How to Shop for Financial Translation Services

July 26, 2021
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What’s the best way to start shopping for financial translation services?
The market for translation services can be difficult to get your head around. There are many different providers and they can seem to vary wildly in their areas of specialism.
Some translation providers claim that they specialize in financial translations, and they’re telling the truth. Other providers claim that they specialize in financial services, but they don’t really.
It can be extremely frustrating to compare providers by just looking at their websites… but how can you tell them apart otherwise!?
Reliability is a huge issue within the translation services industry.
When you are shopping for financial translation services, you should be looking for some key markers of reliability. These markers can indicate whether or not the provider will be suitable for the specific needs of your global company.
What are those reliability markers?
What steps do you need to take when shopping for financial translation services?
This short guide will give you the head start you need to find the right services for you.

What is financial translation?

Financial translation is the process of converting financial documents from one language into another. Specialist translators draw from their knowledge of the financial industry to produce translated content that is understood equally well in both languages.
However, it’s important to realize that translation is only part of the story.
As a global financial company, you almost certainly need more than simple translation. Just using specialist translators won’t solve many of the problems that occur when financial companies want to grow globally.
You need both specialist translators and a translation provider that can manage the localization processes for a company of your size and complexity.
It’s not easy to find a provider with both traits.
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Do you need specialist financial translation services?

You might wonder if your company needs specialist translation services at all.
This is a common question. Many translation providers on the market serve as “jacks of all trades,” accepting any translation project that comes to them. Such providers often appear to be cheaper than more specialist alternatives — though, ultimately, they aren’t — so you might wonder if you can save a few dollars by choosing them.
As researchers from the Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics explain, financial translations are quite unique compared to other industries.
Much of the terminology used in the financial industry originates from country-specific and region-specific regulations. These are being introduced all the time. Every time new financial regulations are created, the regulators often have to coin new terms for new concepts or link those new concepts with existing terms. The translations for these new terms will be different in each language and culture.
If you use technical financial terminology in your content, it’s important to work with a translation provider that can navigate this complexity.

Don’t forget your company’s custom terminology

On top of the regulatory terminology, your company likely has unique terminology that is used throughout the company. Product and service names, trademarks, and process names should be consistent in all content that you produce for your international markets.
As a global business, you will very likely need a translation provider that is skilled in maintaining consistent terminology across many different translation projects and departments in your organization.

What are the signs that a translation provider is reliable?

When financial companies shop for translation services, they often find it difficult to compare the various providers on the market. Each provider describes different services, specialties, and skills on their websites.
Despite these differences, there are some key reliability markers to look for when comparing financial translation services.
These include:
You can find an additional list of the top 9 qualities to look for in a translation provider in our free eBook.
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5 key steps when shopping for financial translation services

Most procurement processes are difficult. However, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way to making the process smoother.
Here are some steps you can take to improve your chances of finding a translation provider that suits the needs of your financial business:
  1. Identify your current content needs — You likely have a particular translation project that you want to start immediately. Decide which languages it requires and which markets you will be reaching with that content.
  2. Think long term about your global goals — Translation isn’t a one-off event for global companies. Localizing your content for international markets is an ongoing process. Think about your future plans for global content as this will influence which provider will suit your needs.
  3. Determine what type of translation provider you need — If you want your company to scale globally, it’s important to choose a provider that has the right systems in place to help you scale. Very few translation providers have this capability.
  4. Ask the right questions to any potential provider — As you start to contact translation providers, you should ask them specific questions to identify if they are a good match for you. You can find a useful list of 10 questions in our free eBook.
  5. Define your global content strategy — Before you start translating content, it’s an extremely good idea to get clear on your global content strategy. This will help to ensure that all content you produce serves the strategic needs of your company. You can create this by talking to a skilled strategist.

How to get help in your search if you need it

You don’t need to navigate the challenging translation services market on your own.
You can significantly speed up your search by talking to a trusted partner. Someone who knows the translation industry inside out and can advise you on the best next step.
You can book a free Global Content Strategy call with one of our strategists and find out more about financial localization on our financial industry page.