Welcome to Est. 1999, the official blog of Abraham Translations. As is perhaps easy to surmise, the name of this blog reflects the year that Abraham Translations was founded.
It all began with the correction of a few texts that had been translated by another time-pressed translator. Within the year, translating had become my main source of income; now, it has long been the only way I put bacon on the table.
I am rather proud of many of the projects on which I have worked.
Est. 1999, basically, is a visual confirmation of past projects, a blowing of my own horn, a presentation of translator-related topics, and an occasional departure into other areas that I deem worthy of presenting. Enjoy.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Transfer (Germany, 2010)

Directed by Damir Lukacevic. The first draft of the screenplay for this truly excellent German science fiction film went through my hands. (Due to scheduling conflicts, the rewritten ending went elsewhere.) Based on a short story by the Spanish writer Elia Barceló, Transfer is both enthralling and tragic in its exploration of where today's neoliberal politics of globalization, supply and demand, might take us. Well acted, well filmed and well written, it is a move well worth seeing.
To offer a simplified version of the plot, one which leaves out all the nuances of the full story: "Germany in the not-too-distant future. Menzana, a human tech firm, offers paying clients personality transfers into younger, fitter bodies. The clients come from the West, the hosts from less affluent regions. Despite some initial moral qualms, the well-to-do but old and ill couple Hermann (Hans-Michael Rehberg) and Anna (Ingrid Andree) agree to the process and reawaken in the young and healthy bodies of two attractive Africans, Apolain (BJ Britt) and Sarah (Regine Nehy). The African bodies belong to the German couple for 20 hours a day; Apolain and Sarah, on the other hand, awaken daily for the remaining four hours. Dismay, anger and desperation arise within the two hosts, and Sarah's — or is it Anna's? – unexpected pregnancy does little to calm the situation..."
Interestingly enough, the poster above totally and literally whitewashes a major point of the film, one which echoes a situation that will probably only increase in the future: the rich (with the demand) are white & Western, the poor (with the supply) are black & Third World.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Man Ray — Catalog to the Exhibition at DIE GALERIE

For over 35 years now, DIE GALERIE in Frankfurt am Main has presented a sophisticated exhibition program combining the Classical Modern and selected contemporary artistic positions. 
In collaboration with the Milan-based Fondazione Giorgio Marconi, from 21 March to 1 June, 2013, DIE GALERIE presented a retrospective of the iconic photographer Man Ray featuring over 160 works. The exhibition was accompanied by a 136-page bilingual (German and English) catalog with texts by Janus, Herlinde Koelbel, Giorgio Marconi and Dr. Ingrid Pfeiffer.
I had the honor of translating the German texts into English.
Pub. 20 April 2013; ISBN-10: 392578277X / ISBN-13: 978-3925782770

Friday, 16 January 2015

Julia (Germany, 2013)

This highly depressing — and extremely fascinating — feature-length documentary is just now hitting the circuit here in Berlin. Although I do do subtitling, I didn't do the subtitles for Julia, so I don't have to apologize for any of the typos or grammar mistakes seen in the trailer, but back in 2013 I did translate various press releases and proofread some of the film festival applications.
About the film JULIA
"A tale of passion, humiliation and loneliness, of desperation and turmoil. What exactly would drive a young male art student to leave his home in Klaipeda, Lithuania, and reappear as a young woman selling her body on the streets of Berlin, in sweaty back rooms, and on the sticky seats of a sex cinema? For over ten years the photographer and filmmaker J. Jackie Baier has accompanied and documented the socially unconventional life of the now 30-year-old transsexual Julia K. — streetwalker, outlaw and nonconformist. 'I can't say that I'm a woman, but I'm also not a man. I'm something... I'm a creation of God, but a warped creation of God. God wasn't paying attention when I was born,' says Julia about herself. [...]"
For an English-language review of the documentary, go here The Huffington Post.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Madame Nobel / Eine Liebe für den Frieden (2014)

(Madame Nobel / A Love of Peace) Translating screenplays is one of my favorite activities. For this German-Austrian biographical docudrama directed by Urs Egger and written by Rainer Berg and Thomas Wendrich, I had the pleasure of doing so for Monafilm, the producing company. (Herewith, however, I would like to state that I did NOT translate the English language plot description found on their website.)
Basic plot of the movie: In 1905, the Austrian Bertha von Suttner (Birgit Minichmayr), née Countess Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau,
an outspoken peace activist and author, became the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Long before that, in 1876, and prior to running away with and eventually marrying Arthur von Suttner (Philipp Hochmair), Bertha von Suttner had worked briefly as the secretary of Alfred Nobel (Sebastian Koch) in Paris. Linked by respect and love, separated by conventions and position, Bertha and Alfred shared a special relationship that spanned decades and contributed to both Bertha's development as an author and peace activist as well as Nobel's decision to create the internationally respected Peace Prize that bears his name.
I watched Eine Liebe für den Frieden when it was broadcast on ARD on January 3rd, 2015, and thoroughly enjoyed it.