Jill R. Sommer

Cleveland Heights, Ohio 44106
Phone: +1-330-421-0057
Back-up e-mail:
Web site:



Organized and dependable translator with highly developed understanding of the German language and culture. Skilled in quickly and accurately translating written documents. Committed to providing quality service and results. Over 25 years of related expertise.



  • Translated several books and coffee table books: “The Grand Châteaux of Bordeaux” by Ralf Frenzel, “Dirk Nowitzki” by Dino Reisner, “So leben wir: How we live” by Adriano Sack, “Korea: My Culinary Homecoming” by Sarah Henke, “Stormchasing: On the Hunt for Thunderstorms” by Michael Dr. Sachweh, 2 cookbooks (Thousand Soups, Minute Recipes: Italian Cuisine), and 2 arts & craft books (Quick Gifts, Presents from the Kitchen: Preserves - Pickles - Marinades)
  • Proofread several large 3-ring binders of police records used in the criminal trial of Abdelghani Mzoudi (the alleged twentieth member of the 9/11 attacks and an associate of Mohamed Atta)
  • Translated witness testimonies for the Office of Special Investigations (United States Department of Justice) for at least two Nazi hunting cases
  • Translated numerous patient interviews about their illnesses and side effects from their medication(s)
  • Translated medical records for embassy personnel and family members for the American Embassy in Bonn as well as servicemen living in Germany for the military insurance company Tri-Care (for several different agencies)


  • Excellent Internet research skills
  • PDF manipulation using Optical Character Recognition
  • Expert in Word formatting
  • Extremely high comfort level adapting to new applications and technologies
  • Type 120 wpm



02/1997 - Current Freelance Translator/Proofreader
  • Translate documents from German to English
  • Apply cultural understanding to discern specific meanings beyond literal written words
  • Replicate flow, style, and overall meaning of original texts
  • Consistently produce quality work for many German and US-based translation agencies and direct clients; some for many years now
  • Valued by my clients for my formatting and PDF conversion skills
  • Areas of specialization: medical (medical records, discharge summaries, surgical reports, clinical trial documentation, SAE reports, informed consent), legal (contracts, wills, letters rogatory, EU General Data Protection Regulation, data privacy policies, etc.), general business (press releases, newsletters, websites, PPT presentations, letters, etc.), market research surveys, website localization (HTML, XML), Internet technologies, software documentation (user guides, software strings, help files), game localization, telecommunication, travel and tourism, and entertainment (television and film)
  • Experience with (bilingual) document review for several law firms (including Jones Day; Weltman, Weinberg & Reis; and Kelly Law Services)
10/2021 - Current Zoom Producer for Virtual Training Sessions - The Training Associates (TTA)
  • Facilitate virtual learning sessions - troubleshoot as needed, take attendance, launch polls and breakout rooms, oversee Chat for instructor
  • Produce and oversee logistics (in English) of multiple day training sessions on various topics (cybersecurity, corporate learning, electrical battery systems, GD&T) using Zoom, WebEx and MS Teams
  • Moderated (in German) sessions on leadership skills for three cohorts of seven modules from April 11 to June 13, 2022 and then one final follow-up in September 13, 2023
06/2020 - Current German-speaking Zoom Producer for Virtual DPRV Training - initially under SAE International and now under TTA
  • Produce and oversee the logistics (in German) of 3-day training sessions in Germany (1-10 a.m.), initially used WebEx and now using Zoom
  • Encourage participation by maintaining positive attitude and proactively engaging students in activities and lessons
08/2019 - 05/2020 German Teacher - German Language School Cleveland, Donauschwaben German-American Club, Olmsted Falls, OH
  • Taught German grammar and vocabulary to a class of eight 4th graders
  • Transitioned to online teaching using Zoom and Google Classroom
  • Incorporated exciting and engaging activities to achieve student participation and hands-on learning
8/2003 - 6/2008 Adjunct Faculty Member - Institute for Applied Linguistics, Kent State University
  • Developed and kindled professional relationships with students to better communicate and enhance instruction
  • Scored exams and graded student performance fairly
  • Taught students how to format documents in Word, use translation software such as SDL Trados and Star Transit, and recognize tags and program HTML and XML
  • Past courses include
    • GER 31231 (Translation Practice: German) at the undergraduate level
    • GER 61010 (German Translation Practice) at the graduate level
    • MCLS 60009 (Documents in Multilingual Contexts) - taught grad students advanced Word formatting, HTML, Java
    • MCLS 60011 (Terminology and Computer Applications) at the graduate level
09/2003 - 09/2008 Contract Linguist - Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Attended training at FBI Headquarters in DC and worked out of the Cleveland field office
  • Authorized for top secret security clearance
  • Translated and reviewed foreign language documents and identified and extracted information
  • Passed rigorous battery of language tests and background clearance
02/1997 - 01/2002 Internet Researcher - Online Information Services, Königswinter, Germany
  • Analyzed and summarized research topics online for large German company that specializes in pharmaceuticals, genetic engineering and pesticides
  • Gathered, organized and input information into monthly reports to the Board of Directors
  • Developed and maintained the password-protected web site that replaced the monthly reports
06/1996 - 10/1997 Freelance Translator, Proofreader, HTML Programmer - online publishing services GmbH, 53175 Bonn, Germany
  • Translated websites and correspondence from German to English
  • Reviewed final works to spot and correct errors in punctuation, grammar, and translation
  • Programmed/hand-coded bilingual websites using HTML (first generation)
  • Supported operations by translating documents and performing office work as needed
01/1996 - 10/1996 Proofreader, Software Tester - Translingua Gesellschaft für Softwarelokalisierung und Dokumentation mbH, Bonn, Germany
  • Proofread and tested localized (German) Microsoft software and databases
  • Carried out tests on localized (German) software to identify, report and repair bugs and glitches
  • Checked and corrected grammatical and spelling errors in diverse documents
  • Revised work to identify missed mistakes before completing assigned assignments
  • Followed established guidelines to maintain style quality and consistency in produced content
06/1995 - 10/1996 Terminologist, Translator - Translingua Übersetzungsdienst GmbH, Bonn, Germany
  • Prepared comprehensive glossaries and terminology databases based on client specifications
  • Compared existing translations to create multilingual glossaries (including languages that are not my working languages)
  • Translated and proofread a variety of texts in various subject areas
  • Reviewed final works to spot and correct errors in punctuation, grammar, and translation



  • Master of Arts, German Translation, Kent State University (Institute of Applied Linguistics), 1995
  • Dual Bachelor of Arts in German and Russian (minor in Political Science), Bowling Green State University, 1992
    • Graduated Cum laude
    • Academic Year Abroad, University of Salzburg, Austria, 1989-1990



  • English (native speaker)
  • German (fluent in all areas - including an excellent grasp of German culture and mindset)
  • Russian (basic understanding)



  • Active Member of American Translators Association, 2001-present (member of the German Language Division, Medical Division, and Language Technology Division)
    - Chair of the ATA Ethics Committee 2019-2022
  • Member of the Northeast Ohio Translators Association, 1994-95, 2001-present, President from 2002-2010, 2015-2018
  • Member of the Bonner Übersetzer- und DolmetscherForum, Bonn, Germany, 1997-present
  • Completed a two-week intensive course on reading and writing Old German script at the Moravian Archives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in June 2023
  • Volunteer translator, German News (international German news service that is read all over the world by German and English-speaking subscribers via e-mail), 1996-2008



  • Platform: Windows 7 and/or Windows 10
  • Translation-relevant software: SDL Trados Studio 2019, SDL Trados Studio 2011, MemoQ 9.0, ABBYY Fine Reader 12.0, PractiCount, Time Stamp, TextCount for Windows, Adobe Acrobat
  • High-speed Internet connection (3G)



  • "Bookkeeping 101," 62nd ATA Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • "Terminology of the Ears, Nose and Throat," (German-English) at the 61st ATA Conference – virtual conference (co-presented with a colleague in Aachen, Germany and streamed my presentation from an audiology booth at Kent State University)
  • "Searching and Researching German>English Resources on the Internet," 59th ATA Conference in New Orleans
  • "Contingency Planning and Crisis Management 101," 58th ATA Conference in Washington DC
  • Advanced Skills and Training seminar on "Mastering PDFs using OCR and Advanced Formatting Features in Word,"" 57th ATA Conference in San Francisco
  • "Beyond the Basics: Tips for Better Formatting in Microsoft Word," 56th Annual ATA Conference in Miami, DVTA 2016 Regional Conference, MiTiN 2015 Regional Conference
  • "Why Won't You Translate for Me?" panel discussion with Terena Bell, Ted Wozniak and Sandra Alboum, 55th Annual ATA Conference in Chicago
  • "Working with PDF Files: Tools, Tips, and Techniques" preconference seminar with Tuomas S. Kostiainen, 51st Annual ATA Conference in Denver
  • "Making Portable Document Format Files Work for You" presentation with Tuomas S. Kostiainen, 50th Annual ATA Conference in New York
  • "Getting Started as a Freelance Translator" preconference seminar with Corinne McKay, 48th Annual ATA conference in San Francisco
  • "Selling yourself short? Counting Tools and Word Count Standards" presentation with Marita Marcano, and Clove Lynch (LISA), 48th Annual ATA conference in San Francisco
  • "First Time Attendees" presentation with Amanda Ennis, 47th Annual ATA conference in New Orleans, 48th Annual ATA Conference in San Francisco, 49th Annual ATA Conference in Orlando, 50th Annual ATA Conference in New York
  • Organized the ATA Medical Division conference in Cleveland, Ohio, May 2007
  • "What's in a Word?" with Marita Marcano, ATA Chronicle, August 2006
  • "Searching and Researching on the Internet," presentation with Anne Chemali at the 46th Annual ATA Conference in Seattle, Washington, November 2005
  • "A Little Paranoia Goes A Long Way," published in ATA Chronicle, May 2005
  • "Internet Privacy for the Small Office or Home Office Environment," presentation with Roland Grefer at the 45th Annual ATA Conference in Toronto, Canada, October 2004; published in ATA Chronicle, March 2004
  • "Web Design Made Simple for Language Professionals," solo presentation at the 45th Annual ATA Conference in Toronto, Canada, October 2004
  • "Translating and Interpreting for the Federal Government," published in ATA Chronicle, July 2004
  • 2-day professional seminar on Trados translation tools (Workbench, TagEditor, WinAlign, MultiTerm) for freelance translators at Kent State University, January 2004 and January 2005
  • "The Etiquette of E-Mail," published in NOTA BENE, January 2004
  • "Web Design Made Simple for Language Professionals," presentation with Anne Chemali at the 44th Annual ATA Conference and published in the ATA Chronicle, July 2004