Blog diary 6 – Report from the ATA Conference
Benefits of becoming a member in American Translators Association
October 18, 2012
Blog diary 7 – business reevaluations in the dark, dark Sweden
November 10, 2012
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Welcome reception at ATA Conference 2012 - Photo Jeff Sanfacon

I cannot believe that my year back in Sweden is a quarter of the way over. Time flies and the dollar value keeps getting weaker to the Swedish crown. This has a significant impact on my business income right now, since I earn most of my income in USD but live and accrue most costs in SEK.

The week before the ATA Annual Conference was very hectic trying to finish up all my translation projects. The conference is always one of the highlights of the year, where I meet colleagues I sometimes have not seen for a year, talk business matters and socialize. This year the conference had about 1,500 attendees and is still one of the largest translation conferences in the world. This year there were attendees from around 47 different countries.

Aside from giving a training session for division and chapter chairs together with Karen Tkaczyk on Wednesday, and presenting on creating and optimizing a website for translators on Saturday, I also managed to attend some training sessions myself. One of the highlights was the “Jurassic Parliament” with Ann McFarlane, where we learned how to lead groups of volunteers and manage meetings successfully by using “Robert’s Rules of Order”.

Another highlight was the special book launch session for “Found in Translation”. Nataly Kelly gave us some fascinating facts on how language shapes our lives and transforms our world. It is a great book to give to all of our friends, family or clients who do not quite understand what you work with, and how important our work is.

The weather in San Diego was gorgeous and everyone soaked in the sun as much as possible in between sessions. An annual tradition for me is the Nordic Division dinner where I always meet old and new friends working into and out of Swedish or another Nordic language. In this group I have found partners to work with and from which I recruit graders for the English into Swedish certification program. In this group I have also received and given many job referrals for translation projects.

Now I am sitting in the airport in New York, waiting for the second flight of three on my long journey home. The conference was, as always, worth all the money, travelling and jet lag involved. Hopefully the “Frankenstorm” will hold off until my plane has taken off and that all other colleagues travelling home will make it home safely too.

Swedish Translation Services is a company owned by Tess Whitty, a freelance translator (English-Swedish), proofreader, editor, copy writer, localizer and entrepreneur.


  1. Great post, Tess! I agree, this conference was incredible; perfect weather, location, sessions and colleagues! It was really great to see you too. And I concur on the exchange rate issues; whenever we talk about going to Switzerland for a year, the caveat is that one of us has to be earning in Swiss francs! Let’s hope that the dollar rises against the crown a little bit for the next 3/4 of your trip!

    • Tess says:

      It was so nice seeing you too Corinne and thanks for the nice words. Good luck with your work as director and heres to a stronger dollar real soon.