Washington -- How good to open the New York Times today electronically and see an op-ed from the German entertainer-activist Wolf Bierman, writing on the difficult decisions of Angela Merkel. I especially liked that the newspaper gave us the original German version as well as English, so we can compare the two.
How daunting it must be for the translator to know that millions of bilingual people may be second-guessing him or her while reading the paper over their morning coffee. Bierman himself is a lyricist, so turning a phrase of a phrase-maker is a challenge.
Then I saw who did the translation: Isabel Cole, none other than our fellow member of American Voices Abroad (AVA) in Berlin. Well done, Isabel.
Isabel Fargo Cole has recently written a novel, Die grüne Grenze, which won notice from German reviewers not least for the idea that an American could write it so well.
Another AVA member also has published a new, important book in German, Worauf wir stolz sein dürfen. That would be our friend, the indomitable Gretchen Dutschke, who is now on tour around Germany discussing it.
Isabel and Gretchen are both midwesterners, from Illinois.