I was born in 1973, in Colchester, England, where I attended two years of primary school. In 1980, I moved with my family to Jerusalem, Israel. I was placed in a Hebrew-speaking primary school, which forced me to quickly acquire Hebrew as my “second” native language. The remainder of my education was in Hebrew, although I continued to speak and read English at home. Negotiating the transitions between two very different languages and cultures was immensely difficult at times, but I am now grateful for having grown up bilingual. Bilingualism has led me to a career that I love.
In 1997, I moved to the United States with my Israeli-American husband. Since coming to the U.S., a combination of studies, jobs and wanderlust has led us to Seattle, Indiana, back to Seattle, to Long Island, NY, and most recently to Denver, where I now live and work.
How and Why I Translate:
For me, as for many translators, translation is more than just a job. It is part of how I live my life. My identity is composed of multiple cultures in two languages. On any given day, I read daily newspapers from Israel, England and the U.S., listen to the news on a Denver radio station, read a Seattle weekly, and listen to music on Israeli radio. I speak both English and Hebrew regularly, and read books written in (or translated into) both languages. I visit Israel every year, to see friends and family, buy new (and old) dictionaries, and catch up with the latest developments in Hebrew, a language still rapidly evolving.
Translation is a way to reconcile these parts of my identity and to promote effective communication. I enjoy the challenges of translation, and relish the opportunity to learn from whatever I happen to be translating.
As an undergraduate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (where I obtained a B.A. in English Literature), I translated academic articles for fellow students and professors, both from Hebrew to English and English to Hebrew. I also worked at a bilingual law firm, where I edited and translated legal documents and correspondence.
In 1997, while living in Seattle, I joined Microsoft’s Middle East Product Development group, which oversees the localization of Microsoft Office products into Hebrew and Arabic. My duties included quality assurance, testing localization tools, and translating product labels and legal material.
After moving to Bloomington, Indiana, in 1998, I started my home-based business as a freelance translator, while also pursuing an M.A. in Near Eastern Languages & Cultures and a Graduate Certificate of Literary Translation.
My first book-length translation was published in 2003, and over the years I devoted more and more of my time to literary translation, while still maintaining my commercial translation business. I have worked with some of Israel’s finest writers, including David Grossman, Etgar Keret, Assaf Gavron, Rutu Modan, Amir Gutfreund, Yael Hedaya, Ronit Matalon and Tom Segev, as well as with prominent screenwriters such as Ari Folman and Ron Leshem. My translations have been published in English by leading U.S. publishers.
At the end of 2012, I made the difficult decision to give up my commercial translation business so that I could focus exclusively on literary and creative translation. There is a wealth of excellent literature coming out of Israel, written by a fascinatingly diverse array of writers, and I enjoy contributing to the exposure of these voices in English-speaking countries.
Work Environment & Affiliations:
I work from my home-office, where I am surrounded by a large collection of dictionaries, grammar books, style guides and other reference materials.
I maintain daily contact with both my “source” and “target” languages, through websites, news groups, reading, on- and off-line trade publications, and regular visits.
In 2007-2010 I served as a board member of the American Literary Translators Association, and I am also a member of the American Translators Association, the Israel Translators Association, the Colorado Translators Association and PEN American Center.