Translation of Old Letters Answer Family’s Questions

A memorable project that we recently handled highlights just how important translation can be in facilitating communication and understanding across generations.

The first time that this customer came to us, she asked us to translate a couple of Polish documents, which appeared to have Russian and Hebrew in them. The authentic documents from 1920 included a combination of handwritten and typed characters in all three languages. We found the delicate parchment paper and mixture of languages to be an interesting aspect of this project.

Not long after we translated those documents, the same customer brought in some personal correspondence but wasn’t sure what the language was. The handwritten letters appeared to be written in Hebrew, but we verified that they were actually Yiddish, a fusion language developed from different German dialects and Hebrew, among other languages. The letters were translated and delivered to the customer as usual.

A couple of weeks later, the customer called to see if we could translate one more document: an Aramaic marriage contract. Upon completion of the translation, the customer informed us that these documents had been inherited. By translating them, we had helped her family answer some long-held questions about names, locations and general family life.

An interesting project with a happy outcome for all involved!


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