The financial technology, or fintech industry is revolutionizing the financial landscape in Asia. From the way we make and accept payments, to the financing of startups, or peer-to-peer lending, fintech is becoming a critical industry that is likely to see increased growth in the future. When discussing fintech, it’s critical to consider translation for fintech companies, especially in Asian languages, as Asia is becoming the fintech hotspot in the world. In our increasingly globalized world, with many multinational corporations moving to Asia, a critical understanding of the language, culture, regulations, and other aspects are critical factors to a successful business venture. In this blog post, we offer five top tips for fintech translations for Asian countries.
1. Consider cultural differences
Cultural differences in the business sector between Western and Asian countries could mean the start of a very fruitful venture, if handled correctly. It’s vital to always be polite and non-confrontational, greet your counterparts by their proper names, bow and shake hands, when necessary, accept business cards in the appropriately accepted manner, and not to place the other party in a difficult situation by asking them to take sides or answer yes or no questions. In addition, it’s crucial to find out how decision making is carried out in Asian countries. In some cases, such as Japan, this is done collectively, whereas in others, it is done by superiors who make the decisions for the company.
Small talk is another critical element as it helps put the other party at ease when talking about traveling, hobbies, the weather, and other non-compromising topics such as religion or politics. Many of these cultural differences are reflected in the language – greetings, goodbyes, general communication, and others. This is why fintechs in Asia need to consider the cultural and linguistic differences before embarking on setting up a space in Asia. A translator who is aware of such cultural differences will be better positioned to help the fintech start out on their business venture, and will help them settle in more smoothly, ultimately, with better prospects for networking and expansion.
2. Specify the sector
A fintech considering moving to Asia also needs to be aware of the sector they’re entering in the Asian landscape, as the fintech industry is very broad, indeed. It varies from banking and insurance, to real estate, taxation, business and accountancy, auditing, and many others. Translation for fintech companies also needs to take into consideration the educational background of the translator. Since there are so many new buzzwords that arise and which surround fintech, it’s critical to stay abreast of new terminology. It’s also vital for a translator to be sufficiently educated in the relevant business field. Having the necessary accounting or business knowledge will help them be better positioned to provide more accurate translations without any losses in meanings, inaccuracies, ambiguities, or other problematic aspects related to a fintech translation.
3. Know local regulations
Local regulations and customs must also be considered thoroughly when entering the business space in Asia. Whereas some Asian countries have created “sandboxes” for promoting innovation for startups, others are still lagging behind. There is much space for improvement in terms of aspects such as Know Your Customer, Anti Money Laundering and Terrorism activities, transparency in financial operations, customer privacy and security, and others. Also small details help the translator provide the recipient with a more accurate translation. These may include the uses of periods or commas to indicate the relationship between certain numbers. Moreover, the precise language translation of certain terminology will not always help provide more accurate translations. This is why context is key.
4. Choose a translator with niche knowledge
As mentioned above, a translator translating in Asian languages doesn’t only need to be skilled in the language being translated for the relevant company in the fintech industry. They also need to have sufficient background knowledge, and if necessary, the relevant educational exposure to complex and niche financial terminology and concepts that are commonly used in the Asian financial landscape. When choosing a translation company for the fintech industry, ask such a company to provide you with a translator who has the particular knowledge and areas of expertise that you need.
5. Define the use of MT and provide a glossary
It’s an established fact that machine translation (MT), especially when it comes to Asian languages, can be inaccurate and may lead to less than satisfactory results due to cultural expressions, uncommon idioms, sentence structure and verb placement, levels of politeness expressed in the language, and other similar factors. This is why the use of machine translation should be clearly defined when translating in Asian languages for the fintech industry. Another element to consider is the need to provide a glossary. If you have such a document, which acts as the foundation for most translations, it will enable the translator to offer more consistency in their work.
The fintech space is rapidly growing in Asia, with a plethora of startups taking centre stage in the business world. We are making payments and transfers faster and more efficiently than ever before, sending funds to family and loved ones with the tap of a button on our smartphones. However, for fintechs entering the business space in Asia, there are several considerations to keep in mind, especially when it comes to translation for fintech companies. From cultural barriers and educational knowledge and expertise, to knowing local regulations and specifying the relevant sector, your translation project could be more successful than if these factors are ignored.