Prof. Dr. Peter A. Schmitt Diplom-Übersetzer BDÜ, Tekom, SAE, VDI Technische Fachübersetzungen, Terminologie, Fachgutachten
Prof. Dr. Peter A. SchmittDiplom-Übersetzer BDÜ, Tekom, SAE, VDITechnische Fachübersetzungen, Terminologie, Fachgutachten

Languages

I am afraid this may be a disappointment:

My working languages are German and English only.

Like most translators, I learned several foreign languages at school (English, French, Russian) and studied two foreign languages at university (English, Portuguese), but I can promise to meet my quality claim only for English-German and (under certain conditions) German-English.

Now that English is a lingua franca and everybody claims to be fluent in it, this may sound like a dying business model, but being fluent is not the same as intelligently ensuring that a message crosses linguistic and cultural boundaries. Especially in times of machine translation and crowd translation by unpaid und untrained volunteers.

Subject Fields

While my enthusiasm for technology and engineering have earned me my nick-name of "Technik-Schmitt", I would never consider myself an "expert in engineering" and I would never claim the ability to translate any kind of engineering text. Not even from mechanical engineering, automotive engineering, power engineering and polymer processing – which are fields with islands of fairly solid ground for me.

 

This is why, for the benefit of my clients, I decide on a case basis whether I will accept a translation job or not.

Automotive engineering, especially car mechanics, has been my specialty field since the mid 1970s, due to my training and my enthusiasm for outstanding cars. Over the years I have driven almost one-hundred cars (some owned, most rented), including a Fiat 124 Sport Spider which I've owned and driven since 1979. While this is a classic car, I also try to stay up-to-date and enjoy experiencing the state of the art, such as e-mobility with the absolutely fascinating Tesla S P90D.

With ten-years of experience as a technical translator in the nuclear power plant industry I feel confident about taking on translations in this field; especially for nuclear steam systems with light water reactors. Documents about other nuclear engineering technologies might be, and fusion reactors certainly are, beyond my competence. Given Germany’s exit from nuclear power generation, this area of my expertise is mainly useful in the context of NPP deconstruction.

For a couple of years, I was hired by BASF to interpret and translate their client training program in polymer processing, with a focus on injection molding, blow molding and thermoforming of thermoplastics. While this made me familiar with this field from the production perspective, such as the operation of injection molding machines, I am almost totally ignorant of the chemistry behind it. As everything in life is down to chemistry, I am deeply sorry to have to admit that chemistry is a closed book.

With the emergence of interest in regenerative energy resources in the early 1980s I studied and incorporated this field in my teaching courses. As a regular reader of journals such as Wind Power Monthly and with access to wind turbines operated by friends, I am positive that you could entrust me with your wind power translations. In solar power, my competence is focused on heating rather than photovoltaics.

As I have a farmer in my family, I have recently acquired a keen interest in agricultural engineering. Direct access to machinery, tractors and all kinds of farm implements, plus a subscription to the leading journal traction add up to a reasonable basis for translation competence in this field. One side effect is that I have already entered the bulk of agricultural terms in the online version of my German-English, English-German technical dictionary (Online Wörterbuch Technik).

Despite all the caveats, I may well be able to satisfy your technical translation needs in other areas as well. For example, documents about bicyles or CO2 guns or robot vacuum cleaners or smart home devices. It all depends on the actual text.

Just ask me.

If I cannot do it myself, for whatever reason, I might be able to help you by recommending a suitable alternative. I have over 500 professional contacts in the language industry, including top-of-the-line translators and interpreters who I know and can vouch for in person.

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