Freelance translator (French, German, Spanish and Italian into English). 1984-90
Teacher of English and French as second languages; freelance translator
Using my own innovative methods, I taught English and French to German adults 30 hours per week in my “Sprach-Atelier” in Münster, Germany. I also worked with clients on German to English translations and the revision of English texts for presentation at congresses and publication in professional journals.
Freelance textile and clothing designer Translations (partial listing, 1996-present)
Collaborated with Professor Stephan Roth, chairman of the Department of Urology, University Hospital, Wuppertal (Germany) and colleagues, on the editing of articles in the field of urology, all of which have been published in The Journal of Urology (USA) or The British Journal of Urology
Ongoing collaboration with Professor Evelyne Namenwirth and colleagues at Vrije Universiteit in Brussels on the translation and editing of a series of articles on issues in teaching and learning French as a second language
Translation of a book on the diagnosis and treatment of hydrocephalus (for Aesculap AG, a surgical supply company)
Ongoing collaboration with physicians and clinical researchers at the University of Witten-Herdecke (Germany) on the translation and editing of a book on the philosophy of medicine
German-English translation of RAG Aktiengesellschaft Annual Report for 1999, 2000, 2001
Translation of various banking services Web sites and related documentation for Commerzbank AG
Translation of essays on history, anthropology, architecture and aesthetics for the catalogues of various museum exhibitions including “The Centre of Europe Around 1000 A.D” (2000-2002).
Translation of three book-length travel guides for Nelles Verlag, Munich
Translation of the book Miami Houses (teNeues)
Translation of numerous texts in the spheres of corporate communication, industrial processes, advertising, education, business management and the natural sciences.
Specializations and language combinations I translate a wide range of texts, primarily in the fields of corporate communication, tourism, education, medicine, pharmacology, manufacturing processes as well as fine art (e.g. museum catalogues) and the social sciences. My clients have included Honeywell AG, Aesculap/B. Braun Group and other German companies, the Max Planck Institute, Commerzbank AG, the German states of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and North Rhine-Westphalia, and various German municipalities. I have also translated extensively for Peugeot, Adobe France as well as for other prominent French companies and advertising agencies.
I am a native speaker of U.S. English and translate from German, French, Spanish and Italian into British or American English, as required.
Approach to translation In my experience, the degree to which a translation achieves its objectives depends not on how “close” it is to the original, but rather on how appropriately the original is interpreted. This point is illustrated by the following excerpt from my translation of a market research report:
Dazu müssten aber diese beiden Aspekte klar durch die Titelseite zum Ausdruck gebracht werden, sich zudem aber auch im Heft leicht erkennen lassen. Letzteres ist wichtig, da man seine Kaufentscheidung nicht nur nach dem äußeren Eindruck, sondern vor allem auch beim Durchblättern des Hefts fällt. Deshalb wäre auch das Einschweißen des Hefts nicht zu empfehlen, um neue Zielgruppen zu erschließen.
The two key attributes of XYZ Magazine should be clearly communicated on the cover, and should also be readily apparent inside the magazine. It’s also important that the decision to purchase be based not only on the magazine’s outer appearance but also on the impression the potential purchaser gets when he leafs through the publication. Thus, in the interest of reaching new target groups, the plan to shrink wrap the magazine should be scrapped.
Note that my translation is linguistically “different” from the German in numerous respects. For instance, in the final sentence (italicized in both the German and English), the literal meaning of the German is that “shrink-wrapping the magazine is not recommended.” While strictly speaking this translation is “accurate,” my translation – the plan to shrink wrap the magazine should be scrapped – expresses idiomatically the underlying meaning that is only hinted at in the German.
In addition to focusing on the underlying meaning of the source text, I also research terminology and background information. Moreover, I sometimes query passages in the source text in cases where additional information would improve the quality of the translation. This is particularly necessary in German to English translations because many German authors feel that being indirect or abstract makes a text sound “scientific.” But when translated literally, such abstractness can be misleading and can sound stylistically “wrong” to an Anglophone reader. Thus, in the passage cited above, while the German author mentioned neither a plan nor the intention of scrapping (abandoning) it, the translation would have been inadequate if it were not fleshed out in this fashion.
I also proofread all of my translations several times before submitting them and carefully compare the source language and English one final time in order to ensure that the text has been translated accurately and completely. Moreover, the fact that I use industry-standard translation memory software provides numerous advantages, among them greater efficiency in ensuring terminological consistency and updating revised translations.
Other professional skills I am a highly experienced and proficient translation editor and proofreader. I am also co-owner of the literary agency Between the Lines for which I edit translations of works of fiction and non-fiction by European authors for submission to publishers in Great Britain and the U.S.A. I also translate such texts from German, French, Italian and Spanish into English.
Highly experienced user of trados workbench (translation memory software)
High speed 24 hour Internet connection which allows for rapid upload and download of e-mail attachments, expeditious response to customer’s e-mail messages, and continuous Internet access for purposes of research
An extensive array of specialist dictionaries and CD-ROM databases