Letter to a true European: Thank you, Steph!

, by Gesine Weber, Tobias Gerhard Schminke

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [Deutsch] [Deutsch] [English] [français]

Letter to a true European: Thank you, Steph!
“Nearly every week, you have been in contact with the team over three years, whether from Tanzania, La Reunion or Uruguay - and you always committed to inter-European dialogue.” Photo: kirkandmimi/ Pixabay / CC0 1.0

After three years as the Head of Translations for treffpunkteuropa.de, Stéphanie-Fabienne Lacombe is leaving the post. She has made a marvellous contribution to the magazine - time for a thank you letter.

Dear Steph,

1985. This is your ID number in our list of authors. This makes you, pardon me, made you the editorial member which is by far the longest serving editor. Currently, our language versions are approaching ID number 2.800 on our authors’ list. For sure, you have seen many authors come and go. You published your first article with us in the autumn of 2014, and in the spring of 2015 you became part of the editorial team under editor-in-chief Franziska Pudelko. Since then you have seen and survived two other editors-in-chief in the German-language version. Nearly every week, you have been in contact with the team over three years, whether from Tanzania, La Reunion or Uruguay – and you always committed to inter-European dialogue. With every change, you have always remained faithful to our "translations department”, which truly is the heart of our magazine.

There are many good reasons why you spent three years as our Translation Coordinator for treffpunkteuropa.de. Probably the most obvious one is your incredible ability to work with foreign languages, your talent for playing with words and languages, always getting the right tone. With this love of detail and linguistic perfection, you have always succeeded in translating not just content, but moods and feelings. There are not many people who can be described without hesitation as a linguistic genius, but you are undoubtedly one of them. It’s people like you who are needed more than anywhere else in a complex and multilingual Europe. With your translations, you have not only built bridges between the different language versions of treffpunkteuropa.de and its partners, but also laid the foundation for Europeans to build bridges among themselves, because young people, thanks to your translations, in Greifswald and Limoges and Newcastle and Taormina and Gibraltar, can read the same articles. This is the common public sphere which Europe needs - and you have been instrumental in making Europe a step closer to this goal with your work every day.

But you have enriched the editorial team with much more than the translations. Your creative streak, your love of European culture, your thinking outside the box, all made the editorial sessions unique and inspiring. Who else but you would have thought of writing a letter to Altiero Spinelli on the occasion of the Ventotene meeting of the federalist movement? Even moments like the media seminar preparation in “Lacombe’s kitchen”, the spontaneous and successful recruitment of seminar participants or the legendary night walk despite a bad cold at the first Berlin media seminar will be remembered, just to name a few.

In your commitment you were an example to us, and probably to all the young Europeans who know you and your work. That’s why we are dedicating this letter to you today.

With your departure as the head of translation, treffpunkteuropa.de loses an institution: For over three years you have been Mrs. Translations, which has made Europe a hit. Although we are quite sure that with Can Yildiz and Marie Menke you have chosen wonderful successors who will step into your - admittedly very big - footsteps: you will be missed in our team! And yet we know that one always meets twice in life - and even more often in Europe with no borders.

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