Lil Reif studied Russian, Portuguese and Law in Berlin, Moscow and Évora and holds a universiy diploma in translation studies from Humboldt University. She has worked as a free lance translator and interpreter in various fields including film translation and voice-over for the International Student Film Festival Sehsüchte in Potsdam. In 2005, she became a lecturer at Ventspils University College, Latvia, with a fellowship from the Robert Bosch Foundation. During the three years of her stay, she started to learn Latvian and got interested in translating literature. In 2008, she met with the author Juris Zvirgzdiņš, which resulted in her first literary translation from Latvian into German: an excerpt of „Tobiass un Fufū meklē Mocartu”, prepared for a reading during the 10th Week of Youth Literature in Celle and published in the anthology „Lesereien”. Other fragments from Zvirgzdiņš's work followed. Ironically, Lil took the same route of Tobiass and Fufū - in the sense that she moved from Latvia to Austria, meanwhile working in Vienna as an expert for European research funding. Furthermore, she has translated Maira Asare's book „Sieviešu zona”, not yet published. With her husband Sven Otto, a journalist and translator, she is currently translating Māris Bērziņš's novel „Svina Garša”.