Specialist Spotlight: Financial Translation

December 2, 2022

Globalisation drives businesses to tap into opportunities from different markets, making it necessary to convert corporate documentation from one language to another. This gives rise to a keen demand for financial translation, which is the rendering of financial documents – including but not limited to annual reports, prospectuses, financial statements and contracts – to a different language in a professional and accurate manner.

Unlike general translation, financial translation is a specialised field that requires expertise and professional ethics of translators. So, this article is going to address the things that financial translators should do and avoid doing.

Don’t hesitate to consult with the client about anything uncertain

Financial documents usually involve a good deal of terminologies and numbers. Some of the terms or phrases may be specific only to that particular company while there’s a risk of human errors in numbers when drafting the source text. If a translator comes across anything unsure or even wrong, he should ask the client to provide more information in order to render correct translations.

Keep abreast of the latest financial news and regulatory changes

The financial sector is continually evolving so as the regulation. Financial translators have to stay up to date with new developments and learn new knowledge about the industry so that they can always translate the source accurately and correctly.

Be meticulous and attentive to detail

As mentioned before, translating financial text with a considerable number of figures and sophisticated concepts requires translators’ meticulous care and extra attention to avoid errors. Missed figures, incorrectly rendered numbers and mistranslated terms could have far-reaching consequences for the company.

Disclose inside information

Confidentiality is paramount for financial translators. This is especially so when they deal with information concerning profit and loss, insider transactions, and other sensitive data. As professional translators, they must keep all these information strictly confidential, not even talk about it as a conversation topic with friends and family. No one could risk data breach in financial translation.

Take on more work than one can handle

One of the unique challenges for financial translation is tight deadlines. If a company is conducting a transaction with a foreign counterparty in a hurry, it may need a large amount of information to be translated within a short period. A translator should carefully estimate his turnaround time and undertake the right amount of volume that he is able to produce accurate and correct translations on a tight schedule. After all, financial translation is all about efficiency and accuracy.

While translating financial documents with complexity is a weighty responsibility for translators, maintaining best practices can always benefit themselves and also the industry.

Our Contacts

  • Diners Professional Translation Services Limited
    +852 2545 2227  diners@diners.com.hk
  • Hong Kong Legal Translation Limited
    +852 2370 2038  cs@hklegaltranslation.com

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