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FAQ: The Do’s and Don’ts of Translating English into Russian

This article lists questions frequently asked by buyers of translation from English into Russian.

Can I have a page translated into Russian for $5?

You might, but a rate as low as this will mean low quality. A professional translator translates one page per hour on average, so $5 per page would mean $5 per hour, which is too low to expect quality work. Even if someone promises quality at such rate, you will most likely end up with an unusable translation.

Can I have my translation done by a non-native speaker?

Usually not a good idea. Writing good Russian with adherence to all grammar and punctuation rules is difficult for educated native speakers, let alone someone who learned it as a second language. The only reason I imagine you would want to outsource a translation to someone who is not a native speaker of Russian is cost-efficiency. Remember that you tend to get exactly what you pay for. If a native translator charges $0.20 per word and you choose someone who markets $0.01, low quality should not come as a surprise to you.

What can I do to reduce translation costs?

  1. Most importantly, do not wait until the last minute to send your order. Firstly, by giving ample time to your vendor, you will avoid the rush surcharge. Secondly, longer deadlines are conducive to higher quality and lower costs (make sure to ask for a discount in this case if your translator does not offer one).
  2. If you pay per word (a common practice), you can edit your text to reduce the number of words:
  • Keep only what is really necessary. For example, if you want to have a website translated for a Russian market, you probably do not need the careers section localized.
  • Remove things that do not require translation. You can reinsert them after the translation is complete.
  • Do not send the text for translation in an uneditable format, such as PDF.
  • Remove images with text or replace them with text only. Translating images involves additional work billed as a separate item on the invoice.

Does English to Russian translation require editing by a second linguist?

Normally, you do not need to worry about the translation process, just as you do not have to decide which tools translators should use. Your job is to select a vendor who knows the answer to that question and will not put the pressure of making such technical decisions on you. But should you think about such questions anyway; remember that an independent review helps to make sure the translation has been completed to a high standard and is a requirement of the EN-15038 European translation quality standard.

Do I need to have the translation proofread after it is finalized?

Finalizing the translation means preparing it for printing, publishing it on a website, and so on. With any finalization of this kind, it is important to have the finalized content proofread by the original translator. Failure to do so can result in errors introduced during finalization. The translator is in the best position to give the translation a final look. Believe it or not, we have had cases when the person doing the finalization inserted incomprehensible machine translations by mistake instead of the translations we provided. Without follow-up proofreading, those blunders would have gone unnoticed.

In conclusion

These are some of the things to keep in mind if you want to translate English texts into Russian with optimal results. Better yet, you can engage an experienced translation agency that will follow these best practices without reminders from you.

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About the Author

Roman Mironov
Roman Mironov
CEO & Founder

As the founder of Velior, Roman has had the privilege of being able to turn his passion for languages into a business. He has over 15 years of experience in the translation industry. Roman has helped dozens of clients increase sales by making their products appealing for speakers of other languages.