The annual report is perhaps the most important marketing instrument of a company, with stringent quality requirements in terms of style and terminology. What distinguishes translating annual reports from other types of tasks is that you rarely know in advance how extensive the material is going to be, the schedule is always tight, there are usually many people’s opinions to take into consideration and plans can change at the very last minute.
At Translator Scandinavia we translate 18–20 corporate annual reports each year, most of them into English. Eva Taxén, project manager, describes the process:
“I like managing translation projects for annual reports because it’s so unpredictable. It’s exciting not knowing exactly how things should be done. Matching an annual report with the right translator is a challenge, as the texts are always financial but are also about the very specific business the company is engaged in.”
“The work process may vary, but usually we visit the customer at an early stage to get an idea of their business and discuss how to structure the work, what their expectations are and any thoughts about language and terminology. We then look at scheduling, book resources and make sure we compile and prepare the necessary reference material. The preparation work is actually the most important part – when the files for translation actually arrive, we’re usually ready to go.”
“What’s the most important factor in successfully translating annual reports?”
“A committed customer, clear communication between all parties, an effective and well-established team of skilled translators and revisers and a dedicated project manager who deals with planning and teamwork.”