One of my passions is translation. I began with poetry translation and this is still a passion project. I am currently working on a volume of Else Lasker-Schüler translations into English.
I also translate non-literary texts. I specifically focus on historical family documents. I have extensive experience translating letters in German (with an occasional Yiddish postscript). I am especially inclined to translate documents from German-Jewish families. I often translate letters written by family members who were murdered in the Holocaust. Through my translation, I hope to let their voices be heard by the next generation. If you're interested in hiring me, please contact me. Read on to learn about my process.
My process has three steps:
1. Learn about the family history. This provides invaluable context which makes my job easier. It also helps me know what information possibly contained in the letters is important to the family. You can choose to give me the originals, copies of them, or I can point you in the direction of a good copy shop.
2. Transcribe the documents. Most often written in a now-defunct German cursive style, these documents are often impossible even for modern German speakers to read. My transcription leaves you with a digital and physical copy of the letters' original content for future generations.
3. Translate the documents. As I translate, I include occasional footnotes regarding place names (place names in Central Europe have changed dramatically in the last 100 years) and linguistic features (odd spellings and/or grammar can tell me about the languages spoken by the letter writer, the level of education, etc.) The complete product is a facing original and translation.