An English to Russian translator, Artem believes his profession opened up a whole new world of possibilities for him, despite having never lived overseas. Find out the main reason why he rated being a Gengo translator a perfect 10 out of 10 in this interview.
Location: Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia
Occupation: Full-time translator
Gengo translator since: April 2016
Language pair: English to Russian
What languages do you speak?
English and Russian
If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be and why?
I’d like to speak French as I love how this language sounds. I’m also planning to study Esperanto just for the sake of linguistic passion. Language reflects the worldview of the nation where it is spoken. It seems really interesting to find out what it’s like to speak a constructed language.
Do you have experience living in other countries? If so, where?
Unfortunately, I don’t have such experience.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you enjoy being a translator and why?
10/10. The most important thing in life for me is freedom. As a freelance translator, I’m completely free to choose what kind of texts to translate, where, and when to do it, with respect to the deadline, of course. I can also potentially communicate with 1.5 billion of people with no language barrier!
How has translating for Gengo impacted your life?
Translating with little context is a hard task. Gengo has taught me not to be afraid of such translation requests and find the right meaning in a few words.
When you were growing up, what did you aspire to become?
Until the age of 14, I wanted to become a veterinarian, but then learning English entered the picture. I loved the language and plunged into learning it headlong.
What quote do you live by?
“Don’t be afraid to do something you don’t know. Otherwise, you will never learn anything” by Vladimir Levi.
Name three of your favorite translation / language learning tools.
SmartCAT, a free internet-based CAT tool. I also use Quizlet to learn new words. I would recommend XMind for studying new topics. Creating mindmaps is wonderful when it comes to learning new materials.
Recommend three of your favorite language-related books/films.
For Russian translators, I recommend the books, “Больные вопросы родной грамматики” by Elena Marinova and “Where Russians Go Wrong in Spoken English” by Lynn Visson. For those who ask me about my favorite books, I always mention, “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything” by Sir Ken Robinson. It’s not language-related but it’s life-changing.
What advice would you give to new or aspiring translators?
Don’t criticize if you can’t suggest a better option or a better translation.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
Don’t be afraid to try and to make mistakes.