The world economy is becoming increasingly integrated; globalized businesses and workforces ensure that the flow of capital crosses both cultural and language barriers. Without accurate information and communication, this level of globalization would be impossible. Increasingly, English is no longer the only language for business: Translation into Mandarin Chinese, German, Arabic, and Spanish, plus many other languages, is essential.
Conveying simple meaning is not enough: finance thrives on accuracy and detail. For this reason, businesses are increasingly turning to professional finance translation teams to ensure that their financial translations are exact.
Key Example: Venture Capital
Venture Capital, for example, is a truly global industry that is highly-dependent on accurate translations of financial documents. PWC reports that in 2016, $12.2B was invested in North American companies (1065 deals), $3.0B in European companies (498 deals), and $5.5B in Asian companies (337 deals). Moving into 2017, KPMG highlights that three of the four biggest deals (as of Q2 2017) have been in Asia: $5.5B invested in Didi Chuxing, $1B in Toutiao, and $600M in Mobike.
These complex deals require hundreds and sometimes thousands of documents to be correct. A single mistranslation has the potential to destroy the deal. To take advantage of a competitive global investment market, businesses must ensure they provide accurate, readable documentation for potential investors around the world. Similarly, investors must communicate globally to find the best investments. Specialized finance translation services are essential to achieving these aims.
For example, when pitching for funding, you’ll need a presentation deck, which should contain an overview of your business model and information on your team, market, solution, competition, and financial overview.
You will also need legal documents that show the status of your business (and where and when it is incorporated). In some cases, you’ll need to prove legal ownership of your ideas and solutions with patent documents.
The translation of these documents is as important as the original. If a poor translation results in the business plan being hard to read, the financial projections being wrong and implausible, or a legal document being factually incorrect, it is unlikely the business will receive an investment.
Types of Financial Translation
Making and receiving these global investments requires a wide range of other documents to be accurately translated. For example, to enable a global investment to go through, it is likely that a business will need several (or all) of the following types of financial translation:
- Website Localization - Localized version of websites provide foreign investors with easy access to essential information about the business.
- Business Communication Translation - Enabling fluid communication between speakers; translation avoids one party having to use their second (or even third) language, which can lead to inaccuracies and misunderstanding.
- Marketing Content – Pitch decks, local marketing campaigns, and subtitled marketing videos require translating to ensure a company is accurately and effectively marketed in foreign countries.
- Financial Data – A poor translation can easily misrepresent a business’ financial situation; businesses must ensure accurate translations to avoid regulatory and legal problems.
- Performance Reports – Keep investors up-to-date with performance information. Poor translations are not only misleading but may also damage your brand image.
The Cost of Inaccuracy
Financial documents must be precise; poor and inaccurate translations are often far costlier to a business than investing in the right service. In 2009, HSBC had to launch a $10M rebranding after discovering the difference translation can make. The bank’s slogan “Assume Nothing” had been translated as “Do Nothing” in some languages – not the kind of message a global bank wants to send.
Aside from the obvious financial implications, poorly translated documents damage brand image. In a highly-competitive globalized finance industry, businesses, investors, and banks cannot afford to make their foreign clients feel sidelined or undervalued.
Find out more about Milla & Co., document translation services at millaandco.com.