Have you ever translated a text from Russian to English that you could never get to “sound right”? No matter how many hours you spent on editing and revising, the translation just didn’t get the message across.
The problem might be in the conventions of the genre—the kind and amount of information, tone, and textual organization that are considered normal for a particular kind of document.
Russian annual reports, newspaper articles, events brochures and announcements, film synopses, and websites differ drastically from their American counterparts. Customization of these texts to fit American standards not only produces better texts, it also generates client loyalty.
What Will You Learn?
- Identify/clarify the role of genre conventions
- Determine the line between a good translation and a customized text
- Negotiate with clients the level of customization and fee
- Develop genre convention templates
- Customize texts to meet the standards of English genre conventions while respecting the style of the Russian original
About the Presenter
Michele A. Berdyis a Moscow-based translator and writer. She has been translating a wide variety of non-fiction, fiction and films from Russian to English for more than 30 years, and since 2002, she has been writing a weekly column on language and translation for The Moscow Times. A collection of her columns, The Russian Word’s Worth, was published by Glas.
Michelle has conducted workshops, presentations, and classes on various aspects of translation, health and cross-cultural communication in Russia, Europe, and the United States.
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