English translations/references for Austrian, Swiss, Swedish, Russian and Latin American GAAP
Thread poster: xxxDFTS
xxxDFTS  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
Feb 18, 2012

Hi,

I was hoping to get in touch with RobinB (in particular for Austrian and Swiss) or someone else who knows.

I have been using ABRA Search for German-English translations of HGB, IFRS and US GAAP, and am also planning to pick up Deutsches Bilanzrecht soon (I was also wondering if there is an update on whether the new edition of the book is coming soon and would be worth waiting for?) It is also no challenge to find IFRS material in all major languages.

As a German-English translator, I was wondering what to do if I run into Swiss FER or Austrian UGB? I couldn't find anything useful on them online. Could anyone recommend English translations and/or reference materials that would help lead me down the right path when it comes to properly understanding them and being able to produce proper English translations of them?

I also translate from Swedish, Russian and Spanish to English. I have done most of my accounting translations from German, but I wanted to be prepared for my other source languages too. I can see that Spanish GAAP and Spanish translations of IFRS are included in ABRA Search, but what about Russian RAR and Swedish GAAP in particular? I already have FAR SARS Swedish-English dictionary, but I figured there might be other resources I am missing out on. I would be happy to hear about references for Latin American standards too just in case, but I am most interested in all varieties of German, plus Swedish and Russian at present.

TIA,

David


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Catherine Brix
Local time: 14:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
PWC Feb 20, 2012

is your best friend. Visit their website, search for IFRS and wallow in the generous supply of publications. Every year they publish brilliant illustrative corporate consolidated financial statements and interim financial informaiton that are excellent as reference. They also explain new standards/interpretations, changes and ammendments, and the affects on companies. A treasure chest for people serious about financial statement translations.

http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ifrs-reporting/publications/index.jhtml?category=series&filter=/gx/ifrs-reporting/illustrative-financial-statements


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:30
German to English
Resources, resources Feb 20, 2012

Please remember, first, that ABRA Search is merely a platform allowing you to search certain XBRL taxonomies that have been published. You should note in this context that the German IFRS taxonomies are translations of the English taxonomies (like the translations of the standards themselves) and that the German labels in many cases bear little relation to the financial statement captions and notes disclosures found in real life. Also, of course, the US GAAP taxonomies are not translated. However, it's also fair to say that the English IFRS and US GAAP taxonomies are themselves quite useful sources of terminology for translations *into* English, and that the combination of English and foreign language taxonomies offer a practical workaround to the fact that there is no IFRS concordance (this is something I've discussed in greater detail in seminars and lectures).

And one more thing: ignore the English labels in version 5 of the German GAAP taxonomy: they're basically placeholders till we have the time to do a proper job of the E-Bilanz translation. Stick to version 4 for the time being.

The 4th edition of Deutsches Bilanzrecht/German Accounting Legislation is now OOP, but is generally available second-hand from a number of online retailers. The successor publication (not from IDW-Verlag) has been postponed again due to delays at PwC, but I hope will finally hit the market in Q2 or Q3 this year.

As a German-English translator, I was wondering what to do if I run into Swiss FER or Austrian UGB? I couldn't find anything useful on them online.


Austrian GAAP is largely the same as German GAAP, with occasional diversions into Alpendeutsch. Try MANZ if you're looking for something specifically Austrian. Also, the Austrian T&I association has indicated that it might be willing to organise a seminar on Austrian GAAP later this year. The market for De-En Austrian GAAP translations must be pretty small, though.

Personally, I wouldn't touch heavy Swiss GAAP (FER) simply because it is so rooted in Swiss business and financial culture. As much as I love visiting Switzerland, I'm not sure that I could really feel comfortable translating accounting documents that are as fundamentally different to German GAAP or IFRSs as Swiss German is to "normal German" (Flachlanddeutsch).

Mary Catherine Brix mentioned PwC's IFRS website. Well, of course IAS Plus from Deloitte should always be your first port of call for IFRS-related information (as it is for many people from PwC!), but the other Big Four IFRS websites are certainly very useful (and don't forget that IAS Plus also has a Spanish mirror website).

However, the illustrative/model year-end and interim consolidated financial statements available from the Big Four firms are of extremely limited value for translators into English, as they bear little or no resemblance to real-life IFRS financial statements produced in Germany, Sweden, Spain, Russia, etc. These illustrative/model financial statements are really UK company financial statements that have certainly been adapted for IFRSs, but they still have a very British ring to them that you'd never want to reproduce in your translations.

Can't help you very much with the Swedish, Russian or Spanish resources, I'm afraid. But perhaps you're in a position to explain why the translations of so many Swedish companies' IFRS financial reports are essentially Swedlish. Can't the Swedes afford good native speakers of English? Please don't get me wrong: I'm not singling out the Swedes here as purveyors of lousy translations, as the translations of many German, French, Spanish, etc. IFRS financial reports equally miserable Denglisch, Franglais and Spanglish. But I'd sort of assumed that the Swedes might have a better idea of what good financial English looks like. Yet another illusion shattered...


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xxxDFTS  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:30
Swedish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
"Svengelska" or the Swedish version of "we can English" Feb 20, 2012

Thanks for the detailed explanation Robin, especially the tip about the labels in version 5.

I can't say for sure what the cause of poor Swedish translations is, but if I were to make an educated guess, I would say that the "we can English" influence might be even stronger in Sweden. Since Swedes actually do tend to have an easier time with English than some continental Europeans, they let it go to their head and think they don't need the help of a native speaker for some things.

Coincidentally, "we can English" is expressed in the same way in Swedish as in German.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:30
German to English
German GAAP Feb 21, 2012

David,

Thanks for the explanation of Swedlish. Quite depressing, really.

As far as the German GAAP taxonomy version 5 labels are concerned, I hope that we'll be able to publish something useful this year, but I have to say it's not something I can really influence. The E-Bilanz working group has its own dynamics, resulting in massive delays followed by sudden mad rushes to get things done. And it's simply not possible to translate a couple of thousand labels (many of which are new territory as far as English is concerned) in a month in addition to the day job(s).

FYI, I'm running a three-hour German GAAP mini-workshop at the BDÜ conference in Berlin this September (http://www.uebersetzen-in-die-zukunft.de/de/120000.php).

Robin


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CarolineM.
Local time: 13:30
German HGB in english? Apr 11, 2015

Hi,

I hope someone can help. I am a student of translation studies translating a German company report (using the HGB standard) into English.

Would anyone be able to clarify if there is a good publication that can be used for guidance when translating this type of report? Specifically I am looking for the Bilanz and (HGB 266) and the Gewinn- und Verlustrechnung (HGB 275).

I notice there is a publication by Brooks and Mertin from 2005 "Deutsches Bilanzrecht /German Accounting Legislation: Deutsch-englische Textausgabe mit einführenden Erläuterungen" but this seems to be quite dated and I am thinking terminology may have changed since then?

I have seen a newer publication by Thomas Riteter "Handelsgesetzbuch (HGB) - German Commercial Code (2. Auflage 2014)" and was wondering if anyone could recommend it/ or point me in the right direction as to where I can find a reliable English translation of the HGB (or at least these 2 sections).

I have also been consulting Abra - is this also a reliable source I can reference?

Any feedback/ pointers/ infos would really be very much appreciated.

many thanks,
Caroline.


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