FRS Translations Update
From the IFRS Foundation

February 2011
Welcome to the IFRS Translations Update

This update is a regular publication aimed at reaching the IFRS translation community with pertinent news and information.

This newsletter, and any news alerts will also be available to view in the translation section of our website.


Contact us

For any questions or comments please contact:
Ken Creighton
Director of IFRS Content Services
Translation Alerts

If you want to be kept informed about translation news and receive future editions of the IFRS Translations Update, you can subscribe to the IFRS Translations email alerts here.

Recently Published and Forthcoming Translations

Since our last edition, recent releases include:
The Brazilian Portuguese 2010 Red Book is currently being finalized. The German and Russian 2010 Red Books are in progress and we expect them to be available by the second and third quarters of 2011 respectively. The translations of the IFRS for SMEs in Khmer and Mongolian are also expected to be available by the second quarter of 2011.

The IFRS for SMEs Training Materials is in progress in a number of languages, including Portuguese, Spanish and Russian. The translation of the Training Modules has now started in Arabic and Turkish. Further information can be found at this IFRS for SMEs page.

For the latest information on the available translations of IFRS content you can refer to our website.

Spotlight on ASCA (Jordan)

Since 1999 the Arab Society of Certified Accountants (ASCA), based in Jordan, has coordinated the translation of IFRS into Arabic.

With such a long history of translating IFRS, we, the IFRS Foundation Translation team, have worked with ASCA to prepare the following article. We hope that sharing ASCA’s translation experience will be of interest and help to our numerous other translation partners.

The Arab Society of Certified Accountants
Coordinators of the Arabic IFRS translation

The Arab Society of Certified Accountants (Jordan) was established in 1986 by an elite group of Arab accountants in the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan—Amman, as a non-profit professional accounting body.

The objectives of ASCA (Jordan) are:
  1. Seeking to develop the science of accounting as well as related or associated principles.
  2. Developing the level of efficiency, practice and conduct to the highest professional levels among its members and maintaining their professional autonomy.
  3. Encouraging and facilitating dissemination and exchange of information on professional matters between the members or with others through holding conferences, meetings and special seminars and publication of periodicals and professional publications.
Challenges faced in the translation process

ASCA (Jordan) has had to face up to some challenges in the translation process. These are:
  • New terms with no equivalent in Arabic.
Example: the word ‘corridor’ was a new term with no equivalent in Arabic. ASCA (Jordan) consulted many specialised websites as well as online financial and accounting dictionaries to first determine the meaning in English, and then they tried to coin an Arabic word that would most closely reflect that meaning. They settled on the word ‘النطاق’.
  • Specialised professional terms, which require ASCA (Jordan) to refer to specialised professional bodies in the field of accounting and auditing to understand the meaning of the term in order to clarify it in the translated book or text.
Example: the term ‘audit trail’ required ASCA (Jordan) to refer to an expert auditor in order to determine its exact meaning. They sometimes consult different accountants regarding an unfamiliar term to get acquainted with various opinions and choose the most appropriate meaning.
  • The possibility of encountering a term that does not hold the same meaning for Arab readers in different countries and territories.
Example: the word ‘approach’ has various meanings in Arabic. For example, in Jordan the term منهج is used, while in Tunisia and Algeria they use the term مقاربة. Another example: the word ‘entity’ has a different meaning for different users. For example, ASCA (Jordan) uses the term منشأة, but others use the terms مؤسسة, شركة, or كيان. Accordingly, ASCA (Jordan) always tries to use the most common words for Arab readers.
  • The large size of the material to be translated. In other words, more than one specialised translator is required to conduct the translation, which raises problems including maintaining the consistency of terms and concepts.
ASCA (Jordan) seeks to train new translators in the topic of accounting standards and their relevant terms. They always provide translators involved in the translation process with glossaries and lists of terms and titles of standards in order to observe consistency throughout the whole material and to accelerate the process.

ASCA (Jordan) takes the following actions to overcome such problems:
  • It prepares a glossary of the new terms after its review committee meets to define such terms.
  • It circulates this glossary to all translators and revisers for them to follow.
  • It ensures that everyone complies with the definitions issued by the review committee and observes consistency.
  • It prepares specialised references for the Translation Department regarding the translation of these materials.
ASCA (Jordan) does not yet use translation software. It plans to introduce translation software, but Translation CAT Tools need considerable time to build a database. Until that database can be built, ASCA (Jordan) is continuing instead to use a manual glossary that helps to manage its update process before proceeding with the translation.

Based on its own experience, ASCA (Jordan) recommends that other teams who find themselves in the position of beginning to translate the standards should use the XBRL glossary, refer to previous translations, and refer to specialised accounting, economic and business websites. ASCA (Jordan)’s major clients for its translations include accountants, auditors, researchers and staff in administrative fields as well as university students and academics. It begins by seeking to set an appropriate price, which is determined on the basis of economic and social conditions at the level of local or regional communities.

ASCA (Jordan’s) plan was to produce an accurate and precise translation that helps readers who are not native speakers of English to understand the content easily. The next step is intended to be to equip Trados with the appropriate database to help in the translation process.

ASCA (Jordan) has been translating IFRS since 1999. These translations are overseen and approved by the review committee, whose members are listed below.
  • Mr. Talal-Abu Ghazaleh: Chair of the Arab Society of Certified Accountants (ASCA), Cairo, (Chairman)
  • Dr. Osama Tabarah: associate and general manager of Osama Tabarah Offices, certified accountants, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (first vice chairman)
  • Mr. Antwan Matar: certified accountant, former associate of Arthur Andersen, London (Second vice chairman)
  • Mr. Abd Al-Kareem Ahmad Al-Za’aroni: United Arab Emirates Accountants & Auditors Association, (member)
  • Dr. Talal Sageney: accounting and auditing professor—King Abd Al-Aziz University—The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (member)
  • Dr. Rasha Anwar Hamadah: Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Damascus University, Syria, (member)
  • Mr. Imad Hafeth Rajab: associate member of Ernst & Young, Egypt, (member)
  • Adnan Jeries Khleif: associate of Khleif & Partners, member of KPMG International, Jordan, (member).
The review committee was selected after extensive and thorough study, and the members above were chosen because of their long service in the field of accounting and auditing and in the service of their local communities. These members are replaced when necessary.

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Disclaimer: The content of this Update does not represent the views of the IASB or the IFRS Foundation and is not an official endorsement of any of the information provided. The information published in this newsletter originates from various sources and is accurate to the best of our knowledge.
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