The threat is worse than I thought: it’s not just some English-writer-for-hire who has made an appearance writing articles in Germany’s foremost commentary newspaper – or rather “German-writer-in-English-for-hire” – but Dr. Theo Sommer himself, a well-known name in the German commentariat and Die Zeit’s “Editor-at-large.” His first contribution, Never waste a crisis. This is the right time for a New Atlantic Covenant, is quite decent. Again, that’s not a translation of the article’s title: that is the article’s title and the thing is written in English. Pretty good English, too, if not as sassy as that of his colleague, Constanze Stelzenmüller, and even if it contains a couple howlers. (Namely “And: It is going through” at the end of the second paragraph and – *ouch* – “[t]he world has changed two [sic] much for that” later on. But blame not the good Dr., but rather his editors.)
But his article is credited at the bottom to “The Atlantic Times, Vol. 1, Nr. 2, November 2004,” so apparently Dr. Sommer didn’t write it exclusively for Die Zeit. Maybe Frau Stelzenmüller will remain largely on her own in her beachhead of English in the German press. By the way, this on-line article discusses “The Atlantic Times,” a new English-language monthly newspaper (“produced in Berlin, printed in Washington and distributed to 20,000 decision makers in the United States”) designed to make Americans more aware of the German point-of-view on things. No indication as to whether it is already on-line or is going to be available that way. (I’ve made an inquiry: stay tuned.)
Update: Here’s the Atlantic Times website. And it’s a free monthly publication for subscribers in the United States. Just go to the website to register for your subscription.