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4 Major Challenges Of Financial Translation

Posted by Anne Quach on December 13, 2021.

The process of globalization is more and more strongly developed. Many countries around the world not only focus on cultural and social exchanges but also economic exchanges to bring businesses out of the domestic market and develop to foreign markets. Besides language barriers, you have to deal with the financial rules and regulations of the countries you are approaching which are likely to have some major differences from those for your country.  That’s when financial translation services come in handy. 

In this blog, we will give you an overview of financial translation, from its definition to common types of financial documents that need translating. More importantly, we will discuss 4 huge challenges of translation for financial content and give you some tips to overcome them.

What Is Financial Translation?

Translating financial content is considered one of the most challenging types of translation as the financial translation has its own set of concepts and vocabulary that necessitates specialized knowledge within economics and finance.

Here are some common types of financial translation documents:

  • Regulatory documents
  • Prospectuses
  • Business plans
  • Income statements
  • Cash flow statements
  • Balance sheets
  • Annual reports
  • Equities
  • Bonds
  • Commodities
  • Foreign exchange
  • Tax reports
  • Insurance documents
  • Public and private offerings
  • Websites
  • Agreements
  • Report for the securities and exchange commission


4 Major Challenges Of Financial Translation

Together with an increase in the demands for financial translation are some big challenges almost all companies have to deal with when working on a translation project.  Below are 4 common challenges and useful tips for you to overcome them.

#1. Punctuation Rules 

Punctuation rules play an all-important role in translation. A financial translation requires utmost accuracy as it contains many numbers. Just a slight mistake in a number can result in a loss of hundreds or even millions of dollars.

Financial Documents

As the punctuation rules for numbers in each country is different, acknowledging the rules used in your target market is a need-to-know thing. Some countries use dots as a decimal separator while others use commas. For example, 11.50 means 11 and 1/2 in English, but it means 1150 in Vietnamese. 


#2. Financial Regulations And Rules Differ By Country

Each country has different financial regulations and rules. For example, in the United States, one of the typical rules is Voclker. Volcker requires that the banks separate transactions in investing stocks and private property. Nonetheless, in Europe, EMIR (European Market Infrastructure Regulation) does not require the separation of transactions from regular banking activities as the requirements of Volcker in the United States.

In Asia, the China Banking and Regulatory Commission issued a new provision during 2011 to restrict banks’ trading activities (domestic and foreign). Under this new provision, investments by banks must be limited to 3% or less of the banks’ total capital. Other major financial centres in Asia such as Singapore or Hong Kong have not applied the Volcker Rule. Because of the different regulations and rules, financial translation has become harder. 


#3. Time Constraints

In business, the factor that makes the success of the companies or businesses is time. Well, that’s why the companies or businesses always plan and choose financial translation services and request the translators to complete financial translation as soon as possible. From that, the companies and businesses can capture the latest information, documents about finance to the progress of work. 


#4. Confidentiality

Financial documents and reports require high confidentiality since they contain a lot of important information about a company, business or even a nation. That’s why confidentiality is really necessary for financial translation. When a financial translation is exposed, the company or business will fall into a dangerous situation, even bankruptcy.


Tips for Getting High-Quality Financial Translation

Although financial translation has many challenges, we know the way to overcome them, it can be sure that financial translation will take place fluently. Here are some tips for you to get high-quality financial translations.

#1. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is a must if you expect to receive a cost-effective financial translation. Without a proper plan, you might end up with rush translations which can cost up twice or triple compared to regular translations. In your plan, you should identify and prepare the following elements:

    • Your target audience profile
    • Style guides and Termbase
    • Your expected outcomes – Do you need a ready-to-public financial document or just a quick translation to understand the overview of the source document?
    • Your expected layouts – doc, .xlx, .pdf, etc.


#2. Use Technology

Currently, many tools that have helped humans in translation have appeared. CAT tools are a helpful tool that is much chosen by the translators. This tool supports and facilitates all the financial translation progress. CAT tools will increase productivity and quality of financial translation as it recognizes repeated words, phrases, statements that were translated before and give you the translations stored in the translation memory. That means you don’t have to keep translating a segment over and over again.

CAT Tools

Some popular CAT Tools in the market

With its outstanding features, CAT tools will help the companies or businesses to save the fee and time for the translators as well as in financial translation. 


#3. Sign NDAs

A Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is a legally binding contract or agreement that was signed at least between two companies or individuals with the aim to establish a confidential relationship and protect any types of financial translation documents. Two parties agree that information or documents in financial translation will not be provided for any others. Signing NDAs will also make sure that information is absolutely confidential, simultaneously, preventing competitors from having information from financial translation.


#4. Work With Professionals

In order to receive translations with a minimum number of errors, you should always work with professionals. To be more specific, your financial translators should meet the following requirements:

    • Be a native speaker of the target language.
    • Have long experience in the translation industry.
    • Have a degree or certificate related to finance or economics.


Wrap Up

For companies or businesses that are building partnerships with foreign businesses or targeting global audiences, having important financial documents well translated is highly needed. Plenty of challenges must be dealt with when you work on a financial translation project. We hope by addressing some common challenges and following our tips above, it will be much easier for you to achieve a smooth and quality translation project.

If you are looking for a professional financial translation partner, look no further than GTE localize. With years of experience in handling translation and localization projects in the field of finance, we are confident to bring you the best-in-class financial translation services at the most value-for-money rates. Our team of translators who can handle all major languages in the world are fully aware of the financial regulations and rules of the target markets.

Financial Translation Services

Contact our localization experts and get your project kicked off today!