Some valuable tips for translating Key Investor Information documents (KIID)

In the context of EU-standard investment funds called UCITS, Directive 2009/65/EC recently introduced the Key Investor Information document (KIID), which was intended to replace the simplified prospectus. Here are a few tips that translators should bear in mind when it comes to translating KIIDs.

First of all, just so everyone is clear on the title:
- Before 2009, the simplified prospectus was, in Spanish, folleto simplificado and, in French, prospectus simplifié
- Since 2009, the simplified prospectus has been replaced by the KIID, Datos fundamentales para el inversor (DFI) in Spanish and Document d'informations clé pour l'investisseur (DICI) in French.


Of course, since UCITS are European-regulated investment funds, they were given a name in every country of the European Union, which is generally a literal (but correct) translation for UCITS. They are Organismes de placement collectif en valeurs mobilières or OPCVM in France and Organismos de inversión colectiva en valores mobiliarios or OICVM in Spain.

Fund shares

The first real difficulty is to translate “share class”. Yes, in English, a share is often a synonym for “stock” or “equity” and it is used for both companies and funds. A company share is usually une action in French and una acción in Spanish when it is publicly listed and une part or una participación when it is not. A fund share should be une part in French and una participación in Spanish, which will work in every situation. Please note that in French, part may refer both to the share and to the share class. For instance: you buy or sell parts, but you can also say that part C was created, meaning that “share class C” was created! A little absurd, I must admit! In Spanish, no trouble: clase de participación is just perfect.




Net assets

Then I would suggest avoiding translating “net assets” by actifs nets or activos netos. In Spanish accounting, we more commonly use patrimonio neto (singular). Activos netos is not incorrect but it is Spanglish. The same occurs in French, where I would recommend actif net (singular). Why is that? Because in French, assets and liabilities (both plural) on the balance sheet are l’actif et le passif (both singular). And, in Spanish, well… patrimoine is a singular concept… Someone or a company can only have one patrimonio at a time, that’s it!

By the way, net asset value cannot be directly translated by valeur de l’actif net or patrimoine net du fonds into French. This is pure Frenglish! In French, we use valeur liquidative instead, which literally means “the value at which the assets can be sold”. The same occurs in Spanish, where we say valor liquidativo, for the exact same reasons.

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