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Hebrew to English
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Ancient Hebrew to English

Jonathan Orr-Stav
Get it right – to get it published.

Local time: 07:53 PST (GMT-8)

Native in: English Native in English, Hebrew Native in Hebrew
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אקטואליה, אקדמיה,ספרות וקרײנות רקע דו-לשונית
Account type Freelance translator and/or interpreter
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Services Translation, Editing/proofreading, Website localization, Voiceover (dubbing), Subtitling, Training
Specializes in:
Social Science, Sociology, Ethics, etc.General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
Science (general)Government / Politics
GeographyNames (personal, company)
IT (Information Technology)History
Cinema, Film, TV, DramaPoetry & Literature

Preferred currency CAD
KudoZ activity (PRO) Questions answered: 12, Questions asked: 7
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Portfolio Sample translations submitted: 7
Hebrew to English: Judah and the Judeans in the Neo-Babylonian Period
Detailed field: History
Source text - Hebrew
[Hard copy, excerpt from lecture]
Translation - English
Judah and the Judeans in the Neo-Babylonian Period
Epoch and Genre: The 6th Century and the Growth of Hidden Polemics

Exile, destruction, changes of superpower, life in exile, the option of returning to the Land of Israel, the reorganisation of political and cultural life, the attempt to rehabilitate a devastated land - these were just some of the fateful upheavals experienced by the Judeans in the 6th century BCE. In this constantly-shifting reality written records assumed a paramount, if not permanent, significance. They made it possible to explain the past, to interpret the will of God, to learn lessons in dealing with the present, and above all - to nurture hope for the future. It is no wonder, therefore, that this was a period of intense writing. It was during this time that the great Deuteronomistic compilation took place, including the crystallization of Torah literature (the Books of Genesis, Numbers), etc.

Inevitably, the general circumstances gave rise to certain preferences of genre. For example, it was during this time that national or public lamentations came to prominence, filling as they did a clear social need. It is safe to assume that this period, in which no fewer than four days of mourning were established (the fasts of the Fourth, the Fifth, the Seventh and the Tenth, respectively - Zachariah 7, 8:19), was a suitable backdrop for the composing, and indeed compiling, of lamentations, in order to fill certain ritual needs, such as a book of lamentations.
Hebrew to English: Employment Agreement
Detailed field: Law: Contract(s)
Source text - Hebrew
[Hebrew hard copy; Israeli high-technology company]
Translation - English
Personal Employment Agreement

This Personal Employment Agreement ("Agreement") is entered into on ________ by and between XXXXXXX, a company organized under the laws of the State of Israel, having its principal office at ________________________ (the "Company") and the employee whose name is set forth in Exhibit A hereto (the "Employee").


The Company hereby appoints the Employee to act in the position described in Exhibit A. The Employee shall report regularly to the Company with respect to the Employee's activities and shall be subject to the direction and control of the management of the Company.
During the term of this Agreement and unless and until otherwise agreed, the Employee shall devote his entire time and attention (such time as is commensurate with a full-time position) to the business of the Company and shall perform his duties diligently conscientiously, and in furtherance of the Company's best interest.
During the Employment hereunder, the Employee shall not receive any payment, compensation or benefit from any third party in connection, directly or indirectly, with the execution of his position, and the Employee shall not undertake or accept any other paid or unpaid employment or occupation or engage in or be associated with, directly or indirectly, any other business, duties or pursuits except with the prior written consent of the management of the Company.
Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as an agreement by Employee to work on Saturdays or any other religious holidays.
Hebrew to English: Pinhas Abrahamovich (1909 - 1986)
Detailed field: Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting
Source text - Hebrew
מבין העבודות המוקדמות ביותר (ראשית שנות השלושים) בולט נוף של גבעות בגוני חום ואוקר, שבתים ועצים בודדים של כפר ערבי משובצים בהן (קט. 1). זוהי עבודה שמזכירה את ציירי ארץ=ישראל המוקדמים, והנחת כתמי הצבע שלה מעידה על נטייה קולוריסטית ברורה של האמן הצעיר. נוף אחר (קט. 2) מאותה תקופה, שבו מצוירים שני עצים בעלי גזעים עבים, מסוקסים וצמרות כבדות הנעות משמאל לימין מעל לשביל המוביל את העין לתוך חלל התמונה, מעיד על התעניינותו בבעיות של צורה ומבנה. הלימוד אצל זריצקי מעדן את ציורו של אברמוביץ ומחזק את האיכויות הצבעוניות ואת שילובם של כתמי הצבע הבהירים יחסית עם קווי הצבע הכהים יותר הבונים את המקצבים החיים של הנוף, כפי שאפשר להיווכח באקוורל הרענן של "טבריה" (קט. 3) משנת 1933. הביקור בפריס מחזק את הנסיון שרכש בסטודיו של זריצקי ובחברת סטימצקי ושטרייכמן (קט. 4), ואשר פירותיו ניכרים בבירור באקוורלים משנות הארבעים המאוחרות (קט. 9). לעומת זאת, הדפים שצייר בעת שרותו כחייל בצבא הבריטי, במיוחד בבצרה שנדמתה בעיניו כוונציה של המזרח התיכון, הם אימפרסיוניסטים באופיים, אך בולטים בגמה הצבעונית העשירה והדקורטיבית שלהם ('בצרה', קט. 5 ו-6)..
Translation - English
Among the earliest works (early 1930s), one particular landscape stands out - hills in shades of brown and ochre, dotted with a few trees and the houses of an Arab village (Cat. 1). This work is reminiscent of the early painters of Palestine/Eretz-Israel, and the young artist's strong colouristic tendencies are evident in the patches of paint. Another landscape of the same period (Cat. 2) depicts two trees with thick, knotted trunks and heavy foliage swaying over a path that leads the viewer's eye into the core space of the painting, demonstrating his interest in issues of form and of structure. Studying under Zaritzky refined Abrahamovich's painting and strengthened its colour qualities and the integration of comparatively light patches of colour with dark colour outlines, to build up the vital rhythms of the landscape - as evident in the fresh watercolour Tiberias (Cat. 3) of 1933. The visit to Paris further deepened the experience he acquired in Zaritzky's studio and in the company of Steimatzky and Streichman (Cat. 4), the fruits of which are clearly seen in his watercolours of the 1940s and 1950s (Cat. 9). On the other hand, the pages which he drew during service as a soldier in the British army – particularly in Basra, which struck him as the Venice of the Middle East — are Impressionistic in character, while at the same time striking in their richly colourful and decorative range (Basra, Cat. 5 & 6).
Hebrew to English: Guide to Traveller in a One-Bedroom Flat
Detailed field: Cinema, Film, TV, Drama
Source text - Hebrew
[Hard copy in Hebrew. A television play adapted for the UK]
Translation - English

The speaker: Sarah, twenty-eight.
The place: A spacious Tel Aviv flat in the style of the old days - oil paintings, dark heavy furniture, crocheted doilies, etc. Here and there are some of Sarah’s things.

His name is Jeremy and he’s forty-seven. He’s a smooth talker. He enjoys lecturing me about how you have to flow with life, not to block yourself, to grab every opportunity. The opportunity in question in this case, of course, is him. A guy who’s already brought up kids, made money, and now he’s scared stiff, feeling that he’s heading riding for a fall, that behind all that money and achievements there’s nothing at all, a big emptiness, so he’s in a hurry to do some living before it’s too late. How can you argue with an executive type who’s just discovered emotions at the age of forty-seven? You have to go along with things, to listen to yourself, not fight against your heart.
And then he brings you Godiva chocolates and Brahms CDs and all that, just to get you to go with him to a hotel up north for a dirty weekend. To help him forget that he isn’t a child anymore, and that all the men in his family died young from heart attacks. Not to mention his wife.
And all the time his limousine is parked outside, complete with company logo! I mean, a guy like him doesn’t simply go up north with a girl. Of course, he wants to fly with you to the ends of the earth, but he’s got some business meetings on the way... Anyway, to cut a long story short, that’s the kind of man I’ve got involved with. His name is Jeremy – I already said that, haven’t I? – and he wears those naff striped shirts with childish silly vests underneath.
Hebrew to English: Linear Sculpture
Detailed field: Art, Arts & Crafts, Painting
Source text - Hebrew
[Hard copy in Hebrew]
Translation - English
The linear sculpture discussed in this thesis appeared repeatedly in France in the mid-1920s with Lifschitz's "transparent sculptures", and further evolved in the work of Gonzales, Picasso, and Giacometti. Its flowering during the inter-war period was set against the backdrop of crisis in Europe following World War I, which led to an growing interest in psychology in an effort to understand the structure of the human personality and its motivations. As a result, the need was born to find an expressive sculptural language capable of communicating with directness and immediacy, one that bypassed rational faculties.

However, linear sculpture did not appear out of nowhere in the 1920s. Its beginnings lie prior to World War I, with the invasion of the material by space and the latter's acquisition of equal status as a sculptural form. This process began in 1912 with the Cubists and Futurists, carrying on until the solid sculptural material became increasingly line-like, as witnessed in Constructivist sculpture in Russia. In Russia this evolution went on largely unimpeded during World War I, thanks to the Revolution and Russia's consequent withdrawal from the fighting and the Communists' encouragement (at least initially) of avant-garde art. In the West, however, its development stalled and resumed only after the war with Jacques Lifschitz's "transparent sculptures", as discussed.
Hebrew to English: The Secret
Detailed field: Cinema, Film, TV, Drama
Source text - Hebrew
[Hard copy in Hebrew]
Translation - English
1. The Secret

The hard part will be the silence, I thought. Not telling anyone. For many years, perhaps to my grave. It really hasn't been easy, even after ten or twenty years, but I've got used to it. Keeping the secret has become part of daily life, a burden that has grown progressively lighter over the years, until the secret itself has become a distant memory. In the past few years there were times when days, perhaps even weeks, went by without me remembering it. As if it had been wiped without trace. Occasionally I would recall it for an fleeting instant, like the flicker of a dying candle. As time went by so, too, did its importance diminish, and today, after twenty five years, even if I do reveal it, who could prove that it really happened. Or didn't, for that matter. Whoever knew it is already dead, or disappeared. Even that country doesn't exist anymore.
Hebrew to English: The Meaning of Home for Runaway Girls
General field: Social Sciences
Detailed field: Social Science, Sociology, Ethics, etc.
Source text - Hebrew
הכחדת העצמי
תחת השפעותיו השליליות המצטברות של הבית/הכלא, חשו הנערות שעצמיותן הולכת ונכחדת, שאינן יכולות להיות הן עצמן בביתן. ההגבלות, האיסורים, המריבות, הפחד המתמיד מהתפרצות ומענישה, האיסור לפתח את זהותן מחוץ לגבולות הבית, כל אלו הביאו לתחושות של אובדן העצמי עד כדי ניסיונות אובדניים ועד כדי בריחה. לעיתים אפילו מוסד טוטלי אחר, למשל בית חולים, הצטייר כעדיף על פני הבית:
"ואז אהה וסתם העליתי רעיון אמרתי לה אולי אני ינסה להתאבד אני אגיע לבית חולים, יש שם פסיכולוגים פסיכיאטרים מה שזה לא יהיה הם יטפלו בעניין, אני גדול עלי אני לא יכולה להתמודד עם זה, מה שעוד פעם אני יחזור הביתה ויישאר אותו דבר, אני אגיד לאבא שלי שאני לא רוצה לעבור אליו .. (מיה, 21, 4)
Translation - English
Extinction of the self
Under the cumulative negative impacts of the home/prison, the girls felt that their sense of self was gradually being extinguished, that they could not be themselves at home. The restrictions, the prohibitions, the rows, the constant fear of outburst and punishment, being forbidden to develop their identity outside the boundaries of home, all these brought about feelngs of loss of self, to the point of suicide attempts and running away. In some instances, even another total institution, such as a hospital, was pictured in their mind as preferable to the home:
And then, uh, you know this idea just came to me, I said to her maybe I'll try to commit suicide, I'll get to hospital. They have psychologists there and psychiatrists, whatever, they'll take care of things, cause I, you know, it's too much for me, I can't deal with this. What? For me to go home again? It'll be same, I'll tell my father that I don't want to move to his place... (Mia, 21, 4).

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I am the third-generation in a family of Hebrew editors, translators and writers, with particular expertise in my own right on the history of the Hebrew script. Half-Israeli, half-British by birth and brought up in New York, Israel, and the UK, I am bilingual in English and Hebrew and equally at home in British and American English.

As a former computer applications consultant and technical writer in the Israeli high-technology industry, Hebrew translation is but one aspect of my work which includes teaching the Hebrew script, Hebrew localisation, and developing solutions for Hebrew communication in various computerised applications. A polymath and confirmed science and political information junkie, I am au fait with major developments in Israeli politics, with science and with the Apple Macintosh operating system.

My most recent book is "Learn the Hebrew Script: Aleph Through the Looking Glass", published by Yale University Press.
דור שלישי למשפחת מתרגמים, עורכים וסופרים ישראלית, וסמכות מוכרת לנושא הכתב העברי לדורותיו. בן לאם ישראלית ואב אנגלי, גדלתי בניו–יורק, בישראל, ובאנגליה, אני דו–לשוני באנגלית ובעברית, וכן בקיא בהבדלים שבין אנגלית בריטית לאמריקאית.

כיועץ תוכנה וכאחראי לשעבר לתיעוד טכני בתעשיית ההיי–טק הישראלית, תרגום הוא רק היבט אחד של עבודתי, הכוללת הוראת הכתב העברי בחו’ל, ’גיור' ממשקים, ופיתוח פתרונות לתקשורת בעברית ביישומים ממוחשבים שונים. כ’פריק' של מידע בתחומי המדע ואקטואליה, אני דואג להתעדכן בתחומים אלה, וכן בתחום מערכת ההפעלה של המקינטוש.

בהוצאת אוניברסיטת ייל ’Learn the Hebrew Script: Aleph Through the Looking Glass', ספרי האחרון הוא
Keywords: British English, American English, Israel, Israeli, bilingual, science, technical, script, localisation, localization, Hebrew, ivrit, voiceover, voice over, literature, plays, theatre, television, theater

Profile last updated
May 18, 2020

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