Welcome to Bergvall – the translator.
I am a technical translator. This means I translate technical documents of many kinds, such as manuals, procedural documents, specifications, and other fact-based texts. I do not translate fiction, literature, poetry or the like, and I avoid matters I know little about, such as medical texts, cosmetics, fashion, religious matters and high finance. I feel particularly comfortable with automotive matters, as well as IT and telecoms, electrics and electronics. I have a history in the hospitality industry and enjoy travel and tourism as subject matter.
My clients include end users in Norway and other countries, as well as Norwegian and international translation and localisation agencies. Please get in touch if you need help with a language or documentation opportunity.
I work from my home office in Fredrikstad, an hour’s drive south of Oslo, and am usually available by phone. The mobile phone is always by my side, so that I can basically always be reached anywhere. I prefer that you send inquiries and assignments by e-mail to the address below. Email is checked continuously, almost every day of the year, but feel free to call if it is absurdly urgent.
Mobile phone: 0047 900 46 455
Mail and visiting address:
Inquiries and general information: email@example.com
Invoicing questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
More on the translation process and tools.
- New Norwegian
- GT, TM and machine translation in general
- Rates and prices
- Value added Tax
I translate neither from nor into Nynorsk. My personal opinion about Nynorsk is that I look forward with joy and anticipation to the day when it becomes both permitted and accepted to use Nynorsk words in Bokmål, and vice versa, and to use solely Nynorsk words if so desired. This will give us a significantly richer Norwegian as a comprehensive and unified language, with a hitherto unattainable flora of beautiful words. Nynorsk as it appears today is in my opinion a costly sacred cow of minimal usefulness.
Generally, your average translator has a healthy respect for the author of the original script. When translating technical texts, however, the translator often needs to be something other than average. Examples in the text may need to be replaced with examples that make sense to the intended audience. Sizes and measurements in square meters may need conversion to square feet or hectares as appropriate. There is nearly always an element of localisation in any translation. Bottom line – the text should simply appear reasonable and understandable to the reader. If it does not, you pay nothing.
GT, TM and machine translation in general
Some forms of machine or computer assisted translation work well; others, not so much. Google Translate has evolved into a useful tool, and translators who say they never use Google Translate are lying. Either that, or they are incredibly stupid and entrenched in old ways of thinking. Translation Memory software is effective in many cases, especially when the text is a new version and large parts of the previous edition are to be reused with few or no changes. SDL Trados is the best in our world, and the market leader, and the popular version is called Studio 2021. Studio 2022 has been launched, but has few advantages over both 2021 and 2019.
As the quality will invariably deteriorate, despite recent advances and improvements, I use both Google and Translation Memory software with great caution; most often it is my clients – the agencies – who insist on, for example, Trados. There is every reason for caution. The work can go faster, but errors that occur can achieve eternal life, and unfortunate restrictions are placed on the terminology. If the client does not require it, I prefer to just use the brain, albeit with GT as an additional writing aid.
See also the Rates section to see how CAT tools may affect the pricing.
Due to the procedure that often applies to translation work, the term ‘References’ calls for a few words of explanation. Our assignments typically come from an international translation agency. This agency may have received its assignment from an agency in the originating country, which may again have the assignment from the documentation department of the manufacturer. On completion of the assignment, the manufacturer can ship his product with Norwegian owner’s literature to its Norwegian distributor – who can be a subsidiary, or an independent business. From this chain of players, the only one who knows us from Adam as the performing translator is the Norwegian translation agency. Accordingly, neither the original manufacturer or its representative in Norway, nor your local retail outlet for that matter, will be able to confirm that I am responsible for the Norwegian manual that came with the product.
Then there is the NDAs that most clients insist on – or Non Disclosure Agreements, also called confidentiality notices. These often limit our opportunity to mention products and company names outside of the specified context. In practice, it is easiest and best to send a direct question by email to email@example.com if you want specific information about relevant works that are suitable as a reference in your case.
The cost of translation is most often calculated according to the number of words to be translated. Most often, it is the number of words in the source text that is used as a basis; if the text is paper-based, a scanned image, or otherwise unsuitable for electronic word counting, the number of words in the finished translation will be used for billing.
Given an electronically readable and editable source text, it may be appropriate to deduct a discount for frequently repeated complete sentences. Modern CAT tools (Computer Assisted Translation) do this almost automatically; when the heading «The best cycling routes in Hardanger» is translated in the table of contents, the same translation automatically comes up as a suggestion where the same heading occurs in the text. A quick «Enter» is enough to accept the translation, and a 75 to 90 percent discount is common for such repeats. If the source text is only almost the same, such as «The very best cycling routes in Hardanger», this will be presented as an 80% match, which means that an 80% matching text has been found in the translation memory. A 50 to 75% discount is common in such cases, which often require some work to get syntactically correct.
The starting price per word can be from just NOK 0.14 or 14 cents for texts that require little more than general knowledge, to well over double for texts that require in-depth specialist knowledge, the use of customer-specific glossaries, and other complicating aspects. Some providers from exotic locations offer prices at a fraction of this; use then instead Google Translate, which is completely free, but should be used with caution if the goal is a printed text for publication online or on paper.
Finally, If you are a so-called direct customer, who will use the finished text without further revisions or quality assurance, you are entitled to a slightly more thorough treatment to justify the slightly higher price per word. If you are an agency client, you are expected to run an independent grammar check at your own cost as compensation for the lower word price you pay.
Value added tax
In Norway, all translation is subject to VAT. There are some exceptions, including literary translation and non-commercial translation. In addition, there is a kind of exemption for the export of services, in that these are invoiced at a zero rate for VAT.
If you are located outside Norway, I must provide my services without VAT under the current tax regime, so no problem. If you are located within Norway, and have a problem with me adding VAT to my services, I can’t help you unless you have a foreign billing address that I can use in good conscience – which means an actual company with a real office address outside our borders. Only then can I invoice the work without VAT, and it will then be the customer who needs to report the purchase of services subject to VAT when the translated work returns to Norway.
it will then be the customer who needs to report the purchase of services subject to VAT when the translated work returns to Norway.