How to specialize in financial translation?
Thread poster: Annie Sapucaia

Annie Sapucaia  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:35
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Aug 21, 2013

Hello all,

I've been translating for about four years, but I've mainly done general translations in a variety of areas. I've come to realize, however, that specialization is key in this profession. I'm very interested in financial translation, but I do not have a background in that area (I studied sociology...which to the best of my knowledge isn't really considered an area of specialization in translation).

I was wondering if you had any tips on how I could enter the financial translation market? Would this be possible for someone coming from the social sciences, and if so, are there any courses or plans of action that you would recommend?

Thanks in advance!


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Albert Golub  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:35
English to French
Read Aug 21, 2013

the financial press and investment funds' prospectuses, you will notice they are all based upon the same structure and terminology.

Bonne chance


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:35
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Read about investments, financial news Aug 21, 2013

Read adverts in newspapers, ask the Resources Authority of your country-I could not tell from where you come. But financial news in newspapers will give you an idea of bonds/shares, go to banks, ask for brochures/info about investing/borrowing, so you get an idea. You will get into the lingo and then read articles, news. Gl

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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:35
German to English
A good introduction Aug 21, 2013

http://www.bokorlang.com/journal/13finan.htm

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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 00:35
English to Polish
+ ...
Formal education in a related field Aug 21, 2013

If not expensive and time-consuming enough to make it unfeasible. The degree would enhance your credentials and reflect on your attractiveness to your clients, so there would be more to it in economic terms than simply learning the knowledge. Otherwise, I would look for reliable resources for self-teaching, with or without courses taught by trainers on particular stages. Much depends on your learning style there.

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The Misha
Local time: 18:35
Russian to English
+ ...
You cannot specialize in finance if you don't know any Aug 22, 2013

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz wrote:

If not expensive and time-consuming enough to make it unfeasible.


Take it from someone who did it: it won't be inexpensive and it sure will be time-consuming. Plus, if you do go about getting that formal degree you may actually decide you want to stick around that field because let me tell you, pay is infinitely better there.

Alternatively, on top of everything else that's been said here so far, if you don't really want to go into finance full time, get yourself a subscription to Forbes, Money or any of that ilk that may be easily available in your country. Read them all for a year, from cover to cover. That should get you a head start. On top of that, open yourself a brokerage account if you don't yet have one and start day trading a little. If you don't have the money or guts enough to put on the line, you can always do it in the demo mode just to have a feel of the game. Back in my time, I did that too and learned just about as much as from getting an MBA. But more importantly, make sure that this is something you are interested in because it is very easy to tell who really knows the stuff and who is getting his or her revelations from Investopedia or any other such good book. If you have no interest in finance, it probably won't work and you'd be better off sticking to what you really like. Like, sociology, perhaps? Good luck to you.


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Annie Sapucaia  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:35
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting Aug 23, 2013

Thanks so much for all your replies. I will definitely subscribe to magazines and take as many courses as I can (I'm in Canada), as well as read that introduction, Kim!


In terms of specializing in what I already know (Sociology) - it just doesn't seem marketable to me. Who would need sociology-based translation, and particularly into English? Am I missing something or is there really not much of a market for translation in the social sciences?


Thanks so much for your help, lots of food for thought.


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:35
German to English
+ ...
Which area of financial translation do you want to focus on? Aug 24, 2013

The article by Robin mentioned above is a good one, but remember that it was written in 2000 - a lot has changed since then (no more US GAAP in European companies; IASs/IFRSs, etc.)

There was an article recently in The ATA Chronicle ("Hot Topics in Financial Translation" by Javier Gil) that broke down the categories of financial translation well, I thought:

Accounting
Auditing
Banking
Business services
International trade
International institutions
Financial services
Insurance
Investment management
Public sector

"Financial translation" is a term that is used pretty broadly. You might try to get a reprint of the article for a good overview of this market/these markets. That would help you focus in on what type of training you might like to get. Good luck!


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:35
German to English
+ ...
PS Training does not have to mean a degree Aug 24, 2013

Besides self-study, I am sure there are shorter courses in Canada or online that would help you achieve this goal. For example, I am interested in branching out into legal translation, so I am taking courses toward a paralegal certificate (a far cry from a JD, but sufficient for my purposes).

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Annie Sapucaia  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:35
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great list! Aug 25, 2013

Thanks so much, Daina. That's a great list and I will definitely look for short courses that will help ease my way in.

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Salomé Lopez-Lavado
Switzerland
All major languages
market reports Nov 11, 2013

don't forget market reports. I work for an agency that specialises in banking and financial translations. Market reports are huge and finding good translators, at the right price for an agency, can be quite tricky. I think you are doing the right thing by specialising. It will make you stand out, and in general, financial translators are paid quite well. At least over here.

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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:35
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
study Nov 11, 2013

Distance study courses are often affordable, but if you are not really looking for a qualification, but simply find your way around the field, why not take advantage of the ever increasing range of FREE courses via Coursera? Many come with good tutor support and they have active forums.

As for "proper" courses - you can take most on a modular basis and many universities let you do 2 or 3 modules as an external student, using a pass in these as an entry requirement for the degree/diploma/certificate program. Shop around a bit, as prices vary wildly between universities.


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