METM15 presentation

Nordic Editors and Translators: founding a new networking and peer-training association (with thanks to MET)

Virve Juhola and Julie Uusinarkaus, Helsinki, Finland

Nordic Editors and Translators (NEaT) is a newly founded association based in Helsinki. The organization rose out of the need to network and form a professional identity for editors and translators working in English in Finland. Following in the footsteps of MET, the objective is to create a comprehensive network that also includes language professionals in other Nordic countries.

A few years ago when the idea emerged, local training for editors was very limited, standards were mixed and quite low in some cases, and language companies were completely isolated from each other. Some of the founding members of NEaT were working as editors for the University of Helsinki Language Centre, which offered seminars for freelance editors and translators, but teaching was limited to only a few editors. For translators, the main local association and the local trade union arranged occasional seminars in English, but very rarely, perhaps once in two years. The seminars were communicated in Finnish and offered to translator members only, excluding the community of native English speakers working as editors or in similar positions in various organizations. This was felt to be a great loss of synergy among the founding members of NEaT.

In this presentation, we will trace the path from the idea of building an association to founding it and celebrating our first year. NEaT is a small but growing group which has now held seminars, reached out to partner with other organizations and established committees working on professional standards and professional education opportunities. We will share the story of our development and our goals for the future.

Virve Juhola is a language and communications specialist, writer, editor, and translator in Finnish and English working through her own company Cape Context in Finland. She is specialized in the fields of technology and commerce, having contracts with several international translation and advertising agencies and providing content and consultancy directly to Finnish technology brands, such as Tekla and Kemppi. She is interested in strategic communications, responsible and sustainable messaging in particular, readability, reader-response research, reception theory and cognitive processes, and applying these to her work. She was one of the founding members of Nordic Editors and Translators and is its first secretary of the board.

Julie Uusinarkaus is an in-house editor at the University of Helsinki and a freelance editor and language consultant in the field of fashion and design, first as a magazine editor and later as a freelance consultant for companies such as Artek and Helsinki Design Week. She is particularly interested in matters of style, and as an in-house editor, she developed the style guide used by the translators of the University of Helsinki.  She was one of the founding members of Nordic Editors and Translators and is its first chair.