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Taiwan financial reporting: The dire state of local English

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Joined: 27 May 2008
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 5:32 pm    Post subject: Taiwan financial reporting: The dire state of local English Reply with quote

I had the privilege at teaching accounting at one of Taiwan's major universities. While preparing for my courses I decided to do some research into financial reporting in Taiwan in English. I wanted to be able to understand the financial results of major Taiwanese corporations to be able to discuss them with my students.

So the first thing that I did was to put together a list of companies that I thought might report in English (including government pension plans). Generally speaking, my selection process was to pick entities which may look to the international capital markets for financing or investment opportunities and would have an interest in proper English reporting. Perhaps some of them, I thought, prepare English translations of their financial statements for other stakeholders: suppliers, clients, depositors and creditors. Some of the companies that made it to my list included Fubon Financial Holdings, Cosmos Bank, EnTie Commercial Bank Ltd. and President Chain Store Corporation among others.

What I found when I was able to access the information were translations into English that are difficult to read and understand with poor grammar and sentence construction. In addition, many of the financial statement captions were not common in financial statements as they are prepared in English-speaking countries. There are likely many reasons for the translation errors. But whenever I contacted the companies concerned asking the question, I never received an answer. I often think that the reason I did not receive an answer was that the reader may not have understood the English in my email sufficiently to craft a response.

Good honest article about the dire state of English in the Taiwanese financial sector here. Read on. And don't forget the Comments section at the bottom. All good.
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