Jun 11, 2017

On a TEUR with German financial translation

Currency expressions occur in great variety in German financial translation, and it is often a great nuisance to type and check the corresponding expressions, correctly formatted, in the target language. One group of such expressions are those involving thousands of euros, typically written in German as "TEUR". However, depending on the proclivities of the source text author, other forms such as T€, kEUR or k€ may be encountered.

On the target side, clients might want to see figures like "TEUR 1.352" rendered in a number of ways: perhaps EUR 1,352 thousand, perhaps €1,352k, perhaps something else.

I have described before how to map out source and target equivalents for developing auto-translation rules or regex-based quality checking instruments to use as the basis for development specifications and case testing as well as how to document the structure and reasoning of the respective rules.

Here you can download an example of possible solutions to the specific problem described above. The downloadable ZIP archive contains two different rulesets for each of the English target text formats cited above; these may be adapted to fit the particular requirements of a client as needed.

There are, of course, quite a number of other currency expressions one routinely encounters when translating financial texts or other business documents, and the diversity of client preferences for target language formats can be considerable. In many cases, it is worthwhile to document which rulesets correspond to which client's preference, perhaps even including client names in the filename to keep things straight. Thus "KPMG_TEUR-to-English" might be the  ruleset name for the client KPMG's preference for how to translate those particular expressions to English.

Busy financial translators who use memoQ and who have discovered the benefits of rulesets like these tell me time and again how many hours or days of effort are saved routinely by using tools like these in translation and subsequent quality checks. They are a "secret weapon" in an often competitive environment with a lot of short, stressful deadlines.

Those who wish to have rulesets of their own to handle the specific requirements of their clients can turn to a number of sources for help. Kilgray's Professional Services department can develop custom rules, as can competent consultants such as Marek Pawelec or yours truly. One caveat: in hiring development experts for memoQ tools based on regular expressions (regex), it is generally a good idea to work with consultants whose primary focus is memoQ. Regular expressions are used in many other environments, such as Apsic Xbench and SDL Trados Studio (as well as many others having nothing to do with translation), but without an intimate, daily working acquaintance with memoQ, developers are often unable to understand the best approaches for working with the memoQ environment and it is all too possible to spend a lot of money on custom work which proves to be unusable, for example because the complex rules take many minutes to load each time a project or document is opened, because the developer did not break the problem down efficiently into its component parts. But done right, these rulesets are an investment which can pay enormous dividends for many specialist translators.

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