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Financial Translation

A complex field requiring knowledgeable translators

When a Japanese company wanted to do business in South America, they came to sparkton to translate financial statements of companies in which they were interested and the financial analyses prepared by local auditors. It helped that we have Eduardo, a translator from Chile with an MBA, who not only spoke the language and understood corporate finance, but also could give our customer background information when specific questions came up. A good translator not only knows what AFP stands for (Asociación de Fondos de Pensiones), but how it fits into the privatized social security system of Chile, how they are regulated, etc. - a topic of current importance.

The same applied to Brazilian company information that is the specialty of Gabe, the president of sparkton, who has an MBA from Săo Paulo. He would be able to explain what Plano Real is - a phrase easy to translate, but the complexity behind it is harder to explain. He would know what PROER stands for (Programa de Estímulo ?Reestruturaçăo e ao Sistema Financeiro Nacional), and why it is significant.

A financial expert from Germany, Helmut coordinates our German financial translations, whether it is an American bank looking for information on a German company's credit standing following a loan application, or a German company that needs to translate its brochure. Our German translators are familiar with the Handelsgesetzbuch (German Commercial Code) and the German GAAP, which are not only accounting principles, but legal regulations (Rechtsnormen) as well. In this fashion, there is a need for in-house coordination of legal and financial translators. Those who just translate words may never reach the depths of such complexity. They may not even find terms such as "Ausschüttungsbemessung" in the dictionary. And if they do, i.e., payout determination, they may not know how it affects German accounting regulations.

Personal finance is a central issue in all our lives. Planning for a college education and retirement, and safeguarding our estate, are not privileges of only the English-speaking world. These are issues important to people worldwide. It was very satisfying to prepare a handbook of personal finance for use in Puerto Rico. As is always the case, we learned a lot because we helped our customer field questions from their potential customers. It is equally pleasing to help a company translate their "cafeteria" benefit plan for multi-ethnic staff. A company that uses its resources to explain to their workers their choices, in their own language, shows its respect and appreciation for them.

And how about Hungary, Russia, and the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, which recently opened their borders and financial institutions to the world? Translators couldn't create words fast enough for the influx of foreign financial terms. Legislation was revised, regulations were overhauled, limitations were eliminated, and opportunities were expanded year by year. And now some of the other former Soviet satellites are part of the European Union. There is so much history behind the adopted and crystallized terminology that it takes a translator well aware of the intimate details of the past and present economy to render a good translation. Why is it important to know what PSZÁF is? Because the Pénzügyi Szervezetek Állami Felügyelete [Hungarian Financial Supervisory Authority] was formed to satisfy EU requirements regarding reliable, continuous, and transparent operation of the financial markets - an assurance for the investor. It is part of Hungary's history that PSZÁF had joined three former institutions supervising financial capital markets, the insurance industry, and the Hungarian Treasury. A good translator also knows that today's OTP [National Savings Bank] is not your father's OTP.

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