Translating annual reports

As companies expand their investor base, they need to ensure that annual reports and other company documents are accessible in more than just their reporting language. In some instances, you may be lucky and find that companies in non-English speaking markets report in their home language and in English.

Google search is available in more than 130 languages, Microsoft is available in over 90 languages and Pinocchio has been translated into more than 240 languages. Why do multi-national companies think that it is sufficient to publish their results in only one or two languages?

Companies attract investors from many different markets in the developed and emerging world. There are now 60 major stock exchanges in the world and 16 exchanges with a total market capitalisation in excess of $ 1 trillion. Europe and Asia, which account for the most languages spoken, make up almost 54% of the global stock exchanges. Multi-national consumer products are almost always available in the language of the representative market. Investors, however, seem to be treated a bit differently.

At Wonder Words, we believe that if company annual reports were available in a more represented sub-sector of the global investor language universe, companies would attract more investors outside their traditional investor base. What do we mean by the above statement? It is not practical and cost effective for an annual report to be printed in 50 different languages; however, companies should select a subset of languages that match their investor base. This would allow them to meet the expectations of a wider range of investors.