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, 29 July 2015

Dario Fo: Malerei / Paintings 1945-2012

(ISBN-10: 3925782788 / ISBN-13: 978-3925782787) Hardcover, 136 pages, with texts by Peter Femfert, Stefania Canali, Sarantos Zervoulakos, and Dario Fo.
This catalog was published in conjunction with a retrospective-style exhibition on display at Die Galerie, Frankfurt from 6 June to 31 August, 2013. Curated Maren Kirchhoff M.A., the exhibition featured over 60 pieces spanning a 70-year period, including the piece shown below.
From the gallery press release (which I also translated): "Multi-talented artists have remained a rarity throughout history, but the Italian Dario Fo (born 1926) is definitely one: as a playwright, set designer, Nobel Prize laureate for literature, instructor and lecturer, painter, actor, satirist and critic he describes and paints the eventful history of his homeland. And he has done so since the 1940s, when as a student at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera he began to sketch the world around him — continuously, resolutely, ceaselessly."

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Biomimicry: Inspired by Nature / Biomimikry — Natürlich genial! (2011)

I translated the voiceover text to this 4-part documentary series (TV, 4x52 min, HD) directed by André Rehse. Over at gebrueder beetz filmproduktion, the blurb to the film is as follows: "Humanity is facing huge challenges today: climate change, ocean pollution and non-renewable energy sources are all pressing environmental problems. But nature provides some sustainable answers. The four-part series Inspired by Nature deals with selected biomimicry topics such as locomotion, construction, apperception and processing and also shows how biological processes are applied to solutions of technical problems."
The episodes in detail:
Episode 1: The Art of Movement 
"The first episode, The Art of Movement, gives an introduction to the field of the new science of biomimicry. How can this new discipline help us overcome our limits? What can we learn from nature beyond that?"
Episode 2: Building with Efficiency 
"The second episode deals with the real estate of nature: plants and sponges. They are forced to find the best survival strategy on their 'land'. In millions of years there has emerged a kind of natural archive of strategies and solutions that is being improved. We can utilize this archive, we just need to learn to read and understand it."
Episode 3: Orientation in the Chaos 
"In the third episode we learn how to decode the communication of dolphins, how the collective intelligence of ants works, or how a slime mold helps us improve traffic routes."
Episode 4: Fabrics of Future 
"The fourth and final episode of the series Inspired by Nature shows, by means of numerous examples, how we can get a grip on the problems of our industrial society by consulting the principles of nature."

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Sovia: Death Hospital (Germany, 2007)

Written by Raimund V. Tabor and directed by Robert Franke.
As mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I occasionally do subtitles (although I don't do spotting). This one of the many films I've subtitled, rare only in that it's a feature film and not a documentary.
Also rare is that I liked the movie so much that I reviewed it on my trashy film blog A Wasted Life, perhaps the last movie that I worked on that I also reviewed. (My current stance is: never review anything you were in any way involved in — one of the reasons why I never reviewed Transfer [2010 / German trailer], despite finding it the cat's meow.)
The plot of Sovia, as summarized in the review: "Sovia (Diana Radnai) is a young, beautiful and pregnant nurse in a Berlin hospital who is in the midst of losing her egoistic co-worker boyfriend Konrad (Sascha Kudella) to another nurse, the Teutonic blonde Sarah (Andrea Gerhard). A badly beaten emergency patient (Vera Hübner) dies while in emergency treatment, for which Sovia is held responsible. And, as if that weren’t enough, Sovia gets run over by a car, loses her baby and has a near-death experience during which she meets the dead emergency patient, who leaves a strange bruise upon her body. A bruise that is mysteriously passed on to anyone she comes into contact with. Relegated to the nether regions of hospital work due to the accidental death, one by one her coworkers begin to die puzzling deaths, deaths that the police are sure Sovia is answerable for. Can she stop the seemingly steady string of deaths and save herself as well?" 
German Trailer:

Personally, I found the film very atmospheric and suspenseful, and view it as a shame that it remains so unknown. Director Robert Franke has since gone on to write and direct The Basement (trailer) in 2009 and Berlin Dance Battle 3D (2012 / trailer).

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) Woodcuts

Or, in German:  Edvard Munch (1863-1944) Holzschnitte. (Michael Imhof Verlag; ISBN-10: 3865686818 / ISBN-13: 978-3865686817 [2012]) 
The catalog was for an exhibition of Munch woodcuts at the Museum Behnhaus / Drägerhaus in Lübeck from 19 June – 5 September 2011. Among other works, it featured a large number of rare woodcuts from a Norwegian private collection.
Like the catalog The Bloemaert Effect: Colour and Composition in the Golden Age, this catalog was actually a project of my fellow translator Finbarr Morrin for which, due to a variety of reasons and as is common in the business, he pulled in a second person — me — to assist in the translating and proofreading of the texts. As is often the case with art-related projects, I enjoyed the job immensely and was rather jealous of being only a subcontractor — although I do believe I was given credit in the imprint.
Amazon.com gives the details: "Forty pieces from a private Norwegian collection of the elegant woodcuts of Edvard Munch are presented in this collection, and are supplemented by the Museum Behnhaus Drägerhaus exhibition and catalog. [...] The showcase illustrates all woodcut works in detail, contains a short biography of Munch, and is presented as a bilingual edition in both English and German."