Three key steps to annual report translation success

Typos, misunderstandings, style, inconsistencies, timing and technology: these are just a few of the challenges in multilingual reporting. How can you overcome them? Let’s start by making plans well in advance and using tried-and-tested processes.

The team

The more languages, the more complicated the reporting – and the more important it is to have an effective and reliable team on hand. Ideally, this team consists of:

  • One project manager in your company and one at the language service provider. They look after the organizational side of things and ensure direct communication
  • Three experts per language: at least one translator for each language with a financial and storytelling background, plus a proofreader.
  • Ideally, one employee per language who is responsible for language guidelines at your company.

With so many cogs in the machine, flawless time management is an absolute must. And reserving early is, too. It’s best to get in contact with us during the summer months so that we can reserve your dream team of specialists with relevant industry experience and set up the project in good time. And as always during the springtime, the early bird catches… the best financial translations!

The process and timing

Many roads lead to Rome. But which road is the most efficient way to the multilingual, ready-to-print version of your annual report? And how much time does each step take? From experience, we recommend this process:

  • The large majority of your texts are already available long before the annual figures are released. For large reports, we recommend a pre-translation. Generally speaking, we can process 80% of the content in December.
  • The remaining 20%, the post-translation, takes the most time – usually from 48 hours to one week, depending on the volume.
  • Last-minute changes, requested by the CEO for example, are a part of this process and are very hard to plan. If there are a lot of changes, it’s worth implementing these in the manuscript (Word, InDesign etc.). Otherwise, we mark the necessary changes in the PDF in your target language.
  • For proofreading, you just need to send us one PDF document per language. After around two days, you’ll receive our corrections, which you can then implement in the layout. To be on the safe side, plan in two rounds of revision. It’s also possible to do the proofreading directly in the editorial system, depending on the software you use.
  • As soon as the changes have been correctly implemented, you can issue the ‘ready to print’ version.
  • What went well? What didn’t go well? What do we need to improve next year? We recommend holding a debriefing session with your language service provider around three weeks after publication.

Of course, even with the best planning, things can still go wrong. For example, maybe the Board of Directors asks for extensive changes the day before the final version is going to be printed. When these have to be implemented in several languages, it can be an organizational nightmare. This is why Supertext offers an on-call service on request to take care of these last-minute changes.

The technology

The translation industry has been well and truly digitalized – for the better. Modern CAT tools make life that little bit easier. For example, we add your company’s multilingual glossary to the termbase, which ensures that your corporate wording is used during the translation process.

Translations from the previous year are fed into the translation memory using alignment. This allows us to copy over parts that are unchanged from previous years – and there’s usually a lot. The advantages?

  • Around 30% lower costs
  • Faster turn-around time, giving you extra hours. These tend to come in useful just before the printing deadline!
  • Guaranteed consistency in all languages
  • Industry-standard finance terminology per IFRS or GAAP FER

Looking for even more efficiency? Supertext also offers tried-and-tested software integrations for publishing tools such as ns.publish, and MDD. On request, Team Code can also develop connectors for any type of software. We also provide super security – your data is always secured with 256-bit encryption.

The only thing we can’t improve – the numbers

Do you want to set the course for next year’s annual report? Then we should talk. On the telephone, by email or even in person. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Cover image via Pexels (CC0)

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