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Surname &
World's Largest

Since 01 March 2010

He's Retired!!

Don's hobby since 1961 has been genealogy. In providing research insights to others, He sometimes receive a request to translate a document in the old, old German handwriting, or in modern print. He began his study of both in 1956. All his assistance is "donation only," no regular fee. Perhaps he can help you if you have one or both of these, either from German to English or vice-versa.

It is a hobby, so  don't ask for professional styling. You can ask for a brief summary of the content, rather than a complete translation. He do not have a home office and do not include any overhead whatsoever. It is a hobby. Keeps his brain functioning!


Be sure to include information that you already know about the item to be translated such as proper names, town names, dates of an event, and incidental facts, including their faith. ANY known background for the document is very helpful. This will greatly reduce the time you have to wait.

I do not know if Don is still doing any translations. You may contact him and ask. I now am running an archived mirror of his original website. If you have questions or comments about the website please contact me. you can find me as Brian in the location of amason under the domain of net. Just make sure you use the dot in between the location and the domain.

Don Watson
dons-translations .. <at> .. cox . net
(adjust the E-Mail addy to the correct format).

All translations are sent as soon as they are complete or he
decides not to do one.
He trusts you to respond via Paypal.
Paypal ONLY!!
He does not accept cash or checks or money orders of any kind!
He cannot accept any other form of donation. Donations are voluntary!

By regular mail, modern written or printed or printed Gothic (Fraktur), legible, you enclose a postage-paid, self-addressed envelope. You may want to consider a donation since he uses his gasoline to go to the post office to mail your response. Please consider that these old, difficult documents can produce exceptionally valuable information, and he has to spend TIME analyzing them.

Old script, same terms. he must see a sample of the old script that you want translated before he will agree to do it. He'll let you know if it isn't legible. He no longer makes referrals.

Same-day-service, often instant,  if  He is not back-logged. You may ask questions
about the finished product or any portion thereof at any time


It is impossible to translate German to English or English to German word-for-word. The "dynamic equivalent" is required. Please note that insights added to the translation can be profoundly helpful to you. They provide cultural, environmental, seasonal, occupational, and other forms of information not found in the original text, but which I understand or perceive (including "reading between the lines"), based upon my experience. I have to read and interpret all words in context in the original, of course! You can tell me to exclude insights if you wish. Here is a sample of the Dynamic Equivalent method:

King James Bible: Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Dynamic Equivalent: Let us give thanks to the (one and only) God and Father of our (Savior; Messiah) Lord Jesus Christ, from whom all help comes, enabling us to help others.***

The insights are enclosed in parentheses. I might also include them in an explanatory paragraph at the end of the translation.

Many newcomers to translation wrongly believe it is an exact science, and mistakenly assume a firmly defined one-to-one correlation exists between the words and phrases in different languages. That is not the case. Dynamic equivalence provides a less rigid and more analytical method to arrive at a translation that captures the intent of the original. You won't get that with a computerized translation!

Please note that I don't ask for a donation from anyone, especially from charitable organizations or in hardship cases. I won't know it is charitable or a hardship case if you don't tell me! Don't be bashful! I do have to exclude long and/or difficult translations from this offer. I'm not getting any younger! I'll carefully review each request.

CLICK HERE for insights into the German language

Remember, when you contact Germans by E-Mail,  they have to pay an access fee, a monthly fee, internet taxes, and for every second they are online using E-Mail, sending or receiving! It's vital for them to understand the information up front! They won't be happy if they have to have your English letter or E-Mail translated, and they most likely won't understand your request if you you use a computer-generated translation! They, for the most part, produce gibberish, some of which may be VERY embarrassing for you, upsetting for them! I don't have those problems.

Would you like to know the origin of your surname or a particular word in a document? Is your surname or that word translatable? FREE service to everyone. Simply E-Mail dons-translations <at> Change the <at> to @.


It is time to scale back.
, but I can no longer do research by telephone or fax. I can translate your letter of inquiry to Germany into German rather easily. However, PLEASE avoid lots of unrelated words that are not central to your inquiry. If you don't, I will remove those portions since our German friends are not the least interested in the family story that your Aunt tripped on the gangplank upon arrival in the USA, was yelled at by the ship's Captain, was sent to a dirty hospital, and was not treated well -- in 1820. I provide a FREE form letter for you to send to Germany. See my website, ./letters.htm. WHO, WHERE, WHEN, their FAITH, WHAT you already know, and WHAT you need to know, are critical. Dates and faith are critical for church inquiries. Dates are critical for civil inquiries. In most cases civil authorities began maintaining birth, marriage, and death certificates in 1876. Before that, it was the church. There are exceptions, but keep 1876 in mind when you decide who to send your letter to.

Do you want detailed information on how to PAY for German research? You've come to the right place. Simply go to my website, ./payforit.htm. The cost is ZERO.

It has been a blast, believe me!! I can't thank enough all the nice folks who have been such a blessing to me and my wife all these years! I just need more time for R&R.

Remember:               I do translations as a  part-time hobby ONLY to assist your German research! Other stuff is more important to me now!!

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