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Economic and financial terminology

Written by Kenia Arredondo

Kenia is a language-obsessed professional translator who is always searching for music from around the world and random, useless, but interesting fun facts.

September 24, 2021

Economic and Financial Terminology

Translating economic and financial texts is very complicated. This terminology is known for its complexity, as well as the constant appearance of new concepts that come from English and French. Translators must be careful with that, otherwise, their text will be full of unnecessary foreignisms. For more information about this subject matter, you can check the article about the importance of terminology in specialized translation.

However, on this occasion, I won’t talk about the difficulties with economic-financial translation nor its characteristics, but rather, I’ll show you some peculiarities of economic and financial terminology. What’s the reason? There are some unique terms that, at first, may seem to have nothing to do with such serious topics. So, if you are curious about it, continue reading.

 

Metaphors in Economic and Financial Terminology

Economic and financial language is full of metaphors, i.e., it compares real terms with imaginary ones, such as cash cow, that is not actually a cow that gives money. You may think that is a joke, but no, here is a list of the weirdest terms and their meaning.

Cash cow

The literal meaning could be just a cow. But this term makes reference to a business that generates a lot of income in comparison with the necessary outlays for investing and giving maintenance.

Bull market and Bear market

The first is a reference to the financial market that is getting higher stocks. On the contrary, the bear market makes reference to a market where the stocks are falling.

The metaphor is in the animals that are used for both terms. Bulls attack with their horns up, meanwhile bears attack with their claws down. Interesting, don’t you think?

Dead cat bounce

“Dead cat bounce” means that the behavior of the market experiments a temporal raising after a great fall.

The origin of this expression is creepy because, after death, cats still can bounce on the floor if they are thrown from the heights.

 

Colors in Economic Terminology

Besides all the mentioned, the world of economics is full of colors. In other words, economics adopts colors in its terminology. Who would have thought that a subject as serious as a business would use such colorful terms? Normally, these terms are found in business magazines or news related to the area. Here are some of these terms:

  • Greenback: It means dollars or green bucks.
  • Big Blue: It’s the way they called the international company IBM in the ’80s. Some people say that the term came from the blue computers of those years and others think that it is due to the blue color of its logo, the truth is that the company is a great example of the slang used in the world of economics.
  • Red Tape: It’s a way of mentioning excessive and unnecessary bureaucratic procedures. People believe that the term originated since Carlos V, Spain’s King, who used red tape in the most important documents, with the purpose of making the procedures faster.

After reading these expressions, we can realize that the economic world useswords that are also used in daily life, however, they have a different meaning in the economic sector.

For a quality technical translation is necessary to hire specialized translators in technical texts, especially if it’s about text with an ambiguous language like the economic one. In Traduality Language Solutions, we offer professional translation services, contact us to give you the quality you deserve.

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