Icelandic editing team

To get this translation project from the ground quickly, a group of native Icelandic speakers from all over the world engaged in provisory translations of parts of the novel, and several rounds of proofreading. Beneath this photo collage, you can find more background information about this enthusiastic and highly qualified team of helpers. The final version, however, is based on my immediate understanding of the the Icelandic text.


Background information about the participants

Nearly all participants in this translation project were born in Iceland, of course, and started their studies there. But every single one of them – except for Sigrún Birta, who still goes to high school – has gained experience outside of Iceland and has lived - or still lives - abroad. It must have been this cosmopolitan attitude and especially an interest in foreign languages and cultures, which lead each of them to react to my Facebook post. All actively helped tackle the translation problems I was confronted with when studying Makt Myrkranna and I got to know each of them as very cordial and open-minded individuals, with a large scope of hobbies, interests and talents next to their professional focus. For me, it was an important and inspiring communicative experience – many, many thanks to every one of you!

Aldís Birna Björnsdottir (40) comes from Skútustaðir and studied Literature and Languages at the University of Iceland, the Continued Education Dept. of this institution, and at the Technical College in Akureyi. She now lives near Munich and works at an Icelandic travel agency; together with her husband and children, she regularly spends her holidays in Iceland. She already translated four English books to Icelandic and tells Icelandic fairly tales to children in the local library.

Anja Kokoschka (30) is the only member of this team who is not a native Icelandic speaker. She studied Ophthalmic Optics in Munich and worked in Iceland on various horse farms, and later as an optician, for altogether eight years. After a longer stay in Bavaria, she now lives in Iceland again, in Egilsstadir, together with her Icelandic friend.

Arna Sif Thorgeirsdottir (23) is from Akureyi in the north of Iceland and graduated there from junior college in 2011 with language as her focus; she speaks Icelandic, English, Danish and Swedish. She studied dance in Munich at Iwanson Dance International School of Contemporary Dance and now has returned to her home town to instruct Dance at Steps Dancecenter. She likes hiking, camping and other outdoors activities.

Ásdís Rut Guðmundsdóttir (24) studied German as a Foreign Language in Siegen, Germany. She now continues with Ethnology, which she studies as a distance learning course offered by an Icelandic university. She has translated a book about Icelandic fairy tales to Icelandic; she is also a successful handball player for RSVE Siegen. She was born in Reykjavík.

Hafrún Kolbeinsdóttir (20) comes from Húsavík on the northern coast of Iceland and went to high school in Garðabæ. She now works at a hotel in Bremen, but plans to continue her studies in Iceland; on her subject of study, she has not decided yet. A gifted singer, she creates cover versions of English songs she likes and puts them online on various platforms. In Autumn 2014, she participated in the Voice of Germany talent contest - here you can see her winning version of "Blackbird".

Ingibjörg Bragadóttir (21) also comes from Akureyi, where she focused on Social Sciences. She now lives in Paris, where she studies French at the Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne and will also take up studies in Journalism and Communications. Since age eight, she has been training, performing and coaching other people in figure skating.

Hans Ágústsson (47) was born in Reykjavík but has lived in Germany for 25 years now. In Mallersdorf, Bavaria, he breeds and trains Icelandic horses and acts as a riding instructor. Because his life partner works in Munich, he would come by to visit my studio and discuss translation problems with me.

Herbert Pedersen (44) is the father of Lára Kristin (see below) and assisted in deciphering the Whitby chapter – a fitting choice, as he is currently working on a ship. He studied at the University of Reykjavík and specialised in Aviation Business Administration at Embry-Riddle, Daytona Beach, Florida. He worked for Icelandair and at a company designing software solutions for the retail business.

Hildur Lofts (45) is another dear helper originating from Akureyi. She studied Music at the Reykjavík Conservatory and creative Writing at the University of Iceland. She lived in Sweden and later studied in Marseille. She now teaches at the Scandinavia House in New York.

Hjörtur Jónasson (25) is from the Icelandic capital Reykjavík and studied at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi-Arabia; he graduated in September 2014. Previously, he studied Chemistry at the Politecnico di Milano. As could be expected, he is well-travelled and interested in anything technical.

Lára Kristín Pedersen (19) spent a year in New York, where she studied Psychology at St. John’s University. By now, she has returned to Reykjavík to continue her Psychology studies there. Moreover, she is celebrated as a soccer player in the Icelandic Premier League for Women. She hopes to go abroad later and make a professional career as a football player.

María Skúladóttir (21) also is from Reykjavík and studied at the Reykjavík Conservatory. Currently, she and her boyfriend live in New York, where she happens to study Psychology as well; previously, she studied at Parsons - The New School for Design in New York.

Sigrún Birta Kristinsdóttir (18) is the youngest participant in this project; she attends the Commercial College in Reykjavík, where she learns English, among others; one of her assignments was to describe life from the perspective of a fictitious British young woman. Like Lára Kristin, she is an enthusiastic soccer player, occupying the centre back position in her team, which recently won the cup in its league.

Sigrún Ósk Stefánsdóttir (22) also attended Iwanson Dance International School of Contemporary Dance in Munich, and like her good friend Arna she also has a strong interest in languages. Before coming to Munich, she studied Dance at Listdansskóli Íslands in Reykjavík. She joined our project early and kept at it till the very end, sorting out any of the remaining riddles, together with Vildís, Ásdís and Hans.

Sædís Alda Karlsdóttir (25) studied at the University of Iceland and then moved to Dresden, to study Business Administration and Corporate Management – and to enjoy the splendid historical city, together with her friend Chaman from Syria.

Tinna María Ólafsdóttir (22) from Hafnarfjörður lives in Paris and works as a flight attendant for Icelandair, at the same time preparing herself to be admitted to Medical School in Iceland - only one out of ten applicants gets a place there. In the meantime, she also studies French.

Vilborg Halldórsdóttir (35) from Mosfellsbær near Reykjavík holds an M.Sc. degree in pharmacy from the University of Iceland and is a licensed pharmacist both in Iceland and Germany; during the time of this translation project, she lived and worked in Mörfelden-Walldorf, Hessen, with her husband and their baby daughter. Her interest in languages, travelling and getting to know new people led her to participate in this project.

Vildís Hallsdóttir (69) is a friend of Dacre Stoker and through this connection, we became acquainted as well. Already at age 18, she read Dracula - one of her many ongoing interests, beside her family life with two daughters and six grandchildren. She was born in northern Sweden, with a Danish mother and an Icelandic father, and in 1945 came to Iceland with the first ship after WW II. She graduated from college in 1964; after that, she lived in Denmark, then Scotland, before moving to Denmark again, at age 22. She worked in office administration and correspondence, but has retired now.

The age given for the participants is the age they had upon joining the project in Spring 2014.