It is highly important to work professionally and strictly on translating and revising texts, not only to offer a product that contains the highest quality and is 100% equivalent to the original text, but also to avoid potential problems related to an error-ridden translation, which can, especially when dealing with Financial Statements, be highly important since the quality of the translation can affect the signing of contracts worth millions of dollars or even cause a company to lose millions of dollars as the result of an error.
The following is some of the main aspects to consider when translating Financial Statements:
It is immediately apparent that this is one of the fundamental aspects that must be considered very carefully. It is essential that no number is added, eliminated, changed, or moved. Also to be considered is the punctuation and annotation system in the target country, since the period/decimal system changes between the English-speaking world and the Vietnamese-speaking world. Specifically, punctuation of numbers in Vietnamese be converted from comma in English numbers and versa vice, for example: 2.53 (English) is converted into 2,53 (Vietnamese). However, it should also be noted about the case where the period/decimal system does not change, for example: French and Vietnamese.
In case of translation of subsidiary of affiliate’s financial statements to prepare consolidated financial statements, numbers on the statement shall be converted into the currency at the exchange rate that the parent company uses comply with the accounting standards of parent company’s nation.
Another important problem are the “false friends” that can lead us to believe that we are doing an accurate translation when in reality we are translating something incorrectly. Some of the most common examples in English for a Vietnamese audience would be:
- Note: the literal translation would be “ghi chú/chú thích”, but the correct translation is “thuyết minh (đi kèm báo cáo tài chính)”.
- Income statement: the literal translation would be “báo cáo thu nhập”, whereas the correct translation is “báo cáo kết quả hoạt động kinh doanh”. For this term, many would argue that the literal translation is also acceptable, but the correct translation is used officially and more widely in legal documents, e.g. in Circular 200/2014/TT-BTC on guidelines for accounting policies for enterprises.
This is possibly the most common problem for financial translations, since new terms are created at a dizzying rate and language professionals do not have time to create a standard translation that applies to all individual markets. Thus, the translator must make the decision on his or her own and decide on a word or phrase that is adequate for the document and the target language and country.
More difficult form of translation
Translating financial statement in foreign languages is sometimes considered more difficult than other technical translations. The financial legal terminology is what makes it difficult because each country has its own financial legal terminology as well as economics legal system. More often than not, this is also different from another country even if the language they speak is identical.
In addition to the quality aspect, the translation of financial statements emphasizes on the timely and confidential aspects. These not only help the translation services provider to maintain their reputation, but also help their customers to avoid losses because of due delays or leakage of financial statements information.
It is thus very important to underscore the importance of relying on professional translators to perform financial translations who offer high-quality services and understand the significant ramifications that poor quality or incorrect translations can have for a company or institution.
At AMVN, we take care both the quality aspect and the aesthetic aspect of a financial statement. As we believe that it is one of the most important disclosure of a Company to its investors and customers. Our dedicated and experienced translators will help to deliver your key messages with the highest end-to-end quality!