Is there a market for into English financial translations?
Thread poster: Michael Marcoux

Michael Marcoux  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:10
Russian to English
+ ...
May 9, 2014

Hi all,

I just attended the proz financial translation webinar, and one point the speaker made has left me wondering and a bit apprehensive. She stated that most of her translations come from international financial institutions. Granted, the speaker only translates into Italian, so it is not in her interest to pursue into English translation opportunities, but honestly- it strikes me as common sense that most international financial institutions would print their statements/prospectuses/annual reports etc. in English- right? Or no? Should I keep specializing or move onto something else? If it's worth anything, I translate from Russian and Norwegian.

All comments appreciated!


LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:10
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
into-English financial translations... May 9, 2014

I cannot speak for Russian and Norwegian into English (interesting language pairs by the way), but I do know that I turn down a lot of financial work (of the type you mentioned) in my language pairs (I do not translate financial documents) for companies that do business abroad (or when there is some type of legal dispute).

I would seek out U.S. companies who have subsidiaries or who own companies in Russian or Norway who will want to keep tabs on their overseas businesses and/or their competitors.

For example, Amazon has been trying to enter the Russian market for some type and I imagine they would be very interested in their competitor's, Ozon's, financial data.

[Edited at 2014-05-09 18:14 GMT]


Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
Russian to English
+ ...
Yes, there is a market for this kind of work May 9, 2014

There certainly is a market for these types of translations. It seems to be one of the more common areas as far as the number of requests is concerned. Often the financial translation requests border into the legal field, with very many legal terms and I have to turn down these requests because I am not a legal translator.


Tim Friese  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:10
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
There should be a lot of work May 9, 2014

I don't work in your language combinations, but like the others, I see and turn down a lot of financial work. (I'm not a financial translator.)


Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:10
English to Polish
+ ...
Yes, every May May 10, 2014



RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:10
German to English
Huge market May 10, 2014


Financial translation is a huge market worldwide, though a relatively small proportion of it is "pure play" finance. Financial translation work is normally "Finance + X", whereby the "X" can be more or less any other subject area: legal, marketing, technical, and so on. Just think of all the different components of an annual report. It is relatively rare to find a text doesn't have a significant component other than finance.

What you might call more "pure play" financial work refers to texts like accounting manuals (though even there, you'll find "contamination" from the real world when the manual goes into how to account for the company's products and services), economic theory (equally, most economic theory also involves examples of the application of that theory to the real world) and other highly theoretical texts (often involving higher mathematics - just think of options pricing or econometric models). Even the accounting standards that I translate tend to have some real world examples in them, and of course there are plenty of industry-specific accounting standards ("industry GAAP") today.

It's a couple of decades since I translated anything for an "international financial institution", if that term is being used to refer to intergovernmental or otherwise cross-border public-sector institutions. Our into-English financial translation work comes mainly from corporates, from commercial, investment and special-purpose banks and other financial institutions, from professional service providers (accountants, consultants, etc.), from regulatory and supervisory authorities, and from standard-setters and similar bodies.

The global market for financial translations (both Finance+X and pure-play) is massive, at least for FIGES, and probably runs into the high nine digits, if not more. I understand there is strong, growing demand for other major language combinations like Chinese and Arabic as well. Russian is probably a bit subdued at the moment for political reasons, but you'll probably find there's normally a healthy Russian-English market, albeit more likely in the financial/legal field. However, that doesn't mean that market supply isn't saturated, so it's also possible that competition is fierce. You'll have to do your own research there. Start by joining the ATA and engaging in some in-depth networking. The same goes for Norwegian, though of course that's a pretty small market, and I seem to remember that Norway itself operates a "closed shop" for translators.

Feel free to contact me privately if you'd like some more information.



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Is there a market for into English financial translations?

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