Category Archives: Translation

Pinson Linguistic Services offers native support for Déjà Vu projects

When I learned that one of my new clients prefers using Déjà Vu X2 Professional for project management I decided to evaluate its merits as a computer aided translation (CAT) tool. I was so pleased with what I found that I shelled out the money to buy a couple of licenses once my free trial expired.

If you are looking to purchase a CAT tool, you should seriously consider Déjà Vu. If you’re looking for a translator who is proficient with Déjà Vu project files, please contact me today. I’d love one more reason to play with my new tool!

Recap of 2011 for Pinson Linguistic Services

As the year draws to a close, I’ve taken a moment to assess my progress as a professional RUS>ENG translator.


  • Nearly 300,000 words translated.
  • As of 12/29/2011, among 10,463 RUS>ENG translators registered on, I rank 8th in RUS>ENG KudoZ points earned the last 3 months (and 22nd for the past 12 months).


Lessons learned

  • SDL Trados 2009 is buggy software.
  • A freelancer’s best clients are the ones that contact him or her—as opposed to those that respond to spam.
  • Your target language should be your native language.
  • In the world of translation, “proofreading” is very often code for “I ran the source text through Google Translate and now I want to pay you less”.

Looking forward to 2012

I look forward to building on these achievements in the coming year! In 2012, I expect to:

  • add another 40 agencies and customers to my clientele
  • translate at least 400,000 words
  • be ranked in the top 10 for KudoZ points earned in 2012

I express my gratitude to all who have helped make this year a success.  Thanks to my clients and fellow translators!

Translating Russian addresses

Translating addresses is a common translation task that can be a real challenge when you encounter unfamiliar abbreviations. This post explains how to translate a postal address from Russian to English, presents common postal terminology and abbreviations, and illustrates the translation process with examples.

How to translate an address from Russian to English

Russian addresses have historically been written from general to specific, e.g.

Россия, 105066, г.Москва
ул. Старая Басманная
д.16 стр. 1а

In May 2005, Russia officially moved to a specific-to-general format, which is more common internationally. But old habits die hard, so you’re still likely to see the general-to-specific format. (The example given above is fresh off of

Here’s a template of how you are likely see an address in Russian:

  • (Russia/Россия) (postal code/почтовый индекс)
  • (republic, territory, region, autonomous district (region)/название республики, края, области, автономного округа (области))
  • (district, i.e. area within a major city/район)
  • (city/название населенного пункта)
  • (street name/название улицы) (house number/номер дома) (apartment number /номер квартиры | P.O. Box/абонентский ящик)
  • (organization/организация)
  • (surname/фамилия) (first name/имя) (patronymic/отчество)

(Note: Not every address will include every part.)

Here’s a template for translating the address into English:

  • (surname/фамилия) (first name/имя) (patronymic/отчество)
  • (organization/организация)
  • (street name/название улицы) (house number/номер дома) (apartment number /номер квартиры | P.O. Box/абонентский ящик)
  • (city/название населенного пункта)
  • (district, i.e. area within a major city/район)
  • (republic, territory, region, autonomous district (region)/название республики, края, области, автономного округа (области))
  • (For international mail: country/название страны (для международных почтовых отправлений))
  • (postal code/почтовый индекс)

Proper translation always requires an understanding of the purpose or intent of the translation. If an address is to actually be used for sending mail, then most elements of the address should be transliterated, e.g. ул. (улица) becomes ul. (ulitsa).

Examples of translated addresses

Here are some examples that illustrate the process of translating addresses from Russian to English.

Russian address

Translated address

Россия, 105066, г.Москва
ул. Старая Басманная
д.16 стр. 1а(Note: In this address ‘стр.’ is short for ‘строение’ (building, structure). This implies that are multiple buildings with a single street number. This address is specifically for building 1a.)
ul. Staraya Basmannaya, d. 16, str. 1a
127994, Москва,
ул. Малая Дмитровка, 3/10.(Note: a slash ‘/’ in an address may indicate that the address is at an intersection. The first number, in this case 3, is the street number for the given street, in this case ‘Malaya Dmitrovka’. The second number, in this case 10, is for the cross street.)
ul. Malaya Dmitrovka, 3/10
Санкт Петербург
Василеостровский район, квартал 1, корп.52
kvartal 1, korp. 52
Saint Petersburg
Vasileostrovsky rayon
ул. Ленина, 23-2-239(Note: A dash can be used to separate a street number from a building number and an apartment number. In this case the street number is 23, the building number is 2, and the apartment number is 239.) ul. Lenina, 23-2-239
Ленинградская обл.
Адмиралтейский район
наб. реки Фонтанки, 90
nab. reki Fontanki, 90
Admiraltejsky rayon
Leningradskaya oblast
Санкт-Петербург, В.О., Большой пр., 55-а(Note: ‘В.О.’ here stands for ‘васильевский остров’.) Bolshoy pr., 55-a
Saint Petersburg
Vasilevsky ostrov
Санкт-Петербург, Садовая ул., д. 3/5 Sadovaya ul., d. 3/5
Saint Petersburg
Санкт-Петербург, Колпино г., Культуры ул., д. 8(Note: ‘Колпино’ is a “city within a city”, i.e. it is a municipality of Saint Petersburg.) Kultury ul., d. 8
Saint Petersburg
199106, Санкт-Петербург, В. О., Большой просп., д. 83, оф. 305 Bolshoy prosp., d. 83, of. 305
Saint Petersburg
Vasilevsky ostrov
В.О. 6-ая линия, дом 39 (2-ой двор) 6-aya liniya, dom 39 (2-oy dvor)
Vasilevsky ostrov

If the purpose of the translation is merely to help a foreigner understand the parts of the address, then translating the elements of the address is appropriate and changing their order is not necessary, e.g. the original example provided becomes

Russia, 105066, Moscow
16 Staraya Basmannaya Street, bldg. 1а

Common Russian postal terminology

Here are words and abbreviations you may encounter when translating addresses from Russian to English:

Russian term (and abbreviations)

English term (meaning and transliterations)

(почтовый) абонентский ящик, а/я post office box, P.O Box: a/ya
бульвар, бульв., буль., бул., б-р boulevard: bulvar, bul.
город, г. city: gorod, g.
двор, дв. yard, courtyard: dvor, dv.
деревня, дер., д. village: derevnya, der., d.
дом, д. house, block of apartments/flats: dom, d.
кабинет, каб., к-т, к. office, room: kabinet, kab.
квартал, кварт. кв., кв-л quarter, area, block: kvartal, kvart., kv.
квартира, кварт., кв., квр apartment, flat: kvartira, kv.
корпус, корп., кор. building: korpus, korp. kor.
край, кр. territory: krai
линия, лин. line: liniya, lin.
литера, лит. letter (i.e. of a building): litera, lit.
микрорайон, мкр-н, мкр., мкрн, м/н, м-н, м/р-н, мрн., м-р neighborhood, microdistrict: mikrorajon
мост, м. bridge: most, m.
набережная, наб. embankment: naberezhnaya, nab.
область, обл. region: oblast, obl.
остров, о., о-в island: ostrov, o.
офис, оф. office: ofis, of.
переулок, пер., п., п-к lane: pereulok, per., p.
площадь, пл., п. square: ploshchad, pl., p.
помещение, пом. room, premises: pomeshhenie, pom.
посёлок, пос., п. town: posyolok, pos., p.
проезд, пр., пр-д drive: proezd, pr.
проспект, просп., пр-т avenue: prosekt, prosp.
район, р., р-он district, region: rayon, r.
строение, стр. structure, building: stroenie, str.
тупик, туп. cul-de-sac: tupik, tup.
улица, ул. street: ulitsa, ul.
шоссе, ш. highway: shosse, sh.
этаж, эт. floor: etazh, et.

There are some other considerations for Russian addresses mentioned on Wikipedia.

Please let me know if you were not able to find the postal term you were looking for—or if you have comments or corrections!

Updated 10/24/2011: Added new Russian address word, кабинет

Updated 11/17/2011: Added new Russian address words, литера and помещение

Words translated exceed miles driven and miles to the moon!

A few days ago I was reading a book about the solar system to my children.  We learned that the distance to the moon is about 225,000 miles.  It struck me that my car, which has 224,006 miles on the odometer, has almost covered that distance.  That number is also significant to me, because it is (approximately) how many words I’ve been paid to translate from Russian into English in the past four months.  I’ve averaged 2,000 words a day for four months—not bad!

Next milestone: 500,000 words translated!

Great Russian quotes about language

May I bring some more Russian goodness from to your attention?  I love their collection of quotes from (mostly) Russian literary heavy-hitters such a Tolstoy (Толстой), Pushkin (Пушкин), and Chekhov (Чехов).

Here are a few good ones that I’ve quickly translated from Russian into English:


Нравственность человека видна в его отношении к слову.

“One’s virtue is seen in how he treats words.”


Слово должно быть по росту мысли.

“The word must be as tall as the thought.”


Чтение – вот лучшее учение!

“Learning is better than reading!”


As always, any comments on the translations are welcome!  Thanks!

Translation Tool: IntelliWebSearch

I’ve come across a helpful translation tool called IntelliWebSearch that can accelerate your translation speed.  It allows you to create keyboard shortcuts for repetitive web searches.  For example, I’ve created a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+Alt+I) to automatically initiate an image search using whatever text is currently selected as the query string.  The more time consuming alternative would be to copy the query string from your document, switch to your browser, navigate to the image search page, paste the query string, and hit enter.  If you find yourself searching the web a lot during a translation job, this tool is for you!  Kudos to the developer: Michael Farrell.  There are dozens of preconfigured search engines and online dictionaries.  You can tweak them as needed or add your own.


Mr. Farrell has created some explanatory videos for IntelliWebSearch:


An expert misusing terminology obliterates confidence

I recently translated more than 50 pages of Russian—nearly 16,000 words–for a video course about Microsoft Word 2010.  Half of the job was supposed to be proofreading a previous, partial translation.  Unfortunately, I had to retranslate from scratch, because the original translation was utterly unacceptable.

Utterly unacceptable?  Well, how much confidence would you place in a mechanic who wants to sell you a “grease change” instead of “oil change”?  Or a doctor who recommends a “physical quiz” rather than a “physical exam”?  If I don’t have confidence in your ability to teach me about Microsoft Word 2010, then I won’t be watching your video course.  And if the content of your Microsoft Word video course casts doubts in my mind, I won’t likely trust any of your other content.  Nearly everything worth translating has specialized terminology that must be used correctly. 

Video courses for text editors are no exception.  During my proofreading, I found terminology used incorrectly.  Consider the following Russian text about applying text effects in Microsoft Word 2010:

Также вы можете добавлять эффекты по одному, для этого раскройте один из списков: структура, тень, отражение или свечение и выберете один из предложенных вариантов.

Here is the original—and utterly unacceptable—translation:

You can also add effects one by one. To do this, open one of the lists: structure, shadow, reflection or luminescence and select one of the offered options.

The Russian text refers to a specific part of the user interface.  A proper translation must make the connection between the user interface and the terminology used.  Here’s my translation:

You can also add effects one at a time.  To do this, open one of the submenus: Outline, Shadow, Reflection, or Glow–and select one of the options.

Note the correlation between the list of submenus and the relevant part of the user interface.  The original translation uses “structure” rather than “Outline” and “luminescence” rather than “Glow”.  Do you trust a Microsoft Word expert that’s telling you how to change the “text structure” or apply a “luminescence effect”?


English translation of Russian personal investment marketing materials

Have you ever needed marketing materials for an investment fund translated from Russian to English?  I can help.  As always, I welcome any feedback on this sample translation.

Russian source text

English target text

К началу мая наш Фонд подошел с перевесом экспозиции в шорт на 50% капитала. С такой экспозицией мы чувствуем себя вполне комфортно в сложившейся рыночной ситуации и рассчитываем реализовать ее с прибылью на ожидаемом нами в ближайшее время снижении рыночных индексов.

Существенное влияние на капитал фонда оказали ряд сделок: дважды за месяц мы загружались в покупку и затем реализовывали с прибылью акциями компании ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE: ESI), одной из крупнейших американских образовательных компаний.

Toward the beginning of May our Fund approached short exposure in excess of 50% of our capital. With such exposure, we feel at ease in existing market conditions and anticipate taking a profit by executing short sales during the soon-expected drop in market indices


A series of transactions has substantially influenced the fund’s capital. Twice in one month, we purchased and subsequently realized a profit on shares of ITT Educational Services, Inc. (NYSE: ESI), one of the major American educational companies.

English translation of Russian transcript of interview with entrepreneur Dennis Crowley

Another sample translation.  This one is an excerpt from a interview with Dennis Crowley, founder of Foursquare.  Any feedback?

Russian source text (126 words)

English target text (144)

— Ваша первая фирма, которую вы продали Google в 2005 году, называлась Dodgeball («вышибалы»), а теперь у вас Foursquare («игра в квадрат»). Продолжение темы?

— Обе игры — для развлечения. Жесткой конкуренции нет. Тема Foursquare — веселье и игра, и площадкой становится весь город. Я очень вдохновляюсь видеоиграми. Как сделать так, чтобы поиски хорошего ресторана суши были похожи на поиски бумеранга в «Легенде о Зельде»?

— Теперь вам приходится серьезно конкурировать с Facebook и их новой геолокационной функцией Places.

— Всегда приятно видеть, как люди подтверждают наши идеи. В ближайшем будущем мы останемся лидерами в данной сфере. Суть — в наборе вещей, которые можно делать на Foursquare: зарабатывать очки и значки за посещение разных мест, становиться мэром, соревноваться с незнакомцами — все это делает сервис привлекательным, это не просто скидки в магазинах и ресторанах.

—Your first company, which you sold to Google in 2005, was called Dodgeball. And now you have Foursquare. Does this continue a theme?

—Both are games for entertainment, not tough competition. Foursquare is fun and games where the playground is the entire city. I’m very much inspired by videogames. How can I make something as dry as finding a good restaurant like finding the boomerang in the Legend of Zelda?


—Now you’ll have to seriously compete with Facebook and their new geolocational feature, Places.

—It’s always nice to see how people confirm our ideas. In the near future we will become the leaders in this area. The heart of everything you can do on Foursquare–earn points and badges for visiting different places, become the mayor, compete with strangers–it all makes the service attractive. It’s not just the discounts to stores and restaurants.