About Me

Barbara Jungwirth

I am a freelance writer and translator based in New York City. I write about the medical and social aspects of HIV, and translate medical and technical documents from German to English. I also train people in writing for audiences with limited English literacy and language-edit academic papers by non-native-speaking authors.

I grew up in Austria and have lived in the U.S. for more than 35 years. As a result, I am equally fluent in German and English. Before moving to the U.S., I worked in Mexico. The Spanish I learned there has been helpful both for reading Spanish-language news and for talking with neighbors and friends here in New York City. One friend arrived recently from Francophone Africa, which has revived my somewhat rusty French skills.

The Austrian school system places more emphasis on foreign language learning than does the U.S. For my Austrian “Abitur” (university entrance requirement), I passed exams in English, French and German – including writing essays and presenting lists of novels written in these languages that I had read in the original. After studying Spanish in evening classes while working full-time in Mexico, I took advanced classes in the language at my U.S. college.

Having run my high-school newspaper in Austria and contributed to a quarterly publication on Latin America, I eventually worked for a small weekly newspaper in the U.S. My interest in journalism led me to study the media in college, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College in New York City.

My concurrent interest in the then-nascent field of IT led to work for an HIV-related non-profit organization. There I developed my own training materials for teaching basic computer skills to some of the organization’s clients. I further honed my instructional writing skills in my next job, writing software documentation. 15 years ago, I took the leap into freelancing, first as a translator and then coding and occasionally writing for an HIV website. For the past 5 years, I have been writing for that website regularly, and later added other writing clients.

Along the line, I taught technical and medical writers to author in English for non-native English speakers, and edited documents written by non-native speakers for publication in English-language journals. In addition, I have given presentations at various conferences about writing for global audiences.

Click the Portfolio link above to read some of my articles.

Click here to learn more about my translation work.