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Showing posts from 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dear readers of this blog,
Thank you so much for staying with me through this year, for reading and commenting on my posts, for suggesting topics for discussion and for letting me know when there were any typos/mistakes! I can't express how much I value each one of you.
I'd like to wish you all a very merry Christmas! May the Lord bless you with joy and peace! And may this New Year bring you many blessings from above!
Olga




More free Russian New Year and Christmas pictures here: открытки и анимация с Новым годом

Snegurochka / Snow Maiden

Last year I wrote a post about Santa Claus and Ded Moroz. There, I mentioned a character called Snegurochka, or Snow Maiden in English. I recently came across a wonderful article in Russian on one of my favourite websites, so I thought that I definitely need to share at least some of its most interesting parts so you can know more about this beautiful legend.

How can Twitter facilitate language learning?

There's no doubt that Twitter offers a wealth of opportunities. But how can Twitter help us learn a foreign language? I've got some ideas, but I'd be thankful for your input as well! So comments are more than welcome!

Twitter offers several advantages for languages learners:
1) Here people usually write what they think in a conversational style. So it's a great tool to master conversational English/Russian/any other language that people use on Twitter.

Are there texts that you won't translate for any money?

When you read translation blogs, especially advice from more experienced translators to their less experienced colleagues, the most popular topics are: setting your rates and keeping them, defining your fields of specialization, working on your quality, productivity and marketing. But I think there's one more thing we need to think about from the very first days as translators: topics that we won't cover, no matter how much money we are offered for our services.

Those things differ from person to person. What you will or won't do really depends on your personality, views, religion, life experience and a lot of other factors.
I don't translate texts that promote any occult practices, pornography, abortions, prostitution, smoking, drinking or any illegal actions. Please don't think that I am trying to impose my views on you! I don't work with such texts because of who I am and my priorities. My goal is helping people with my work, not doing them any harm.
If you…

Moving out of my comfort zone

With the New Year rapidly approaching, I am starting to analyze this past year. In fact, I've been analyzing all the changes in my life since 2007. And I am learning to value the Lord's timing, His guidance and support while He has continuously been pushing me out of my comfort zone.
I started working in the church while I was still a student and I never wanted to look for a different job, or a different position. Even when I realized that changes were necessary I did not welcome them. Partly, this was because I loved my work in the church. I made a lot of friends, I had a chance to develop the skills that could otherwise remain hidden, plus I had a privilege of serving the Lord and helping people in Vladimir and its suburbs, and even people from other countries. Thankfully, the latter point applies to my life now as well, otherwise I'd have to admit that I made a huge mistake ;)

Motivational guide for language learners

Hi! How are you? I hope you've had a good week and are ready for a new blog post which is actually not going to be about translation. It is going to be about learning foreign languages.
Please meet Aaron G Myers, the Author of "The Everyday Language Learner's Guide To Sustaining". If you click here his website will open in a new window. He contacted me this week through Twitter and gave me a link to his Guide which you can find here. I followed the link and as I began reading I realized how special this little booklet really is.

The biggest advantage of being a freelancer

Last year I wrote a post about advantages and disadvantages of being a freelancer. Now, as I am sitting by my daughter watching her sleeping and finishing another urgent assignment, I realized how blessed I really am. I can see how she's growing. I can spend time with her. I can take her home from the kindergarten right after lunch, not in the evening like most parents do. Every day we read or do some maths to prepare her for primary school. We can go outside and play in the first snow. We can watch her favourite cartoons together. All while people with 'normal' jobs are still at work. To me, this is the greatest advantage of being a freelancer. Yes, there are deadlines, taxes and Russian laws which are hard to figure out without some legal help, and sometimes I am not sure whether I'll be able to pay all the bills (but our awesome, amazing Lord helps us every single time), and I am working twice as much as I would work in any office now as I am trying to build a team…

Self discipline and a lot of translation work

Hi! How are you?
I hope you are doing great and enjoying the blessings of this wonderful season. Autumn is a wonderful time of the year.
In February, I wrote a blog post about having little work. Today I'd like to share my recent lessons about having a lot of work. Pretty much all throughout October I was literally swamped in work. So I'd like to share some things I've learned throughout this month.

One cool Twitter app that helps me tweet smarter

First of all, I need to say that this is by no means a paid post. I am sharing it because I believe it could be useful to other Twitter users, too.

Several weeks ago I read a guest post by Leo Widrich in Daniel Sharkov's blog called "Top 7 Twitter Tools To Cover All Your Tweeting Needs". I knew I needed to find a way to stay active on Twitter and yet gain some extra time to balance my work and time for myself and my family. Needless to say, that post came right on time!


Proofreading, editing, copy editing and post-editing

I had a very interesting experience recently. An agency that I really like (I've been working with them for a long time) asked me to proofread several files which had already been translated by somebody else. I had some free time so I agreed. At first everything went well. I did just what I was supposed to:
Proofreadingis the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions. (the definition is taken from here) Then I found myself in an interesting situation. I noticed that the text suddenly became very weird. The Russian version of the file stopped making sense. Suddenly it dawned on me that part of the text was done by MT! So I suddenly found myself doing post-editing work as well.
Postediting (also written post-editing) “is the process of improving a machine-generated translation with a minimum of manual labour”. (you ca…

5 signs of a professional translator - my first guest post is finally here ;)

It has already been a month since the time when Christian Arno from Lingo24 contacted me on Twitter and asked if I would be willing to write a guest post for their blog. Of course I said yes! I had never done that before, so it was a completely new and exciting experience which also involved a new degree of responsibility. I am generally a responsible person, and I normally spend quite a bit of time on my blog posts, making sure there are no mistakes and my thoughts are worded clearly (more or less :)). But writing for somebody else's blog is a totally different thing. There were many reasons for my worries, and one of the most importantof them was the fact that English is not my native toungue. Thankfully, Christian Arno and Nick Jarvis were merciful to me and my English, and after a bit of editing (even less than I expected!) they published my post. Thank you once again guys! You rock!
So here it is. Forgive me for posting it so late! You can find the original here.

5 signs of a…

The Versatile Blogger award

My twitter friends and experienced translators, Liudmila Davydova @ldavydova, Ewa Erdmann @Transliteria, and Aga Gordon @acgtranslation, nominated me for the Versatile Blogger award. This award is given from bloggers to... bloggers. The nominees have to be recently discovered or new bloggers. It's such a great honour for me that these wonderful ladies and absolutely amazing professionals have chosen me among the other nominees! Liudmila is a great translator. She has a wonderful blog which you can find here. Her posts are very useful for both translators and their clients. I learn a lot from her blog. The same can be said about Aga's blog "acgtranslation" and Ewa's blog "Transliteria Polish translations". Aga and Ewa are both wonderful professionals. But what's more, they are very kind people who made me feel welcome on Twitter :) So it's a great honor and a joy to be nominated by Liudmila, Ewa and Aga.

The rules of the award are:
1) Thank the …

One September day 10 years ago. A very personal post :)

September 29th 2001 was a very special day. I know that this day happened in my life only by the grace of the Lord. Two years before that day I met a handsome young man who took my heart. A lot happened during those two years. When we decided to get married we realized that there were two main issues we were worried about. First of all, we belonged to two absolutely different cultures and had different mentalities. My husband is Armenian. His ancestors had to flee to Iran during the Turkish genocide of Armenians in 1915, so he was born in immigration. His family moved back to Armenia when my future husband, the youngest child in the gamily, was 2 years old. My family was Ukrainian-Russian, plus by that time I had traveled and worked in the US and Germany and had a pretty much Western mentality. Thank God, we didn't have any problems with getting our parents' blessings. Our dear pastor Ken Blake and his wife Marilyn were a huge source of blessing and encouragement for us. Here…

International Translator's Day is coming soon!

I am so excited about the International Translator's Day! I love my profession, learning new things related to my spheres of expertise, to the technical and marketing side of freelance translation and acquiring new skills, too!
This year ProZ.com has prepared something absolutely special and unique - a whole week of interesting and useful events. You can visit the 2011 Virtual event series page for details and register for events that you are interested in.
The program includes:

September 26 - Certified PRO Network virtual conferenceSeptember 27 - ProZ.com site guidance day
September 28 - Recruitment daySeptember 29 - TAUS & ProZ.com present: The Great Translation Debate
September 30 - Freelance translator virtual conferenceI have registered for the Certified Pro Network virtual conference, Recruitment day and Freelance translator virtual conference. I'd really like to register also for the TAUS & ProZ.com event, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to attend since…

Social media marketing for translators. Part 2: It's all about reputation

Hi there! Glad to see you again! Remember my first post about social media marketing? It's time for the second post in the series :)
What I write here is solely my opinion based on various posts, journals and other materials studied in the past year or so + my own small marketing experience.


What's the most important thing in social media marketing?
You need to show that you are an expert. There are literally thousands of possibilities for translators now thanks to the Internet. You can answer questions on LinkedIn, take part in terminology discussions on various translation portals and other networks; you can start blogging or tweeting about translation, or make your own Facebook fan page and publish relevant links there. And this is by no means an exhaustive list of options! Whichever way of promoting your skills you choose, it will help your prospective clients understand where your interests are and what fields you are most experienced in. You will also get to know other pro…

Social media marketing for translators. Part 1. My experience.

I started my journey in the freelance world in March 2007, so I am a relatively young freelance translator. My very first year as a freelance translator was pretty tough. In fact, I landed only one or two jobs during that year. But then (thank God!) I met the first two agencies who were satisfied with both my experience and quality enough to work with me on a regular basis. I got about 90% of all my translation work through them and was completely satisfied with that situation (big mistake! Now I know that I still had an employee's mentality back then, and this mentality didn't serve me well). But two years ago the situation changed and I started getting a lot less work from those agencies. That was horrible! I realized that I had made a mistake somewhere along the way. So I used my free time to surf all over the web and find information on how other freelancers look for clients and projects, what kind of rates they consider reasonable and how they build their schedule. And I …

My first impressions about being a moderator

After having served (or better to say after having tried to serve) as a moderator at ProZ.com for about a month I am ready to share my first impressions and conclusions with you.

It's a tremendous experience! Why? Let's see:
- First of all, it made me finally learn ProZ.com rules :)
- Secondly, it made me think how to behave in order to be an example for other site users. Which means not letting my emotions rule, staying calm and making sure I follow the rules, too!
- Thirdly, I am learning to not be afraid of upsetting people if I am doing the right thing. I could never imagine how hard it is to do the right, but unpleasant things. And I could never imagine that I love pleasing people so much. At first I literally made myself remove KudoZ questions that didn't comply with the rules and carry out other necessary but unpleasant tasks. Now it's coming easier, as I have come to understanding that such a huge website as ProZ.com can't survive if the rules are not stric…

Changes in my life and business

Hi! Hope your week was good and now you're ready for a new blog post :)
This post is about some changes in my life and business that occurred since I wrote about my goals in winter. Do you remember my post "How well I have achieved my goals for 2010"? It's time to see what's changed.

First of all, my goal was to reach 150 readers in 2011. Right now I have 17 email subscribers to my posts.  I also have 4 members who joined me through the "Become a reader" top menu option. So that makes 21 people. Many thanks to each one of you who found my blog interesting enough to subscribe for it! I also have 114 Facebook fans and about half of them read my blog on a regular basis. I also have some readers on Twitter (to be honest, I have about 380 followers. I don't think all of them read my blog, but I do know of at least some of them), so I can say that right now about 100 people read my blog regularly! I'd like to thank each one of my readers! It's su…

Russian weddings

As some of you may know, a few weeks ago we celebrated my niece's wedding. That event gave me an idea to share some Russian wedding traditions with you. I don't mean those ancient traditions that no longer exist. I would like you to see what our modern weddings are like, with all the ancient traditions which are still kept. You will also get to see some pictures of my niece's wedding. Hope you don't mind that :)

Modern Russian weddings usually last for two days. During the first day there are some very important things that happen, like the process of buying-out the bride, the ceremony in the wedding palace, the church wedding (the ceremony in the church is optional, it can take place on a different day and in case with Russian Orthodox church it can even happen years before or after the civil ceremony), then the newlyweds visit different important sites, and then there's a banquet. The second day is normally a smaller celebration with family and friends where peop…

What makes a good freelance translator? - Part 3. Business skills

Hi! How've you been? I've missed you so much! The past couple weeks before my niece's wedding were so busy that I decided to take a week off right after the wedding. And I thoroughly enjoyed my small vacation! We celebrated the wedding which took part in Suzdal and in Vladimir, I did some reading for pleasure, slept a lot, took long walks with my hubby and my daughter and did many other things that I wouldn't normally be able to do. Now I feel a lot better. So it's time for a new post in "being a good translator" series.

It's the last post in the series. Here we are going to talk not just about any translators, but about freelance translators in particular. Being good specialists and having great motivation is not enough for becoming a good freelance translator. A freelance translator also needs good business skills, otherwise their business will fail.

As I was thinking about this part, I realized that the subject is so vast that it may make a really…

Anniversary of Andrey Bogolyubsky

Today is a very special day in our city - 900th anniversary of Prince Andrey I of Vladimir, or Andrey Bogolyubsky. Andrey Bogolyubsky played an important part in the development of Russia as a state and of Vladimir as its capital (at that time Vladimir was the Russian capital). You can read more about him in this article. We went to the center to take part in the celebrations.
First of all, there was a fair where you could see all the crafts that Russians are so good at. Here are a few pics for you to see.










After the fair there was a concert. We didn't stay through all of it because we decided to visit a museum called "Old Vladimir" which shows what Vladimir used to look like centuries ago. And on the top floor there's an open veranda. You can see the whole city from it. Here are some views:



We liked the celebrations. Hope you enjoyed the pics :)
P.S. Part 3 of my series on how to become a good translator is coming soon, so stay tuned!

What makes a good translator? - Part 2. Language skills - the obvious part :)

I guess this is the most obvious truth about translation. If you are not bilingual, you can't be a translator. But you know what? I've met some people who honestly think that anybody can translate. Some even think that a machine can do it. You can read about one of such cases in my post called "A funny sad story". But even being bilingual doesn't mean you'll be a good translator. As one of my very respected colleagues once said, being bilingual just doesn't cut it. My post about proofreading explains how being bilingual doesn't mean you'll be a good proofreader. The same can be said about translation! I think it's not a secret that when you are studying a foreign language you also absorb a foreign culture and many idioms/concepts/grammar structures that are unique only for this language. And if you don't possess relevant training and/or experience there's a risk that your translations will not sound native because they will be too lit…

What makes a good translator? - Part 1. Motivation

You may have already noticed that I am this kind of person who likes to meditate (in the Christian sense of this word) on different issues. So I've been thinking about this concept called "a good freelance translator". From a client's point of view. I intentionally avoid the term "successful translator" because I think it describes the translators' point of view. I've noticed that my clients don't quite care about how successfulI am. All they care about is how good I am. So I decided to try thinking like a client and figure out what makes a good freelance translator. And the first thing I thought about was motivation.

When your clients see that you put your whole heart into their project they will trust you more. If you are interested in the project your motivation will help you achieve the best possible results! A little tip for clients: Your appreciation, respect and friendly attitude can work miracles. I've had a few cases when marketing…

Christian English Day Camp 2011

I am so glad it's Friday and I can have some quiet time to reflect on the past week. It was a fun week - there was a Christian English day camp in our church. The younger kids came in the mornings and the older ones came in the afternoons. My daughter Delia was one of the campers in the morning shift and I was glad to serve as a helper. I love helping other people :)
First let me share some pics. You will see one and the same little girl in the pictures. That's my daughter ;)




First of all, I'd like to share the benefits of the camp:
1) The kids heard God's word;
2) They heard native English speakers and tried to understand them or at least get used to the rhythm of their speech and the pronunciation.
On Wednesday my daughter shared one thing with me. She said, "You know, mom, that's ok that the Americans don't speak our language. I can already understand the most important things they say." I asked her, "So what are those important things?" S…