Translator behind Swedish ‘Dragon Tattoo’ revealed

Along with much of the rest of the English speaking world, the WorldAccent office has not been immune to the lure of the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson. For the uninitiated, crime novel “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was a massive hit last year. The second in the series “The Girl Who Played With Fire” has just come out in paperback and has instantly become one of the hot reads of the summer.

Larsson was an interesting character, being both a crusading journalist himself and noted for tackling extreme right and racist groups. He wrote his books in his native Swedish and they have enjoyed great success in Sweden. But sadly he died before the books could be translated, and so could provide no guidance in shaping the English text.

Glancing at the translation credit in the front of the book – to a Reg Keeland – made us wonder about the responsibility involved in this project. The Swedish translation certainly felt professional, maintaining a sense of the Swedish setting while using some elegant English turns of phrase and native colloquialisms. Now it has emerged Reg Keeland is a pseudonym, and as with many a large translation project, there were some twists and turns in the process. You can read more in the interesting interview “Reg” gave his local paper in Seattle…