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About translatorplease

translatorplease specializes in the translation of scholarly and literary texts from German into English. An expert knowledge of German history and culture—grounded upon years of teaching, writing, and scholarship—informs every translation.

Elizabeth Janik, translator and owner of translatorplease


About me

My name is Elizabeth Janik, and I translate scholarly and literary texts from German into English. I particularly enjoy historical projects and the additional research they involve. A details-oriented enthusiasm for clear, elegant writing informs all of my work.

In 2012, I was named runner-up in the German Book Office’s first competition for aspiring German- English translators. I established translatorplease soon thereafter, and I’ve worked as an independent translator and writer ever since.

In 2020, I was named to the shortlist for the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for my translation of Marie-Janine Calic’s The Great Cauldron (Harvard University Press, 2019).

I like to stay informed about the arts and culture in Germany today. If you do, too, please check out my online review of German culture in the English-language media,, or follow me on Bluesky.

I hold a Ph.D. in History and a M.A. in German and European Studies from Georgetown University, and my book, Recomposing German Music: Politics and Musical Tradition in Cold War Berlin, explores the tangled relationship between German music and politics during post-WWII reconstruction, Allied occupation, and the emerging division between east and west.

I live with my husband and two sons in Norfolk, Virginia. Since I’m often thinking (and translating) globally, I act locally whenever I can. I’m an advocate for public education, refugee resettlement, and racial justice in my community, and I’m a regular contributor to the Hampton Roads State of the Region Report, an annual publication of the Dragas Center for Economic Policy and Analysis at Old Dominion University.