Why am I a financial translator?
By Francesca Airaghi
Boring? It is not!
I might have done something else in my life. However, I have always wished to become a translator.
I could translate tourist guides, I love travelling! Possibly cookbooks, I like cooking!
Why am I a financial translator? In the beginnings, it was by chance. I started working in-house at a translation company specialising in finance and law. My educational background was foreign languages and literature. Over the years, I attended numerous courses on economics and the capital markets and worked side by side with experts. I have been a financial translator for more than 20 years now, and if you ask me why I am a financial translator, the answer is that I like it. I love my job.
Financial translation may be challenging though rewarding. People think it is boring or too complex and overlook a specialisation that can be profitable, a constantly growing sector. Volumes are increasing (there is a recent Deloitte study confirming it), and the financial translation sector is very wide, spanning from accounting such as annual reports, financial statements, to investment funds and asset management, banking, international trade, or corporate communication. A translator might know a lot about accounting but almost nothing about financial markets or asset management, or might not have the writing skills to translate corporate communication. You can choose to specialise in a niche. As a financial translator, I work with global companies, leading banks, worldwide asset managers. They are usually good paying clients.
Why would I recommend to other translators to specialise in finance? If you like being a translator, you certainly like continuous learning. Financial translators must keep up to date with current affairs, financial news, global events. It may be time consuming sometimes, though it is interesting and rewarding. Financial translation involves technical terminology and the knowledge of a special language, which is at the same time informative and emotional. First of all, financial translators need to understand the subject matter very well in order to translate appropriately.
Unfortunately, based on my experience as proofreader and recruiter, there are not so many professional financial translators. There is a lack of training courses in the field of financial translation that teach you the most common traps and give you the basics to understand finance and economics, how to find the resources and develop the appropriate communication skills. I constantly receive mentoring requests from my students and when I go to translation conferences, financial translators are always in very small number. My host Marcel Solé is a passionate trainer of financial translation from English into Spanish, and I am happy we had chance to meet and exchange ideas on the financial translation industry and specifically on teaching financial translation.
In October and November, I will conduct a 5 webinar series on financial translation on Prozcom, preceded by an introductory session on “How to become a successful financial translator”. The webinars will be conducted in Italian and will focus on English and Italian financial terminology. You can learn to be more confident in translating financial statements, economic news, and investment funds. To become a good financial translator, you need to understand. Starting from basic concepts (the Stock Exchange, return, inflation, the banking system), I will go through real-life examples of economic and financial language and frequent documents. You can learn the most common terminology in English and Italian and how to avoid the main tricks and traps for a financial translator (urgent assignments, technical terminology, special language). You can register for one webinar or for the entire series. Why? Because financial translation is not at all boring and could be a very profitable and rewarding specialisation. After more than 20 years translating, I would like to share what I have learned… and still learning.
Francesca Airaghi · Financial Translator