Anja Kirchdörfer Lee – your translator

My journey began in Germany, where I was born and raised. After studying and completing my degree as a qualified translator in Heidelberg, I lived in Peru and England for several years. Today, I work in Uniondale, South Africa, where I commit some of my free time to furthering the translation profession as a Council Member of the South African Translators’ Institute (SATI).

My knowledge of world cultures grew on the numerous long journeys I endeavoured upon. These experiences continue to be a great resource and help me in my day-to-day translation jobs. As I work, I translate the message expressed in the original language, rather than translating word for word. In doing so, I focus on creating texts that make sense. Metaphors remain metaphors and when the British use humour, my German translation will also make the reader laugh.

Wanderer between cultures

My logo is a King Protea, the national flower of South Africa, placed on a folded page from Goethe’s Erlking – as a symbol for what I do: I wander between cultures for you and join that which different languages allegedly separate.

Seasoned experience and versatility

alter Baum mit weit verzweigten Ästen

2014 Anja K. Lee Translations, freelance translator in Uniondale, South Africa

2010 – 2014 Lodge Manager, Blue Hill Nature Reserve, Uniondale, South Africa

Co-founder and manager of an eco-lodge and research centre.

Areas of responsibility: marketing, bookkeeping, processing inquiries, managing the housekeeping and kitchen.

Since 2009 Guest Lecturer for German as a Foreign Language at the Goethe Institute Mannheim, Germany

2007 – 2009 Course Instructor for German as a Foreign Language in Manchester, England; Goethe Institute and Manchester Metropolitan University

2005 – 2007 Freelance Translator, Puerto Maldonado, Peru:

Translations from Spanish, French and English into German – primarily for NGOs in the fields of nature conservation, human rights and tourism.

Interpreter for German tourist groups with a Spanish-speaking guide       

2000 – 2005 Translation Studies at the University of Heidelberg, Germany (Spanish, French)

Thesis: Gabriel García Márquez and his reception in Germany through the translation of his work.

Minors: business, law;

Complimentary subject: international organizations

Semesters Abroad

  • Summer semester 2002: Internship with Amnesty International, Asunción, Paraguay.
  • Winter semester 2003/04: Universidad Católica, Lima, Peru – research for my thesis.

1999 – 2000 School for Hotel Management in Pegnitz, Germany; hotel internship


  • Nine-month intensive course “Economics and Business Administration” at Fernuniversität Hagen, Germany (by correspondence; until May 2019)


  • Intensive course “Transcreation” with Nina Sattler-Hovdar


  • Seminar for literary translators (English – German), organized by Bücherfrauen (Women in Publishing)
  • “Translation – Transkreation: Vom Über-Setzen zum Über-Texten” (translators as copywriters). Author: Nina Sattler-Hovdar


  • Introduction to Marketing (University of Pennsylvania via
  • Marketing in a Digital World (University of Illinois via


  • Annual Conference of the Association of German-Speaking Translators of Literary and Scientific Works (VdÜ)

March to June 2000: three months backpacking through Spain

February and March 2001: two months backpacking through Australia

February until July 2002: six months in South America; a semester abroad in Paraguay with backpacking trips through Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia

October 2003 until March 2004: six months in South America; a semester abroad in Peru with backpacking trips through Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Brazil

November, December 2006: six weeks of backpacking through New Zealand

December 2006 until February 2007: three months of backpacking through South Africa