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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 literal, they will have bad grammar (you can't imagine how often I edit the work of Russian translators who somehow think they have to preserve English grammar in their translations. I wonder who told them that Russian grammar doesn't apply to translated texts) and your sentence structure will be foreign as well. In the latter case the reader gets a funny feeling because all the words seem to be correct, but their position in the text is wrong or uncommon for native speakers, so the text sounds really weird.
My post "How do I work on my quality" has some info about how I make sure my translations are accurate and easy to read. How do you do it?

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10 interesting facts about the Russian language

In my previous post I promised to follow with the  interesting info about some other languages. So here are 10 facts about the Russian language which might be of interest to those who are studying it. If you would like to have this list in Russian, please contact me and I will send it to you by email. So, what do I find interesting about my native language?

1. Russian has about 500,000 words, but only 2,000-2,500 of them are used frequently. 100 most frequently used words make 20% of all written and oral speech. A high school graduate's vocabulary usually has 1,500 to 4,000 words. Those who have graduated from a higher educational institution normally have a richer vocabulary consisting of approximately 8,000 words.
2. It's compulsory for all astronauts in the international space station to learn Russian, so we can call it an international language of space :)

How to Reply To a Negative Feedback About Your Translation

We are humans and we screw up many times!

And receiving a negative feedback about your translation work if one of them.

As translation professionals, we work daily with people from different cultures and backgrounds. So, it is quite important to keep a level of etiquette while we do our business communication.

Whatever your years of experience or your educational background, there are times when daily life affects our business badly. It is how we react to these situations what makes a big difference between professional translation service providers and those who are not.

I was lucky enough when I started my translation career back in 2004 to read about the “A Complaint Is a Gift” business book and receive my training by a true professional Arabic translator.

My colleague taught me the tactics of a professional’s reply to a negative feedback and the book mentions the bright side of receiving a complaint about your work. If the client does not like your work, he can just move to anothe…

Time for another update about guest posts, business, blogging and more!

Hi everybody! First of all, thank you for reading my blog. I love to see that the number of my subscribers is growing every week. That's so inspiring!
I've got some news for you. I am amazed with the way my work and business are developing. Life is getting more and more interesting and, hopefully, these changes will be good for you, too! So, here are my news: