Geisteswissenschaften International aimed to support interested English-language publishers in their search for authors and subjects from Germany and to discover new and emerging translators, especially for the translation of academic books and non-fiction.
Every two years, aspiring translators from German were invited to participate in the GINT Translation Competition.
In this fifth competition of the Geisteswissenschaften International Nonfiction Translation Prize, entrants were asked to translate an excerpt from Mischa Meier’s Geschichte der Völkerwanderung: Europa, Asien und Afrika vom 3. bis zum 8. Jahrhundert n. Chr., published in Germany by C. H. Beck in 2020. This text posed a set of unique semantic, syntactic, and scholarly challenges. The jurors sought out submissions that demonstrate a fine understanding of the text and an ability to convey its content and style persuasively to a new English-language readership.
The two winners of the last GINT competition were: Lydia J. White and Frances Clarke. Both translators have demonstrated considerable skill in conducting research to familiarize themselves with the terminology and historical context for this complex piece. They deconstructed and reconstructed complex structures to attain translations into English that are marked by accuracy and flair.
We were particularly impressed by Lydia White’s nuanced use of tense structures, sophisticated grasp of footnote and other scholarly conventions, and exquisite attention to lexical and historical detail. Frances Clarke’s translation stood out for her fine sense of how and when to tweak the wording and syntax to enhance the text’s accessibility to its new target readership, resulting in ingenious solutions to thorny problems and a smooth overall tone. The winning translators show that they have what it takes to make their mark in the field of nonfiction translation. The jury congratulates these winners and looks forward to reading their future translations from German.
A German excerpt taken from Mischa Meier’s Geschichte der Völkerwanderung. Europa, Asien und Afrika vom 3. bis zum 8. Jahrhundert n. Chr. can be downloaded here.
The international jury was composed of: Shelley Frisch, distinguished translator, instructor, author, and jury chair; Sarah Pybus, translator and winner of the first GINT Prize in 2015; Emma Rault, translator and winner of the GINT Prize in 2017; and Paula Bradish, translator and foreign rights manager at Hamburger Edition.
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