- Welcome to Albascan CommunicationsCreating hand-crafted translations for discerning clients in business, tourism, arts and culture
Albascan Communications is owned and operated by me, Tom Ellett, a translator in private practice since 1996. Based in Perth, in the heart of Scotland, I translate from the Scandinavian languages to English. Hence the name Albascan, Alba being the Gaelic word for Scotland.
My core business is creative translations from Norwegian to English and Swedish to English. I’m a member of the Swedish-English Literary Translators' Association and the Society of Authors. I also translate from Danish and German, and offer writing and copy-editing services in English.
Combining deep understanding of the source languages with excellent native English writing skills, I specialise in hand-crafted translations for discerning clients in fields such as marketing, tourism and the creative sector where style and substance are equally important.
Whether you need premium copy for publication or an accurate, well-worded translation for information purposes, I create clear, concise, compelling English text that will persuade and impress your target audience.
Let me find the right words for you
Areas of specialisation
I specialise in smaller projects, often with tight deadlines, and have particular expertise in translating the following text types and subject matter:
- Advertising and marketing copy
- Press releases
- Art, museums, exhibitions
- Travel, tourism, destination marketing
- Sex education and adult content
- Sustainability and cleantech
- Railways and transport
- Furnishings and design
Unlike translation agencies that claim to cover every conceivable language and subject, I will never accept a job unless I am confident I can deliver a top-quality translation. You in turn can be confident that I will preserve the integrity and effectiveness of your message across linguistic and cultural boundaries.
Here are a few examples of past translation projects that are in the public domain and therefore not subject to any non-disclosure agreements I have with my clients:
- Press releases and leaflets for Swedish and Norwegian museums and art galleries, including Nationalmuseum, Stockholm
- Annual travel guide to the Telemark Canal, Norway, and many other tourist publications
- Sex education materials for RFSU, the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education
- Regular press releases and articles on cleantech projects for Green Business Norway
- Articles for International Transport Journal and European Railway Review
- Short monthly articles on interior design trends for a German furniture company
- Martin Birck’s Youth, a Swedish classic novel by Hjalmar Söderberg (Norvik Press, 2004)
- Desire, a collection of erotic short stories by Malva B (ebook, 2019)
- It Came to Me on a Whim, the debut novel by Swedish author Maria Bouroncle (Saga Egmont, 2022)
Working with clients and colleagues
As well as providing services direct to end-clients, I am happy to build mutually beneficial working relationships with fellow language service providers who value quality over quantity.
Various well-respected translation agencies and freelance colleagues regularly entrust me with translation projects. Over the years, some of these agency clients have even commissioned me to translate their own websites into English.
Clients often wish to make a complex or dry topic accessible to a wider audience. I have the writing and research skills to communicate a wide variety of subject matter in clear, concise, compelling English.
I look forward to working with you.
Affordable quality and personal service
Asking “How much does a translation cost?” is akin to asking “How long is a piece of string?”
The answer depends on text length, subject matter and deadline. For this reason, I prefer to see the source text (or some typical pages) before quoting a fee and delivery time.
Although I compete on quality rather than price, my low overheads as a sole trader mean that my rates compare favourably with those charged by larger translation agencies. By working with me direct, you can enjoy personal service at reasonable cost by cutting out the middleman.
As a UK-based microbusiness, I don’t charge VAT on my services. I accept payment via bank transfer or Wise.
- About Tom Ellett
In business since 1996
– a quarter-century of translation experience
In brief …
Background and experience
- Native speaker of English, born and educated in the UK, returned to Scotland in 2017 after 10 years in Canada
- Translator in full-time private practice since 1996, working with corporate, small-business, agency and personal clients in Europe and North America
Professional memberships and certifications
- Member of SELTA, the Swedish-English Literary Translators’ Association
- Member of the Society of Authors Translators Association
- Passed the Canadian (CTTIC) translator certification exam for Norwegian and Swedish to English in 2007
- Passed the American Translators Association (ATA) certification exam for Swedish to English in 2014
- Postgraduate Diploma in Translation, University of Surrey, 1996
- General Degree of Master of Arts, University of Edinburgh, 1990
At greater length …
As a translator in private practice, I have been helping Scandinavian businesses and organisations communicate with English-speaking markets for more than 20 years. By delivering ready-to-publish English copy that reads like a piece of original writing, I save you the trouble and expense of hiring a copywriter to polish your English translations prior to publication.
Although commercial translation occupies most of my time, I am also interested in literary translation and am a member of the Society of Authors and the Swedish-English Literary Translators’ Association (SELTA). My translation of Martin Birck’s Youth, a classic novel by Hjalmar Söderberg, was published in 2004 by Norvik Press. More recently I was commissioned by the Swedish author Malva B to translate Desire, her collection of erotic short stories, into English. I have also translated two short e-books of erotic fiction from German. For more about my services in the erotica and adult content field, visit Wicked Translations.
My interest in languages was first kindled through weekly Gaelic lessons at primary school on the west coast of Scotland. I even persuaded my parents to send me for extra lessons after school. At high school I was the only pupil to take four foreign languages (German, French, Latin and Classical Greek). I went on to study German and Scandinavian languages as an undergraduate at Aberdeen and Edinburgh universities, and later obtained a postgraduate diploma in translation from the University of Surrey.
In between, I spent a year as an English teaching assistant at a high school in northern Germany and several years working in the constituency office of a Scottish member of parliament. It was in this latter role that I honed the research and persuasive writing skills that have since proved so valuable in my career as a translator.
After more than a decade in private practice as a translator in Scotland, I moved across the Atlantic with my Canadian wife in 2007. During my decade in Canada, I was one of only two certified translators in Ontario for Norwegian/Swedish to English and one of the first translators to pass the ATA certification exam for Swedish to English.
In the summer of 2017 I returned to Scotland and settled in the fair city of Perth, on the banks of the river Tay where the Highlands meet the Lowlands.