Saturday, March 30, 2013

The first step towards the English version of "How to love San Francisco" is done

After weeks of posting translator jobs on Odesk and asking a ton of people if they know any good German to English translator I am proud to announce that I found a wonderful translator at the German Division at Stanford University. 

She is Ph.D. Candidate in German Studies and her German is amazing. It is great fun speaking with her in German and we skype on a regular basis to discuss the status of the book. 

In the last few weeks she started with the translation of the first chapter. 

Are you excited about a sneak preview? 

Here is a preview of the prologue: 

How to Love San Francisco:  Travel Stories

“It’s an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco.
It must be a delightful city and possess all the attractions of the next world.”
Oscar Wilde, writer and poet


With brisk strokes, he skillfully sketched the outline of the United States on a small airline napkin.  In Hollywood’s place stood a tiny movie reel, a Statue of Liberty where New York lies and a pair of red socks representing Boston alluded to the baseball team.  
“And what about San Francisco?” I demanded.  Where’s that little piece of land that juts out, almost completely surrounded by water.  Where is that Golden Gate Bridge, gleaming against the honey-gold evening sun?  And where are all the dancing flower children with braided hair in long flowing dresses?
My flight companion smirked.  “San Francisco?”  With one sophisticated nudge, he returned the glasses that had begun to slide down the bridge of his nose back to their rightful place, before beginning,  “Well…San Francisco, my dear, does not really belong to the United States.”
 Sufficiently bewildered, I paused. 
He brushed his hand through his hair, picked up his pen, and drew one solitary island just outside the northern bounds of California.  “San Francisco is a great island nation with hills, cable cars, and plenty of room for dreams and adventures, wouldn’t you agree?” 
I couldn’t quite answer that question yet, and I could only vaguely imagine what awaited me in the city that was often referred to as the Paris of the West.
 “Oh, I wish I could be your age in San Francisco again!” he said as he carefully added a bridge and locomotive to his sketch. His face stretched itself into a wide soundless laugh.  “As I’m sure you know, the fame seekers sashay to Los Angeles and the ambitious run to New York, but those on a quest for meaning always find themselves in San Francisco.”  Passing me the colorful sketches, he uttered one last sentence, “Have fun, young lady!”  He, then, turned his head away from me, closed his eyes, and dozed off. 
Absorbed in my thoughts, I folded up the napkin and stared out of the plane window into the dense blanket of clouds.  San Francisco, a place for adventurers and meaning-seekers?  Is this the path that I was on as well?  Hopes, fears, and images of San Francisco mixed together into one big jumble of thoughts inside my head.  Coming to San Francisco must have been the right choice.  My suitcase was filled to the brink with all my hopes, future ambitions, and over 100 pounds of clothes.  San Francisco, here I come!