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"Valeur nominale" - "correction" of translation test.
Thread poster: Jenny Forbes

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Jun 6, 2007

I recently did a translation test for an agency that contacted me through ProZ - it has a good BB record.
I have been translating financial texts for years. The test included the expression "valeur nominale" for securities. I translated it, as usual, by "face value". The agency failed me, one of the reasons being that "face value" was wrong. No alternative suggestion was made. Now both my French financial dictionaries confirm "valeur nominale" as "face value". Did they want "nominal value"? Have I been mistaken all these years? I'd like your opinions. I don't intend to protest or plead for acceptance, but to me, it just confirms the uselessness of taking these wretched tests!
Kind regards,
Jenny.


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Catherine Piéret  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:58
English to French
+ ...
Valeur nominale Jun 6, 2007

Dear Jenny,

I've checked with Louis Ménard's "Dictionnaire de la comptabilité et de la gestion financière" that I use for working.
You're right "Valeur nominale" is translated "Face value" as well as "Nominal value".

I think the revisor made a mistake...

Is this agency specialized in Financial translation.
If not, one explanation could be that the revisor has no skills in this field; but difficult to demonstrate...

All the best,

Catherine


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Alan R King
Local time: 20:58
Basque to English
+ ...
Correct conclusion Jun 6, 2007

Isn't that just typical! I know nothing about the technical issue about which you ask for confirmation, but I'm sure you know the answer yourself and as a seasoned translator I can sense you're in the right anyway.

What I do have is the same kind of experience as you with test translations (and "corrections" thereof). The last one I did (and vowed afterwards that it WOULD be my last one) was also incorrectly "corrected" by an employee of the agency who appears to have been 30 years my younger and with that much less professional experience (I do not harbour prejudice against young people on the whole, I hasten to add). What was the point of arguing? My life partner, who sometimes doubles as my "counsellor", forbade me to even consider contesting the matter and advised me just to laugh it off and think "Poor sod!".

Since then I have put up my profile on ProZ, including a generous selection of translation samples, and whenever anyone asks me to do a test I reply (as politely as I can manage) that I have a policy of never doing them, but invite the agency employee to look at my profile and portfolio instead. I can't say for sure that this policy has got me any jobs, but it has saved me hassle, I can assure you.


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Saturniana  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:58
English to Romanian
+ ...
You are right Jun 6, 2007

No, I believe you are not mistaken and have never been for that matter.

Here are two links to definitions that prove you were right all along.

http://glossary.reuters.com/index.php/Face_Value

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/facevalue.asp

[Editat la 2007-06-06 09:31]


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Tracey Denby  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
French to English
+ ...
Couldn't agree more Jun 6, 2007

I had a strikingly similar situation happen recently. In my test I opted to translate the term as "nominal" and it was marked incorrect. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Business a "Nominal Price" is the price given to a security when it is issued, also called the face value, or nominal value. As with many financial terms they are interchangeable.

In my case I decided to challenge some of the "errors" highlighted as I believe this may help other translators taking such tests in the future.


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Véronique L.  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:58
English to French
+ ...
nothing wrong with your translation Jun 6, 2007

Hello Jenny,

Well... that's probably one of the first terms I've learnt when I started specialising in financial translation So I would say yes, face value = valeur nominale. Hope my colleagues will confirm this...

As for the uselessness of these "wretched" tests... well... for having faced the same kind of disappointments, I fully understand and support you

V.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
I cannot comment on the French but... Jun 6, 2007

http://www.answers.com/topic/face-value-1
par value
n.
The value imprinted on a security, such as a stock certificate or bond, used to calculate a payment, such as a dividend or interest; face value. Also called nominal value.




http://financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Face%20Value
Face Value
The nominal value or dollar value of a security stated by the issuer. For stocks, it is the original cost of the stock shown on the certificate. For bonds, it is the amount paid to the holder at maturity (generally $1,000). Also known as "par value" or simply "par".

https://www.exchange-handbook.co.uk/index.cfm?section=glossary&first_letter=P

Par value The amount, exclusive of interest or premium, due to a security holder at maturity. The face value (par value) of a security is shown on the face of the security's certificate.


http://www.nwg.co.uk/Shareholderglossary.aspx
Nominal Value
Sometimes known as par value, this is the face value of a security as opposed to its market value. In the case of a Bond it represents the principal sum due on redemption.


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 20:58
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Synonyms Jun 6, 2007

Face value and nominal value are synonyms, so I don't see what could be wrong about your translation. I guess it's a terminological preference of the client, or an editor who is afraid of the competition and thinks you might "steal his work" with this client... It wouldn't be the first...

Joeri


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:58
French to English
+ ...
One more Jun 6, 2007

out of a long list of reasons why one should refuse unpaid tests!

Sorry that to top it off, they managed to unsettle you Jenny!

Patricia


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xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 20:58
French to English
+ ...
Just a thought.... Jun 6, 2007

unless of course it was not a real test but a way to get a job done for nothing...

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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:58
German to English
It depends.... Jun 6, 2007

Jenny,

You don't say what class of securities the "valeur nominale" referred to. While "face value" would certainly be OK for eg debt instruments (bonds, etc.), I would personally mark it as an error if used for eg equities (par value) or derivatives (notional value). I would also prefer "principal amount" for debt securities, to be perfectly honest. And "nominal amount" for cash (liquid assets).

While it's true at one level that all of these terms are synonyms, there are market conventions that any translator would be wise to observe.

I spend much of my time revising translations, and I also check the (unpaid!) translation tests we ask applicants for full-time positions to do, and which we also send to some of the very small number of freelances we work with.

I certainly wouldn't classify your use of face value as a "killer" mistake, as this is the sort of thing that can easily be rectified in real life when a translator is sent the terminology and/or TMs for use with a particular translation. I therefore wonder what other "errors" you made were.

Robin
PS: nothing at all wrong with unpaid translation tests as long as they're standardised and you know that whoever is going to review them is a highly experienced "premier league" translator. And don't forget that LSP companies often have to provide unpaid test translations to prospective clients, too.


[Edited at 2007-06-06 11:38]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:58
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, everyone. Jun 6, 2007

Patricia Lane wrote:

out of a long list of reasons why one should refuse unpaid tests!

Sorry that to top it off, they managed to unsettle you Jenny!

Patricia


Yes, it did unsettle me, but I am reassured by the answers you have all been kind enough to send. I really think that "face value" and "nominal value" are interchangeable in this context, but I also think it's pointless to argue with the agency. They have a good Blue Board record, or I wouldn't have bothered with the test, and I have no idea who "corrected" it or what term they would have preferred as they didn't dare to say. Other "mistakes" were similarly arbitrary in my opinion.
For Robin B, this was the context: "A l'assemblée générale en 2002, les actionnaires avaient approuvé une réduction de la valeur nominale de l'action XXX (la valeur à laquelle elle est émise) de ZZZ euros à ZZ euros".
So it was the face value of *shares* that was concerned.
I fear that the trouble with "revisers" is that they probably feel they must make some comments in order to demonstrate that they have earned their fee.
Never mind - it's water under the bridge now!
Kind regards,
Jenny.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:58
German to English
Revisers Jun 6, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:
this was the context: "A l'assemblée générale en 2002, les actionnaires avaient approuvé une réduction de la valeur nominale de l'action XXX (la valeur à laquelle elle est émise) de ZZZ euros à ZZ euros".
So it was the face value of *shares* that was concerned.


Yes, that's clear (I used to translate a lot of financial French, mainly for EU institutions, back in the days when it was a more lucrative market than German!).

I must say that I really would prefer "par value" (or even "notional value") to "face value" here, but I wouldn't make a big fuss about it. Certainly not a reason for rejecting a translation.

I fear that the trouble with "revisers" is that they probably feel they must make some comments in order to demonstrate that they have earned their fee.


That may be true of some revisers, but I can tell you that nothing gives me greater pleasure than to sign off on a revision with "nil changes" and to congratulate the translator concerned (which is something that every self-respecting reviser will always do).

Robin


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:58
English to Spanish
+ ...
Context Jun 6, 2007

It could be a lack of context as well. In the USA "par value", rather than "face value" or "nominal value" would seem to be the preferred term for stocks that are being issued.

Origin and destination are also CONTEXT and are often left unstated, which is not your fault.

In any case, I would recommend moving on and just forgetting that "agency" even existed.


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:58
Dutch to English
+ ...
Ditto Jun 6, 2007

RobinB wrote:

Jenny Forbes wrote:
I fear that the trouble with "revisers" is that they probably feel they must make some comments in order to demonstrate that they have earned their fee.


That may be true of some revisers, but I can tell you that nothing gives me greater pleasure than to sign off on a revision with "nil changes" and to congratulate the translator concerned (which is something that every self-respecting reviser will always do).

Robin


Ditto - I have the absolute pleasure of revising the work of someone who must be one of the best PT»EN business translators around. It's very seldom that I have to make any changes and if I do it's never anything major. It's also a welcome change of pace and educational to see his wizardry at turn of phrase sometimes. Pity, I don't see more like it.

So Todd, if you're reading this, I hope the agency in question passes on my constant praise

And yes Robin, I agree with par value (preferably) and with your statement that face value is no reason to reject a translation.

Jenny - there's nothing more exasperating than a revisor who is less qualified in a particular field than you are. Personally, I'd insist on seeing the entire revised text but as you say perhaps it's better to move on. Take care (and thanks for sending our weather back)

[Edited at 2007-06-06 16:51]


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