Resources for self-education in Financial translation
Thread poster: Peter Waymel

Peter Waymel
Italy
Local time: 11:05
Italian to English
+ ...
Apr 20, 2012

Hello all,

I'm looking for some good books, that anyone might recommend, to give myself a good formation in Financial, business, and contractual translation (I translate from Italian to English, primarily, and to a lesser degree, from Spanish to English, though the latter is lesser purely for market reasons; I simply find more work from Italian to English).

I'm trying to give myself a good self-education in financial translation, specifically from Italian to English. I've done a rather substantial amoung of translation in this field, but have absolutely no formation in it; I've consulted proz.com, and done some reading on Financial Times (though I guess Tyler Brule's column should not really count as financial education), and am looking to find a massive amount of solid information that would hasten me along the learning curve to get to a more comfortable, confident realm in my work in financial translation. In my mind, books are the only way to do this (I find websites have either too little information or it's too unreliable), and I would love to find a couple of good, basic - and if possible, not entirely too boring or dry - books introducing me to basic aspects of finances, corporate structure, and perhaps correlated legal terminology (corporate law/contractual legal terms).

Somebody, somewhere, out there, must have some good books of this nature to recommend. I am willing to do the work, and read, after hours, as much as is necessary; I would just like a hand here to point me in the right direction: which books are useful? Worth reading? Helpful for gaining a good insight into the financial world and that explain basic, important, fundamental financial ideas often come across in translation (or in general; I really am interested in learning about finances in general, even apart from translation). Without having to wade through Legal-size tomes only understandable to the erudite or grad-school students in this field.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me in this regard. And greetings to the Proz community in general.

Peter Waymel


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Johanne Trudeau  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:05
Member (2011)
English to French
Financial translation Apr 20, 2012

You can start by reading all the International Financial Reporting Standards, for example the most recent Red Book : http://www.ifrs.org/Features/2012Redbook.htm

All financial statements now have to follow this terminology.



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Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:05
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Dear Johanne Apr 20, 2012

I would like to ask have you noticed his post is about translation for the financial markets (stock markets, debt, derivatives, forex trading etc.), about financial regulation (Bafin/FSA/SEC etc.), investment banking (for example in regard to Mergers & Acquisitions of businesses), Corporate Finance (raising capital by borrowing from banks etc. or by issuing bonds, capital increases by issuing stock), retail banking like cashing a check at your local HSBC branch, etc.,

not about financial accounting under IFRSs/International Financial Reporting Standards (vs. the national GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, of various jurisdictions, like the most famous and most important ones of the U.S.) which evaluates the day-to-day book-keeping records by ensuring assets (like Property, Plant and Equipment) and liabilities (like trade payables, i.e. funds owed to suppliers) are recognized, measuring them and reporting them in the financial statements in the form of accounts in order to be able to monitor how the company is doing in terms of its asset situation ("What do we own?") and financial stability ("How much do we owe the world compared to what we own of it?", based on metrics such as the equity ratio) and to be able to forecast how it will in the future. Other significant parts of the accounting documentation include the Income Statement (sales revenue realized from operating activities plus other receipts less expenses = profit or loss), the Cash flow statement that measures the difference of flows of cash into and out of the business to paint a picture about the company's liquidity and solvency situation ("Will we be able to pay our bills?"), the Statement of Changes in Equity that depicts just that (regarding the company's own funds), the Management Report ...

There is no indication whatsoever in his post of him taking an interest in the accounting world, which is a world of its own in terms of style of expression.

[Edited at 2012-04-21 06:44 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:05
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Dear Sebastian Apr 21, 2012

Sebastian Witte wrote:

I would like to ask have you noticed his post is about translation for the financial markets (stock markets, debt, derivatives, forex trading etc.), about financial regulation (Bafin/FSA/SEC etc.), investment banking (for example in regard to Mergers & Acquisitions of businesses), Corporate Finance (raising capital by borrowing from banks etc. or by issuing bonds, capital increases by issuing stock), retail banking like cashing a check at your local HSBC branch, Central Banks' like the Fed engaging in monetary policy measures to ensure the money supply is regulated to prevent inflation etc.,

not about financial accounting under IFRSs/International Financial Reporting Standards (vs. the national GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, of various jurisdictions, like the most famous and most important ones of the U.S.) which evaluates the day-to-day book-keeping records by ensuring assets (like Property, Plant and Equipment) and liabilities (like trade payables, i.e. funds owed to suppliers) are recognized, measuring them and reporting them in the financial statements in the form of accounts in order to be able to monitor how the company is doing in terms of its asset situation ("What do we own?") and financial stability ("How much do we owe the world compared to what we own of it?", based on metrics such as the equity ratio) and to be able to forecast how it will in the future. Other significant parts of the accounting documentation include the Income Statement (sales revenue realized from operating activities plus other receipts less expenses = profit or loss), the Cash flow statement that measures the difference of flows of cash into and out of the business to paint a picture about the company's liquidity and solvency situation ("Will we be able to pay our bills?"), the Statement of Changes in Equity that depicts just that (regarding the company's own funds), the Management Report ...

There is no indication whatsoever in his post of him taking an interest in the accounting world, which is a world of its own in terms of style of expression.


Phew! That sure was a mouthful. But was all that really necessary just to make your point?

[Edited at 2012-04-21 03:32 GMT]


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Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:05
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
re the question whether I could have put it more concisely Apr 21, 2012

Michael Beijer wrote:

Sebastian Witte wrote:

I would like to ask have you noticed his post is about translation for the financial markets (stock markets, debt, derivatives, forex trading etc.), about financial regulation (Bafin/FSA/SEC etc.), investment banking (for example in regard to Mergers & Acquisitions of businesses), Corporate Finance (raising capital by borrowing from banks etc. or by issuing bonds, capital increases by issuing stock), retail banking like cashing a check at your local HSBC branch, Central Banks' like the Fed engaging in monetary policy measures to ensure the money supply is regulated to prevent inflation etc.,

not about financial accounting under IFRSs/International Financial Reporting Standards (vs. the national GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, of various jurisdictions, like the most famous and most important ones of the U.S.) which evaluates the day-to-day book-keeping records by ensuring assets (like Property, Plant and Equipment) and liabilities (like trade payables, i.e. funds owed to suppliers) are recognized, measuring them and reporting them in the financial statements in the form of accounts in order to be able to monitor how the company is doing in terms of its asset situation ("What do we own?") and financial stability ("How much do we owe the world compared to what we own of it?", based on metrics such as the equity ratio) and to be able to forecast how it will in the future. Other significant parts of the accounting documentation include the Income Statement (sales revenue realized from operating activities plus other receipts less expenses = profit or loss), the Cash flow statement that measures the difference of flows of cash into and out of the business to paint a picture about the company's liquidity and solvency situation ("Will we be able to pay our bills?"), the Statement of Changes in Equity that depicts just that (regarding the company's own funds), the Management Report ...

There is no indication whatsoever in his post of him taking an interest in the accounting world, which is a world of its own in terms of style of expression.


Phew! That sure was a mouthful. But was all that really necessary just to make your point?

[Edited at 2012-04-21 03:32 GMT]


Dear Michael,

Thanks for your feedback. I was not trying to lecture the colleague, it is just that the number of translation industry professionals (whether Prozian or not on ProZ) mixing up the above fields, or alternatively real estate and property law, or alternatively have never heard of there being something like legal fields within the supersize field of law, like the latter, or the law of obligations (pls try to find a lawyer for handling a given complex legal issue without paying attention to these sub-specializations to see how far you are gonna get in terms of mandate acceptance or actual quality of legal advice), is simply too large, in the case of outsourcers putting proper allocation of jobs to specialists halfway profoundly knowledgeable in the actual field concerned at risk, which leads to oftentimes near-impossible tasks for the proofreader because there was hardly any subject matter expertise there when the respective document was translated, even if the respective fellow translator might have developed a rep for being bilingual in the corresponding language pair and looks back on a 3.5 million-word record.

By elaborating on what the two very different fields are about, I was trying to go beyond merely raising awareness, in an effort to ensure the actual difference is kept in mind by those readers of this thread not aware of it yet.

Does that make sense to you?

Best

Sebastian


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Khulan Shiiter  Identity Verified
Mongolia
Local time: 18:05
Member (2003)
English to Mongolian
+ ...
Wow, thanks for making this point, Sebastian! Apr 21, 2012

It is always a pleasure to read comments that are so skillfully and professionally explained. I agree with everything you said. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to proofread poorly executed translations that are done by those do not possess an in-depth knowledge of that particular subject-matter/field.

Khulan


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Peter Waymel
Italy
Local time: 11:05
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to all Apr 21, 2012

Dear everyone who has responded,

thank you for your comments. Sebastian's distinction between financial markets (which interest me personally, because I wish to begin investing and am looking to develop a certain culture about these matters) and the world of accounting (which incidentally makes up the bulk of what I'm called on to translate, when it's not contracts) was helpful. As were the interventions of other colleagues. Thanks much for your input. I agree that precision is important in translation. Your advice will help me give a better quality product to the end client and intermediary translation agency. Thanks all.

Anyone, btw, who has more books in mind would be welcome to post; one book is a good start but I'll definitely be looking to read more than that as the weeks progress. Jim Rohn suggests reading a book a week to invest in your own professional development; Brian Tracy recommends investing 3% of your income in self-(or professional) development as the only true source of "job security" and to ensure your future. So I'm gonna need more than just one tome if I'm gonna progress in this field. I'll keep looking on my own, and see if the Red Book has a bibliography, but in the meantime, if anyone out there has any more ideas, please add a message to this thread to let me know!

Thanks all, in the meantime, and especially Johanne Trudeau for contributing the Red Book tip!


Peter


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:05
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Apr 21, 2012

@Sebastian: Yes, I do see what you were trying to do, just pointing out that you might have been confusing rather than clarifying. But your information is definitely useful, as well as your point about needing to specify exactly what field we are talking about.

@Peter: In answer to your question, I can highly recommend:

'Legal English – How to understand and master the language of law' (2nd ed.)(http://www.amazon.co.uk/Legal-English-Understand-Master-Language/dp/1408226103 )

'Legal English: How to Understand and Master the Language of Law offers a contemporary guide for students and practitioners alike who want to improve their language skills and build confidence in communicating effectively from the classroom to the courtroom. The second edition has been completely revised and updated to cover all aspects of language as used in a legal context where effective communication is crucial to both academic and professional success.' (from blurb)

and

Dictionary of Corporate Finance & Investment (English, German, French and Dutch) (http://www.abebooks.co.uk/Dictionary-Corporate-Finance-Investment-Phillips-Diana/3929214355/bd )

The authors of this book have written extremely concise definitions (in English) of around 2,000 terms, and all terms are translated into German, French and Dutch, and are cross-referenced and indexed.


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alexmills
United States
Local time: 05:05
Member (2010)
Italian to English
+ ...
Material for developed for financial planner/advisor certification Apr 21, 2012

Hello Peter. Maybe your best bet is to get hold of course material developed for those who are trying to get certified as financial planners/advisors. (US, CFA material; in Italy, material for esame di Promotore Finanziario etc.)

Have a look at this http://www.amazon.it/dp/8848313515/ref=asc_df_88483135157?smid=A11IL2PNWYJU7H&tag=ciaoit-books-21&linkCode=asn&creative=23422&creativeASIN=8848313515


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Peter Waymel
Italy
Local time: 11:05
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Apr 22, 2012

Mike and Alex,

you guys rock. Thanks so much for this info. I'll surely buy these books on amazon, and dig in! I'm psyched to get a good education about this stuff and start delivering a higher-level quality of translation work in these fields. Thank you both so much. Kudos to alex for your bust statue icon, and for getting me a link on the Italian amazon site, that'll get me the book in less than a week.

You both rock. Thanks much,

Peter

ps. all readers, please continue to continue this thread open, and continously welcoming of new suggestions! I think this could be useful not only to me but also to other budding legal/financial/business/contractual translators who need a point in the right direction. Thanks in advance to all, and to all who have posted already. A big help. - Peter.


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alexmills
United States
Local time: 05:05
Member (2010)
Italian to English
+ ...
Glad to help another Tyler Brule's fan Apr 23, 2012

You can also sign up for http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/financialtranslators/; most of the posts are for the EN-FR combination though

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Gennady Lapardin  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 13:05
Italian to Russian
+ ...
A list of "matching" regulations Apr 24, 2012

From my experience: making a list of source-target regulations/literature on matching (as close as possible ) subjects would be invaluable, in this specific field.
P.S. I can not say that this is Wikipedia approach because I used it long before brilliant and very useful Wikipedia appeared (specifically, collected "pairs" of paper manuals on my subjects).

[Edited at 2012-04-24 15:04 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-04-24 15:07 GMT]


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Monika Gregan/Boenisch  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:05
English to German
you took the words out of my mouth!!! Apr 24, 2012

Unfortunately, I am not in the position to leave a professional comment on your financial translation work, but I understand completely your reasonably concerns and remarks respectively. I felt touched by the way you addressed the sore points , that also meets my way of thinking and that triggered me to leave a comment in general.. I am as well approaching the financial mysterium, even this area is getting unrational and out of control somehow and sometimes, but I strongly believe that there is something exciting about it , adusting to the current development in the financial market( financial world in general) it has something exciting about it without being unresponsibly greedy and after money only.......

Kind Regards
Monika Gregan/Boenisch

onlyHello all,

I'm looking for some good books, that anyone might recommend, to give myself a good formation in Financial, business, and contractual translation (I translate from Italian to English, primarily, and to a lesser degree, from Spanish to English, though the latter is lesser purely for market reasons; I simply find more work from Italian to English).

I'm trying to give myself a good self-education in financial translation, specifically from Italian to English. I've done a rather substantial amoung of translation in this field, but have absolutely no formation in it; I've consulted proz.com, and done some reading on Financial Times (though I guess Tyler Brule's column should not really count as financial education), and am looking to find a massive amount of solid information that would hasten me along the learning curve to get to a more comfortable, confident realm in my work in financial translation. In my mind, books are the only way to do this (I find websites have either too little information or it's too unreliable), and I would love to find a couple of good, basic - and if possible, not entirely too boring or dry - books introducing me to basic aspects of finances, corporate structure, and perhaps correlated legal terminology (corporate law/contractual legal terms).

Somebody, somewhere, out there, must have some good books of this nature to recommend. I am willing to do the work, and read, after hours, as much as is necessary; I would just like a hand here to point me in the right direction: which books are useful? Worth reading? Helpful for gaining a good insight into the financial world and that explain basic, important, fundamental financial ideas often come across in translation (or in general; I really am interested in learning about finances in general, even apart from translation). Without having to wade through Legal-size tomes only understandable to the erudite or grad-school students in this field.

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give me in this regard. And greetings to the Proz community in general.

Peter Waymel [/quote]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:05
German to English
+ ...
Investopedia Apr 24, 2012

Whenever you have a few free minutes, check out www.investopedia.com

For legal, you can always find interesting information on www.lectlaw.com & www.findlaw.com (US perspective).

PS Since you are translating into English, we do not say "give myself a formation," at least in US English. I would say "educate myself."

[Edited at 2012-04-24 23:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2012-04-24 23:15 GMT]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:05
German to English
+ ...
Just found this today Apr 25, 2012

Do free self-study using actual materials from classes taught at MIT:

http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

There is a section from the Sloan School of Management that might be useful to you.

PS Obviously I disagree that books are the only way to do this!

[Edited at 2012-04-25 16:41 GMT]


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