Member of the German Translation Team: Margarethe VonRandow-Tesch
Margarethe reading the Introduction to the Course in German
This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way: Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.
I came across the Course in 1984 when I was a young school teacher and very unhappy with my job and my life in general. I had the deep wish to translate a book although I had no special training as a translator. When I attended a self help workshop the instructor, who was an American, mentioned A Course in Miracles, and I was thrilled. I ordered the book in San Francisco. After several weeks it arrived in a huge kitbag, and together with a friend I immediately started translating the first chapter without knowing what it was all about.
At some point we wrote to Judy, sent her the first chapter and asked her for permission to go on.
After three years the first draft of the translation was finished, and my friend Klaudia decided to leave Germany and to live in Australia. Meanwhile a publisher had been found, and the translation team changed. Franchita Cattani and Gerhard Juckoff, the editor, appeared on the scene. With the gentle support of Kenneth Wapnick the three of us went through the process again and again until finally the German Course appeared in 1994.
For me the translation was both a difficult and a very inspiring experience. There were these moments when we painstakingly discussed how to translate difficult terms or went through endless lists of words, and there were those wonderful moments when I forgot time and space.
For me to chance on the Course was something that had a deep impact on my life. The Course has shed a healing light on all my experiences and it has become an important part of my life. It has been a sort of spiritual therapy for me I could relate to. I am still involved in it through lectures and workshops and I am very grateful for the healing process it fosters in me and those I meet.
Member of the German Translation Team: Franchita Cattani
I was born in 1944 in St. Moritz, Switzerland, into a trilingual household (French, Italian and Swiss-German). After the usual schools and studies in German, English and French, it was clear that I wanted to become a translator. However, I first needed 20 years to try out other occupations.
Only after my divorce and return from France to Switzerland to become a psychologist, did 1984 finally bring a turning point in my life. I “found” A Course in Miracles and started translating in what can loosely be called the “esoteric field,” which I’ve been doing ever since.
In 1989 Judith Skutch Whitson, President of the Foundation for Inner Peace, insisted that I join the German translation team. As a professional translator I’d refused twice before to either translate or revise the German Course knowing full well what an impossible task that would be. But being told to undertake the job by Judy, I accepted and spent five years going twice more over the German Course with the original translator Margarethe Randow-Tesch and Gerhard Juckoff, the German publisher’s reviser. The co-operation was halting at first but improved increasingly until at the end it was very good indeed. It became quite clear that finding the best possible solutions to the myriad problems encountered were indeed the primary goal and not one or the other of us being right.
As far as understanding the Course goes, although I had read the Course for five years before joining the translation team, I still didn’t understand it very well. Since I was responsible for typing all corrections (including some of my own), during the revision of the German Course I had to concentrate on the form. Being one of those people who cannot do two things at a time, I was eager for the work to end in order to be able to plunge more deeply into its content. Nevertheless the primary benefit of those five years of co-operation with the team was the profound insights provided by Dr. Kenneth Wapnick. Without his help it would have been impossible to work so well together and to incorporate layer after layer of understanding in the revision.
After Dr. William Whitson asked me to help the reviser of the French Course, I was surprised to find that the French translation was much more difficult than the German had been. Linguistic problems were not the reason. Despite all my experience with the Course before, during and after the German translation, the French translation forced me to face my incredible resistance to the fundamental ideas of the Course.
Thank God I was working with the professional translator and reviser, Denis Ouellet, whom I came to call “the thinker” and who developed not only an extraordinary grasp of this difficult material but was also blessed with an excellent memory. He quite became my “younger brother” in the process. Again with Kenneth Wapnick’s invaluable help we managed to reach the same excellent collaboration which had emerged in the German team.
A Course in Miracles is no ordinary course to be studied for one year and then forgotten. After 1992, I occasionally conducted workshops on the Course for German speakers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria. For the next ten years, it became clear that many are attracted to the Course, but few stick with it. You really have to want to get out of the dream! Working on it twice really brought home the truth of the line from the Course: “Trust not your good intentions. They are not enough.” ( T-18.IV.2:1-2 )
I shall remain eternally grateful to Judy and William Whitson for their trust in setting me on this most uprooting (in the positive sense) venture of my life and supporting me all along as well as to Kenneth and Gloria Wapnick, (I never had such fun at work as with Ken) and the whole staff of the Foundation for A Course in Miracles (FACIM). All of them cannot be thanked enough.
Franchita (Cattani), Les Bois (Switzerland), August 2005