Citation Evans L, Baskerville R & Nara K (2015) Colliding Worlds: Issues Relating to Language Translation in Accounting and Some Lessons from Other Disciplines. Abacus, 51 (1), pp. 1-36. https://doi.org/10.1111/abac.12040
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.