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Translate me, please (How to choose an interpreter)

     This article is for those who plan their visit to Russia. Let’s talk about interpreters today. If your future bride graduated from the Institute of foreign languages and can speak 2-3 languages fluently, then, obviously, you don’t need an interpreter. In all other cases sooner or later you will have to resort to the help of this intermediary. For instance, during the first date, when your girl is so confused that all the English words she learnt so hard by your visit, have slipped her mind.  Or during some important talks, while filling in some official documents when mistakes because of misunderstanding are inadmissible. So, in a word, some couples need an interpreter all the time, others – from time to time.

     Here is a sad story with a good end and some conclusions.

     William and Lena met in Kazan. Lena spoke some English, but just in case she invited an interpreter that she had found among her acquaintances. (It was their first mistake, but they hadn’t known about it up to that time).

     However, let me tell you this story from the end! When it was about time for William to go back, this couple came to our agency. They told us about their adventures vying with each other. The matter of fact is that they offered an old lady with bad character to interpret for them.

     William: “She constantly touched me, linked her arm through my arm, stroked me. First I thought that it was a Russian tradition, but Lena assured me it was not!”    

     Lena: “I was really indignant that the interpreter didn’t regard me as his fiancée. For instance, when we visited her place, she constantly found excuses for me to go to another room, and meanwhile she showed William the photos of her nieces offering them as brides!!!”

     William: “She talked nonstop! However, we agreed to pay by the hour. It appeared I paid for her chattering. She didn’t let us put in a word! Have you ever tried to stop women like these?”

     Lena: “On top of all that, she offered us her service for correspondence, though she knew that we used the agency for this. She started reducing prices, but the thought, that we would have to communicate with her often, horrifies me!!! We write letters each other every day! Please, translate to William: “I can’t correspond through her!”

     William: “That’s out of the question! I don’t want to do anything with this horrible woman. I even paid her in advance so that she would leave us alone!”

     After this Lena had a sigh of relief and we wonder again: why do people look for difficult and complicated ways? :) Nevertheless, as I said before, this story has a happy end. William and Lena have a good sense of humor and difficulties only made them closer. Now they are busy with obtaining a fiancée visa.

     Well, and we will analyze this situation not to repeat mistakes. Do you remember my words that they made the first mistake when they took an acquaintance as an interpreter?

Here is the rule number one: between “acquaintances” and professionals ALWAYS CHOOSE PROFESSIONALS.

And here is the reason: Even if she speaks good English, she has no work experience in particular for a couple. And it is very important! The translator for those, who date, should have special skills:

- she should be very tactful;  

- she should be unnoticeable: the main are He and She;

- she should be able to smooth uncomfortable situations, and it requires experience;

- since she often communicates with foreigners, who are looking for brides, she can interpret correctly things connected with mentality, peculiarities of traditions. If your acquaintance has been teaching English at school all her life and has never or rarely communicated with “real” foreigners, how will she make it out?

- if you and your lady are embarrassed and don’t know what to ask about, such kind of interpreter can always suggest a good idea. She helped so many couples and she knows well what a man and a woman are usually interested in.

     Besides, it is difficult for just “a familiar woman” to feel she is “at work”. As she is simply talking with friends! This is why this absurd situation arises when an interpreter chatters unceasingly and what is more gets money for this!

     Well, and here is an advice useful for all. You must choose someone who not only knows the language well, but who SHOWED HIMSELF well. Ask those who used the service of this person already. Collect more information about him/her. Because, sad though, but a bad job of an interpreter can cross your relations. Especially at the first stages.

     I understand that it may sound as an advertisement :), but for the sake of objectivity, I must say that such story that happened to William and Lena is simply impossible at our agency. Because we have professionals who have experience of translation for couples. Here the advertisement ends! It was the information for those who seek the easiest and simplest way. :) If by some reasons you can’t hire an interpreter at the agency, here are some things you should pay attention to:

1. Sex.

No other answer is possible but it is better if your interpreter is a woman:

- It will be more difficult for your lady to open herself before two men. She will have to think not only about how to build up relations with a fiancée but how to behave herself with an interpreter!

- As a rule, while working, an interpreter gets very close with his “charges”. Will it be Ok for you if your fiancée will get close with a male interpreter?

- It is difficult for a woman to open her heart before an unfamiliar man, but it is much easier to do before a woman!

2. Age.

Age doesn’t matter. A very young interpreter, unfortunately, has no necessary life experience. Old interpreters have too much experience, that’s why they “talk nonstop”, like teaching, edifying and expressing their own opinion. Besides, it will be physically hard for an old interpreter to endure endless sightseeing, going to restaurants and night clubs. And then, imagine, you have a dating in your mom’s presence. Will you feel easy?  

3. Marital status.

When I prepared this article, one of our clients told me the following story. Her friend - interpreter from German – was offered work by an agency. Their client – a German man – chose five most beautiful girls and decided to meet with them in Moscow. And since their personnel don’t speak German, they took an interpreter outside. In this way the interpreter with girls found themselves in Moscow. You should have seen this company! Five smart women who visited beauty salons, had their hair done and a short, plain girl-interpreter. I think you’ve already guessed who finally left for Germany! These five pretty women paid money to the interpreter, but got a rival that took away their potential fiancé. No wonder it happened. The interpreter spent a lot of time with him. Women changed, but she was always beside! She understood him, knew his country, was interesting to him!

So, it will be better for all if marital status of an interpreter is “married” :))

4. Easy character.

It is very important for an interpreter to be sociable and flexible. If she has problems at home, no one must see it. As it is not a couple’s fault. They must get the high-level service.

5. Psychology.

An interpreter should be a psychologist by nature. Do you agree? Sabina often tells me stories when only her frank private conversation helped to solve problems. Sometimes absurd ones, but able to break relations. For instance, once one of our clients came to us in tears and asked us to “entertain” further on the man who hade come to her, as she didn’t want to know him. The reason was that he constantly shouted at her. Sabina calmed her down as well as she could and then talked with a man in private. It appeared that he was a bit deaf, that’s why he spoke loudly! :) And he didn’t want to shout at her at all. Their relations didn’t go right. It always happens when men conceal during correspondence such important things as diseases, invalidity, too big disparity in years, etc..

6. Mental outlook.

An interpreter should be broad-minded to fulfill the job professionally. If she doesn’t know anything about the country a foreigner is from, probably, it will be difficult for her to understand him correctly, taking into account mentality and traditions.  

7. Education.

We have noticed at our agency that girls going to English lessons, are inclined to give too high mark to their knowledge, while professional interpreters never put the highest mark to theirs. Because the more they get into the language, the further the horizon moves. Nevertheless, make certain about an interpreter’s education while choosing an interpreter. It is desirable she graduated from the Institute of foreign languages.  

8. Nice appearance.

It is purely psychological aspect of communication. If an interpreter’s appearance is unpleasant, neither you nor your girlfriend will be able to open in her presence.

     And still, interpreters from the dating service have additional advantages:

- She is in the know of the correspondence; you don’t need to explain everything to her from the beginning.

- She is a representative of not only a woman but also a man. A man has a chance to be in contact with her before the trip, consult, ask questions.

- It is always easier to work with a person familiar to you a little.

     And the last advice. Don’t take an interpreter for the whole day! If a woman speaks at least some English, it will be helpful for her to practice. With an interpreter she relaxes and doesn’t try to speak English! It is tested.

     Don’t be afraid that you will not understand each other. Certainly, unless it concerns important things like documents, visa, registration and so on. We saw many times how couples communicate if a girl has poor English. Patience, love and dictionaries help them! As William told to Lena when he presented her a digital translator: “When you put a word into this translator, your mechanical, visual and intellectual memories work. This translator will help you to learn English”. By the way, you can order this kind of translator at our site. For instance, as a present for Christmas! :) You will become her husband, she must get used to your speech, to understand you and to communicate with you.

Your comments:

#1 Amit (India) at 2005-12-17
Dear Sir,

I was corresponding with one girl in Russia and I really fell in love with her but she send me a mail which I would Like to show you

Mail As follows
Dear Amit
I am glad that you have written to me again. I very much like to
receive your letters. I want to inform you that I write you with
serious intentions. I want that our attitudes were not simple
correspondence. I want that we had serious attitudes.That person who
of me in all will be necessary for me to understand and me will love.
That who will love me such what I is. That person on whom I can rely
in all. I see, that you understand me and want with me serious
attitudes. I search for persons with whom I can divide all my stayed
life. Probably it you. You very much like me. I think about you each
day and it is possible you that person which to me I am necessary also
which searched so long. Those people which surround me around may not
understand my feelings and my desires. I want that me loved not only
for my appearance but also for that that at me inside. You understand
me? In my life there were mistakes but now I am sure that I act
correctly and I have found that person which to me am necessary. I
shall wait for your letter. Kiss you.!

I was really wated to have this girl as my wife and I send her many emails but she never replied back, I amnow worried whether she is allright. I am really very concerned about her and want to know whether she is ok.

Please let me know soon as possible I cant stay without her.

Author's answer: Dear Amit!

Well, I see a quite usual case for Internet dating and it is called "standard letter". What is it?
When a girl places her profile in the Internet, she receives a lot of letters. Sometimes even hundreds. Naturally, it is impossible to answer to each man, so some girls use patterns or standard letters. They write them once and then only enter different names of men. They may have several letters of this kind: the first letter for making acquaintance, the second one for telling about herself, etc. The letter that you received looks a lot like "standard letter". Look:
- she never addresses you personally throughout her letter;
- she never comments your words, there are only general words in her letter;
- she doesn't say anything that would concern only you.

This letter only states her intentions and it might have appeared in e-mail boxes of many men. Don't get confused with "Kiss you" at the end of her letter - it is just a trick to keep you interested in her.

In serious agencies like ours "standard letters" are forbidden. We spend a lot of forces to explain women that all letters must be individual and personal. But there is nobody to control it in "free Internet"!

I am sorry, Amit, but you should turn your attention to other girls. Good luck to you!

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