Regardless of their particular industry, financial translation is a typical requirement of many modern-day entrepreneurs, who recognise its importance for international business prospects. The increased globalisation of the marketplace means that it’s never been as valuable to connect with enterprises and customers around the world. As such, expanding your business’s influence abroad means dealing and producing a variety of financial documentation.
Here at London Translations, we understand that precision and accuracy are integral to relaying such crucial information. Considering the impact this paperwork can have on your company’s bottom line, there’s no room for mistakes, which is why we believe financial text translations should always be left to professional translators. Here’s what makes them so essential.
Awareness of crucial differences in numbers and punctuation
Punctuation has the ability to completely change a sentence’s meaning—a classic example of this is “let’s eat, grandma!” vs, “let’s eat grandma!”. You want all translations to be performed by somebody with a solid understanding of the target language’s grammatical rules, guaranteeing that the materials will be read and understood exactly as you intended. This is especially important when it comes to financial documents, where accuracy is key, and even more so when punctuational variations have the ability to affect numbers as well as words.
For instance, like the UK, countries including China, India and Japan use decimal points to separate whole and fractional numbers. However, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Vietnam, and many other nations use a decimal comma instead. Therefore, if your financial text translation isn’t conducted by a professional aware of this crucial difference, there could be a lot of confusion surrounding the figures you present.
What’s more, there are also certain countries that don’t follow a typical 0-9 numeral system. Places like Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, Sudan and the UAE may instead use Eastern Arabic numerals, which means if you’re liaising with a business in one of these locations, you need a professional translator who is completely at ease with these digits.
Ignoring “false friends” or literal translations
“False friends” are words in different languages that look or sound similar but have very different meanings. For instance, take the English word “college” and the German word “kollege”. A bad linguist may assume that as the two appear almost identical, they both also refer to a place of higher education. However, the German translation of “college” is “hochschule”, while “kollege” actually means “colleague”. Another example is “手紙”, which simultaneously means “postcard” in Japanese and “toilet paper” in Chinese.
Another problem you can avoid with the help of a professional is the danger of literal translation. Also referred to as word-for-word translation, this involves translating each word separately, without taking the overall meaning into consideration. This approach often results in translations which are technically correct, but read awkwardly and can be difficult to comprehend due to poor knowledge of the source language. This is not the reception you want for your financial texts, which should be engaging and interesting in order to further benefit your business. Luckily, an expert linguist will ensure every line reads naturally, effectively conveys your message, and whole-heartedly captures the attention of your reader.
Informed lexical decisions
One sentence can always be phrased in a number of different ways, and it’s the job of a professional translator to choose the perfect combination of words for the document’s purpose, best suited to the target language and country. Fluency allows your translator to be creative and nuanced with vocabulary and sentence structure, ensuring your reader won’t switch off due to vague or dull phrasing.
Where appropriate, our professional translators also apply a localisation service to your materials. This means that in addition to creating word-perfect documentation, the translation will be informed by the specific country’s unique historical and cultural context. For example, there could be an opportunity to include an everyday idiom used by native speakers. This level of awareness gives your financial text translation a sense of place, making it much more likely to resonate with your reader.
Understanding financial abbreviations and context
Our professional translators have considerable experience working in the finance industry, giving them total confidence in incorporating sector-specific terminology into their work. This is especially important when you consider the complicated jargon likely to be included in your financial texts. Additionally, they will be familiar with any abbreviations or acronyms used in the field, as well as the appropriate financial context.