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.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Jew by Choice (2007)

(52 min., a documentary by David Bernet and Robert Ralston in co-production with Idan Regev Productions, WDR/arte, and The Second Authority [Israel]; a Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion.) 
Way back in 2006, I did a treatment for this documentary.
The synopsis, as found at Swiss Films: "It is difficult to say exactly what comprises a Jewish identity. It is even more difficult when Germans convert to Judaism. The documentary gently reveals the profound ambivalence that German converts face in making their decision. The portrayal of three protagonists, each in different phases of their lengthy process. Jew by Choice navigates the delicate zone of the German-Jewish relationship. For those on the outside, an almost incomprehensible emotional journey in search of security."
Six years later in 2012 I ended up doing the subtitles to Robert Ralston's Swiss feature-length TV movie, Ruhestörung / Vater, unser Willegeschehe (2011).

Saturday, 20 February 2016

The Seamstresses / Die Näherinnen (2010)

(Documentary film, 26 min., by Biljana Garvanlieva, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion, Berlin)
Just to get an idea of how long some films are in production: I translated a treatment of this award-winning documentary for Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion, Berlin way back in 2007, three full years before it was finally released.
Doc Alliance offers the following summary of the short: "Eriela, Beti and Vesna are seamstresses in the small town of Stip. If they wanted to afford one of their handmade blouses, it would cost them a month's salary. While the women are fully employed, their men are less fortunate and find themselves unemployed after the collapse of communism. A situation with a lot of potential conflict for the couples. The men find it hard to be dependent financially on their women, when they used to proudly provide for the family. Alongside the textile industry, the film tells the parable of the children of Macedonia after the collapse of communism and takes a look behind the curtains of globalization."

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Bury My Heart in Dresden / Begrabt mein Herz in Dresden (2012)

(Documentary film, 90 min, written & directed by Bettina Renner, produced by ma.ja.de.filmproduktions)
In 2010, I translated a short treatment to this documentary film on the Lakota Sioux Edward Two Two (1851 to 27 July 1914), who lies buried in the Neue Katholische Friedhof (New Catholic Cemetery) in Dresden.
The film was screened in Vancouver, among other places, where on 9 May 2013 Yolande Cole wrote the following in The Georgia Straight:
"The documentary  Bury My Heart in Dresden provides a captivating look at the Lakota Sioux people of South Dakota. [...] Today, the community deals with issues including alcoholism and violence. In one scene, a police officer for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation refers to the 'cultural genocide' that he says has left the community with just this remote stretch of land. [...] In contrast to the current life of the Lakota people is the depiction of the late Lakota Sioux man Edward Two Two. Two Two was employed to join a 'human zoo' in Hamburg, Germany, to portray the traditional way of life of the Lakota people as part of a 'Wild West' show. He died and was buried in Dresden in 1914. By switching between interviews with current residents of Pine Ridge reservation and the historical accounts of Two Two, a compelling story emerges of a man who felt more at home in a country where his traditional culture was romanticized, than the 'conquered home' of his ancestors."