I finished the translation. It was a long process, but an interesting one. My approach was to translate one paragraph at a time. This offered immediate gratification, compensating the effort of the work. It also got me engaged in the evolving story.
The first step in the translation was to clean up the character recognition errors in the text file. This involved comparing the original transcript with the text file, word-for-word, character-by-character. While it is fortunate that my word processor includes a German Language Spell Checker, I quickly learnt it did not follow that a correctly-spelt word was also correctly interpreted. Frequently the recognition process came up with a correctly-spelt word, but the wrong one; sometimes a single character transliteration lands on a correctly spelt word.
After I corrected the obvious errors, and punctuation, I cut and paste the text into Google Translate. My German Language skills are in an odd place: I frequently recognise a word, but simply don’t recall what it means. The other complication is the German sentence structure sometimes obfuscates the meaning. I can read a paragraph and often get the gist of it, but a more complete translation is beyond my skill.
After Google offered the translated text, I read it to see if the English simply made sense on its own. Then I assessed the consistency of that with my interpretation of the German. Very often these were at odds. Such cases required a more detailed effort to translate, word-by-word via German Dictionary, to align Google’s offering.
I will do a second pass as a form of quality control, but for the most part, I think it’s close enough, at least for now.