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Russian and French to English Translation Services

When talking about translation, it is important to understand the innate meaning of the process. And yes, it is a process. Simply put, translation is communication. Communication of meaning from a source language (the language you are translating from) to a target language (the language you are translating to). And this is where it all gets complicated: the whole purpose of translating anything is not only to convey verbatim (word for word) meaning but, most importantly, the original tone and intent of the message without forgetting about cultural and regional differences.

What Makes a Professional Translator?

The way I see it, a professional translator is a highly trained language devotee with an inborn feeling for words and what they bring to our communication, and is able to use them as Lego blocks in the construction of communication patterns. At the same time, they are a true artist, a neurosurgeon, so to speak, of the linguistic field, dissecting layers of meaning, one after another, getting to the core message. Then rebuilding the very same structure with same density, complexity, and beauty in a completely different language. Isn’t that just fascinating? 

One may wonder, what goes on in the mind when one translates? It is an amazing process of converting elements to a different code (language), puzzling them together into forms of speech, and morphing one form into another endlessly to create a twin message in a different reality. Yes, reality. Language is not only words and semantic structures. There is a life, history, traditions, and culture of a whole nation behind it. Understanding that gives one an immense appreciation for this unique job. Behind the scenes there is extensive and sometimes tiring research for that perfect word or phrase, creation of glossaries, multiple verifications, and corrections and alterations until the translator is finally satisfied.

Now, one thing is sure: there is no ideal, perfect translation. No 100% match. You always have to sacrifice something: losing a little bit of style to preserve the structure of the text, or sacrificing a little bit of meaning to maintain the flawless current of narration. This part of the job is very personal and depends solely on the intimate relationship the translator has with both languages. Picking one over another comes from this unexplainable gut feeling… and pure necessity predetermined by the profession.

The Art of Language Translation

Regardless of what you are translating, you are required to not only convey the meaning, but preserve the speaker’s original style. For instance, if you are translating a written testimony of a highly educated expert, most likely their narration will be convoluted and heavy on specific terminology. And this is exactly how it needs to sound in the target language. Therefore, a professional translator needs to be able to switch language registers like a chameleon, depending on what life throws their way. Is it hard? Definitely. But in a good, satisfying way.

Polina translated for me on several occasions while representing a client who was most comfortable speaking in Russian. Polina was excellent – she was prompt, accurate, timely, and ensured that both my client and I were comfortable with our communications. She provided expert translation in court and did a stellar job. Polina is warm and helpful, and she is my first and only choice for Russian and French translation needs. Highly recommend!

– Andy Wilson Esq., Young, Berman, Karpf & Karpf, P.A.

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