Translation

Last changed: 03 May 2021

At SLU, we use Swedish and English in parallel used. This means that a lot of the information we produce needs to be translated. On this page, you will find information on how to order translations and how you can best prepare your text for translation.

According to the Swedish Language Act, Swedish is the principal language of Sweden. All bodies that perform tasks in the public sector - and that includes SLU - have an obligation to provide information in Swedish. Swedish is normally used for administrative matters at SLU.

English is needed for communcation, dissemination of knowledge and to attract staff and students from outside Sweden.

English is also needed in-house. Students and staff who do not speak Swedish need access to information in they need in a language they understand. A lot of the information we produce needs to be translated. Read more about what information needs to be available in both languages.

Ordering translations

Shorter texts intended for all of SLU/all staff/all students/everyone at an SLU location can often be translated in-house. For other translation needs, there is a national framework agreement. Please note that there is currently no framework agreement in place. A new one is expected in June the earliest. You can still order from one of the previous framework suppliers, but make sure to ask for a quote before you place your order.

Ordering in-house translations

If your target group is everyone at SLU (or everyone at one of SLU's campuses, all staff or all students etc.) and the text is not too long, your text can usually be translated in-house. For other translation needs, there is a national framework agreement. Please note that the previous framework agreement expired on 2 April 2021, a new one is expected in June the earliest.

Please keep the following in mind when you send a request for translation:

  • Use an explanatory subject line. A subject like 'Translation of action plan for X Unit' is better than just 'Translation'.
  • Always state when the translation is needed for. Give a date, do not just write "as soon as possible". The more time you can allow for translation, the more likely it is we can help you.
  • Enclose the text for translation as an email attachment, not as part of the email message itself.

Before you send a request, please read the information under Sending a text for translation below.

Ordering translations under the framework agreement

If we cannot translate your text in-house, you can order translation under the national framework agreement for language services. Please note that the previous framework agreement expired on 2 April 2021, a new one is expected in June the earliest.

Sending a text for translation

Please read the instructions below before sending a text for translation.

  1. Send only editable formats such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
  2. Make sure you send the final version. Translation is charged per word, so changing the scope will affect the price. Making small changes once the translation work has started is costly and time-consuming.
  3. If you need translation of web pages, contact the language coordinator for advice on how to prepare the text for translation.
  4. Check that all text is editable - if the document includes e.g. a chart created from a linked Excel file and the file contains translatable text, send the Excel file as well.
  5. If your document contains illustrations with text, the translator will normally provide these translations in a separate file and you then edit the illustrations yourself. Editing of illustrations/images is available as an option and charged separately per hour.

Five steps to a successful translation project

  1. Remember to allow for translation in your schedule. If you need both language versions of a text for the same date, make sure you leave enough time for translation. Delivery times are normally 5 working days for texts of 2,000 word or less and 10 working days for 2,000-10,000 words. Also add a couple of working days for administration (preparing material, placing the order etc.).

  2. Avoid manual formatting. Always use a document template. Manual formatting, such as using tabs to create a table, will cause problems when the text is translated. A translated text is rarely the same length as the original - it can be longer or shorter. Important not least for printed matter.

  3. Use plain language.  Adapt content and style to the target group, keep it short and simple. Use specialist terminology in a consistent manner. Avoid puns, metaphors and hard-to-translate cultural references.

  4. Separate text and graphics. Illustrations such as charts and tables are helpful, but avoid mixing graphics and text. It is better to use symbols and make a separate, editable legend.

  5. Be prepared to answer questions on the content. A translator is an expert in transmitting a message in a linguistically correct and idiomatic way. They are not subject-matter experts like yourself. If you have useful reference material, such as a text or a link to a good-quality website in the target language, you can enclose that as a reference.
Page editor: sprakkoordinator@slu.se