Thinking of brushing up on your Russian? Improving your language skills can, among other things, lead to a lucrative job as a professional translator. This is a job that is in such tremendous demand that many companies struggle to find enough people to fill them. Obviously, this demand will vary depending on the languages you fluently speak and where you are located or willing to remotely work, the increasing globalization of the modern marketplace means that the need for language translation is a universally increasing one.
The problem is that many people who are interested in becoming professional Russian translators don’t have the time to devote to perfecting their understanding of the language. Russian is a difficult language to learn, at least by the standards of native American English speakers. But this perceived scarcity of expert speakers means that there is a distinct desire for them in the translation job market – and that’s the kind of position today’s job seekers are on the hunt for!
What if you could improve your Russian in your spare time – while working on or doing other things? This kind of passive learning is actually the way most people learn their native language; we learn through listening and doing, rather than strictly via traditional study. It’s also the key to unlocking your potential as an English to Russian translator and get in on an in-demand job that could open doors for you all over the world!
Nail Down Your Basics
Before you can improve your Russian language skills, you’ll need to ensure that you’ve learned your basics. If you’re reading this article, you may have already moved past this step. However, if you’re just getting started with Russian, you don’t have to give up your dream of quickly becoming a professional translator! You, too, can use these building blocks to create a solid understanding of the language to later polish and improve:
- If learning Russian, start by learning Cyrillic. Russian is one of many languages that uses a different alphabet than English. While some letters of the Cyrillic alphabet are the same as those in English, many are not. Learning this new alphabet is an important step in learning Russian fluently.
- Begin with the most commonly-used words. This is a common strategy for even grade-school learners. Learning the translation of your most commonly-used words will help you gain the foundation for further learning – and help you communicate effectively while you do it.
- Learn new words based on what ties to your native language or is similar across multiple languages. Words that have Latin roots or which are similar from one language to another make learning their translations easier. Some words may also be borrowed between two languages, making your understanding of your second language simpler.
Consume Media in Russian
One of the easiest ways for people in the modern-day to improve their language skills is to consume media in that language. In today’s world, videos and audios are available in nearly every world language often for free online.
How should you go about this? Consider starting with things you’re already familiar with. Whether it’s a favorite movie or song or a television show or YouTube video you already know the gist of the contents of, it’s a good idea to start with something familiar. This will help you get a feel of the language. The more often you consume media in your second language, the easier it will become for you to understand it – and you can do this while you do just about anything else!
Immerse Yourself in the Language In-Person
Perhaps the best way to truly become fluent in a language is to live it. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your native language at all, but the more frequently you use, hear or read your second language, the better you will understand it.
In the traditional study of languages, teachers often require students to speak only in their second language in class after a certain level of learning has been achieved. In real-world settings, people may choose to engage with Russian speakers online or over the phone or may travel abroad or host Russian speakers at home to better immerse themselves in the language experience. It’s a great way to really gain an in-depth understanding of the language in everyday practice – a necessary skill for Russian translators.
Once you’ve cemented your skills and can verify them, it’s time to market them. You can work with a translation company as part of a pool of employees who are available for assigned jobs, or you may choose to work entirely freelance. If you’re interested in the best of both worlds, consider partnering with a built to match perspective translation clients and freelance English to Russian translators. You’ll undoubtedly find that your shiny new language skills go a long way to pay the bills!