ME on 2014-12-13 2Welcome! I’m delighted you’ve arrived at my profile page. This is a personal blog. It’s about the topics and thoughts that occupy me.

My goals are to keep growing and changing, to stay inspired and motivated, and cultivate a positive, optimistic frame of mind. I’d like to deepen my understanding of who I am; be more aware of what I am doing and why. That includes my shortcomings, of which there are many.

Please view my posts as a declaration of respect for the wisdom others have gathered—often at great cost. I admire the ability to capture knowledge and express wisdom succinctly.

Over the years, I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words. Many of them were printed between the covers of books or published online. And yet, all of those texts were translations from a foreign language. While they were creative in a sense, they were not my own creations.

Now it’s time to begin formulating thoughts of my own. I’m upbeat about it; life is rich, and there is much to enjoy. Extremely difficult situations do arise, and I’ve learned more about that than I would have preferred. Perhaps the perspectives I develop will be helpful to you in some small way.

The Chinese say, “Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I’ve decided to get underway modestly, by searching out quotes that resonate with me and then adding a few lines of commentary. Generally, I don’t repost quotes from other sites. I collect images and tailor the posts myself.

Your thoughts are always welcome. It would be rewarding to hear from you. I enjoy exchanging ideas, so please feel free to comment. Life is like a gemstone. Let’s hold it under the light and watch it sparkle.

 

butterfly and caterpillar smallBio

I was born in the United States but spent my formative decades in Austria. When my father died prematurely, and I was still young, my mother took me abroad for a year. One year turned into two, and two years became two decades. The Austrian experience and the German language have exerted enormous influence on my life.

The other factor that shaped me and made me who I am today was a chronic illness that caused me to lose everything: health, job, home, and wife.

Adversity has priceless gifts to bestow, among them compassion, a heightened sense of priorities, the opportunity to overcome loneliness and befriend solitude, and the freedom to experience the perfect elegance of now. Yes, I wish the price had not been so high, but gratitude rules!

 

About translating

ReaderI work as a freelance translator and editor. Good translations do more than flip words and sentences mechanically from one language into another. They recreate the author’s voice in the target language. To the degree it’s possible, they reconstruct a cultural frame of reference in a foreign language. Most of my translations involve non-fiction titles, however, where capturing the author’s tone is not as crucial as in literary fiction or poetry.

If you’re interested in reading samples of my work, visit www.philipschmitz.com. But please (!) don’t draw conclusions about me from the content I’ve translated. Not that my assignments have been reprehensible in any way, but some jobs were more in sync with the way I view the world than others. Overall, I’ve been fortunate in that respect.