Updated: Feb 18, 2019
My Professional Story:
As secret codes unlocking hidden realms of thought and social interaction, languages have always been a source of intrigue and fascination for me. So at the age of twelve, I embarked on a quest to decipher the secret code of the German language and discover a world far beyond that of the small town in the Western United States where I lived. Years later, the German program at Weber State University offered another opportunity to delve deeper into German language and culture, while at the same time exploring another interest of mine: mechanical engineering. In 2007, I completed my Associate of Applied Science in Technical Drafting and Design, and in 2009 my Bachelor of Arts in German Studies. At that point it became clear that the best way to transform my passion for languages and fascination for technology into a career was to become a translator. By January of the following year, Sitzman AE Translations was providing translation services to customers worldwide.
My career was off to a good start, but there was still something missing. I had unlocked the code of the German language, but I knew that spending more time in Germany would offer me a deeper understanding of the cultural background behind the texts I worked on. So in 2011, I put my belongings in storage, mailed ten boxes to Germany, and moved into a little studio apartment on campus at the University of Bayreuth in Germany to complete my master’s degree in “Intercultural German Studies”. Rather than merely focusing on the text-based aspects of language, this program takes a holistic approach to communicating internationally, by training students in intercultural communication, linguistics, and cultural studies. We learned to apply this knowledge in interactions to identify how cultural factors influence the communication styles of others, with the ultimate goal of communicating effectively across cultural boundaries. This has served me well in my career as a German translator.
While in Germany, I also continued to freelance as a translator and faithfully serve the customer base I had already developed. The International Office at the University of Bayreuth took notice of this and offered me a part-time job as their in-house German-English translator as well. As a result, I spent the next two years working in-house for the university, while also freelance translating and completing my master’s degree. I finished my education there in 2013. Although I no longer live in Germany, I maintain my cultural and linguistic knowledge of German and Germany by traveling to the country for extended periods of time (around two months each time) every two years to maintain contacts while also updating my knowledge of German culture and everyday life.
Who I Translate For:
Following my graduation from the Universät Bayreuth, I moved to the East Coast of the United States. Its central location between Germany and the rest of the continental United States and close proximity to Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington DC make it the perfect home base from which to serve my global client base. Clients needing on-site consulting services and translations all along the East Coast of the United States are just a train ride away and there are also ample direct flights available to Europe. Most of the time, however, I provide my services online to customers across Europe as well as in Canada and the United States. My customer base encompasses educational and research institutions, small businesses, large corporations, and private people, all looking to break down language barriers and collaborate across borders.
How I Work:
As a specialist providing boutique linguistic and cultural services worldwide, my work is highly individualized. When a project comes in, the first thing I do is discuss the customer’s needs and expectations with them to get an idea of how to tailor my approach for the best outcome. If my personal skills and expertise are a good match for the job, I will complete the project myself. Most often, I carry out translations from German into English as well as consulting work to help German companies succeed in the United States and vice versa. Over the years, I have also carefully cultivated a network of linguists who share my passion, work ethic, and quality standards. So when a client requests something that isn’t a fit for my skill set, such as a translation from French into English, or when project volume is high, I will put together a team of linguists and manage the project to get the work done effectively and efficiently. I remain the single point of contact for any client questions, delivery of the final product, and payment after the project is finished.
Have questions about my services? Contact me for more information and for a free, non-binding quote.