Stockholm-based Svensk Medietext, a multimedia localization company founded in 2006 by translation and public broadcasting professionals who worked for Swedish Television, has appointed Lars Thorsell as its new CEO. Thorsell co-founded the company, and his initial role was as head of production. He has also been CTO and became vice president in 2009.
Emphasizing the company’s work as one of the main subtitling and localization companies in Sweden, Thorsell takes on his new role as technology continues to change with automatic speech recognition and AI applications, but as the CEO put it to Slator, “We’re still developing and defending traditional human-based subtitling. We’re not giving up on that. We mainly work with premium content and we cannot compromise on quality.”
In Thorsell’s view, traditional human translation and subtitling will actually gain new value, adding that Medietext’s job is precisely to develop and market that value as an exclusive product. Thorsell also mentioned that the use of machine translation into the Nordic languages for premium content is still limited and requires extensive human editing.
When asked about his background outside of the localization industry, Thorsell highlighted both his love of languages and how his previous experience in television and radio are relevant for subtitling: understanding the audience’s experience and reaction is key in media, and subtitling is not a technical add-on, but rather part of the full experience.
“We’re still developing and defending traditional human-based subtitling. We’re not giving up on that. We mainly work with premium content and we cannot compromise on quality.” — Lars Thorsell
Regarding his strategy, as he takes on the reins as CEO, Thorsell explained that although Medietext is part of the global and multilingual media world, the company will continue to focus on the local perspective. “Languages are very much a local product. To deliver quality in this business you have to understand more than words. You have to understand the audience and the local perspective. Homegrown products have more flavor,” he added.