Glossary of Financial Terms & Banking Terms

Essential finance & banking glossary sources for the German translator!

glossary of financial terms

This article covers:

Banking & finance is another specialized field, with plenty of subject-specific terminology and phraseology.

Translators need a solid grasp of the subject matter, so you'll find many good German financial translators have qualifications or a previous career in a finance and banking profession.

Finding a online German glossary of financial and banking terms is getting easier these days, so I've put together a list of some good ones for German translators, to supplement your library of specialist German dictionaries.....

Bilingual finance & banking glossaries

  • Finanzlexikon – a 2000+ page PDF published by Professor Dr. Gerhard Merk at the University of Siegen. Listings in German, so use search box to locate English terms. Marvellously detailed, a real gem of a source.
  • Volksbank Raiffeisen an Austrian bank, glossary of retail banking terms. English financial terminology (+ German equivalent) with detailed explanations of each term listed alphabetically in English. That means you need to use the search function to find the German term you’re looking for. Fine for general retail banking terminology.
  • ATA (American Translators Association) –  published its own concise but useful glossary of German financial terms, available as a PDF.
  • LinguaFinmultilingual financial term base covering 7 languages, with 90,000 pairs in the German-English combination.  It covers a wide range of financial fields, such as accounting, banking, commodities, insurance, public finance, and taxation, and offers translations, elaborations, synonyms, official sources, country variants, etc. It draws from multiple sources and uses linguists to cross check terms.

TIP! Linguafin is a subscription service (currently €49/year) with a 3-month free trial period, but it looks like something any German translator working frequently with financial translations should seriously consider. Includes a plug in for users of the Trados Studio CAT tool.

  • TaxPlanet – a 26- page Business and Tax Glossary in German and English in PDF form, published by TaxPlanet, a worldwide organizaton of independent legal and accounting professionals primarily specializing in tax.
  • Austrian National Bank (ÖNB)glossary of central banking terms in German and English with over 60,000 entries, compiled by the bank’s Language Services department in close cooperation with the European Central Bank (ECB).
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF) – multilingual directory of terms. The link to German terms takes you to a 460-page PDF, so certainly a comprehensive and reliable source.

Another source I'd recommend is the popular online translator platform ProZ which has compiled a variety of general German to English financial and banking glossaries.

These are effectively lists of all the terminology queries and replies on this subject which have been provided by ProZ members over the years.

In each glossary, click the term to follow the discussions involved in the process of agreeing each definition – this will give you a good idea of the thought processes behind the suggestions, the reliability of the final translation offered, and its relevance foryour particular use case:

I’m slightly surprised these glossaries of financial terms are open to the wider public, but if for any reason access is limited to members, you can always join the platform using their free membership option.

English monolingual sources

Plenty of banks publish retail banking glossaries, but these tend to be aimed at consumers, and are rather too general for use in anything but the simplest German translation.

Here are a few exceptions:

  • American Banker – now this does appear to be an exception to the rule, offering an extensive banking glossary. The organisation claims to be the essential resource for senior executives in banking and financial services, and publishes its own magazine of the same name.

  • JP Morgan – glossary of investment terms which looks like a good starting point for checking investment banking phrasing.
  • Investopedia a financial terms dictionary recently recommended by one of my site visitors (thank you!) who says "the Investopedia website is a good, easy to understand reference for monolingual English finance terms (US-focused)."

German monolingual banking glossaries

  • L&P Vermögensverwaltung – this appears to be one of the more comprehensive German-language glossaries of key terms from the finance world published by an investment company.
  • Handelszeitung – in-depth financial & banking glossary published by Swiss financial newspaper Handelszeitung.

Do you know of a good finance or banking glossary?

If you can recommend a good German finance or banking glossary, then I'd love to hear from you!

Please use the form below (I will NOT pass your details on to anyone!) to submit your suggested source, and I'll add it to the list.

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Happy translating!


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Joanna Scudamore-Trezek

I'm a German to English translator living and working in Vienna, Austria. I turn German texts into clear and accessible English, allowing clients to present their stories, ideas and information to a completely new audience. My business and marketing clients rely on me to get their message across clearly and effectively.  How can I help you today?

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