Financial translation: 5 things you need from your language experts

Published on October 4th, 2018

Doing business internationally comes with a range of legal obligations that will be foreign to you in more ways than one. Tax regulations vary, risk management strategies need to adapt to local markets and you have a constant supply of financial reports and marketing resources to publish.

This is where businesses turn to financial translation to ensure all their crucial documents are in order. For this, you need a specialist skillset that you will not get with your typical translator. Here are five things you need from your language experts for financial translation.


#1: Niche financial knowledge

Financial translation is a broad subject that can include anything from working with financial reports, merger and acquisition material, price sheets, tax returns and a wide range of documents. These are highly specialised materials that need to be handled by translators with the right kind of knowledge – both linguistic and financial.

This is especially true when you have legal obligations to fulfil in the case of tax documents or statements. Above all, you need to make sure your business stays on the right side of the law and communicates flawlessly with all of the relevant regulatory bodies.


#2: Specific market knowledge

In the same way you want fluent speakers to translate your documents into other languages, you also want translators with knowledge of the specific markets you operate in. It is not only your legal obligations that are going to vary from one country to the next, but also expectations from prospective investors, customers and regulators.

In some cases, simply translating your documents might not be enough and you may need to localise them for specific market interests.


#3: Perfect terminology

Financial translation comes with tricky terminology that is more complex than your typical translator is going to have working knowledge with. Let’s face it, the average native speaker does not understand all of the financial terms you are going to be dealing with, but you do not have the luxury of catering to average audiences.

Accuracy is vital when it comes to this kind of terminology and technology plays a helping hand here.

With translation memory, you can build a database of all the terminology you need and this will be automatically translated in future documents when the same terms are detected. A translator will then check the auto translations to make sure they are accurate in the given context.

This saves time and money on your future translations, but it also helps ensure a higher level of accuracy and consistency across all of your documents.


#4: Number skills and attention to detail

Obviously, it is not your translators’ jobs to crunch the all-important numbers, but they do need to know how to translate them accurately. For example, English speakers are used to reading numbers like 100,000 as one hundred thousand but Korean speakers will read this more like ten ten-thousands and this is often the case with Asian languages.

Your translators also need impeccable attention to detail because a misplaced comma or decimal point can cause all kinds of problems in financial documents.


#5: The right technical knowledge

With such a wide range of documents and formats falling under the financial subject area, you need to be sure your translators are capable of handling the technical aspects of translating them. In some cases, it might be simply translating a Word document, but you might have spreadsheets that also need translating where knowledge of the program can drastically speed up the translation process.

On a more technical level, you might have documents created in specialist software such as Adobe Illustrator or CAD designs documenting the cost and supply of product parts. In these cases, you will need a translator with solid working knowledge of your chosen application and how to adapt your files.


As with many types of language services, financial translation requires a specialist set of skills and experience to create a fast and accurate workflow. Above all, you need to make sure the right level of accuracy is present across all of your documents. However, you also want a team with working experience in your field who can create a seamless workflow to translate your documents as quickly and efficiently as possible without compromising on quality.

Posted on: October 4th, 2018