When Translation in FX Trading Goes Wrong

Accuracy and professionalism in translation will ensure you are never made into a laughing stock.

“Why are we advertising annual inventories on our French online broker site?”

Patrick, the marketing communications manager of a well-known broker, received this confusing email from his boss on Monday morning. Inventories of what, he wondered? This made no sense to Patrick but after some research, he discovered that a text reading “Market Watch: Stocks Hit 52-week Low”, when translated to French, actually said: “Market Watch: Inventories Hit 52-week Low”.

“Stocks” was incorrectly translated as “inventaire” instead of “une action” – the financial instrument. The translator did not use the correct Trading terminology, leading to a major case of miscommunication. What can Patrick, or anyone who values the accuracy and professionalism of their content do to avoid such embarrassments, or shall we say laughing stocks?

Missing the mark

In translation, as in Online Trading, words are assets that are exchanged between languages. The process is successful if a piece of content is interpreted correctly, so that the message is communicated as intended. Sometimes, however, a translator misses the mark and things can go terribly wrong.

It’s easy to confuse certain words in different languages due to similar spellings or sounds. Cultural differences can also get in the way when rendering a message to suit different audiences. That’s why it’s important that your translator understands the precise context of the content before diving into the translation process.

Most translation agencies hire linguists who are fluent in both their native and second languages, and who are experts in certain fields. They’ll pay close attention to cultural and linguistic variations and ensure that the terminology and style used are appropriate to the industry in question.

Those specializing in Forex or Stocks for example, will ensure that accurate financial and technical terms are used in the target language and that the completed content exactly reflects the purpose and tone of the original.

Avoid using inexperienced linguists to translate your Trading content. Just as a Stock price rises and falls, the power of your brand can be significantly affected by even one poor performance in terms of the copy you present to the world. Here are a few examples of how translation in the Trading industry went badly wrong…

Context is King

 “Top 10 Commodities to Trade in the Market”

The “linguist” translated this title into French which, when retranslated back into English read:

“Top 10 Merchandise to Trade in the Market”

The context of the article had been completely ignored by the translator, who was clearly no expert in the Online Trading industry.


“Fund your account with $100 and receive an additional 50% bonus!”

This sentence was translated into German. But when interpreted back into English, it read:

“Discovery your account with $100 and receive an additional 50% bonus!”

Oops! Another clear instance of an epic translation fail! The word “fund” in German means “discovery” in English – a perfect example of a false friend which can catch out the unwary or lazy translator.

Exit Stage Left

When is it Time to Exit a Trade?”

This title was translated into Spanish, but when retranslated back into English, it read:

Michal Shinitzky

“When is it Time to Success a Trade?”

Not only was the entire article delivered in a different context, it also made no grammatical sense. “Exit” was mistranslated as the similar Spanish word, “Exito,” which means “Success.”

Long-term Position 

These are just a few examples that emphasize how easy it is to harm the strength of your brand due to minor translation mistakes. To provide accurate and reliable content to global markets, it’s wise to invest in the services of expert translators who are industry insiders, market experts or even traders themselves.

This way, you’ll lower your overall trading translating risk and be well on your way to building a loyal worldwide customer base, helping you profit in the long run.

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