements differ in the case of the proofreader and the subject matter expert. The proofreader must have excellent language skills, but does not need to possess such advanced knowledge of financial matters, since this professional’s work consists of correcting the text from a formal and linguistic standpoint. The opposite applies to the subject matter expert, who must be an expert in the financial sector, but not necessarily a linguist, since their job is to check the appropriateness of the prospectus translation from a content standpoint.

Once the professionals have been identified and the team has been set up, the various steps in the translation process are performed. The must-have criteria in this case are fidelity to the original text and confidentiality.

The first element is crucial because a misleading or inaccurate translation could affect the investment choices of prospectus users, with obvious unacceptable economic repercussions. Confidentiality is an equally important aspect precisely because of the sensitivity of the information covered in prospectuses. For this reason, commissioned professionals normally sign a confidentiality agreement in which they agree to maintain the confidentiality of information that they learn about.

Once the actual translation stage is complete, the draft undergoes multiple revision steps to ensure its correctness in both form and content. Proofreaders, reviewers, and subject matter experts are the professionals involved in this stage. Entrusting checks to third-party professionals other than the translator is a practice that is embedded in translation ethics: a revision by a third-party linguist who approaches the text with fresh eyes ensures a more objective qualitative assessment and greater effectiveness in detecting oversights or interpretation errors.

Once all the control steps have been passed, depending on the customer’s requirements, an additional step, layout, may be necessary. As a text is transposed from one language to another, its length can significantly vary, with obvious implications for the layout. At Way2Global we also provide this service, where requested, thanks to our in-house DTP department, which enables us to provide the customer with a prospectus translated and formatted to high quality standards.


Outsourcing translation of prospectuses to a professional translation agency offers three major advantages, starting with significant time savings. We have seen how the prospectus translation cycle works; it is a complex procedural process with a set of obligatory steps if you are aiming for the highest quality. Finding professionals, coordinating the project, and supervising its smooth progress are certainly not tasks that should be improvised. Instead, a solid foundation of education and experience in the language field is needed, coupled with a set of soft skills such as problem-solving, empathy, and time management, all of which are characteristics of the project manager position.

The second, no less important benefit, is the guarantee of a high-quality translation. This is ensured both by the professionalism of the experts working on the project and by compliance with a rigorous work cycle.

With regard to the first element, professionalism, at Way2Global we guarantee this by only assigning projects to professionals who meet the following requirements:

  • linguists who are native speakers of the target language;
  • excellent knowledge of the source language;
  • degree in translation or an equivalent subject;
  • many years of experience in the field of financial translations;
  • master’s degree in finance or years of experience in the financial sector (preferred);
  • advanced knowledge of Office and language industry software;
  • speed and flexibility.

Translation agencies can demonstrate the second aspect, a rigorous work cycle, by achieving one or more ISO certifications. Passing the annual audit that must be conducted to obtain and subsequently reconfirm certification over the years is proof of the agency’s commitment and seriousness in offering customers a high-quality product.

Last but not least, another advantage is reputational payoff. Distributing impeccably translated prospectuses on the markets is a sign of professionalism and competence. Indeed, it is well known that, like all users and consumers, investors prefer to consult information accompanying financial instruments in their native language, so as to ensure more immediate understanding. Satisfying this preference by providing a high-quality translation is therefore a significant first step in building trust with clients and investors.

At Way2Global, we have been providing financial translations for more than 30 years, with no less than three ISO certifications attesting to the rigor and quality of our team of project managers, translators and financial linguists.

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    Laura Gori is the Founder and CEO of Way2Global, a women-led translation agency startup with a Benefit ethos. After 30 years at the helm of a small multinational localization company, Laura decided to make a fresh start and founded Way2Global to conduct business in a way that benefits society and the environment, while promoting corporate growth. A fervent advocate of Benefit Corporations and women’s empowerment, Laura takes every opportunity to spread awareness on these issues and contribute to a fairer, more egalitarian and sustainable economy for all.
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