Karen McMillan Tkaczyk: Freelance Translator, Editor, Trainer

Who I work for

I work for chemical companies producing anything from mascara to grout via hair dye and medications. Most often I work in the pharmaceuticals, adhesives, coatings, and cosmetics fields. I work for academics, especially in chemistry but also in related scientific fields. I also provide the same translation and editing services via language services companies.

How I solve problems

Are you an individual or a company with a scientific translation or editing need? I will help you get your message across to the English-speaking world – whichever part of it you are targeting! As well as translating, I edit texts written in English by those who have a native language other than English.

Are you a language services company, big or small, who wants to place a project with me? I do about 3,000 to 4,000 words per day, five days a week, and I use SDL Studio 2019 for all my work. You’re all set. The work will be exactly what you need – and will likely exceed your expectations.

Are you a fellow freelancer? A translator or technical writer? Organizing a conference? I love working in partnership with other like-minded people. I enjoy editing, translating, and speaking about my areas of expertise. I have experience in helping other freelancers define and develop their specializations and improve their technical writing skills.

Award-winning translator

Award winners celebrate at gala dinner: ITI’s gala dinner on May 19, 2017 was a celebration of the best in the translation and interpreting sector with the announcement of the winners of the Institute’s awards programme.

I had the honour of winning the Best performance on a translation assignment.

My credentials

2012 to date

Qualified Member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting

With a minimum of 3 years’ professional experience, Qualified (MITI) translator membership is intended for translators who have an established career in translation and are recognized for their expertise as highly skilled professionals.

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2010 to date

ATA Certified

Becoming ATA certified for French to English translation means that I have demonstrated that I meet certain standards of the translation profession for the stated pair of languages. Certification offers qualified and independent evidence to both translator and client that the translator possesses professional competence in a specific language combination. You can ask me for a link to an online ATA verification system that allows a client to confirm my certification.

2008 to date

SDL Trados Certified

SDL Trados Studio is the tool that I use to do my work, to manage my translation projects and related terminology. It helps me to reuse previously translated and approved content across all of your projects. Its concordance, glossary and quality control functions help me optimize my workflow. The provider offers a certification program and as part of my professional development and training I complete it every time a new version of the tool is released. 

1998 to 1999

Industrial Experience

Senior Product Development Manager then Quality Assurance Manager
Darja Laboratories, Minden, Nevada

Pharmaceutical Development Chemist
SmithKline Beecham Manufacturing, Carrigaline, then Bristol Myers Squibb, Swords, Ireland

1994 to 1998

PhD in Organic Chemistry

Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, UK I worked in synthetic organic chemistry. My thesis was in the area of Asymmetric Synthetic Methodology and was funded in collaboration with Zeneca. My supervisor was Dr Stuart Warren.

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1996 to 1997

Diploma in French “with credit”

Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, UK

At the time I was at the University of Cambridge, I took their French language diploma program and received a “with Credit” result. It tested translation, comprehension and oral skills.

1990 to 1994

Master of Chemistry with French, “First Class”

University of Manchester, UK with one year spent in Lyon, France My undergraduate degree was at the University of Manchester, UK, then called the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. I received the highest honors, a “First Class” Degree. This four-year course included a one-year industrial placement in France where I worked at Rhône-Poulenc Research in Lyon. In my final year I specialized in Medicinal Chemistry. I received the Final Year Prize for my class and the Glaxo prize for best Organic Chemistry Project.

About my memberships and certifications

ATA has established a certification program that allows translators to demonstrate that they meet certain standards of the translation profession. Translators who pass the examination are certified by ATA in a specific language pair and direction (from or into English). Certification offers qualified and independent evidence to both translator and client that the translator possesses professional competence in a specific language combination. Certified translators may refer to their certification and are entitled to use the designation CT after their names, provided they specify the language pair(s) and direction(s). You can verify my certification at www.atanet.org/verify, certification number 476396.

With a minimum of 3 years’ professional experience, Qualified (MITI) translator membership is intended for translators who have an established career in translation and are recognised for their expertise as highly skilled professionals

Existing members with 10 years membership of ITI (a minimum of 7 years as an MITI) can apply for fellowship (FITI). Fellowship recognises significant achievement throughout their career within the translation and interpreting industry.

Karen has been a member of the Colorado Translators Association since she moved there in 2014. 

The mission of the Colorado Translators Association is to provide a career support network and professional contacts among translators, interpreters, and translation buyers, in and around Colorado, while promoting and maintaining high standards of professional ethics, practices, and competence in the translation industry through professional development and contact with related professional organizations and the media.

ISO 17100:2015 is a standard that applies to translation services providers such as translation agencies and freelance translators. ISO 17100 is a process standard and does not define quality of work in a specific language pair but sets standards for achieving quality by following the translation process steps it defines.

Karen is Qualified to ISO 17100:2015: Certified, Compliant and Qualified mean different things.

Those ‘Certified’ to this standard have been externally assessed by a registered body and are subject to regular audits to ensure they meet the requirements. This is generally not necessary for individual freelance translators. Those who are ‘Compliant’ are stating that they meet all the requirements of the standard but have not necessarily had an external registered body verify this. ‘Qualified’ status shows that Karen has met the qualification and experience requirements of ISO 17100:2015.

Let’s talk and see if my expertise is a good fit for what you need.
Email me or set up a call to find out more.

I would love to hear from you!

Entrust me with work. Connect on LinkedIn or by email if you don’t need me right now, so that you can find me again when you do need me. I only use the personal data you submit to respond to your enquiry. See my Privacy Policy for further information on how I handle personal data.

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Mon-Fri from 7 am to 5 pm US mountain time

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© 2019 Karen McMillan Tkaczyk | Designed by Mrs. Divi | Translations into French by Nathalie Armellin