a look back at 2018

2018: the first year when I fully abandoned academic work in favour of translation and interpreting, and I didn’t regret it for a minute.

Translations (science, advertising, technical texts, literature):

I got the chance to translate several poems and songs: into German and English from Russian, as well as into German from English – as a paid job; before that, poetry translation was mostly a hobby and passion (though my translations of poems into English did receive some awards).

In 2018, I won a tender of the Rhein-Bonn-Sieg University of Applied Sciences for sociological translations. The evaluation focused primarily on translation quality, with prices per line or word being of secondary importance. Now I regularly translate political and social science articles from German into English and vice versa – luckily, thanks to other clients, I have previous experience with topics such as social studies, anti-discrimination work, Jewish studies, social history, empowerment and social activism (before, I mainly translated from Russian into English and German, though).

The cooperation with the Business Investment Guide Magazine from Moscow remains important for me and my partner: in 2018, we again translated dozens of articles into English and German. As always, the focus was on investments, taxes, annual reports and other financial matters, but the special topic of the year was food – and translating the subtleties of international delicacies was particularly exciting. (Even though I needed three snacks per hour when translating.)

There were no specialist articles on the fine arts that year (in contrast to 2017), but I enjoyed translating exhibition texts and catalogues from German into English and Russian.

Editorial services became a more important part of my work this year – from proofreading specialist texts written in English by non-native speakers to the copy-editing of brochures and advertising copy, where every comma had to fit perfectly.

But the best thing is: I’ve finally translated a really good children’s book! Neil Gaiman’s The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, from English to Russian. I like variety in my jobs, but I love literary translation. (And when I translate advertising texts or nonfiction, it almost or even fully counts as literary translation for me.) I also translated a novel, Urig. The trick was that it was written in German but took place in Australia and was to be translated into English with a good sprinkling of Australian slang. It seems I did okay – the customer writes: “I think that’s a really good translation, a full success!” This year, a dozen of songs is due for translation into English and German, and I’m looking forward to this work!

Interpreting (simultaneous, consecutive, chuchotage, conference)

What I missed somewhat in 2018 was interpreting. There have been quite a few exciting interpreting assignments, but most of them were taken over by my partner, because technical and legal interpreting is his cup of tea, not to mention start-ups and high-tech – these are his favourite subjects, so it was only fair to the clients that he interpreted at these events. Still, I do love to interpret together in a booth at a conference, and such simultaneous interpreting assignments were somewhat few and far between in 2018. We did get to interpret simultaneously at some employee training sessions. Plus, there was a lot of whisper interpreting (chuchotage) for American or Russian customers during negotiations and meetings. But the best experience in terms of “oral translation” was at a journalist congress in Würzburg, where we performed conference interpreting for Russian, German and English, and got to know exciting people. More of it!

What I’d like to see in 2019 would be an assignment as an interpreter (or, ideally, simultaneously as a pair of interpreters) at the Hannover Fair, the Spielmesse in Nuremberg or Essen, the Book Fair in Frankfurt or Leipzig, the Gamescom in Cologne – and please also the Drupa, the ProWein or the Boot in Düsseldorf. Up to now, I interpreted at almost every Compamed, Medica, Beauty and Top Hair trade fair in Düsseldorf, and would do so again with pleasure. The IAA, the IFA, Glasstech, Wire, Tube and the Essen Motor Show require more technical interpreting; that’s something for my partner. There is a lot going on in Düsseldorf, where we live! (And if you spell it “Duesseldorf”, we still love you.) But we wouldn’t object to an interpreting assignment in London or Moscow, either:)

Comments are closed.

  • Daniel Barnes
    Daniel Barnes
    14:08 07 Jun 19
    Alexandra was very helpful during my meeting. She was quick to translate and able to express complex German legal statements in plain English to facilitate a quick and efficient meeting.
    Alex Pekarovsky
    Alex Pekarovsky
    19:46 25 Mar 19
    Very High Level of translation and communication. Had our translation very fast. And after I had an input , it found itself quickly into the translation. Very much recommended.
    Guy Meltzer
    Guy Meltzer
    11:07 07 Mar 19
    Excellent translation to German and outstanding service.We couldn't be more happy!
    Gabriel Rymberg
    Gabriel Rymberg
    12:06 26 Feb 19
    Alexandra is prompt in communications and excellent in delivery time and quality. We just recently started working together and I feel completely confident we will do so for a long time to come!
    Guliz Kavuncuoglu
    Guliz Kavuncuoglu
    20:53 19 Feb 19
    We have worked with Alex and Pavel as we needed help with simultaneous translation of a live workshop from German to English. It was great experience since they were very prompt in their communication pre and post of the project and they were quite flexible and were able to adapt quickly to the changes happened during our workshop. They were quite helpful not only as translators during our session but they felt like they were a part of the team.
    Stacey Donovan
    Stacey Donovan
    01:34 25 Sep 18
    In a word, Alexandra is delightful to work with: savvy, sharp, witty, thoughtful, concerned, gracious. There's not a moment when I doubt her commitment to a project, which says quite a lot in the book editing field. Thank you Alex!
    Anastasia Haller
    Anastasia Haller
    11:17 28 Jun 16
    Благодарим Александру за невероятно быстрый и качественный перевод. В задание так же было стихотворение, которое она перевела с сохранением рифмы и полной передачей смысла.
    Anna Drischluck
    Anna Drischluck
    14:51 06 Nov 15
    Ich arbeite mit Frau Berlina schon seit langer Zeit zusammen und muss sagen, dass ich ihre exzellente Arbeit als Übersetzerin und Dolmetscherin sehr zu schätzen weiß. Frau Berlina erfüllt die Aufträge stets immer einwandfrei und überpünktlich! Bei Fragen steht sie immer gerne zur Verfügung. Ich kann Frau Berlina jedem, der Wert auf schriftliche und mündliche Übersetzungen legt, nur empfehlen. Ich freue mich auf jeden Fall auf die weitere erfolgreiche Zusammenarbeit! Viele Grüße Anna Hermann
    Ирина Зуева
    Ирина Зуева
    07:16 13 Aug 15
    Александра сделала перевод информации для сайта с русского на немецкий грамотно, профессионально и раньше оговоренных сроков. Взяла на себя корректировку текста на русском языке, чем сильно облегчила поставленную мне задачу. Профессиональный переводчик! Рекомендую...
    Arkadiusz Wrobel
    Arkadiusz Wrobel
    10:51 26 Mar 15
    Sehr nette und unkomplizierte Zusammenarbeit, schon seit mehreren Jahren. Schnelle und gute Übersetzungen ins Englische und ins Russische. Ein wirklich zuverlässiger Partner, vor allem was Termine und Qualität der Übersetzungen angeht. Immer wieder gerne!
    Greg Kail
    Greg Kail
    08:07 26 Mar 15
    Замечательная работа и по срокам и по качеству.
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