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Financial Translations: A Guide to Global Currencies

When producing financial translations, it is important to know what you’re talking about. Even when it comes to the basics, like global currencies – it’s vital that everything is expressed in the correct format. You need to use the accepted style.

Most currencies are written using the ISO 4217 codes outlined by the International Organisation for Standardisation. Which take a two digit country code, followed by the first letter of the currency name. For example, US Dollars are USD. Perhaps surprisingly, the currency of the UK is GBP (Great British Pounds) rather than UKP. This is because the Ukraine also wanted the country code ‘UK’. To avoid conflict, the Britain got GB and the Ukraine got UA. Using these codes is especially important where more than one country uses the same symbol for their currency. For example, Italy used to use the pound sign (£) for Lira. So if you were completing financial translations from Italian to English or vice versa, things could get pretty confusing! They are now on the Euro, but you can understand the confusion it might have caused!

Experienced financial translators will know the best way to deal with a given currency in a given situation. This is something which comes with practice and familiarity with the field. However, it’s always important for them to stay up-to-date with recent developments in the field. Things change quickly. A country may re-name or re-value their currency, or both, so thorough research is also an important factor, as any financial translator will tell you.

If you’d like more information about financial translations from Lingua Translations, please contact us.

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