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, 2 December 2015

Myanmar – Leben am Großen Strom / Myanmar's Great River (2013)

Myanmar's Great River Episode 1, From Bhamo to Mandalay; Episode 2, From Mandalay to the Delta  
A co-production with SWR, NDR, and ARTE, Myanmar's Great River has been broadcast a number of times already and is now available on DVD. This two-part documentary by Bernd Girrbach & Rolf Lambert is the first of numerous projects from Along Mekong Productions on which I have worked as translator; in general, as is the case here, I have translated the voiceover texts. (Regrettably, the segment below, the only one I could find online, still has the German voiceover.)
Trailer "Entlang des Ayeyarwady durch Myanmar" from Along Mekong Productions on Vimeo. 
The German explanation of the documentary: "Myanmar, das einstige Birma, hat sich nach Jahrzehnten Militärdiktatur geöffnet und demokratische Reformen begonnen. Ein Fluss prägt das Land völlig, der Ayeyarwady. Über 2170 Kilometer durchfließt er das Land – als Lebensader, Kulturstifter und zentraler Verkehrsweg. Er verbindet die wichtigsten historischen Orte Myanmars wie Mandalay, Bagan, Yangon und ist gesäumt von goldglänzenden Stupas, Tempeln und Pagoden. Zur Kolonialzeit befuhr die größte Binnenflotte der Welt den Fluss. Am Mittel- und Oberlauf ist er noch heute oft die einzige Verbindung zur Außenwelt und viel befahren, mit schwer beladenen Lastkähnen und klapprigen Personenfähren. Einen Monat lang fuhren die Autoren Rolf Lambert und Bernd Girrbach auf dem Fluss. Vor allem, um Menschen in ihrem Alltag kennen zu lernen: Kapitäne, Fischer, Mönche, Goldwäscher, ein Marionetten-Ensemble, eine Architektin, die für den Erhalt der Kolonialbauten kämpft. Die Filme erzählen vom Alltag Myanmars zu einer Zeit des Aufbruchs und Umbruchs."

A quick and loose English translation:"Myanmar, formerly Burma, has opened its borders after decades of dictatorship and begun democratic reforms. Life in the country has been shaped by a river, the Ayeyarwady: about 2170 km long, it flows through the country, dominating both the landscape and culture. It passes the nation's major historical sites, including Mandalay, Bagan, and Yangon, and is lined with golden stupas, temples, and pagodas. During colonial times, the largest domestic fleet in the world sailed the river, and even today the much-used and overloaded barges and rickety passenger ferries are the only link between the middle and upper reaches of the river and the outside world. For a month, the filmmakers Rolf Lambert and Bernd Girrbach travelled the river and got to know everyday people living their everyday life, including boat captains, fishermen, monks, gold panners, a troupe of puppeteers, and an architect fighting for the preservation of colonial houses. The films offers an insight to the everyday life in Myanmar in a time of upheaval and change."

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