© Antje Matthäus
Antje Matthäus was born on April 27th 1973 in Görlitz. After finishing school she went to the United Kingdom to work as an au pair. From 1992 to 1998 she studied English and American studies, Economics and Russian at the Martin Luther University in Hall-Wittenberg, where she did her Master’s degree. During her studies she spent two semesters at the Montana State University in Bozeman, Minnesota.
Since 1998 she has been working as a freelance translator, editor and language teacher, and has spent some time as a translator of German and English at the accountancy firm Ernst & Young Unlimited in Stuttgart. Antje Matthäus is a member of the “ProZ.com Certified PRO Network” and does honorary work as a proof reader for “Translators without Borders”. She lives and works in Herrenberg, Baden-Württemberg (Southwest Germany).
Three questions to Antje Matthäus
I had my first encounters with translation during my time at university. While working as a student assistant at the Institute for Economic Research, I was asked to help some of the researchers by translating English texts. One of them was kind enough to write a circular email recommending me to all of his colleagues after I had graduated. That’s how my first two assignments came about; working on dissertations and postdoctoral theses. And my contact with the editor brought about further acquaintances and satisfied customers, so that as time went by, what had started out as a part-time job became my main occupation.
My translation work has not had much of a literary aspect so far. But one German author whom I have come to appreciate very much as a reader is Marie Luise Kaschnitz. Her use of language is very clear and calm. She describes seemingly insignificant things with great precision and tells of circumstances one would normally not be able to apprehend; those things which appear irrelevant at first sight but somehow end up casting a spell on you.
... Books are a rarity in my case. Starting out as a translator, I might have taken pleasure in working on those types of lengthy projects since I had far less customers. But nowadays shorter texts are so much easier to reconcile with my current life situation that I simply couldn’t commit to translating any book at all. The mere thought of it makes me panic.