Translating your texts to and from Swedish can be difficult. While both Swedish and English use the same alphabets, they stem from different histories. The latter originates from Old Norse, while the latter is a West Germanic language, bringing with it significant differences in grammar and style.
As a result, looking for an effective Swedish translator can be difficult. Professionals in this area have to not only understand both languages, but also understand the nuances that separate them as well as the context in which readers will consume the translated text. To ease the process and help you find the right partner for your needs, here are 5 skills to look for in a professional translator to and from Swedish.
1) Language Qualification
Naturally, in-depth knowledge of both Swedish and English are core requirements of an effective translator in these languages. An in-depth understanding of grammar rules and exceptions is absolutely necessary to both understand both the text you’re about to translate and create a new text that expresses the exact same thing.
Because of similar roots, grammar rules in Swedish tend to be relatively similar to English. Pronouns, for example, function the exact same way – although Swedish does have four different Genders: male, female, and two different types of neuter.
Understanding basic grammar rules is as simple as a Google search. Professional translators, on the other hand, need to be able to not just know, but internalize the rules so that they naturally apply the correct words and grammar to each translation and maximize their time.
2) Cultural Proficiency
As we have pointed out on this blog in the past, cultural literacy matters in any type of translation. You need to understand not only the languages you are translating to and from, but also the context in which that text is supposed to and will be read.
Doing business in the United States and Sweden, for example, differs in a variety of ways. Organizational hierarchies are significantly more horizontal, meaning a different audience may read your text than would occur at the same level in the United States. Similarly, a unique, dark kind of humor can blend even in business conversations and translations.
Understanding these cultural differences is crucial to successfully creating a text that works equally well in both languages. The context in which your Swedish audience may read the document can be very different than the same situation in the United States, and accounting for those differences can make the difference between a successful and an ineffective translation.
3) Topical Expertise
Of course, don’t forget about the need for expertise in any language translation. Particularly if you are looking for professional services for technical documents, you need to find a translator that has at least a base level of expertise in the industry and topic of the text they’re about to tackle.
Translating an engineering document does not require a doctorate in the field. It does, however, necessitate at least some level of understanding about engineering concepts that can be easily translated into Swedish or English. The higher the topical expertise, the less research the translator needs to do, and the more quickly and efficiently they can get the job done.
4) Translation Experience
Translation is a curious animal. It seems so easy: if you have all three of the above skills, you can quickly get started in translating documents to and from Swedish. What you don’t have, however, is the translation experience that just might be necessary to quickly, effectively, and reliably deliver a quality end product that your clients will be satisfied with.
In fact, we’d argue that experience is among the most crucial skills a professional translator in any language can and should possess. Any professional in the field should understand how to estimate a time of completion, structure their work, layout a timeline, effectively research the topic, and complete the other tasks that are necessary in addition to translating the actual work.
Finally, don’t underestimate the need to find a translator that’s easy to work with. Ideally, especially if you conduct regular business between the US and Sweden, you will want and need to find a professional with whom you can develop a productive, mutually-beneficial long-term business relationship.
That is only possible, of course, if the translator with whom you engage displays a high degree of professionalism. Easy to work with is a vague phrase, but we all know what that entails: punctuality, reliability, and effective communication skills. When a deadline becomes unrealistic, you should prefer a professional who is open about it early and suggests alternatives over one that fails to reach it without letting you know.
Ultimately, you need to find a professional that can help you not just accomplish a verbatim translation, but create a text that is as effective and readable in Swedish as it is in English. The reader has to have the same takeaways, which requires not just language expertise but also a close cooperation with the translator and a knowledge of the subject at hand.
One step you can take in finding the right Swedish translator to work with is to get in touch with the right company. We work with professionals that cover a wide variety of languages and subject matters. So if you contact us, we feel confident that we can get you in touch with a translator that can help you accomplish your business goals. As a result, you can create a secondary language text that is as effective and successful as the original.