Financial translation services: what to look for in a language service partner

Financial translation services: what to look for in a language service partner

Language service providers play an important role in the global financial industry. Bankers, fund managers, and insurance carriers all rely on clear, accurate information in a language that their clients will understand.  Financial translation requires stringent quality assurance; mistakes can become misinformation. The fast pace of the industry makes errors hard to correct after publication. Buyers of financial translation services guard against these risks by choosing ISO 17100-certified providers with the skills and capacity to meet their needs.

The industry generates a lot of content requiring translation. The financial translator’s skill set includes a strong grasp of the industry, a keen eye for detail, and expertise with the computer-assisted translation and quality assurance tools that ensure accuracy and consistency. As we will see, a knack for writing compelling, persuasive prose also comes in handy.  Content types include research, pitch books, fund reports and other collateral, RFPs, software and e-learning modules. Each of these requires particular capabilities.


Investors need information on market movements to make forecasts and decisions. These include business- and industry-specific financial reports. Analyses of new regulations, political events, and natural disasters also provide valuable context.  Generally, these are written by researchers and analysts, either on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly cycle. They may also be written on an ad hoc basis in reaction to current events. This time-sensitive information is also subject to regulatory standards and can carry significant liability. Demand for these is especially high in Asia and in countries with more than one official language.

Research reports are a kind of marketing material: they need to be compelling as well as accurate. In addition to general knowledge of the markets involved, translators need the writing chops and the cultural insights to connect with the reader.

Pitch Books

Pitch Books are another species of marketing material. Financial institutions need to pitch their expertise when competing for deals.  Big mergers and acquisitions deals require international banking support, and these deals happen in all types of industries.  In addition to a firm grasp of banking terminology and excellent writing skills, translators of this content may need in-depth knowledge of a particular industry. In addition, this content is extremely confidential, and the client needs strong confirmation that data security measures are in place. 

Fund reports and other fund collateral

These are generally published on regular cycles (annually, semi-annually, quarterly). Fund reports function as a “report card” on the fund’s performance and are regulated with respect to what content and disclosures must be included. As another form of investor relations content, they must be stylistically consistent with other fund collateral. In addition, they generally require a good deal of graphics localization as well as standard translation. These are also confidential until public release. When they are released it is often across several languages at the same time.


To award business to service providers, companies may issue cross-border requests for proposals. The request itself needs to be translated to accurately communicate all of its requirements. However, it does not need “white glove” copy-editing treatment to make it into compelling reading.  After receiving the translated RFP, bid managers will craft their response. This can then be translated into the language of the RFP.

Translators typically face tight turnaround times for these projects. You should use the same financial translation services provider to handle the translations for both the RFP itself (from the requestor’s language into your language) and the response (from your language into the requester’s language). The terminology used in the RFP will already have been noted and researched, and the team will be well prepared when the client’s response is ready.

Financial software (fintech) localization

Global finance increasingly requires software localization in addition to document localization.  As financial services companies integrate technology into their offerings, global clients demand user-friendly apps in their own languages. Self-service insurance tools (insurtech), open banking, investment apps, and digital cash are becoming essential to both B2B and consumer finance markets. 

Software localization requires a tech-savvy team with the ability to provide localization engineering services as well as translation.  Read more about software localization best practices here.

Professional development: e-learning and training modules

Frequent changes in tax laws and the global regulatory environment have created a whole sub-category of financial translation in the area of e-learning. As with fintech translation, localization engineering services are necessary to prepare e-learning content for translation.  Additional services may be needed as well, including foreign language voiceovers, e-learning integration, and pre-live testing.

Financial translation services: what to look for in a language partner

Financial translation requires much more than a keen eye for numeric accuracy. In addition to fulfilling regulatory requirements, financial content plays a powerful role as sales and marketing collateral. Professionals in the financial industry understand the need to balance persuasive, compelling writing with strict standards of truth and accuracy. Translators of financial content require the same combination of knowledge and skills.

When seeking financial translation services, look for a partner with:

  • ISO 17100 certification to prove adherence to global quality assurance standards
  • Proven experience serving financial translation clients
  • A strong data security ecosystem
  • Responsive, professional project management
  • Tech-savvy software and e-learning localization services
  • Automated solutions when appropriate
  • Reliable, thoroughly screened networks of in-house and external subject matter experts