I translate from French and German into English and have worked on a wide variety of projects. I studied modern languages at St Andrews University, including translation methodology, and graduated with an MA (Hons) in French and German.
While working as a magazine editor in London in the 1990s and 2000s, I translated complex financial and legal articles for the publications that I worked on. I've also translated East German samizdat for Gutter magazine, synthesised French texts for Eurozine, interpreted experimential texts for the artist Eva Maria Weinmayr and produced English subtitles for the short film Alice Salomon im Exil.
By far my favourite translation project to date is Outside Verdun, a new translation of German-Jewish author Arnold Zweig’s first world war epic Erziehung vor Verdun. Zweig’s book, which is full of humour and fascinating social detail, provides an unrivalled insight into the machinery of war. It was twice overlooked by the literary establishment, first because of the author's ethnicity and then because of his politics.
When the book was first published in 1935 by Querido in Amsterdam, Zweig had fled to Czechoslovakia to avoid persecution as a Jew. When he returned from exile in Palestine in 1948, he chose, as a communist, to live in East Germany, becoming president of the East German Academy of Arts.
Outside Verdun, which was published to mark the centenary of the commencement of hostilities in 1914, was the first UK publication of Zweig's masterpiece. The new translation brought his masterful prose and unheroic view of war to a new audience.
Praise for Outside Verdun
“… a spirited and highly readable translation”
Times Literary Supplement
“This invigorating new translation by Fiona Rintoul is timely and welcome.”