Rune joined Samtext in January 2014 as a trainee, since when he has completed his Bachelor’s degree in Media and Communications at Oslo and Akershus University College.
He has a real passion for writing, language and communication. When not swotting up on capital cities, Rune spends his free time playing football and poring over Spanish dictionaries (although probably not at the same time).
Rune is also the man who puts the words in the mouth of Samtext’s very own superhero, Kaptein Schwung, fast gaining a reputation as the world’s most irritating (fictional) language nerd. “Be afraid,” whispers Rune. “Be very afraid.”
Arne Østring has a BA in Nature and Environmental Conservation, Geography and Sociology. He has worked as a business secretary, course supervisor and teacher, and is also one of the most experienced performers in the Samtext circus. In the winter Arne likes nothing more than taking off on skis with a heavy pack on his back and heading off into the fells for as long as he is allowed. Following a previous career that involved a stint as a nude model, “Arnie” now appears to be quite content puzzling over such questions as how to translate “Dr Who” into Norwegian, and performing part-time reception duties.
And we are also very proud to have our own poet in the house.
Steinar Seland joined Samtext in August 2001, since when he has gained extensive quality-assured experience of all manner of translations ranging from ultra-technical to creative advertising texts.
When not busying himself in the vagaries of obscure Norwegian punctuation rules – commas are very important in Norwegian! – Steinar is the dynamic band leader (referee, player coach, asset manager, cashier) of legendary Oslo ten-piece band Cuban Connection, a hardcore Caribbean ballroom combo, which regularly plays to sell-out crowds at the city’s top venues.
Alistair graduated from the University of Cambridge, England with an MA (Hons) in Modern and Medieval Languages (Swedish/German) in 1988. He then trained with Ernst and Young, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1992.
Several sets of management accounts later, in 2001 he decided to reclaim his soul (and halve his future salary expectations) by returning to university to train as a translator, and graduated from the University of Surrey with a diploma in Swedish and German.
The key to mastery is training, folks!
Before joining Samtext in 2004, James spent 12 years working as a freelance computer programmer before deciding to put his love of languages to practical use and retraining as a translator. He now translates from Norwegian, Swedish and Danish into British English.
James divides his scarce free time between painting, writing, attempting to learn Finnish and Scottish Gaelic, planning his next trip to arctic Norway or the castles of Alsace, and eating ice cream.
For many of us, the journey from thought to action is not an instant one, especially if it involves taking on something we’ve never done before and the risk of rejection. Some people are lucky enough not to have such inhibitions; they get a good idea and get started immediately. And then, in a league of her own, there’s Helene Ulrichsen.
In addition to a Masters in aesthetics, focusing on literature, Helene had an artistic education, which led to work as an actor on TV and on stage. Playing and writing music are also very close to her heart; her favourite instruments are guitar, bass and piano, and she has sung in a number of bands. (Check out her album Artless Grace on Spotify.)
Mads grew up in a little village in Namdalen in central Norway, and was always more interested in exploring the forests and mountains, and playing football, then sitting inside doing his homework. It is perhaps fortunate that his interest in languages was awakened due to an element of competition being introduced into the learning of irregular verbs in English lessons. When later his teacher demonstrated that understanding languages and an appreciation of popular culture are inextricably linked, Mads’ course was set: to be an Anglophile. As a result, he studied English at university and started visiting the UK.
This led in 2007 to the start of his career subtitling English-language TV programmes, since when he has worked for all the major Norwegian channels. After many years freelance, he joined Samtext in 2020. Music is an important part of Mads’ life, as is time spent in the forest during the cooler months, and he also coaches youth football.
(Bio to follow)
Elisabeth has a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. She’s particularly skilled with a pencil, and a classic Elisabeth drawing is around 2×1 metres in size and composed of one million single strokes. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that we have recently discovered that her attention to detail and sharp eye also extends to writing errors and convoluted language.
When she’s not increasing her popularity as a proofreader, Elisabeth is known at Samtext for her post-translation DTP expertise, and she can often be found sitting in front of her Mac, finalising InDesign files for translation or editing a brochure because the Russian takes up so much more space than the equivalent Norwegian text.
At Samtext, having more than one string to your bow is extremely beneficial, and Elisabeth has been embraced by all our resident language nerds: project managers and translators alike.
Kristian studied technical translation for three years at Agder University College in Norway, spending his second year at the Victoria University of Manchester in England, where he read French, Dutch and German. Shortly after graduating, Kristian was signed up by Mr Samstad to become Samtext’s first permanent employee in 1996.
Kristian is fascinated by complex languages, which makes Finnish a veritable feast for his eyes and music to his ears – ears which he also likes to treat to everything from Mozart to Pink Floyd, taking in Baccara and Bach along the way. An obsessive Eurovision fan, Kristian regularly travels to competition finals with local enthusiasts. So what does Kristian read before nodding off to dream of Norway’s elusive third Eurovision victory? Why, Finnish grammar, of course.
Click here to find out about Samtext’s work with audiovisual texts.
Ylva brings excellent experience from her previous jobs in the media (at Radio Norge) and in academia (at the University of Oslo). A creative soul who started her academic career with a philosophical approach to the line for drawing, form and colour and then studied history of religion and psychology at university, she went on to take a Master’s in Cultural Studies (her dissertation was on rock band reunions).
Ylva is a globetrotter and gourmet, and has written a number of inspiring articles for the travel magazine REIS. When back home in Oslo she enjoys cooking, reading, exercise, and playing drums in her band Domene.
With an academic background in law, and communication and management, Marco has overseen operations at Samtext’s Stockholm office since 2006.
We attribute Marco’s ability to keep track of more than 300 translators and copywriters, match the right person to the right job, and respect virtually impossible deadlines as well as he does to being a father of two and his Italian heritage. The lunch boxes he receives from his very Italian mother that make him the envy of every Samtext employee probably don’t hurt either!
In addition to guiding our translators and customers through complicated, and occasionally extremely urgent, projects, Marco is a fantastic painter and the one responsible for the pictures on the annual Samtext Sweden Christmas cards.
Having studied English at Agder College, Linda realised that languages were her future, so took a three-year course in technical translation. She then moved to Oslo and became one of Samtext’s very first employees, helping to build the fledgling agency to a respectable size.
A few years later, wanderlust led Linda to work in Birmingham in England, and then back to Bergen in Norway. Linda is now back at Samtext, the glamour of the proofreader’s red pen having proven too great an attraction to resist. And we are very happy indeed about that.
Having discovered that her passion for musicals had to give way to her passion for languages, Helene got stuck into a Master’s in English literature at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. However, she didn’t leave her singing voice or her dancing shoes completely on the shelf, so in her free time she can often be found practising her soprano repertoire or dance steps.
In addition to the English and Spanish she learnt during her education, Helene has also taken on Italian and German, as well as whatever has come her way on her travels, such as basic Greek greetings or the requisite clicks for Xhosa. She enjoys finding connections between various languages. Helene is also fascinated by dialects, and in her Bachelor’s dissertation she explored how Mrs Lovett’s broad Cockney dialect in the musical Sweeney Todd was handled in the Norwegian translation.
Knut-Jørgen is a Latin scholar who has studied Spanish at the University of Oslo. He has also completed specialised training as a communication officer and information secretary, as well as special study methodology courses. He has worked as an information secretary dealing with the media and authorities, and spent several years translating for non-profit-making organisations before joining Samtext in spring 2005.
Knut-Jørgen’s hobbies include long-distance skiing in the mountains or woods, preferably to the sound of a starting pistol or in good company, while poetry, literature and philosophy provide important sources of insight and enrichment. Feel free to contact him to discuss favourites such as André Bjerke, Gunvor Hofmo, Paul la Cour or Simenon’s Maigret books!
Elin, whose background is as an electronics engineer, has served Samtext as QA Manager, board member and now Finance Manager. She also has specialist training in study techniques and many years’ experience of teaching how to benefit most from reading.
Elin could crochet for Norway, were international tournaments in that skill held, and she is one of the few people in the country who can edit and proofread knitting patterns – quite the black art.
Trond Samstad is Samtext’s CEO and the man behind the parent company in Oslo and the Group’s subsequent expansion into Sweden, Denmark, Finland and England.
Trond has completed a Norwegian Navy cryptography and officer training course, and he also studied social anthropology at the University of Oslo. He is a qualified study and communication techniques instructor, and worked as a consultant at the engineering consortium Kværner from 1989–96. He founded Samtext in 1991, where he has worked full-time since 1996.
Trond, who apparently sang constantly until he was 12, nowadays contents himself with the occasional whistle. Cross-country running, peanuts, the finest of red wines, cooking, trout fishing with Samstad Jr and science fiction keep his spirits high – as does his fascination with just how much information people can keep stored inside their heads.
Ulf has a black belt in sales, communications and management. He has recruited and trained sales teams for companies in the UK, Finland, Sweden and Norway, and he is one of those rare souls who actually likes telephoning total strangers.
A relatively short time after joining us, he was presented with a certificate as the office’s most positive employee – and he has continued to be so. For Ulf, every half-empty glass is half-full, a customer complaint is a business opportunity, and selling coals to Newcastle sounds like a good prospect.
In addition to being an active glider pilot, tall and dark Ulf follows his instincts when the wilderness calls, and the outdoor life has left its mark: even the dullest of office discussions about Norwegian comma rules or translation tools is enlivened by his frequent hunting and fishing metaphors.
Maj-Lis is the Key Account Manager for our Swedish office and a master of the telephone. She is a trained communicator with extensive marketing experience, whose previous occupations include therapist and course instructor.
When she’s not speaking to old or new clients or putting together new marketing material, you can find Maj-Lis caring for her garden, reading or spending time with her family and cats. Maj-Lis is also a dedicated fan of the Swedish royal family and never misses a social media update from Princess Madeleine.
Swedish-speaking Kitha has in her past studied singing and clothes design and has a degree in business administration.
She joined the Samtext Finland staff in 2003, and handles the day-to-day business of the Finnish office as calmly as only the mother of three sons can.
(Bio to follow)
Katrin comes from the west coast of Sweden. Her father was a clog maker who had a little shop in Gothenburg. Katrin began her career in sales at an early age in a street kiosk, graduating to bigger things in Stockholm and Copenhagen: chocolates, hand-knitted caps, books, jewellery, electronic equipment. Along the way, she took various training courses in sales, and professionalism became her trademark.
Samtext now benefits from Katrin’s considerable experience in the field, and we are very glad to have her on board. Nothing is too much trouble – service is the keyword, whether it’s clogs or translations. In her free time, Katrin is fond of picking wild fruit. Knitting is also a favourite!