The Urgent Spanish Foundation (Fundéu BBVA) has launched an application for mobile devices containing 300 tips for writing about economic and financial topics. Its aim is to help people who work in the sector and specialist journalists to use the correct language and convey information clearly and accurately.
This new project from Fundéu consists of a free application for Android and IOS devices whose contents can be shared via email, social media and WhatsApp and which informs users about the meaning and correct usage of expressions related to the world of economics and finance. The initiative highlights the responsibility of sector professionals who work with information that is increasingly present in our lives. As Fundéu general manager Joaquín Muller explains, “The language of the financial world has an impact beyond the sector because the usages stemming from certain parts of society are assimilated more quickly than others into so-called ‘educated language’, which is the benchmark.”
A question of ethics
Financial and economic language should be placed at the service of everyone to promote financial education. “Those who work in this world and who inform others about economic affairs probably have a greater responsibility than others to use clear language that conveys information in a readily understandable and accurate manner. In other words, the sector should ensure the correct usage of Spanish not only for linguistic reasons but as a matter of ethics as well,” says Muller.
The project has been coordinated by Manuel Conthe, a lawyer, economist, member of the Fundéu BBVA Advisory Board and chairman of the Advisory Board of the financial daily Expansión. For this expert, the fact that people receive financial information that is both correct and clearly explained has a positive impact on many aspects of their life. “Clarity and precision are both essential aspects of the language used in the financial world: they facilitate a greater comprehension of news, financial products and contracts, and also avoid confusion and ambiguity,” he explains. “Spanish is a very rich language, capable of expressing highly complex concepts both simply and clearly. That is the purpose of these recommendations from Fundéu BBVA which I have taken genuine delight in helping to review.”
To promote the dissemination of correct information, the application contains a good number of English terms that are often abused in the sector: “The use of English expressions (spread, due diligence, proxy advisor) may avoid ambiguity on many occasions but at the cost of being misunderstood by the general public, and they sit uneasily with the rules of Spanish,” said Conthe. For this reason, Fundéu offers alternatives to these foreign words. “Spanish is a very rich language, capable of expressing highly complex concepts both simply and clearly.”
The application also offers answers to common queries about word agreements and meanings, the rules for using upper case, quotation marks, italics and acronyms, neologisms, etc., but it is not only useful from the linguistic point of view. “It’s a tool that journalists, financiers, consultants, auditors and economists should all have on their mobile devices,” says Joaquín Muller. “The correct usage of Spanish by the agents in this sector would save us many problems.”