Lil Reif holds a university diploma in translation (Russian, Portuguese and Law) and a PhD in Sociolinguistics and has worked as a free lance translator and interpreter, including translations for film and during festivals like Sehsüchte in Potsdam, Germany. In 2005, she became a lecturer at the Faculty of Translation Studies 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 also interested in literary translation. In 2008, she met the author Juris Zvirgzdiņš, which resulted in her first literary translation from Latvian into German: a fragment 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, she 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. Apart from Zvirgzdiņš, she has translated Maira Asare's book „Sieviešu zona” (unpublished). Other translations (fragments from novels, short stories and poetry) include works from Inga Gaile, Inga Žolude, Māris Bērziņš, Andris Akmentiņš, Inguna Cepīte, Rasa Bugavičute-Pēce, Arvīds Viguls and Ingmāra Balode. In 2018, she received the translators’ prize of the city of Vienna for the translation of a fragment from the novel „Svina Garša” from Māris Bērziņš. Lil is currently translating the full text of „Svina Garša” and „Mufa“ from Juris Zvirgzdiņš.
Translators’ prize of the city of Vienna in 2018 (historical novel).