Well, come on in and settle down. Would you like a nice cup of tea to go with the biscuits…sorry, cookies? So, you good and comfy?
My secret is that I am a Closet Translator;).
My mum is German and my Dad was British. After his death my mum took my brother and me back to Germany. So I am fluent in German… although now when my mum comes to visit we speak mostly Germish. Anyway, when I was living in London a friend of a friend was looking for someone to do a cheap translation for an anthology. I contacted him and he said yes! (Neither of us had much of an idea what we were in for;). He sent me the short story and off I went, no clue what I was doing, but certain it would be easy enough to do. I wasn’t actively writing at that time, so let’s just say it was an eye-opening experience.
At the same time the friend who hooked we up with the editor opened her literary agency. She asked me if I knew of any German authors who I believed would do well if translated into English. Federica de Cesco is a Swiss writer who writes YA and adult romance. Federica is Swiss and married to a Japanese photographer. She has lived all over the world and tells stories about young women from different cultures all over the world and the challenges they face. She was an auto-buy for me, so I suggested her. We contacted the German publisher and I translated the first couple of chapters of one of her books…It was an amazing experience to translate her words into English. Unfortunately we had very little idea on what to do with it, so none of the English publishers were interested. It is still one of my dreams to see her books in English and share her amazing writing with the world, but I don’t believe that will ever happen. Lol, and her books are a little dated. One of my favourite books is the story about a young woman living in Japan. She uses phone booths and listened to her music on a portable CD player;).
Shortly after I handed in the translated short story, I bumped into an acquaintance who was an editor at a small publisher in London. I mentioned to him that if he ever needed anything translated from German he should let me know. A little while later he asked if I would translate, not for publication, but for him to be able to read the story, a book by a well-known German children’s author. And I did. Again, it was a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun.
So, that’s me, the Closet Translator stepping into the light;). What is your secret?
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