Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Usefulness of CAT tools for financial translators
Thread poster: Ken Fagan
Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
French to English
Mar 10, 2008

I would like to hear opinions from financial translators who translate financial statements on a regular basis (and for different clients) on the usefulness of using CAT tools specifically on financial statements, NOT because your clients asked you to use a CAT tool, but rather, because you decided on your own that doing so would increase your productivity with these documents.

Many thanks for your time & help:)


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 13:09
English to Indonesian
+ ...
go for it Mar 10, 2008

i would say very useful as financial statements will have quite a few repetition.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
are you speaking from personal experience? Mar 10, 2008

thanks

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mulyadi Subali  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 13:09
English to Indonesian
+ ...
sure Mar 10, 2008

i work in a bank for a year. use cat tool for financial statement, minutes of meetings, etc.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:09
English to German
+ ...
Very useful indeed Mar 10, 2008

Hi Ken,
I have been working with a CAT tool for more than a decade - wouldn't want to do without it. To me, the key benefit is the concordance function, which allows me to refer to previous translations, even though they might not be 100% identical.

Cheers, Ralf


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:09
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not CAT-compatible more often than not Mar 10, 2008

Hi Ken,

I do a lot of that, but what I have found is that the original tends to be double-column non-convertible pdf pamphlet format with pictures of executives and buzz sentences everywhere breaking up the text, and so you rarely get the chance to use the CAT. Or they say, "oh yes it's in Word", but it's the nasty badly-converted Word they mean.

Best,


Mervyn


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
does that include fin stmts in IPO prospectuses? Mar 10, 2008

thanks

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Antoní­n Otáhal
Local time: 07:09
Member (2005)
English to Czech
+ ...
Definitely yes Mar 10, 2008

If there is an area in which CAT tools are useful, this is one of them. I have been using and not using different CAT tools for about four years now; PnL and balance sheets are about the most rewarding ones when you do use a CAT tool.

Antonin


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:09
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Annual accounts Mar 10, 2008

This is usually with the whole caboodle of the annual accounts shooting match.


Mervyn


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Barnaby Capel-Dunn  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
French to English
PDF! Mar 10, 2008

Hi Ken
As has been said, the chances are the source document will be in pdf format so it really is worth investing in a top-class pdf to word converter. Once you've done that, CAT tools (or in my case a "semi CAT" tool such as Logiterm) are a great boon.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
PDF converter? I use Abbey FR 8.0 Mar 10, 2008

but IMO it doesn't work that well/quickly if the doc doesn't have a simply layout

Direct link Reply with quote
 
RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:09
German to English
Can be useful, but... Mar 10, 2008

Ken,

Our experience here is based almost entirely on German->English financial reports (English->German accounts for around 5% only, but the same general principles apply). Other language combinations may offer different (better/worse) opportunities for CAT tool usage.

As financial translation specialists, we translate hundreds of sets of financial statements a year (almost entirely IFRSs and German GAAP). We find we can get some leverage from CAT tools on a standalone customer basis, but next to nothing on a cross-customer basis (except in rare cases where one customer is a subsidiary of another).

The reasons for this are very clear:

1) Differences in source text terms and phrases. The variety in the language that preparers use is quite bewildering (sometimes) and downright frustrating (always).

2) Differences in target language preferences. Some customers want "revenue", others want "revenues", while yet another lot want "sales revenue" or "sales revenues". The same applies to bottom-line profit (profit; profit for the period; consolidated profit; profit attributable to shareholders of XYZ AG; profit attributable to equity holders of parent; net profit; net income; and so on). And the same applies to all the other captions in-between. We face exactly the same problem with basically every other term we're unable to persuade the customer to harmonise. Of course, the IASB's refusal to harmonise its own terminology is a real pain here.

So ultimately there's little leverage to be gained, and a lot of potential minefields to be introduced, by trying to apply a TM for one company to another company's financial report.

Another problem is that of "cross-language polysemy". In German, for example, the terms "Abschreibungen", "Ertrag" and "Ergebnis" mean different things in different contexts. CAT tools can't disambiguate.

So, while it's possible to gain benefits from recycling a company's previous financial reports for its future financial reports, you've got to be very careful, always. Our overall experience is that the benefits are not so much quantitative (saving time), but qualitative (consistency and quality of terminology) - provided of course that the TMs are used intelligently: "fuzzy matches encourage fuzzy thinking!"

And the greatest benefits are to be obtained in the narrative text, rather than tables (it's hardly worthwhile using CAT tools to deal with embedded Excels). But just when you think you've got the accounting policies taped and stored in the TM, along comes the preparer and changes them all.

The PDF conversion problem that's already been mentioned is also a real pain. We discard the TMs of e.g. annual or interim reports once the translation has gone from Word to DTP because there are always loads of changes that never get captured in the TM. Before the next periodic report, we then convert and edit (exceptionally laborious and tedious) and align (AlignFactory) the "final" versions from the PDFs.

Luckily, almost all of the financial reports we translate come to us in Word format, normally with the tables in Excel (embedded if we're really unlucky).

Robin


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Ken Fagan  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
thanks Mar 10, 2008

Robin,

Thanks very much for your extremely complete and helpful answer!!!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Barnaby Capel-Dunn  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:09
French to English
In spite of everything.... Mar 10, 2008

... and despite Robin's closely reasoned and very helpful remarks, I still think that CAT tools, however you care to define that term, can come in extremely useful. It's just that you will probably end up working more as a proofreader/finetuner rather than as a translator. Than can be quite refreshing on occasion!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:09
Dutch to English
+ ...
Useful Mar 10, 2008

Hi Ken,

Whilst I agree with basically everything Robin says, the concordance feature can't be discounted (as Ralf points out). It really helps to have what you've done previously for the same/different client(s) at your fingertips, without having to search through old translations.

And of course, when you get reps within the same doc, it really speeds up the process.

As you know, I do far more legal than financial but I've found CAT tools very useful in both areas.

Take care
Debs


[Edited at 2008-03-10 15:54]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Usefulness of CAT tools for financial translators

Advanced search







Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search