Our translators Anja Lintukorpi and Antti Nyrhinen offer their top tips on annual report translations, and also tell us what makes an annual report good from the translator’s perspective.
A good annual report in the eyes of a translator
With vast experience of translating annual reports, our translators Anja Lintukorpi and Antti Nyrhinen are veterans in the industry. Over the years, they have translated all sorts of texts, but in the first months of every new year their calendars are filled with translation projects concerning the annual reports of listed companies and associations.
Both Anja and Antti find annual report translations enjoyable, and not really that different from other demanding translation tasks in similar subjects. “With annual reports, however, there is always a certain amount of stress and some pressure because these translations are so public,” explains Anja, adding: “Many companies are very particular about how everything should be expressed. Also, there are often last-minute changes to the report and its translation.”
“Stylistically, I enjoy translating annual reports because they normally contain four different text types, all of which suit my strengths as a translator,” says Antti. By text types, Antti is referring to financial statements that demand accuracy, more casual stories about a company’s operations in the reporting year, reports on the company’s strategic direction and content about corporate social responsibility.
A good annual report is defined by language
The linguistic quality of an annual report has a direct impact on the translation process. It is not only easiest but also quickest to translate a text that is well-written in the first place. A translator processes the text several times and will notice any inconsistencies and failures in logic. “When translating, you read the text in depth and see the vague or unclear bits that may have gone unnoticed,” says Anja.
For Anja, a good annual report is written with care and consideration, using clear and precise language. Also, the text has been fine tuned and revised before going to translation. Antti adds that it is easiest to translate an annual report which is written concisely and precisely, using phrases, expressions and terminology coherent with earlier publications.
Read our tips
Reference material helps with the style and terminology of the annual report
When translating annual reports, translators go through any press and stock exchange releases the company has issued over the past year as well as the annual reports from previous years. Previous annual reports usually give an indication as to the style and expressions the customer wishes to use. So, it is worthwhile mentioning if the style used in earlier reports and other reference material is not what you want in your publication this time.
Even though translators are wizards in finding information, your help in supplying them with reference material is extremely valuable. Provide the translation agency with any possible background material that benefits the successful translation of your annual report. For instance, a glossary of the company’s specialised terminology can be very useful. It is also worthwhile telling the translation agency if there are any terms the company does not wish to use. For example, the company may have decided to use only one term for several words meaning the same thing. “A good example of this is customer vs. client,” says Anja.
Scheduling is everything
January and February are the busiest months of the year for putting together and translating annual reports. “Schedules are often quite tight, especially with many customers sending a lot of material to be translated around the same time,” says Antti. In order for the translation agency to book the necessary resources and find a translator to suit your needs, make sure you get in touch early enough.
Also, allocate enough time for the translation. A well-designed and systematic process will make not only your job but also the translator’s job easier. “It is essential to draw up a schedule for the work. The earlier we get the texts in for translation, the better,” says Antti.
- Fine tune the text before sending it for translation – write clearly and crisply
- Provide the translation agency with reference material – possible tips for background material, terminology/jargon, style guides
- Start early and book enough time for the translation
Delingua translates dozens of annual reports every year. Contact us now and book a translator for your annual report!