Jake Schneider


I have been working as a freelance translator since 2012, mostly from German to English. I am specialized in cultural heritage, literature, and the arts, with a particular focus on Jewish and queer history. My clients include universities, scholars, museums, and government agencies. Book translations include academic monographs and anthologies, museum catalogues, and a poetry collection.

I occasionally translate from French, typically in the realm of visual art for clients such as ifa. I also regularly translate between Yiddish and English in the context of my associated projects, but rarely do so professionally and would welcome more opportunities in this area.

Jake Schneider translating

Selected Academic and Literary Translations

Here is a selection of my academic and literary translations. Running themes have included Jewish and queer culture, the Eastern Bloc under socialism, and counter-histories.

Apart from the larger projects presented here, I regularly translate academic articles and book chapters, lectures, websites, and other smaller texts.

Selected Exhibitions & Catalogues

I have translated a variety of museum exhibitions and catalogues, often in collaboration with fellow translators. My particular focus here has been on Jewish history, art, and culture.

Public Institutions and Government Agencies

I also translate official reports for public institutions and government agencies, often on the subjects of cultural artifacts, gender and racial equity, and religious freedom.

I have completed projects in these areas for Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Cultural Foundation of the German Federal States (Kulturstiftung der Länder), among other institutions.

Grant Applications

Thanks to my experience as an organizer in the cultural sector, I am very comfortable with the style and structure of grant applications, which I have submitted successfully myself to agencies such as Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the US National Endowment for the Arts. For several years, I also advised Berlin-based writers applying for creative stipends from the city government.

I have thus also translated and edited English-language grant applications for my academic clients, who have subsequently been awarded six- and seven-figure sums for their research groups.

Poetry and Song Lyrics

Another focus area of my translation work has been poetry and song lyrics. While studying creative writing as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, I began my translation career with the contemporary poems of Ron Winkler, which I published individually in numerous literary journals and as a full collection with Shearsman Books. I also served as poetry editor of the literary journal SAND for two issues before my tenure as its editor-in-chief.

Apart from these contemporary poetry translations, I have occasionally translated older and more formalist rhyming and metered verse, while preserving their formal elements, and have translated/adapted song lyrics to enable a singable result in English, particularly for the animated children’s series The Musiphants.

I have also translated poems by several Yiddish poets and have read some of these translations on stage, although these largely remain unpublished to date.

A view from above
Translating poetry in 2012. Photo by Ron Winkler