Do you need to translate your bank statement for visa purposes? Do you work in a multinational looking to make documentation accessible to all stakeholders? It sounds like you are in need of financial translation services.
If that’s so, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover the concept of financial translation and the types of financial documents. We’ll also focus on the challenges of financial translation and the importance of hiring professionals. Finally, we’ll cover some frequently asked questions regarding this topic.
What is financial translation?
Financial translation refers to the process of translating a financial document from one language (called “source language”) into another (called “target language”). Financial documents include income statements and balance sheets.
Multinational companies often require financial documents for reporting purposes. Their translation allows stakeholders who do not speak the language to keep up to date with the company’s financial records. These translations might also be needed when applying for visas to certain countries.
This type of translation is carried out by specialized professional translators or translation agencies. Financial documents are often confidential and their translation requires a high level of language proficiency and a thorough understanding of financial concepts in both languages.
Types of financial documents
There is a wide range of documents that may require financial translation services. These documents apply to various industries, such as insurance, banking, real estate, investment, and manufacturing. The list below is not exhaustive but covers a good number of financial documents.
- Bank statements
- Tax returns
- Income statements
- Purchase orders
- Tender letters
- Loan agreements
- Stock market analyses
- Tax reports
- Business plans
- Cash flow statements
- Insurance policies
- Annual reports
- Credit receipts
- Regulatory documentation
- Compliance reports
- Balance sheets
- Terms and conditions
- Financial contracts
- Audit reports
- Retirement plans
Challenges of financial translation
Just like most specialized translation fields, financial translation is not without its challenges. We’ll focus on four of these below to highlight the importance of hiring professionals for financial translation services.
Every country has its own market rules and regulations. Translators need to be aware of this as well as keep up to date with any changes. This ensures no legal issues stem from these translations.
Just like any industry, finance has its own specialized vocabulary or lingo. Translating financial terminology accurately requires a thorough understanding of the sector and the context in which a specific term appears. Many financial terms share their spelling with common-use words and this can cause confusion. “Stock,” for example, can refer to goods in a warehouse or capital raised by a company, not to mention the various meanings outside the financial sector.
Another challenge when it comes to terminology is consistency. Failure, in this case, can have harmful effects on the business in question. Two good resources to overcome this are to keep a translation glossary and follow the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
One thing that is sure to appear in financial documents is numbers, lots of numbers.
While most of us are familiar with the decimal numeral system, it is important to note that there are differences when it comes to English and other languages. For example, decimals are separated by a decimal point in English but a comma in French, Spanish, and German. As for thousands, these are separated by a comma in English. However, Spanish uses a space and German uses a point.
Moreover, there are differences regarding date formatting and currencies to consider.
Most of the time, financial documents are confidential. This is a challenge, particularly when documents need to be translated into several languages, meaning several professionals are involved in the process. This is why it’s crucial to work with reputable translators and enforce non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
As you can see, a lot can go wrong when translating financial documents. This means you should be extremely careful when acquiring financial translations.
Financial translation services FAQs
You now know what financial translation entails and how important it is to find the right professional to tackle the job. In this section, we’ll cover some other questions you might have regarding financial translations.
Do banks offer translation services?
Some banks or financial institutions may have translators on staff who work on internal documents requiring translation. However, they don’t tend to offer translation services to third parties. For this, you should turn to a translator or translation agency.
What does a financial translator do?
We’ve more or less covered this at the beginning of this article. To sum up, a financial translator translates a financial document from one language to another. They are proficient in both languages, have knowledge of the respective cultures and financial systems, and are well-versed in financial terminology. Financial translators also follow confidentiality best practices and keep up with rules and regulations in the financial sector.
Do financial translation services include currency conversion?
No, unless you ask for it. Typically, financial documents are translated as is. However, if you need to include currency conversion, you can ask your translation service provider for this. An additional fee may apply.
How much do financial translations cost?
The price for translation services varies depending on different factors. These include the number and length of the documents, the format, the specific language combination, if you require certification and/or notarization and if you need the translation urgently.
Translators and translation companies usually charge per word or page (one "page" is about 250 words). When it comes to cost per word, you will find prices ranging from $0.08 to $0.50/word. The cost per page can vary from $20 to $130.
RushTranslate provides degree translation services in over 65 languages starting at $0.10 per word for standard translations and $24.95 per page for certified ones.
Don’t worry; we’ll cover what certified translations are up next.
Do I need a certified translation?
Depending on the organization or institution you are submitting your documents to, you might need a certified translation. We can’t tell you for certain if you’ll need one, but it’s key to check before ordering your translation.
A certified translation is a literal (word-for-word) translation of all visible text in a document used for official purposes. In this case, the receiver requires certification to verify that the translation is complete and accurate.
Here, the translation service provider will add a signed statement that says the translation is a complete and accurate rendition of the original document. This statement is known as a “Certificate of Translation Accuracy.”
You can find more information about certified translation in this article.
#3# Financial localization vs. financial translation
Generally speaking, translation is the action of transferring written content from one language into another. Meanwhile, localization goes beyond translation. It doesn’t entail only translating a text from one language to another but transferring a whole product from one culture into another. This covers the text and everything that meets the eye (or the ear) in products such as websites or mobile apps.
The purpose of localization is to enter new markets successfully. This could include a different language, or it could be two countries or regions that speak the same language but have cultural differences, such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
When it comes to financial localization, this entails the adaptation of financial materials. The content of these materials will be adapted to meet local regulations.
Financial translation services are both important and complex. If you need to translate a financial document, it’s crucial that you take the time to select a qualified translator or translation agency.
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of the financial translation process.
Updated December 15, 2022 in Translation