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.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Victor Segalen (2010)

(Documentary film, 52 minutes, produced by gebrueder beetz, ZDF/arte in coproduktion mit Sichuan TV.  Written by Maria Zinfert and directed by Tamara Wyss, the latter of whom passed away here in Berlin on 30 March 2016.) 
Completed in 2010, way back 2007 I worked on a treatment to this documentary on "Victor Segalen (14 January 1878 – 21 May 1919), [who] was a French naval doctor, ethnographer, archaeologist, writer, poet, explorer, art-theorist, linguist and literary critic [Wikipedia]."
As way to often on way too many German websites, the English-language synopsis of the documentary found at gebrueder beetz's website was obviously provided by Google Translator, so here's what they say about the film at German Documentaries instead: "In the spring of 1914 a French archaeological expedition, led by the French poet and medical doctor Victor Segalen, entered the province of Sichuan in order to do research on burial mounds of the Han era (206 BCE-220 CE) and early Chinese Buddhist iconography and epigraphy. Research in this realm still continues in Sichuan today, but the means and techniques of the archaeologists and art historians are more complex and advanced compared to those of a century ago. Segalen, who lived in China from 1909 until 1914, was fluent in the Chinese language and was able to read ancient Chinese writings. He was a great admirer of Chinese culture and history."

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Now It's Time for English!

Surprise! Although my main income is indeed translation, occasionally I do layout or even illustration. From 2003 to 2004, for example, I was the house illustrator for Oskar Lernt Englisch, a school here in Berlin that specializes in teaching kids English. Basically, that meant drawing a new worksheet pretty much once every two weeks. Somewhere along the way, the school also put out a kiddy CD — pictured above — which I also illustrated.
Except for Oskar himself, I came up with all the reoccurring characters in the worksheets, including Mr. Magic, whom you see singing on the cover above. Dunno whether either the worksheets or characters are still being used at OLE, but it was an enjoyable job.
Like the animators at Disney, I liked to slip in the occasional Easter Egg... but no one ever found any of them! (Instead, some mother once complained about Mr Magic 'cause magic is unholy and she didn't want her kid learning English from a satanic character.)