First of all I would like to thank all my loyal readers of this blog. Many of you know that I am an English into Swedish translator with the company Swedish Translation Services. Here is a short presentation of Swedish Translation Services as a business.
Swedish Translation Services was founded in 2003, when I decided to leave my career in international marketing and focus on my passion, languages. My life situation had made me bilingual in English and Swedish and my passion for writing and languages brought me to my new career, translation. I started out slowly, with small children at home, did a lot of research and self-education through the Internet and through American Translators Association, and as my children grew, so did my business. I am now a full time freelance English into Swedish translator, a grader for the American Translators Associations English into Swedish certification exam, and certified Swedish translator for the US State Language Department with several ongoing translation projects and loyal clients.
Swedish Translation Services is headquartered in Park City, Utah, USA, up in a mountain ski resort, but is yearly relocated to Sweden for a month or so. Currently, I am working from Stockholm, Sweden for a whole year, thanks to my husband’s sabbatical as a professor, and my whole family is immersed in the Swedish language and culture.
Services, Specialization and Technology
I provide professional English into Swedish translation, editing and proofreading of business communications, both internal HR-communication and external marketing communication. With a previous professional background in the IT business, I also specialize in technical documentation and software localization.
Examples of some ongoing projects are: technical help software for computers, internal and external communication for one of the largest charitable organizations in the world, marketing and client communications for a cosmetic company, software for a multinational medical company, marketing communications for Skype and communications for the Clinton Foundation. In between these I have the pleasure of doing lots of varied translation projects and I learn something new every day.
I make an effort to stay abreast on new technological developments in the translation business and use the latest translation tools to provide consistent translations, with the same layout as the original. Many of my clients have their own project management tools and I work with at least ten of these regularly. My dictionaries and language research tools are now mostly on my computer and thanks to modern technology I can easily work from two or more, different countries. More information about translation tools can be found, for example in this article on Wikipedia.
Typical work process
When offered a translation job I first look through the document(s) to make sure the texts are something I am comfortable and experienced with. This means that I want to see the document, or at least an excerpt of it, before accepting a translation project. After accepting a project, I set it up in my translation tool and make sure I have all the resources I need and that everything is clear. Often, the client has some specific instructions to read and follow, or perhaps a style guide to read through. After this, the actual translation process can start. I go through the document sentence by sentence, or sometimes paragraph, by paragraph, translate into Swedish, and highlight or comment on things that are unclear. During this process I usually have to do some terminology research online or in dictionaries, and I usually check online, or with language experts, to see which expression is more common than another.
When the first run through is done, I contact the client if something is unclear or to ask about preferred terminology. I sometimes also contact some of my trusted colleagues to ask for advice if needed, while making sure I do not reveal any confidential information. After this step, I go through the bilingual text in the translation tool once more, proofread and make amendments according to the feedback I have received from the client. I do a spell check and “clean” the bilingual document so I get only the Swedish text. Sometimes I also perform a so called “quality assurance test”, depending on the project. This is a feature offered in translation tools and it checks for inconsistencies or untranslated sections. The last step is to read through the clean document again, proofread and do a last spell-check and layout check. When this is completed I can deliver the translation, invoice the client, and update translation memories and glossaries so I do not have to look up the same term or expression again for future projects.
Marketing and Continuing Education
When I am not translating I do administrative tasks, marketing or improve my skills. I might be contacting potential clients or updating current clients on my availability, new knowledge or expertise. I regularly take courses in translation, Swedish writing or grammar, business skills, plus on new developments in my fields of expertise. . I usually attend about two translation conferences a year, and take advantage of local networking in my field whenever time permits it. The professional associations I am a member of have been very useful to me, and I am trying to give back to the profession by also being involved in them. I am currently the chapter chair for all local groups under American Translators Association and I regularly give training and presentations in the field of marketing and translation for freelance translators. Being an entrepreneur and a freelancer means there is always something to do to grow my business.