Meet the Owner



Susan Aitken, founder and president of Lingua Science Corporation, is a native of Michigan. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1985 with a B.A. in Asian Studies, which included five years of Japanese and Chinese language training at Michigan and one year at Stanford University’s prestigious Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo.

The study of Japanese captivated Sue from the very beginning. “I majored in Japanese in college because I loved languages and was looking for a real challenge. Japanese, with its kanji characters, was like a code language to crack. A puzzle to solve. It was cool, and I was hooked.”

A member of the American Translators Association since 1989, Sue was lead translator at Nissan Research and Development from 1988 to1990 and at Toyota Technical Center from 1996 to1998. Sue has edited numerous publications, including Crain’s Automotive News Japanese Fax Edition, Auto Digest USA daily Japanese newsfax, and Japanophile, a literary journal about Japanese culture. She has also taught advanced Japanese at the University of Michigan.

With the establishment of Lingua Science, Sue branched out on her own. “I decided to start Lingua Science while I was working as lead translator at Nissan Research and Development. Like most entrepreneurs, I thought it would be great to control my own work hours and make a ton of money. Little did I know it’s not that easy!

“What has kept Lingua Science in business over the years is my passion for excellence, love of languages, and the joy of connecting with people. We have a casual and fun workplace, but don’t let that fool you. I’m a perfectionist at heart, so we create works of art here, not just word-for-word translations. It could be a tiny job like a business card, but it’s still critical that the job leaves this office with me saying, ‘Wow. That’s beautiful.’

“On the recruiting side, staffing isn’t about putting ‘warm bodies in seats’ or ‘meeting job requirements.’ It’s about matching a talented person with the right company, the right team, and the right job. Then this person will naturally work to his or her level of excellence. It sounds so simplistic, so common sense, but it’s caring about people and ‘fit’ as the highest priority that sets Lingua Science apart.”