Icebreaker 2, April 2010

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Welcome to the second issue of ‘Icebreaker’, the STP newsletter.

We had a particularly cold winter in Europe this year, and icebreakers once again proved their worth in keeping the trade routes open in the frozen north. We at STP hope this newsletter has a similar effect on the communication and cooperation between us and our clients.

Company news

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Internships: inspiration, motivation and talent

It is now 15 months since we moved into our new office in Whiteley and over the past year we have come up with a number of great ideas on how to make the most of the lovely, modern space we have here. One of these initiatives will be launched in June when STP kicks off its first ever student internship programme.

Our primary aim is to offer internships to Nordic translation students as well as UK students of the Nordic languages. We will be working together with the key universities in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden as well as those in the UK, offering our expertise and experience to enhance their course modules and work placement programmes. This is a new step for us, but we have been hearing for some time from university graduates that during their studies they were mainly told about the work of freelance translators and how to set up on their own after graduation. STP wants to remind university translation departments that there are companies looking to employ in-house translators and we believe it would be a great opportunity for newly graduated students to start their career in a translation company, trained and supported by a team of professional peers.

With this aim in mind, STP has visited universities and talked to their students over the past year, and been visited by their staff in return. In summer 2010, STP will be working with students from the University of Agder in Norway and both the University of Surrey and the University of Portsmouth in the UK. We are looking forward to great times with our new interns!

Staff News

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Continental recruit for Swedish team

Karin Eckerberg started as a Swedish in-house translator at STP in January 2010. Having previously worked as a translator at another European translation company mainly focusing on documents from the European Union, Karin is experienced in translating from English, French, Dutch and Italian.

Karin studied translation and interpretation at Stockholm University and has also taken courses at Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia and Universiteit van Amsterdam. A keen reader with an outgoing personality and heaps of creative talent, she is relishing the challenge of a new culture and environment.

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From Norway, via New York

The latest addition to STP’s in-house translation team, Jan Henrik Steffensen joined the company in March 2010. He studied translation at the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway, and spent the second year of his studies at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK. Having completed his degree back in Norway, Jan was offered an internship at a translation company in New York and worked there for the next six months absolutely loving the city and the whole experience.

After returning to Europe, Jan came to the UK and took another post as an in-house translator working mainly on marketing materials before coming to STP. One of the key factors attracting Jan to STP was the wide range of text types and diversity of translation tools that STP’s translation team gets to grips with in their daily work.

Industry issues

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Networking on both sides of the Atlantic

In the UK, the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) promotes and protects the interests of translation companies and the translating profession in general. As a long-standing member, STP has always actively supported the work of the association, but at the last AGM we went one step further. Jesper Sandberg was elected to the council of the ATC and will be serving on two sub-committees related to marketing and technology.

Furthermore, STP has recently joined both the American Translators Association (ATA) and the Association of Language Companies (ALC) in the USA. Jesper attended what was the first industry event in the USA for STP in mid-March – the annual conference of the ATA’s Translation Company Division (TCD), held in Scottsdale, Arizona. The conference programme covered lots of great content, presented by very high-calibre speakers. Jesper made numerous good contacts with other translation companies, translation tool vendors and machine translation experts. In May, we will be attending the annual conference of the ALC in Miami, Florida, which also promises to be a very worthwhile event.

Nordic focus

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Living within the Arctic Circle

The Arctic Circle is an imaginary line that marks the latitude above which the sun does not set on the day of the summer solstice (often referred to as the “midnight sun”) and does not rise on the day of the winter solstice (“polar night”). North of this line, periods of continuous daylight or continuous night last up to several months. The position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed, but depends on the Earth’s axial tilt, which fluctuates due to tidal forces resulting from the orbit of the Moon. The Arctic Circle is currently drifting northwards at a rate of about 15 m per year.

Eight countries lie on the Arctic Circle: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland, Russia, the United States (i.e. Alaska), Canada, and Iceland (the line passes just north of the country’s land area).

The home town of STP’s Finnish Lead Translator, Katja Hoisko, lies within the Arctic Circle in Finland, close to the Russian border. When asked what it was like to grow up in the Arctic region, Katja says her initial reaction was, “What do you mean? It was perfectly normal.” Then she thought about spinning some yarn, as one does with the folks from down south, about cross-country skiing or kick-sledging to school while swerving reindeer, and how they were allowed to wear their winter coats in the classroom when the temperature dropped down to -40 or -50°C (all true – honest!).

But ultimately, Katja says, what really sets it apart is light: the atmospheric glow of a midsummer night, and the constant twilight of a midwinter day, with the sky painted in cool pastels by the rays escaping from behind the horizon.

Imagine crisp white snow crunching underneath your feet, and you get the picture. (Photo taken by Katja in Salla at high noon in January 2010.)

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