Towards the end of secondary education, I returned to Germany twice: a period spent working in a café in Aachen, and another visit to Berlin. In Aachen, I undertook a study on whether the Football World Cup, being held in Germany at the time, had re-kindled national pride.
My studies in German provoked an interest in the country’s politics, and led me to carrying out a project that analysed the contemporary rise of right-wing politics in the less affluent state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
At university I studied German history in great detail, from reunification in 1871 until the end of the Second World War in 1945.
What’s this got to do with translation? History shapes language, and the German language is no exception. A profound understanding of events that have moulded a language and produced vocabulary is a crucial tool in translation.
What’s this got to do with translation? If your text is written in Austrian or Swiss German, you need someone who is familiar with the grammatical, vocabulary, syntactical and cultural differences of those varieties to make sure that every idea gets across in English and nothing is lost in translation.