Who am I? (Russian-English)
Thread poster: Daniel Mullaney

Daniel Mullaney
Russian Federation
Local time: 10:46
Russian to English
Jul 30, 2008

I completely by accident became involved in translation work at the end of July 2007. I have been living in Russia (Novosibirsk, Siberia), working for a Christian organization and intensively studying Russian for the last 3 years.

Last year a translation company called me up completely out of the blue and asked me to do some editing work for them. They said that it is difficult to find first language English speakers with a good knowledge of Russian, and started offering me work from time to time. This year they offered me some translation work for their web site.

I never set out to be a translator, but I now think that it might be an effective way of earning some extra money, and decided to take some exams in Russian. At the end of last year I took TORFL-2, and I'm hoping to take TORFL-3. TORFL-3 officially allows a foreigner to work in the linguistic sphere in Russia.

I would now like to start searching for translation work from Russian to English over the internet in order to give more possibilities. I don't know much about the industry, and would like somewhere to start. On this web site there is a lot of information, and I am left more than a little confused.

Am I a professional translator or a student? How should I advertise myself? What sort of rates should I be looking for as a beginner in translating and editing? Could you give me any other advice about how to develop as a translator.

I have a BSc in Mathematics & Philosophy from Warwick University, England and a wide range of interests. I have edited documents about Biology, Civil Engineering, Advertising, and other themes. I have translated for a web site and translated religious documents. What should I say is my speciality? How could I develop those specialities further?


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The Misha
Local time: 00:46
Russian to English
+ ...
You are what you put yourself out to be ... Jul 30, 2008

... if you have appropriate skills and knowledge to prove it. This is a fairly fragmented industry and many of us have come to it from totally different other walks of life. From the get go, the rates you should be charging should be the rates you can live with (if not the ones you want to get), not the rates you think you may be able to get. The rates advertised on ProZ are not in the least indicative of rates most of us (at least those in the West) work for. This is a crowded pair though, and we will fight you tooth and nail (joke!). Since you are a native speaker of English you may actually have a substantial competitive advantage over Russian natives living in Russia who routinely translate into English. Though the universally accepted rule of translating only into your native language may be quite absurd at times, most Russian natives living in Russia lack deep and intimate familiarity with English to produce truly idiomatic translations. This is something you could exploit when advertising your services - all the more so since this pair is in fact dominated by Russian natives. As to specialization areas, this is what you choose for yourself based on what you know and feel comfortable with. If you are well familiar with religious matters, that may be it, or if your engineering diploma makes reading technical texts a breeze, go for it. The beauty of this otherwise fairly rotten industry is that in most cases the only thing that matters is your ability to do an adequate job.

Good luck and welcome to the club.


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Ivana Friis Wilson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:46
Member (2008)
English to Danish
+ ...
Excellent title! Jul 30, 2008

I really like your style

You obviously have a talent for writing, that's clear just from your post. You also have what I assume is a linguistic degree (I am not familiar with TORFL?) and degrees in other areas. Those other areas could be your specialities - select the ones you enjoy most.

I guess from here you specialise by getting work in those areas.

Contact some (well, a lot of) agencies and ask if they would like to see examples of your work, maybe a small test (no more than 200 words or paid) and see how it goes. Use the BlueBoard to pick agencies with good reputations.

And read here. On the forums and in the article knowledge base. And participate in the forums, answer Kudoz.

Good luck!


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