Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward

Rachel Ward copyright: Rachel Ward Rachel Ward translates literary and creative texts from German and French to English. She discovered a flair for languages at school and went on to study Modern Languages at the University of East Anglia. She spent the third year of her degree working as a language assistant at two Gymnasien in Saarbrücken, Germany. She completed UEA’s MA in Literary Translation in 2001-2. She specialises in crime and humorous fiction as well as children’s books, and her published translations include Blue Night by Simone Buchholz (Orenda Books), and books for young people such as Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang (Andersen Press) and Red Rage by Brigitte Blobel (Allen & Unwin/Annick Press).  She also translates non-fiction on subjects such as art, history and politics, with the English version of Jan Eckel’s Die Ambivalenz des Guten (The Ambivalence of Virtue, English title TBC) forthcoming from OUP shortly.


I have always been an avid reader and enjoyed word games and puzzles, so when I found that I was both good at and enjoyed the exercise of translation it seemed an excellent way to put these skills and passions to use professionally. I applied for the University of East Anglia’s MA in Literary Translation, and have been working as a translator ever since. I (usually) enjoy the work and definitely enjoy the flexibility of being self-employed.
That’s an impossible question to answer as it changes constantly. My current favourite is Simone Buchholz’s Blue Night for its witty and inventive feminist spin on the noir genre, and because I had the joy and honour of translating it.
I would love to translate Elisabeth Herrmann’s crime novels, beginning with Das Kindermädchen/The Nanny, and have thought for a long time that Emil and the Detectives is due for an overhaul to stop the Berlin street slang sounding like something by Enid Blyton. I would also love to bring more humorous and accessible German fiction into English.

Selection of translated titles

  • Sabine Buchholz: Blue Night, Orenda Books, London, 2018
  • Harald Salfellner: The Spanish Flu, A Story of the 1918 Pandemic, Vitalis, Prague, 2018
  • Cornelia Travnicek: Lost in Transformation, in 'Odyssey' [ed. Daniel Hahn], Alma Books, 2017
  • Gisela Ramming-Leupold: Armenia, Mitteldeutscher Verlag, Halle, 2016
  • Harald Salfellner: The Imperial City of Baden bei Wien, Vitalis, Prague, 2015
  • Roman Neugebauer: Schiele, An Illustrated Life, Vitalis, Prague, 2014
  • Harald Salfellner: Klimt, An Illustrated Life, Vitalis, Prague, 2012
  • Amelia Ellis: The Nea Fox series - The Lion’s Circle, Lilies on Sand, The Fourth Aspect and The Pearl Dragon, nri, Bern, 2011
  • Roman Neugebauer: Prague, A City of Dreams on the Vltava, Vitalis, Prague, 2010
  • Harald Salfellner (ed.): Austrian Fairytales, Collected from Old Sources, Vitalis, Prague, 2009
  • Brigitte Blobel: Red Rage, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest NSW and Annick Press, Toronto, 2007
  • Gudrun Pausewang: Traitor, Andersen Press, London, 2004