News Archive


1. Accuracy in digital seal

In the financial industry, the accuracy of the numbers can make a project a success or failure. Therefore, the smallest error in the punctuation of a number can greatly affect the entire document. For example, in English, 2,500 means two thousand and five hundred while 2,500 means two and a half. However, in other countries like Vietnam, Germany, and France, these numbers have a completely different meaning. 2,500 is two and a half and 2,500 means two thousand and five hundred.

2. Confusion between values

In some cases, to avoid misunderstanding, financial translators choose to write numbers in letters. While this method can avoid punctuation errors, another problem arises – long and short scales. Numbers less than 1,000,000,000 (or 109) in both naming systems mean the same thing. But for the larger number, the two systems are different.

For example, 1,000,000,000 (109) on a short scale means a billion, but in a long scale system, it is a thousand million or a millimeter. Whereas 1,000,000,000,000 (1012) is a trillion in the short-term scale being interpreted as a billion on a long scale. It’s confusing, isn’t it?

Today, English-speaking countries, Arabic-speaking countries and a few other countries use the short scale. Meanwhile, most Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and Dutch speaking countries use the long ladder system. That means when you need a document translated from a country of short-scale to a country of long-scale, placing the numbers in letters should take extra care.

3. Wrongly translated message

Mistakes can happen to everyone, even the biggest companies. And it’s not necessarily a mistake in the numbers. Sometimes it’s in the mis-translated message. Take the example of the Banking Corporation of Hong Kong and Shanghai (HSBC). The incorrect translation of the company’s catchphrase from “Assume Nothing” to “Do Nothing” cost businesses millions of dollars to rebrand.

4. The instructions are not clear

In many situations, errors do not occur during translation. But before the project starts, you need to provide your translator with detailed instructions on how you want your document to be translated and your expectations for translation output. If not, with unclear instructions, there is a high chance that the translation will appear some annoying errors that can be avoided in the first place.

5. Breach of confidentiality

What if your financial documents are accidentally leaked during translation? Such a release of sensitive information could turn out to be a mistake that could cost your company millions of dollars. Security is always a big issue that you should take full care of when translating your financial documents.

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