Save money by providing your professional translator with good information
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Background information

Background information

If you’re interested in expanding your business into Sweden, don’t make the costly mistake of neglecting to get a professional translator, preferably one certified by the MITI or a similar organization. I say “costly mistake” because trying to save a little money on Swedish translations can result in a lot of missed revenue by giving a less than optimal, or even an unprofessional impression with a bad translation, not communicating to your target market or translation mistake. This can even be the difference between success and failure. A better way of saving on translation costs is to provide your translator with good material: a description of your target market, an explanation of any jargon used in your industry, and a correct English version of what you want.

Target market

In many languages, different words are used depending on your audience. You might use different pronouns for speaking to children, for example, than you would use if you were speaking to adults. You’re buying translation services, so use the expertise of your translator, who knows this and a myriad of other subtleties of language. By telling her as much as you can about your target market, you’ll be allowing her to make decisions on syntax you haven’t thought of or might not be aware of.

Explanations and style

Every day at work, you use words that are familiar to you but mysterious to anyone who doesn’t do the kind of work you do. An accountant speaks of “costs” for example and distinguishes between “variable costs,” those that change proportional to the volume you produce and “fixed costs,” those that don‘t. He may further distinguish between “standby fixed costs,” those that occur by simply owning a factory whether you make anything or not and “program fixed costs,” those that are locked in once you decide whether to operate two shifts or one, for example. If it’s necessary or useful to use some jargon that your translator may not be familiar with in your copy, explain it. Have your copy read by someone outside your field to point out jargon that you may not even be aware you’re using.


English is a complex language with lots of rules of grammar. You think it’s easy because you speak it every day, generally with people who live near you and have the same level of education you have. But you could be making technical mistakes every day that don’t interfere with communication because they are generally accepted by you and your peers, but can shipwreck an exact translation. Get your English copy read by someone who understands the subjunctive case before you invest in translating it.

Using a professional translator is akin to hiring a professional electrician; it may cost a little more to pay someone for something you think you can get done cheaper, but is it cheaper if your house burns down because of something a professional would avoid? Save money on professional translations by providing your translator with a good explanation of your business and a good English starting point.

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

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