Language services

I’ve been an avid reader since the age of four and learned to love crossword puzzles as a teenager, which is where the story really begins. More recently, I began writing and translating for fellow musicians in 2004 and have gained considerable (and widely varied) experience since then:

  • As translator and proofreader for the Institute of Jazz Studies of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria since 2007, I’ve translated and/or edited countless academic papers (primarily, but not exclusively, musicological).
  • I’ve composed, translated and edited liner notes, press blurbs and other materials for more albums, festivals, organizations and labels than I can remember.
  • I’ve also worked on projects both more mundane (advertising copy) and more esoteric (opera libretto).
  • I’ve lent my voice to various endeavors, including the late, lamented JazzWerkstatt Wien podcasts. Currently I serve as the English (well, American) voice of the Spiegel Online series “Trump vs. Reality”.
  • I recently had the honor of serve as language coach for the pianist Pierre Laurent-Aimard in the making of a promotional video for his next album.

Translation, in particular, is a tricky business: just because it’s correct doesn’t mean it’s right. In other words, the closest translation is often not the one that best communicates the sense and feeling of a text. And that, in the end, is the point: to elegantly and faithfully communicate meaning.

My services include:

  • Text composition for all purposes
  • Translation (German<>English)
  • Editing / proofreading
  • Language coaching
  • Voiceovers, dramatic and otherwise

For samples, references and rates please contact me at payaeger@gmail.com

For your enjoyment: my own translation of “Gute Nacht” from Schubert’s “Winterreise”, text by Wilhelm Müller. (the emphasis here is on rhyme and meter rather than literal meaning – it’s a song, after all).

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