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Pitfalls in Financial Translation

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In the financial world, one translation mistake can lead to serious problems. We have identified 5 main difficulties in financial translation that most linguists face in their daily work.


One of the most common financial translation problems is the correct transfer of terminology. It is extremely important that the linguist is well versed in the subject matter. The terminology is complex and can become a serious problem for a translator without experience and understanding of the topic. For example, in the translation of material about online trading, the meaning of the term bear market should be correctly conveyed according to the context. If taken literally, the translation will not be done correctly, because in a financial context it has a completely different meaning. Bear market (literally – “bear market”) has nothing to do with bears, in fact, it is a certain trend in the securities market. The same goes for cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Words like smart contract and mining, are very precise financial terms unique to the sector.


If you are using a language service provider to translate financial statements and other important information, please be aware that the transmission of any personal material is at great risk. Therefore, it is important that you trust the translation agency and be sure of the confidentiality of cooperation. For example, the Profpereklad translation agency requires its linguists (translators and editors) to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and translation memories are usually configured to guarantee protection from external sources (for more information about the company’s approach, see the на сайте).

Customers want to be sure that their valuable information will not be disclosed, altered, mistranslated or used for fraudulent purposes. Therefore, translators who are trustworthy, responsible and professional in relation to the information transmitted to them must be selected for the project.

Working with numbers

There are a lot of numbers in the financial documentation. At the same time, there is no universal language for numbers – they differ around the world. In particular, the Chinese and Japanese numbering systems are very far from the standard. Accordingly, translators must be careful not only with words, but also with numbers. In this context, punctuation requires special attention. For example, in English-speaking countries 1,300 is “one thousand three hundred”, and in Ukrainian 1,300 = 1.3. It is extremely important to take into account such “small” details, otherwise the translated financial document will lead to serious misunderstandings.

Temporary restrictions

The financial industry is developing rapidly, and all processes are limited in time. Reports, statements, and important updates are published all the time, and companies must not miss deadlines. Therefore, financial transfers must be completed in a timely manner. Whether it’s an emergency email about a market problem or a news report about a price drop, everything needs to be on time.

Culture and market rules

The rules and regulations relating to finance can be complex and confusing. In addition, the rules differ from country to country, and for this reason, it can be difficult to translate a financial document for another region. Linguists should be aware of local laws and regulations.

Any of the translation errors above can lead to financial setbacks, so it’s important to trust your documents to a reliable service provider.

Kossi Adzo is the editor and author of He is software engineer. Innovation, Businesses and companies are his passion. He filled several patents in IT & Communication technologies. He manages the technical operations at

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