MET workshops

Getting started in financial translation

Finance (or the lack of it!) is everywhere, including in translating and revising. In this workshop, I give an overview of the field and of the types of text a translator or reviser is likely to encounter.

The focus of the workshop is on the practice of finance in companies and institutions, with the markets as the context in which finance takes place. Particular fields such as insurance, taxation, funds or trading will be mentioned only incidentally.

The workshop will be as country- and language-independent as possible. However, national context is important, and the emphasis will be on translating from Spanish to EU English.

Developer and facilitator: Stephen Waller

Purpose: To present some background knowledge and practical advice for translating and revising financial texts.

Description/structure: Discussion of the pre-workshop tasks will show the ground to be covered. First, I will give an overview of the wider context of the financial system and markets, identifying the main players (banks, companies, brokers, governments, regulatory bodies, etc.) and the roles they play (as lenders, borrowers, investors, speculators, etc.). Examples will show how the wider context can provide valuable clues and guidance. After that, we will look at a range of financial text types that translators and revisers commonly encounter and consider their function in the financial markets. Again, examples will illustrate the usefulness of this background information. Next, I will present some of the resources available to translators and revisers of financial texts and discuss how they can be accessed and used effectively. Finally, we will work on some practical examples of the particular difficulties identified and see how attention to context and text type, coupled with use of appropriate resources, can help find solutions or at least avoid mistakes.

Who should attend? Non-financial translators and revisers who would like a general introduction to the field or those who are starting to specialise.

Outcomes: Participants will be able to place financial texts in their context within the financial system; identify text type and intended audience; find appropriate resources for research and comparison; and make informed decisions about financial terms and phrases.

About the facilitator:

Stephen Waller is a freelance translator living in Barcelona. After completing a degree in German and French, he worked for several years in dictionary and EFL materials publishing and as an EFL teacher. He has been a translator and reviser of general business texts for over 15 years and in recent years has specialised in financial translation. He translates, via agency, for banks, investment companies and other financial institutions.