About

P1150138

What do I offer?

Curiosity, empathy, love and a little bother

This might sound rather odd, as none of this seems to have anything to do with translation. But these ingredients ensure that I will deliver a great translation every time – your German target audience will not even notice that the text they are reading has been translated (unless you choose to tell them, of course).

Why are these factors important when it comes to choosing the right translator?

Curiosity

They say curiosity kills the cat. The same doesn’t apply to translators. Do you know what happens in the wet end of a paper machine or how to make sure the water supply in a hotel stays free of bacteria? Well, it is my job and my passion to find out before starting a translation that deals with one of these topics. But why, you might say – it is all in the source text, isn’t it? Why don’t you just translate the text?

Because terminology can be tricky and the translation of a term can depend on the context or special field – a rod can be translated as “Stange”, “Stäbchen”, “Pleuel” or “Draht”, depending on the context, a beam is translated as “Webbaum” in textile engineering and as “Lichtstrahl” in Physics.  Extensive research  is an important part of my job as translator.

Google translate and other machine translation applications (and bad human translators) don’t distinguish between different contexts or specialist fields. They will choose the most frequently used translation or the first entry in the dictionary. The result will be a totally incomprehensible and in the worst case, embarrassing, translation.

Empathy

This seems to be more fitting for someone running a charity organisation. But understanding the feelings and thoughts of others is one of the foundations of good communication. And ultimately, translation is communication.

When you have a text translated, you have a certain target audience in mind – and this audience expects to be addressed in a certain manner. Only someone linguistically and culturally fluent in the source language is able to detect different nuances in texts and only a good writer can compose a text that reproduces the exact nuance appropriate for the target audience. It takes a good translator to combine these two skills, crafting a translation that speaks to your audience and effortlessly conveys the meaning of the original text.

It is needless to say that even the most sophisticated machine translation applications will not be able to match this  ability in the near future.

I love my languages

A language is not something that a person learns and then “owns” – it needs to be appreciated, maintained and taken care of. Languages are constantly changing – expressions that were common a decade ago have died out and new words are being developed together with new technologies. To remain fluent in his or her source language, a translator has to keep interacting with it regularly. Visits to source language countries and extensive reading of very diverse materials in source and target languages keep a professional translator alert for changes in nuance and help maintain a cultural fluency that goes beyond the language skills that can be taught at school.

When working for you, I will bother you with questions

The information in the source text is not always clear – sometimes a text might have been taken out of a larger context, images might be missing, or the topic is extremely specific or complex. And if I find anything even slightly ambiguous in your text, I will ask you about it.

Now this might sound like I am quite a nitpicker, but believe me, only bad translators pretend they know everything – they will simply assume that in your business, a certain word has a certain meaning, or just guess the missing context. It goes without saying that the results can be disastrous.

What else comes in the package?

Lifelong learning

I developed my skills while travelling several European Countries and gaining experience in a multitude of different fields like agriculture, tourism, mechanics and technology.  While running my company Artemosaic which produced replicas of Roman mosaics, my activities in this field helped me to gain insights into history, archeology, art history as well as geology, mineralogy and the engineering and technology involved in mining and processing stone.
Currently I am very interested in robotics and quadcopters and besides building and programming my own machines I am regularly enrolled in online courses about autonomous flying robots, control theory and other engineering and computer science topics.

Other subjects that fascinate me are political philosophy, mathematics, statistics, education, psychology, self-optimisation, horse riding, karate, fashion…

I see myself as a lifelong learner – constantly striving to improve my technological knowledge as well as my writing skills. I believe that every topic is worth exploring with enthusiasm, and no skill level is ever good enough. I am looking forward to working together with you!