29 March 2022

When to request financial translations

Categoria: Linguistic Services

Companies need to request financial translations much more frequently than in the past. Globalization has led to more companies operating internationally. Foreign subsidiaries and the need to interface with stakeholders speaking different languages make financial translation an often indispensable requirement.

Another need that drives companies to request financial translations is the pursuit of financing. One of the requirements for participation in European and international calls for tenders is the translation of business plans, balance sheets and other financial documents.

Financial translations can also be useful for those who do not wish to participate in calls for tenders, but nevertheless wish to attract new investments. Nowadays, many investors are looking for companies that are transparent and comply with ESG criteria. Making financial and sustainability reporting available in other languages can therefore offer an important competitive advantage over competitors when it comes to securing new funding.

Specialist topic

Financial translation covers various types of texts: balance sheets, analysts’ comments, reports, insurance documents, and much more. Each of these documents covers various areas of the financial sector, so they use highly specialized language. This aspect should be considered when requesting this type of translation.

Companies often opt to cut costs by disinvesting in services that are wrongly considered less relevant. In the case of translation, this strategic error can seriously harm the company.

poor-quality financial translation could result in the loss of valuable business opportunities, cause legal and financial damage and, not least, undermine the company’s longstanding reputation.

Financial translations hide pitfalls that only an expert can identify and address. When it comes to terms that can be translated in multiple different ways, a non-specialist translator might choose the least suitable option. This is exactly what happens with machine translation, which is unable to contextualize and demonstrate the linguistic sensitivity required to choose the most appropriate word or phrase for the context.

The level of complexity increases when it is necessary to translate an expression that does not have an exact equivalent in the target language. In this case, only a financial translation professional can resolve the issue and determine what other expressions can be used to faithfully convey the concept of the original version.

To translate a technical subject such as finance, it is best to hire translators who possess translation skills and in-depth financial knowledge, while also keeping constantly abreast of news and changes in this dynamic sector.

The spread of sustainable finance, for example, has led to a strong demand for translations of social reports, sustainability reports and integrated financial statements. Translators have consequently had to broaden and deepen their knowledge of non-financial reporting so as to continually ensure an impeccable translation service.

Translation quality

Financial translators are required to produce very high-quality work. There are two main reasons for this.

First of all, this is a highly regulated field in which translators cannot freely choose terminology, but must strictly comply with the  relevant standards.

Regulations vary depending on the type of document being translated. On the one hand, there are standards relating to the financial sector itself, such as the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) or the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). On the other hand, there are the standards and frameworks that regulate non-financial reporting, such as those of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).

Regardless of the specific standard that must be followed, there is still a need to respect its official terminology, which is one of the criteria for evaluating the quality of the translation.

The second consideration that should lead companies to request the highest-quality financial translation relates to the potential consequences of an inferior translation.

Any oversights or errors could cause inaccurate interpretation of the information contained in the document and consequently result in wrong decisions, with negative repercussions on business relations and the company’s growth prospects.

There is also a risk of potential damage to the corporate reputation. Relying on inexperienced translators or machine translation is likely to result in a translation that is not aligned with your stakeholders’ expectations and linguistic and cultural expectations. Even specialized areas such as finance require terminological and lexical choices that are consistent with the culture of the interlocutor.

By contrast, hiring financial translation professionals ensures high-quality documents and appropriate communication that boosts corporate reputation.

Financial translations have always been our core business at Way2Global.

For over 30 years, we have supported the main forces in the financial industry by translating all types of documents into any language combination. The quality of our translations is guaranteed by triple ISO certification and by a team of specialists with extensive experience in numerous fields within the financial sector.


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