Kahn translates from English, French, and Italian into German. He studied ancient Near Eastern studies, philosophy, and rabbinic theology in Germany, Italy, and Israel and earned a doctorate in ancient Near Eastern studies. The first translation of poems by Paul Celan into Italian was published in 1976. The translations were co-authored by Kahn and Marcella Bagnasco. In 2014 Kahn completed eight years of translation work on the novel Horcynus Orca by Stefano DʼArrigo. For this translation Kahn was awarded the 2015 German-Italian Translation Prize as well as the Jane Scatcherd Prize. In 2015 Kahn received the Paul Celan Prize in recognition of his life's work.