Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you don’t find the answer to your question here, you can contact me to ask a specific question.

What is your availability?
My office hours are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Standard Time (equivalent to GMT -6, MSK (Moscow Time) -9 /MSK -10 during winter months). However, my availability varies greatly and depends on my current workload. I always try to accommodate requests from my favourite clients and help them out with translations whenever they need them, even if this means working slightly outside of my office hours. You can contact me and request information about my availability at any time.
What are your service fees? (How much will it cost?)
Since each project is different in terms of language complexity, field of specialization, file format and specific client requirements, it is not appropriate to use a simple ‘one-rate-fits-all’ formula to calculate the cost of translation services. I can state my fee for a project only after I have become familiar with the source text. You can use the Quote page to send me your texts and project specifications. After I receive the source text, I will evaluate it and provide you with a detailed, non-obligatory quote.

The same principle also applies to editing and proofreading projects, in which case it is even more important to see the text prior to quoting a fee for a particular project, because in addition to the above-mentioned factors, the issue of translation quality also comes into play. Therefore, it is understandable that my fee for editing/proofreading a text which has not been translated well will be higher than it would be for reviewing a high-quality translation completed by a skilled professional. The reason for this is that reviewing a bad translation requires a lot of time, often even more time than would be required to just re-translate the text from scratch.

What is your daily translation output? (How long will it take?)
It is hard to specify an exact translation capacity because texts vary greatly in their complexity, amount of research required, language style (e.g. literary translations are generally more time consuming), and many other factors. Therefore it is hard to pin down an exact number of words that I can translate per day. For example, I could say that my daily translation capacity is 1000 words but I could end up translating twice this amount if the text is not difficult, or, on the other hand, less than half of that amount in the case of a very difficult text. Clients should also be aware that my translation capacity for their projects depends on the number of projects that I am working on for other clients at a given point in time.
Why is it important that translations from Russian to English are completed by a professional translator who is a native speaker of English?
Translation should always be done by someone who is an expert in both languages and a native speaker of the target language. It is often the case that translations completed by those working into their non-native language fall short in many respects. Even if the text is ‘correct’ from a technical standpoint, translations by a non-native speaker of the target language may feature incorrect word order, the wrong use of the definite article “the” and the indefinite article “a” or using them when they are not required, inappropriate punctuation such as using Russian quotation marks «…» instead of English ones “…”, incorrect comma placement, use of quotation marks around company names (in English this is not necessary), awkward phrasing of sentences, and, in the worst case scenario, a word-for-word translation. Such mistakes are not only embarrassing, but may even end up being costly to your company if the document needs to be re-translated or if the errors are so severe that they cause you to lose clients in English-speaking markets. This is why it is best to always engage the services of a translator whose native language is English when translating into English. Russian to English translations completed by a professional native English translator with expert knowledge of Russian are very important for your company’s image and prestige. Since English is commonly used as the international language for conducting business, perfect English documents will allow you to reap financial rewards and expand your business in the global marketplace.
Can you also provide translations from English to Russian?
Although I conduct daily correspondence in Russian and probably could do translations from English to Russian, I believe that this is an activity that is best performed by a professional translator who is a native speaker of Russian. Texts written in one’s native language are much more intuitive and have a natural flow and expressiveness of style, something which is hard to achieve when composing in one’s non-native language. If you are looking for an English to Russian translator, I would be glad to refer you to one of my trusted Russian colleagues.
I have a Russian legal document. Will you translate it or edit a legal translation completed by another translator?
The translation of legal documents requires highly-specialized knowledge of both the Russian legal system and the legal systems of English-speaking countries. As part of my commitment to quality, I only work in the subject areas in which I have considerable knowledge, so I do not offer translation or editing of legal documents. Please refer to my fields of expertise to find out more information about my areas of specialization and the types of documents that I translate. If you are looking for a legal translator, I can refer you to one of my colleagues who specializes in this field.
My company is located in Russia/Europe. Why would I use the services of a translator on the other side of the world?
I am truly a unique individual who feels at home in both Canada and Russia. I always stay up to date with the latest events and developments in Russia. My level of Russian language proficiency and deep knowledge of Russian culture/society is maintained by making frequent and long trips to Russia, reading and writing in Russian every day, watching Russian news and films, listening to Russian music, and engaging in continuous correspondence with Russian clients, colleagues, and friends.

The time difference (my city is in the Central Standard Time zone, 9 hours behind the time in Moscow and Saint Petersburg) can actually work to your advantage. The nine-hour time difference means that my working hours coordinate with your evening and night. You can relax at home and be assured that I am working on your translations while you are sleeping so that they are in your Inbox by the following morning in Russia. This falls within my normal business hours, so surcharges for rush work do not apply.

What is the reason for your minimum project fee?
Any job, however small it may be, involves a certain amount of negotiation, assessment, administration, file management, bookkeeping, record management, and other activities. Such overhead often requires even more time and effort than the amount of time spent completing a small job. These operating costs are covered by the application of a minimum fee.
What methods of payment do you accept?
Most clients send payments by either PayPal or international wire transfer (SWIFT). I prefer payments via INTERAC e-Transfer or company cheque from clients within Canada. Payments from the USA can be sent by US dollar cheques or via PayPal. Payments from Russia or European countries are usually sent by PayPal (for smaller amounts) or wire transfer (for larger amounts). Clients are not required to have a PayPal account as they can simply use a credit card (e.g. Visa, MasterCard) to send a payment via PayPal. However, I am flexible about how payments are sent and am willing to consider other payment methods not listed here.