Carl J. Fehlandt

MIIS Mourns Loss of Professor Carl Fehlandt, “A Pillar of the Translation Program”

November 6, 2012

With great sadness, the Monterey Institute community learned this morning that Professor Carl Fehlandt has passed away following a brave fight with cancer over the past 14 months.  Carl graduated from the Monterey Institute with an MA in Translation and from the University of the Americas, Mexico City with a BA in Spanish Language and Literature.  He taught Spanish Translation and Interpretation at the Monterey Institute from 1974 onward, and had been an active freelance translator since 1972.  Carl had a great impact on his students and remained in contact with many of them over the years.    

Dean Reneé Jourdanais of the Graduate School of Translation, Interpretation and Language Education says Carl will be sorely missed. “Carl has impacted so many lives during his almost forty years at the Institute and in the community. You really have no sense as to how far a person reaches until you see the outpouring of messages and thoughts that have come in from around the world.” 

Carl’s colleague and former student Professor Barry Olsen adds: “Carl was a pillar of the translation program. He was more passionate about translation and language than any person that I have ever met. He shared that passion for decades with his students and colleagues and has shaped the professional practice of translators and interpreters.” It is evident that Carl leaves behind a lasting legacy in every way at the Monterey Institute. As Barry Olsen says: “To say that he will be missed does not even begin to explain how his friends, family and students feel.”

The Monterey Institute will celebrate the life and legacy of Carl J. Fehlandt in the Irvine Auditorium on Tuesday, November 13th at 12:15 PM.  


Lucy (not verified)


After graduation, we kept in touch, and I am glad we did, because the good conversations and laughter were worth it.
Lucy from France

July 23, 2014 @ 6:26 am

Anonymous (not verified)

Immense loss

Carl inspired so many of us to strive for excellence. A word of praise from him was worth the hours spent toiling over an assignment. After more than 20 years now as a professional translator, I still attempt to live up to his high standards every day.
Thank you Carl, you will not be forgotten.

Lydia Brady

February 17, 2013 @ 11:28 am

Susan Ayoob (not verified)


I am heartened to read these comments. It is wonderful to read how Carl truly touched the lives of generations of students. And yes, his love of language was a thing to behold. He loved seeing how language was evolving- new twists and turns in English slang and usage. "Do we say that? What do we say?" was a common refrain. After graduation, we kept in touch, and I am glad we did, because the good conversations and laughter were worth it. I valued him as a friend.
M.A.T. Class of 2007

December 04, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

Vicki Hain Poorman (not verified)

What sad news

The news of Carl's death is both sad and ironic. He cared so much about physical fitness. I remember him saying once that his goal was to live (and die) like a well-known surfer he admired, who had stayed active well into his 90's, then died in a surfing accident.

Seems like everything Carl did, he did passionately. I am grateful for the passion he showed as a teacher and mentor, and will always remember him for encouraging all of us to do and be our best. Te vamos a extranar, Carl.
Vicki Hain Poorman, '85

November 27, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

Barbara Moser-Mercer (not verified)

Carl Fehlandt

It is with great sadness that we learn about Carl's passing, but he leaves the legacy of an inspired teacher, mentor to countless students, dedicated professional and quick-witted colleague. His love of language made him a devoted linguist, his love of communication made him the outstanding translator and trainer he was. While he always strove for perfection, he had the patience to guide his students to reach it. He will always be remembered as the outstanding trainer he was.

November 18, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

John Gardella MD (not verified)


My friendship with Carl began in high school when his virtuosity with language first became apparent in our introductory Latin class. There was very much to admire in him: integrity, a keen intellect, his love of liberty, an irreverent sense of humor (How I shall miss his laughter !), and his love of music. Our friendship was rounded with music, starting in October 1965 when we attended a performance of "Faust" at the old Metropolitan Opera in NYC, and ending this past October with a performance of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in San Jose. It has been said that good friends and great music are part of god's apology for the discords of this world. If so, the friendship of this wonderful man compensated greatly for life's dissatisfactions. Carl - Your friends are grateful for the many ways you enriched our lives. We will miss you.

November 18, 2012 @ 8:41 am

Carl P (not verified)

Symmetry your tribute....An old teacher friend of mine, my Mr. Chips at Brooklyn Prep named Charlie Winans, took me and Mel Grillo---his sister was a soprano at the Met---to the last performance of Faust at the Old Met. Franco Corelli leapt all over the stage as was typical of him!...

Carl Palminteri

November 20, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

Sheila Shermet (not verified)

Carl Fehlandt

Tribute to Carl Fehlandt

In those spheres of human endeavor that mattered to Carl, he was nonesuch, unparalleled. How did he achieve the excellence for which he was renown?

You are thinking perhaps of his intelligence, prodigious memory, self-control, stoicism and integrity? Or you recall his fierce loyalty, be it to an idea or to a friend?

I would venture that the secret to his success and what was truly remarkable about the unique man who was my teacher, mentor, friend, and finally family, was this:

He lived entirely in the moment. His laser-like beam of concentration focused on the now: reading the paper, listening to music, translating, being with a friend, laughing raucously. Nothing else existed in that moment save the activity in which he was engaged. No past, no future.

That is the real teaching his life bequeaths to us. Live in this moment. Love what you are doing now. Love in the here and now. That was Carl’s life.

I love him well.

November 14, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

Anonymous (not verified)

The arrow Carl Fehlandt

My lifelong friend Carl Fehlandt was true to the mark on any subject he approached you with whether it was Opera, Politics or whatever.
I remember playing wall handball with Carl near his home when we both attended Xaverian High School in Brooklyn. Carl would also visit my Home in Dyker Heights.
We had a ball in our French classes at Xaverian with a brother named Mon Ami. We also had a ball with a Brother named Padraic in Geometry.
We attended operas at the OLD MET in NYC with our classmates.
Carl and I would joust about current and past Opera greats even until several months ago because of our musical heritage. We both had operatic mothers and I had a 60 year piano and five year choir career.
This man was and will always be a gem to me. They do not get any better.
God Bless You Always Carl.

Tony Carrelli

November 14, 2012 @ 10:24 am

Trisha Bennett Mayer (not verified)

Carl Fehlandt

Bill Weber e-mailed me yesterday with the awful news and I just could not believe it. Since graduating from MIIS in 1983, I have visited Monterey almost every year. Many friends and professors have come and gone, but Carl was always, always there. Over the years, he became a true and dear friend, not only to me but to my daughters too! I simply cannot imagine the Institute without him. Carl, you were a wonderful, funny, intelligent, caring person, and I will miss you deeply.

November 12, 2012 @ 11:11 am

Esther M. Navarro-Hall (not verified)

A mi querido colega...

Dear Carl,

Thank you for being a wonderful professor, a kind friend and a generous colleague. We met during the Spring semester in 1983. You, Holly Mikkelson, Enrique Robert, Edith Lynch, Ine-Marie Van Dam, Sylvie Lambert and Ovidio Casado-Fuente were my first professors when I started my career as an interpreter at MIIS.

You used to call me simply “Navarro” (you enjoyed calling everyone by their last name back then). I remember the endless hours of conversation you had with your students, and the classes that would go on for hours, even after the time listed on the schedule had ended. Our Spanish-speaking group, Brenda, Charito, Charlene, Franco, Magdalena, Mayra, Nora, Sonia, Susanita and myself used to hang on to your every word and welcome you at every get-together we ever had from 1983 to 1985.

Back then, we shared in your knowledge and in your zest for life. However, I never thought that I would actually be sharing a table with you at a Spanish-faculty meeting and asking for your sage advice regarding my curriculum as an Adjunct Professor. What an honor to become a part of that select group of professionals and to see interpreting and translation from your point of view.

As a student, I was in awe of your “Mexican Spanish” and your flawless English. Your personality and your way of teaching instilled in me the desire to become a teacher as well. We share a love for reading and for classical music, a love for the beautiful things in life and for friendships across borders; but most of all, we share a love of languages and a love for humanity.

I don’t know if you remember, but the last correction you made to one of my papers was last year, when I submitted a proposal for a new Masters degree program. Even then, you were the consummate professor. I treasure those markings on my paper, because you always made my words sound better… but most of all, I treasure your friendship and your caring heart.

I send you a big hug and all my love.

Con mis respetos, mi admiración y todo mi cariño,

November 11, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

James Dirgin (not verified)

You will be missed, terribly...

You remembrance will be with us in our thoughts and memories....forever...

November 11, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

Paul Tryon (not verified)

Forty-Five Years of Friendship

Carl and I were roommates as undergraduates in Mexico City in the 1960s, and all in our group of “language junkies” knew he was the most likely to pursue a career in some area of language study. His passions then were chess, opera and Latin (Professor Bolaño e Isla called him "el latinista"). There were discussions long into many nights as we fretted over some unattested etymology, should this or that word bear a written accent, or how we might contrive new ways to belabor the use of the moribund Spanish future subjunctive. We all got good and tipsy the day we learned Menéndez Pidal had died. And there were the bookstores, the Bar Chapultepec, and the neighbors’ cringing as Di Stefano’s and Corelli’s notes challenged the integrity of the walls.

Teacher, inspiration, dear friend: We are all the richer because you stood among us.

Paul Tryon

November 10, 2012 @ 12:08 am

Anonymous (not verified)

Thoughts & prayers

I'm terribly sorry to hear about Professor Fehlandt's passing. Although I never had him as a professor, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet him and discuss job opportunities in the field. He was very down to earth and I remember him being very eager to help me out. I will keep his family in my thoughts and prayers.

November 08, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

Teresa Salazar (not verified)

Carl Fehlandt

I thinkRoxana Cardenas, another former student, described Carl the best when we were talking about his passing. She described him as a teacher who put his students ahead of his ego, and that is so true. He was there when I had to prepare to repeat a section of my Professional Examination right after I had a very bad car accident and was on strong medication which slowed my wits. That summer he devoted hours to helping me practice and never stopped encouraging me until everything was done. To a great extent, it was thanks to him that I came away from the Institute with the training I needed to do what I wanted to do. However, the best thing he gave me was his true and loyal friendship for 31 years.

I am very sorry that future generations of T & I students will not have the benefit of his teaching, humor, and humanity. Those of us who knew him will always treasure the time we spent learning and laughing with him.

November 08, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

Lourdes Rosado (not verified)


I am shocked and truly saddened to find out at the same time about Carl´s illness and passing. Carl was my teacher at MIIS. Everybody knows what a great teacher he was, but what I remember most about him is how he truly cared about his students, how he always had time for them, always willing to help, and what a great human being he was.

November 08, 2012 @ 2:58 am

Brian Ross (not verified)

Follow your bliss

Carl was fond of quoting Joseph Campbell’s saying that you should “follow your bliss”. Carl so thoroughly embodied this philosophy that anyone who ever wondered whether pursuing wholeheartedly what you love and sharing that love with others can really lead you toward happiness and perfection needed only to sit back and watch him teach, or do anything for that matter. His intensity was at once intimidating and contagious. After toiling for hours on some 300-word translation assignment of some arcane, convoluted, flow-of-consciousness Argentinean text, feeling that I’d done the best anyone could do, Carl would hand out “his version” and the end of his class, showing us all what can be done with the English language, invariably leaving me feeling inadequate, yet piqued to strive harder and do better the next time around. He was as frugal with excess verbiage as he was with money. He could untwist the most tortuous syntax, laying bare the meaning and putting it in such plain English you couldn’t help but say “why didn’t I see that?” His sentences were as pared-down, direct, devoid of obfuscation and ambiguity as were his personality and lifestyle. He was as faithful to his friends as he was to that old VW Bug. He could come off as intolerant (mostly of mediocrity) and rough around the edges, but anyone who had the privilege of knowing him well knew what a softy he was, how quickly his voice could choke up and his eyes would well up at the thought of a lost friend. Now he’s our lost friend. I’ll miss you Carl. Thank you for all the lessons you taught.

November 08, 2012 @ 2:29 am

John Mitchell (not verified)

Carl Fehlandt

Carl and I were good friends and fellow students at the Institute in the early 1970's. He had a sharp intellect and a great wit. Because he was from Brooklyn, he once told me that "coleslaw" was properly pronounced "cussla" in Brooklynese. I've thought of Carl every time I've eaten coleslaw for the last forty or so years. Now, I'll also have a tear in my eye when I think of Carl and his untimely passing.

November 07, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

Sonia Williams (not verified)


My dear Carl
I am so sad for finding out too late about
Your illness. I was looking forward to see you at
MIIS next year for the reunion.
I thank you for being a great teacher. You enriched my
English vocabulary and made me believe i coud make it
Through T &I and I did. Thanks to you professor
Enrique Robert, Holly and others I created my own
Translation agency and I am proud of it.
I remember our parties at MIIS, dressing up on Halloween
Etc etc. You became so close to our Latino group and forever
We will remember you.
It is terrible not having you physically with us but i
Am glad you are not going through so much pain now.
Gracias por todo amigo!
Sonia Williams
Global Translations & Interpretations Florida

November 07, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

Gloria Jaramillo (not verified)


Carl Fehlandt was one of those teachers that pushed us to the limit in class, asking us to give our all in very sentence. And even though at the time it seemed he was hard on us, futher on in life we end up regretting we didn't take more advantage of him and what he had to teach us. At least I have felt this way since I joined the work market. With Carl, you learned, whether you liked it or not.

November 07, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

Tom Miracle (not verified)

Carl Fehlandt

We were contemporaries as MIFS students in the early '70s, and each day on campus wasn't quite complete without hearing his laughter. I'm very sorry to hear the news.

November 07, 2012 @ 11:37 am

Gio Lester (not verified)


Good teachers don't die. They live forever through their legacy, the work of their students, and in the memory of friends.


November 07, 2012 @ 6:42 am

Miria Vargas (not verified)

A Teacher for the Ages

I remember so many long afternoons reviewing Carl's thoughtful comments on the English language with classmates from all over the world. For the English native speakers, he took their English to the next level, testing their knowledge and precision. For our foreign students, he helped them explore the richness of the English language with great respect and delight.

Carl was an impressive teacher and scholar and he made a huge impression on generations of linguists. Many of his students feel that his teaching changed their lives.

We miss you Carl--you have no idea how sad we feel. But we rejoice in the memory of those moments of great insight and learning.

With love and boundless admiration,

Miria Vargas
MIIS 1999

November 07, 2012 @ 1:42 am

Karen Gross (not verified)

Carl Fehlandt

Yesterday, when I heard about this terrible loss, I could not believe it, I was in shock. Carl was such a wonderful teacher! I learned to love the English language (even sight translation) thanks to him and his unique way of explaining things, always to be the point, precise, impeccable. I would have liked to tell him how much I thank him for everything he taught me, for his legacy, I owe him so much! Time was too short. When I heard he was ill, he was actually already leaving us. It's devastating news for all those of us, who had the honor to be his student. Carl, te recordaré siempre.

November 06, 2012 @ 11:38 pm

Anonymous (not verified)


The best translator I've ever met!

We learned so much from you and you were an excellent human being.

We will miss you, Carl.

November 06, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

Monica D. Reynoso (not verified)

Carl's Passing

MIIS should consider creating a special scholarship for students from Latin America coming to the T&I Program. This would be a way to keep his memory alive. We are all connected through Carl and his wonderful legacy to individual MIIS graduates of the T&I Spanish Department, the MIIS Community at large, and the T&I Profession around the world. MIIS was his home, his alma mater, his workplace, he was a source of inspiration to every one... now he must not become a legend but a concrete Master of Translation acting from Beyond this World and guiding us all with his advice, and friendship and unconditional love.

November 06, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

Marta Restrepo (not verified)

Carl Fehlandt

Thank you for your news. Many of us are shocked and grieved by his death. Please keep us informed.

November 06, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

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