Colliding Worlds: Issues Relating to Language Translation in Accounting and Some Lessons from Other Disciplines

36 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2015

See all articles by Lisa Evans

Lisa Evans

University of Stirling - Department of Accounting and Finance

Rachel F. Baskerville

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Accounting and Commercial Law

Katariina Nara

The Online Froissart Project School of Modern Languages and Linguistics

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

This paper explores the implications of language translation in accounting. It draws on research on translation in other disciplines, and on insights from applied linguistics. It examines practical problems and solutions explored in other disciplines that we deem relevant to accounting. The paper also examines the ideological, cultural, legal, and political consequences of translation. We find that the ambiguity inherent in translation is, on the one hand, relevant for the translation of accounting principles and can contribute to accounting convergence. We show, on the other hand, that it has the potential to be exploited in ideologically or pragmatically motivated distortions in the implementation of accounting regulation. We further argue that the importance of translation in accounting is underestimated or disregarded, inter alia because it has limited effect on the culturally and economically most dominant stakeholders. We finally examine the implications of translation problems for less powerful stakeholders and smaller language communities.

Keywords: Language, Translation, Accounting regulation, Other disciplines

Suggested Citation

Evans, Lisa and Baskerville, Rachel F. and Nara, Katariina, Colliding Worlds: Issues Relating to Language Translation in Accounting and Some Lessons from Other Disciplines (March 2015). Abacus, Vol. 51, Issue 1, pp. 1-36, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2574448 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/abac.12040

Lisa Evans (Contact Author)

University of Stirling - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

Rachel F. Baskerville

Victoria University of Wellington - School of Accounting and Commercial Law ( email )

Faculty of Commerce and Administration
PO Box 600
Wellington
New Zealand
006444636951 (Phone)
006444635076 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/sacl/staff/rachel-baskerville.aspx

Katariina Nara

The Online Froissart Project School of Modern Languages and Linguistics ( email )

United Kingdom

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