Lisa Tulfer BA MTh PGCE – Freelance Translator

I am a freelance Dutch to English translator, specialising in history, family history/genealogy, arts/crafts, and literary translation. I also offer a service to genealogists and individuals researching Dutch family history, transcribing and/or translating handwritten documents and genealogical records.

Raised bilingually by British and Dutch parents, I was educated in the United Kingdom, gaining BA and Masters degrees in history and theology.  This academic background underpins my history specialism, and has given me excellent research skills as well as an understanding of the requirements of academic writing in the humanities in the UK.  A qualified teacher, I worked for ten years in adult education and training, including creating course materials, and for three years in academic libraries in the University of Cambridge.  A longstanding interest in art and art history—and a side-line as a textile artist—led to me taking an Art and Design Foundation Course.

My interest in Dutch genealogy started when I inherited all my family’s papers and photographs.  Over a couple of years, I transcribed and translated my grandfather’s military records, learned to decipher Dutch birth, death and marriage records, gained experience in palaeography, and created a timeline from the inscriptions on the back of photographs. With this experience, combined with my professional translation skills, I am able to provide transcription and translation services for genealogists and individuals who are researching Dutch ancestors.

Since 2014 I have been a freelance writer, mainly writing articles about history and place for print and web publications.  I have a lifelong obsession with words and their ability to create and convey meaning.  All these strands in my background are brought together in my work as a translator.

I am an Affiliate of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting, which commits me to the ITI Code of Professional Conduct and to undertaking at least 30 hours of continuing professional development each year. I am currently working towards the Chartered Institute of Linguists’ Diploma in Translation. I am a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, which commits me to the APG Code of Ethics and to at least 12 hours of CPD per year.

What kinds of texts do I translate?

I translate from  Dutch to UK English.  I specialise in history, family history/genealogy, arts/crafts, and literary translation.  Examples of the kind of texts I can translate for you include:

  • academic articles
  • book chapters
  • magazine articles
  • online articles
  • letters and emails
  • publicity material
  • social media posts
  • blog posts
  • press releases
  • dissertations and theses
  • literary translation—fiction and non-fiction
  • general translation

For genealogy researchers, I can transcribe 19th and 20th century handwritten documents and translate from Dutch to English, including:

  • letters and postcards
  • inscriptions on the back of photographs
  • diaries
  • birth, death and marriage certificates
  • Dutch family history records
  • newspaper cuttings
  • military citations
  • register entries

How does it work?

The first step is to contact me, using the contact form below, with details of the text you would like to have translated.  It helps if you can let me know a few things at this stage.

History/arts/crafts/general texts:

  • What kind of text it is (thesis, article, book chapter, letter, email, etc)
  • The word count of the text
  • If you have any specific deadline in mind
  • Who the intended audience for the translation is (for example, is it for your own research, or for print publication, for use on a website, will it be read by an academic or general readership, in the UK or internationally, etc)
  • Any special instructions (e.g. regarding style guides, formatting, the filetype required for the translated text, specialist vocabulary, etc)

Genealogy texts:

  • What kind of document it is (letter, postcard, birth certificate, inscription on the back of a photograph, etc)
  • Any additional information you have about the document (e.g. how you come to have it, what you know about the people named in it)
  • If you have any specific deadline in mind (for example, a presentation at a family reunion, or research for a forthcoming trip to the Netherlands)

It is also essential for me to see the text in order to evaluate it—I will need to take into account a number of factors, including its content, formatting, and how long it will take me to translate, in order to calculate my fee. For family history documents, please send a high-quality scan or photograph.

I then prepare my quote and send it to you, together with my terms and conditions for you to read and sign.  Once we have agreed terms, I get to work on your translation.

What happens next?

Let’s talk about your  Dutch to English translation project—please get in touch using the contact form below.  If you would like to know more about my professional and academic background, do take a look at my LinkedIn profile.  And if you are not sure about how to proceed with a translation project, or whether it’s something I can help you with—just ask. I look forward to hearing from you.

[the translation] ‘went beyond mere fluency and demonstrated that ear for cadence, rhythm and language that distinguishes powerful translation.’

Judge’s feedback, Stinging Fly 2021 New Translation Bursary shortlist

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