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.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Judith Siegmund — To Remember Is to Forget. To Forget Is to Remember / Erinnern ist Vergessen. Vergessen ist Erinnern

(ISBN-10: 3333333333 / ISBN-13: 978-3333333335) Judith Siegmund's art exhibition of the same name at the Kunstverein Rostock ran from 26 April to 6 June 2012. The catalog is perhaps the second or third I've done for the artist, whom I first met in 1994 when we were both artists-in-residence at Schloss Plüschow. The catalog, like the exhibition, was based around the photo documentation of the now of the area of Rostock in which she grew up juxtaposed with texts of her memories. The catalog included an additional text by Ilina Koralova, which naturally I also translated.
Below is an example of the typical, short texts by Judith Siegmund found in the catalog — the translation (above) as well the original (below) — and the corresponding photograph.

On Gruben Street, railway tracks went down the middle of the road. At night I was often confronted by an endless stream of freight cars that passed by at walking speed or were even simply at a standstill. I often climbed up onto the platforms between the wagons so as to even get to the other side of the street. When I was there alone with an endless line of military trucks and tanks, it was spooky. I pondered over where they came from and where they were probably being shipped. Because we were never given any information about that, a vague and uncertain sense of menace arose.
In der Grubenstraße lagen Bahnschienen mitten auf der Straße. Ich stand nachts oft vor endlos langen Schlangen von Güterzügen, die im Schrittempo fuhren oder gar stehen blieben. Oft kletterte ich auf die Plattform zwischen zwei Waggons, um überhaupt über die Straße zu kommen. Gespenstisch war es, wenn ich mit einer endlosen Reihe von Militärlastkraftwagen und Panzern allein war. Ich überlegte, woher sie kamen und wohin sie wohl eingeschifft werden. Da wir keine Informationen darüber bekamen, stellte sich das Gefühl einer vagen unklaren Bedrohung ein.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Ruhestörung / Vater, unser Wille geschehe (2011)

Directed by Robert Ralston. When it comes to how or why a Swiss production firm like Hugofilm ended up contacting a Berlin-based translator to do the English subtitles for a Swiss TV comedy, your guess is as good as mine. (Although it might have something to do with the fact that five years earlier I had translated a treatment to the documentary film Jew by Choice [2007] for gebrueder beetz, which was also directed by Robert Ralston.) In any event, in 2012 I did the English subtitles to this pleasantly odd comedy entitled Vater, unser Wille geschehe featuring a truly dysfunctional family and a brain-dead Pastor father.
The plot, very loosely translated from Cineman: "Following a car accident, Pastor Peter (Erich Sommer) is in a permanent vegetative state. His depressive wife Katharina (Charlotte Schwab) and three adult children must decide whether to keep him alive or, as he states is his desire in his 'living will', to pull the plug. As Katharina suddenly begins to rediscover her joie de vivre thanks to a Finnish drifter, the village community begins to believe that the comatose patient is behind a series of local 'miracles'...!"
Opening Credits:

Friday, 8 May 2015

No, seriosuly...

Taken without permission from another translator's blog, Musings from an overworked translator. In all truth, however, Bart's sentiments are more correct than his English, as a computer is always an "it".