Wanted: termbase for financial/legal German->English (US)
Thread poster: Daniel Arnold

Daniel Arnold
Germany
Local time: 17:37
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Oct 16, 2015

Hi,
I have just landed a big project translating a series of annual reports and legal correspondence from German to English (US). 150,000 word..... Yippie!
I would like to either download or get access to a good termbase for this specific area.
Does anyone have a recommendation or a link ? It doesn't have to be free as I am doing lots of legal/financial translation jobs, but it has to be really good.

Legal and/or financial German -> English (US)

Thank you for your help !


 

Kieran Sheehan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:37
Member (2008)
German to English
IFRS terminology Oct 17, 2015

Hi Daniel, you may want to take a look at the following link:

http://eifrs.ifrs.org/eifrs/TermsForm?sidebarCategoryId=1


 

Daniel Arnold
Germany
Local time: 17:37
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Oct 17, 2015

Thanks Kieran ! That helps a lot. I found a really good PDF as well with hundreds of terms, but I want something to integrate in my Trados. Cheers !

BTW if it helps someone else: http://www2.nwb.de/portal/content/ir/downloads/205673/Glossar_zum_Rechnungswesen.pdf

It's not that much but includes UK/USA variations which is really helpful.

[Edited at 2015-10-17 17:36 GMT]


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:37
German to English
A couple of points Oct 17, 2015

Daniel Schacht wrote:

BTW if it helps someone else: http://www2.nwb.de/portal/content/ir/downloads/205673/Glossar_zum_Rechnungswesen.pdf

It's not that much but includes UK/USA variations which is really helpful.

[Edited at 2015-10-17 17:36 GMT]


If the financial statements you're translating were prepared in accordance with IFRSs, I'm afraid this glossary won't be much use. And overall, I would treat it with some considerable caution, as it does appear to contain rather a lot of Denglisch.

A word about "English (US)". IFRS terminology doesn't change simply because you're translating into American or International English, in other words you don't just start using sort-of-equivalent US GAAP terminology. The main differences as far as AE are concerned are purely related to spelling (e.g., "amortization") and punctuation (e.g., "property, plant, and equipment"), that sort of thing. But the core terminology itself doesn't change. That in turn ensures compliance with the primary qualitative principles that underly IFRS financial reporting (in particular consistency and comparability).

Otherwise, the most obvious differences relate to more general financial reporting terminology, e.g.:

"fiscal year" (AE, Intl) vs. "financial year" (BE)

"as of" (AE, Intl) vs. "as at" (BE)

that sort of thing. And what are referred to as "non-GAAP financial measures" should also stay the same in AE (apart from spelling and punctuation), so for example "Vermögens-, Finanz- und Ertragslage" stays "net assets, financial position, and results of operations".

I'm afraid I'm not aware of a publicly available termbase that might be of help to you, at least as far as the financial reporting terminology is concerned. You could look at the EU IFRSs that can be accessed via EUR-Lex, but they're pretty messy and fragmented, and a lot of the really useful stuff (e.g. IAS 1 IG) doesn't form part of the EU IFRSs in the first place. You could also look at the XBRL IFRS taxonomy, but it does represent a fairly unrealistic view of financial reporting practice and is IMHO now of little relevance or usefulness for translators.

Your best bet is to stick as closely as possible to existing high-quality translations. Two I can recommend myself (because we're responsible for them) are VW AG (though they're International English, rather than AE) and MAN SE (American English), but I'm sure you can find some others. And if you need examples of German GAAP annual financial statements (Jahresabschluss nach HGB), try VW AG again.

Good luck at any rate. 150,000 words should keep you busy for two or three months. If you're going to be at this year's ATA conference, find me and we can sit down for ten minutes.


 

Kevin Dias
Local time: 00:37
SITE STAFF
More options Oct 17, 2015

Veit Alexander Schleber has built some very high quality German -> English glossaries, a few of which are for sale here. It might be worth it to reach out to him and ask him if he has anything in the areas you are looking for.

 

Daniel Arnold
Germany
Local time: 17:37
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Robin & Kevin Oct 18, 2015

Hi - many thanks for your responses.

The project I am working on is for due diligence rather than publication, so a clear understanding and the U.S. spelling is what counts most. It will be read by lawyers (is that a good thing ?) However thanks to Robin for pointing out the VW and MAN reports, I will definitely have a good look at them.

I will definitely contact Veit and see if he has anything available that suits my project, thanks for that tip !!

AT the outset I thought this kind of electronic glossary that just plugs into my Trados system would be a piece of cake to find, if I knew where to look.... seems it's much more difficult than I though.

Thanks again
Dan


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:37
German to English
Lawyers and finance :-( Oct 18, 2015

Daniel Schacht wrote:
It will be read by lawyers (is that a good thing ?)


General rule: Lawyers don't know nothing about finance. OK, I've probably had dealings with two or three lawyers over the past 25 years who were very familiar with the intricacies of finance, but that's two or three out of hundreds. The good news is that some of them are very willing to learn, but most of them aren't.

That in turn is one of the main reason why so many mistranslations are repeated over the years, decades even. The lawyers just say "so-and-so used this translation, so we will, too". A good example is "Beherrschung" or "Beherrschungsvertrag". My experience is that a majority of lawyers insist on saying "domination" and "domination agreement", I think because some Prof. Dr. habil. Dr. Dr. Dr. hc lawyer used it decades ago. Of course it should be "control" and "control agreement", but getting the lawyers to understand that can be exceptionally difficult.

I'm sure that most translators working in this field (and there are very few who do it competently, to be honest) have their own termbases, which they - perhaps unsurprisingly - guard jealously. They are a very valuable asset, after all.

I've been threatening for the best part of 15 years to pull everything (IAS/IFRS, German GAAP, AUT and maybe CH GAAP, generic accounting, auditing) together and publish a dictionary, but I just haven't had the time or the energy. I even have a reputable publisher lined up. Maybe when I retire ("when").

Robin


 


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