4 peculiarities of financial translation

Published on 28/04/2020

Financial translation belongs to the field of specialized translation. Beyond the peculiarities of specialized translation from a general point of view, financial translation has its own peculiarities, which in turn require a series of specific skills from the professional translator. 

1. Specific competences for the translation of financial texts

Specific competences for the translation of financial texts

The translation of financial documents requires a number of specific skills on the part of the translator related to that field. It is not enough simply to know the terminology of the financial field. Extensive knowledge of the sector is also required, simply to be able to understand everything that needs to be translated.

Annual reports, technical and fundamental stock market analyses, banking documents, audit reports: both the content and the subject matter covered by financial translation are very varied (economics, banking, stock market, accounting, etc.). 

To achieve a quality financial translation, it is essential to ensure that you use a professional translator who specialises in the specific subject matter and type of content of the document to be translated. For example, for the translation of financial audit reports we should use a translator who specialises in this field.

2. Be informed about financial news

Be informed about financial news

Although in principle all sectors are constantly evolving, not all sectors are evolving at the same speed. The field of finance, for its part, is evolving rapidly and constantly. In order to produce a professional quality financial translation, the translator must be up to date with the economic and legal situation.

Financial markets, for example, can undergo radical changes. Sometimes such changes can occur even in a matter of minutes. Not being sufficiently well informed about the latest financial and economic developments can lead to translation errors, which in turn can have important consequences.

3. Discretion and rigour in the processing of documents

Discretion and rigour in the processing of documents

3.1. Respect for confidentiality

A translator specializing in the field of finance must strictly observe confidentiality agreements. For this purpose, a translation agencymay, for example, establish measures such as

  • Confidentiality clauses in the translator's contract
  • Computer security measures and a reinforced network system;
  • The exclusive use of professional translators with experience in finance
  • Etc.

For more information, see our translation services for the financial sector.

3.2. Structure of the document

A financial translation must also be carried out with infallible rigour. As for the document itself, it is essential to respect the strict rules of presentation depending on the type of document (communiqué, audit report, prospectus etc.).

The financial translator must know how to handle specific editing and publishing tools or the specific functions relating to financial documents available in widely used programs (Word, Excel, etc.).

4. Complex multilingual language

Complex multilingual language


Due to the large number of multilingual elements, language is undoubtedly one of the most blatant peculiarities of financial translation. In particular, there are many Anglicisms that must be adapted or respected. Some should be translated, while others should be kept in the source language, always taking into account the context and the meaning of the sentence or paragraph in question.

This peculiarity requires vast knowledge of financial terminology, as well as of its current use, while taking into account the lexicon used by the target audience to which the translation is addressed. For example, an individual who invests in the stock market to increase his or her wealth will not have the same knowledge of how the stock market works and the use of financial terms related to the stock market as a professional investor.

A financial translator will have to have a double-edged sword in order to carry out professional translations. In addition to your translation skills, you will need to have skills in understanding and analysing the field of finance, be informed at all times and show impeccable discretion and rigour. Compared to other professions, financial translation requires total involvement, which makes it an activity that is also practised as a hobby.

Other articles you may be interested in:

Virginia Pacheco's picture
Virginia Pacheco

Blog writer and Community Manager interested in multiculturality and linguistic diversity. From her native Venuzuela, she has travelled and lived for many years in France, Germany, Cameroon and Spain, passing on her passion for writing and her intercultural experiences.

Add new comment