Moissac Abbey, Tarn-et-Garonne, crazy old men holding citoles, looking up at the Last Judgement

Ever since I was 13 years old and Kenneth Clark stood on the staircase of the Bishop’s Palace at Würzburg, I was fired with the desire for further knowledge and eventually guided educational tours to Würzburg and Bamberg, Vierzehnheiligen and Banz, along with many other famous cities and sites.

I have studied art and architecture throughout my life and have gained a broad base of knowledge through decades of reading, and looking at paintings and buildings, specialising in the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. My special interest is the Bavarian Rococo Church.

Music in Translation

Towers of Vierzehnheiligen, near Bad Staffelstein

I work with music editors, publishers and CD producers, rendering their prefaces, liner notes, leaflets and other materials into English. This is to enable them to meet the expectations of a highly discerning and expert academic and performing audience, so that none of the care that has gone into creating a fine edition or recording gets lost in translation. Your liner notes, composer/performer biographies and academic texts require specialist knowledge, which I can offer in almost every style of classical music. You can be sure of expertise particularly in North German and French Baroque organ music, as well as all Classical and Romantic keyboard, chamber and symphonic music, plus much of the Modern era. You can hear me speaking in a tutorial on a recent work by Lionel Rogg in a video on my “About” page.

Translation for Travel

Lavaur, rue de l’Eveche, Tarn, France

Apart from extensive travel in the countries already mentioned (France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland) I have also visited major cities, architectural sites and art works in Italy. In journeys to Zambia, I corresponded for ten years with two prisoners on death row, went to visit them and may have contributed to their eventual release.

I can offer assistance in many aspects of travel, such as hotels, city guides, famous sites, and food. In cooking I specialise in Austrian baking, and guests at home have enjoyed such delights as Tarte au citron, Simnel cake, Apple strudel and Marbled guglhupf.

Orleans, Cathedral, France

I have had experience of playing historic organs to my clients on guided tours, and have talked in English and German to audiences both in the context of guiding around a church, and giving a piano recital, discussing each item in two languages before performing.

I can offer you all my experience and knowledge of customers’ expectations and requirements, as well as of travelling by car, train, coach, ship and plane.

Automotive, Rail, Tracked Vehicles

My specialities are the diesel engine, having worked on texts for leading car companies, particularly in matters of exhaust aftertreatment; and I have lengthy experience in texts concerning winter sports and snow groomers, and incidentally, snowmakers. As a steam enthusiast and lover of travelling by train, I can help you with translations connected with railways.

I also asked [Roger] to translate another piece on Mother Julian from an article in French by a distinguished author. I sent this to the original writer, who declared it to be excellent. Robert Llewelyn, priest and spiritual writer


I can offer you several years’ experience in Machine Translation Post Editing, beginning when it was a new concept. My particular skills here are in the realm of diesel engines, but I have worked on other industrial MTPE texts as well. There is equal pleasure when the machine translations are almost frighteningly accurate, as well as when a sentence is such gobbledegook that the only solution is to go back to the original and start again!

The Hoenebach Tunnel on the Halle-Bebra line used to run beneath the border between East and West Germany

A little bit of biography

My name is Roger Rayner. I am a specialist in music, arts and travel translations, and I enable your readers to better appreciate music, art, architecture and the culture of the DACH countries and France. I can help you communicate ways of thinking and ways of being in the countries mentioned, since, though brought up in England, I am half German, have loved Austro-German music ever since I can remember, and have many times been validated as a German speaker. I believe I can be the link between you and your English-speaking readers.

Languages and music 

My love of languages is bound up with music. I am a pianist and organist, and as a student had an ancient but brilliant piano professor, Vivian Langrish, who, when I was being stupid and young and trying to show off, told me how Paderewski (the composer of the famous Minuet) created excitement, not by speed, but by making every note clear. My other teacher, Gillian Weir, was at the forefront of the then new “authentic” style – as we now call “historically aware” playing. My collection of recordings began when I was 14, and has now become far too large. 

Education and beyond 

I was an Exhibitioner at Trinity College, Cambridge, and won a prize at the Royal Academy of Music. I have lectured for the University of East Anglia, the Workers’ Educational Association, the Cambridge Board of Continuing Education and a leading company for educational holidays. In the course of directing tours to major festivals in cities such as Vienna, Eisenstadt, Leipzig and Dresden, I arranged private visits where I was able to demonstrate instruments formerly played by Bach, Haydn, Liszt and Brahms. Performances of Haydn quartets solely for my party took place in successive years in the Music Room (the venue where the very first performances took place) of the Esterhàzy Palace in Fertöd, Hungary.

Castle of Wartburg, Eisenach, Thuringia

My allied tasks included city guiding, revealing Vienna as it was in Haydn’s day, playing his music on his instruments, talking in detail about great churches such as Vierzehnheiligen, Banz and the Hofkirche, Dresden, and explaining how to ask for horseradish in Vienna (Kren) – where the word is different from that used in Germany (Meerettich)


Since starting my translation business with speed, availability, punctuality and subject knowledge being taken for granted, I have helped in the publication of guides in, for example, Château Azay-le-Rideau, and the Natural History Museum, Graz. I have helped musicians achieve a wider audience through translating their biographies, and worked on behalf of winemakers (such as the festival at Vevey) and on automotive subjects, particularly tracked vehicles.

Professional development

So as to be of best assistance to you the client/customer, I am fully committed to developing my skills through continuing professional development. This includes not only attending many webinars for translators, as well as meetings and conferences, but also travelling to exhibitions, such as the Dürer Drawings, Architectural Drawings, and Caravaggio/Bernini (all in Vienna), the “Charles I” and the “Da Vinci: A Life in Drawing,” in London. 

The organ of Klosterneuburg has great heavy iron stop levers

I continue to play many organs abroad, such as the oldest (1642) organ in Vienna and its relation of the same age in Klosterneuburg last year, aiming to study music on the instruments for which it was originally written. 


Your translations can be produced using Mac or Windows technology, with the latest tools such as memoQ, and translation memories, glossaries and quality assurance software. I am committed to client confidentiality and non-disclosure, and will gladly provide a privacy policy.

Support Black Artists
Victoria Falls, 2013 – between visits to friends on death row, photo by Kumbi,
son of one of the (subsequently released) prisoners

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