Professional Technical Translation

Technical translation is a hybrid skill. On the one hand, all translators have to understand the source language (the language from which they are translating) and have good writing skills in the target language (the language into which they are translating), already an unusual combination. However, in order for technical translations to be not only linguistically correct but also technically accurate it is also necessary for the translator to understand the technical aspects of the subject matter of the translation. It is rare for a translator to possess both sets of skills. Some technical translators acquire both sets of skills by getting their education in one country and then moving to another country. Thomas Hedden acquired both sets of skills by changing fields.

Technical translations often involve very specialized subjects: small components of automotive transmissions, rare side effects of pharmaceutical products, the requirements for a radio transmitter, etc. At the same time, every translation is different, and no technical translator can be an expert in all fields. For this reason, good technical translators must have a broad background, be able to master new material quickly, and have good resources available to them.

Services Offered

Thomas Hedden offers free-lance technical translation services from French, German, Polish, and Russian.

Subject specialties include pharmaceuticals, chemistry, biochemistry, and biomedical sciences; alternative energy (solar and wind power, etc.); and also software and telecommunications. Work is accepted in most technical fields.

Typical documents that Thomas Hedden translates are patents, scientific articles, pharmaceutical SPC’s (summaries of product characteristics), instruction manuals, regulatory affairs documentation, and quality assurance documents. He also has experience localizing (translating) software.


Thomas Hedden has been a full-time freelance translator since 1994. Unlike many translators who either take degrees in translation and interpreting (T & I), Thomas Hedden began his academic career in biochemistry, and later switched to foreign languages, ultimately completing the Ph.D. degree at the University of California, Berkeley in historical and comparative Slavic linguistics. Thomas Hedden did his first professional translation while an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received the B.S. degree with a double major in biochemistry and Russian. While a graduate student, he did occasional free-lance translation work and lived in several foreign countries, including the former Soviet Union, and later Poland. He later received practice-oriented certificates in the UNIX operating system and computer programming from community colleges in California and Massachusetts. He has been certified by the American Translators Association in the language combinations French-English, German-English, Polish-English, and Russian-English. His formal qualifications are summarized in his resume

After graduating, Thomas Hedden worked for four years in a well-known translation agency in California, where he interacted with both the clients who were the end users of translations, and with the translators who actually did the work. This industry experience gave him valuable insight into the needs of clients.

List of Translation Clients

Academy of Legal and Technical Translators
Accent on Languages
Advanced Global Services
Agnew Tech-II
Allen Translation Service
America Translating Services, Inc.
Antler Translation Services
Benemann Translation Center
Berkeley Scientific Translation Service
Berlitz Translation Services
Bowne Translation Company
Calderon Translations
Cambridge Translation Resources
Comprehensive Language Center, (formerly known as CACI)
Connective Language Services LLC
Copper Translations, Inc.
Corporate Translations, Inc.
CyberTrans International
Eriksen Translations Inc.
Foreign Language Center
Foreign Language Services
Health Outcomes Group
Idem Translations, Inc.
Inlingua San Diego
Intercontinental Translations
Inter Lingua, Inc.
Intermark Language Services Corporation
ION Translations, LLC
Iverson Language Associates
Language Center
Language Company
Language Institute
Language Lab
Language Service
Language Services International
McNeil Multilingual
medax Medizinischer Sprachendienst
Medizinisch-pharmazeutische √úbersetzungen GmbH
New World Medium
Okada & Sellin Translations
Princeton Technical Translation Center
Robert Bentley, Inc.
Russian Word
SH3, Inc.
SL International
Terra Pacific Writing Corporation
Translation Aces
Translations International
Transperfect Translations
Tristan Translations
Whitman Language Services
Word Pros
Xplanation Language Services


Thomas Hedden
98 East Riding Drive Carlisle, MA 01741 USA
Tel. +1 978-371-0822 (US Eastern time)
Mobile +1 978-930-0462
E-mail: request Thomas Hedden’s e-mail address