German scholar honored with top award

The Goethe-Institut New York awarded its prestigious 2012 Gutekunst Prize to alumnus Daniel Clausen ’08 for his translation work.

The award honors outstanding young translators of German literature into English and helps them cultivate connections in the translation and publishing communities.

Clausen spent his junior year studying in Munich, and graduated in German and English. He then taught English in Austria as a Fulbright scholar before returning to his hometown of Boise, Idaho, for graduate study in English and literature.

Clausen’s winning entry was a 15-page sample translation from Roman unserer Kindheit by Georg Klein.

“While all translation is a wonderfully complex puzzle, in this text the unique shifts of point of view, shifts in time and multiple voices make it puzzling simply to read, let alone carry over into English,” says Clausen.

“As I translated—which is after all the closest reading one can give a text—I found Klein transported me fully into the story,” Clausen says. “My goal was to allow readers of English that same transporting experience and engagement with these characters by faithfully capturing the playful tone, concrete images and meticulous narrative intricacies of Klein.”

His winning entry impressed the judges for its fluid literary style.

“Translating well is much more of a challenge than people realize until they’ve tried it,” says Linfield German Professor Gudrun Hommel-Ingram. “Daniel read a lot of advanced German literature at Linfield, and his undergraduate exposure to excellent writers in at least two languages has given him an excellent foundation for his translation work.”

Clausen is also a bicycle admirer, outdoor enthusiast and aspiring hobby farmer.

Study Modern Languages at Linfield College