Markters she speaks your language
April 30, 2010
Tess Whitty is a professional freelance translator who has worked for major software creators as well as the occasional dog food or cosmetic company to bring American products to Sweden.
Unfortunately, she says her countrymen don’t fully appreciate the Greatest Snow on Earth.
Every friend from Sweden who visits Park City is incredibly impressed with the dry powder in winter and the sunny, cool mountainscapes in winter.
"Basically I tell them to visit any month but April," she joked Thursday.
They sincerely love it once they get here, but Utah has a somewhat negative reputation in Scandinavia, she said.
People recall the gorgeous desert landscapes and the dominance of the LDS religion. Unless they’re a professional athlete on a competition circuit, most regular Swedes are surprised to learn there’s skiing, clubs and coffee bars here, she said.
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"I want to help locals market the mountains," she said.
There’s a rich history of Scandinavians making positive contributions to Park City going back even longer than Stein Eriksen, she pointed out.
"I’m here for anyone who wants to tap the Scandinavian markets," she said.
And they also enjoy visiting the East Side because "Wild West" themes are popular in Europe, Whitty pointed out.
More than a human dictionary, Whitty was a product marketing manager in the IT industry in Sweden before moving to America just prior to the Olympics. After having a child, she was no longer interested in 60-hour corporate work weeks and began translating from home at the suggestion of a friend.
"I never looked back," she remembers.
With her experience working for software companies, she’s good at search engine optimization, as well. She does it for Swedish-language sites and can help with design as a consultant, she added.
Sweden is a hot market for IT companies large and small for several reasons, she said. As a people, Swedes tend to be early adopters of technology, well-educated, well connected (digitally), big exporters and well versed in English and several other European languages. Even though it only has 9 million people, it’s an influential nation in a region with 100 million, Whitty said.
She has translated a lot of software user manuals because even though most Swedes can read "help files" and manuals in English, they prefer not to. For the same reasons, Swedes are jumping at every iPhone application made available to them, she added.
"If you have a new software, this is the place to test it," she said.
Whitty has studied six languages in her lifetime (she was born in Finland and studied abroad often) but professional translators only translate into their native tongue, she said. Even though she speaks English without an accent, she always has someone else copy edit her work if she translates from Swedish.
With her business background, Whitty can also do transcreation: converting an American marketing message into one for the Swedish market.
"I know the culture, I know what works there," she added.
The only areas she won’t help with are legal and medical. And Whitty is quick to point out she’s not an interpreter; translation is a specialized craft. She’s even a member of the American Translator’s Association.
Fabio Oliveira at software service provider Aculis in Provo has contracted Whitty several times past years.
"She has always had a very professional demeanor, has consistently met deadlines, and her work has been of the highest quality. Tess is also very flexible and technically minded and is comfortable working with the several formats and tools used in the industry," he said.
Swedish Translation Services