A mini-course for beginning En>Ru translators who want to speed up their translation career

Because “learning on the job” will cost you money... or even clients

This mini-course will help you overcome your fear of being too free in translation

and give you the tools to know when and how to change the text

to achieve source and target equivalency

For translators who need to acquire basic translation skills to start taking on translations assignments

This course is designed to help beginning translators without a formal background in translation stop making common mistakes and learn a variety of lexical and syntactical transformations.

During this course you will gain a solid understanding of basic translation techniques and practice applying them to increasingly difficult texts.


After the start of the course you will start analyzing the source texts and applying translation techniques to exercises. After that we will progress to working on complex texts and implementation of different transformations within one text.

After the end of the course, you will be approaching translations in a more efficient and professional manner. You will learn how to self-edit in order to make your translation read well without sacrificing equivalency or introducing inaccuracies.

You will be able to see the “why” behind specific transformations and identify cases when they are necessary.

You will be ready to:


  • work faster and without doubting your translation choices

  • edit your work before delivery to decrease time spent or revisions

  • know how to approach translation process to deliver great work

  • edit translations done by others for the common issues – and explain your edits

  • start preparing for the ATA certification examination

  • Preparing to start your translation: equivalency, adequacy and translatability.

  • The concept of background knowledge. Pragmatic and cultural factors in translation.

  • Translation norms (pragmatics, genre/style, tradition, cultural adaptation, equivalency). 

  • Finding equivalents. International words and “false friends”. Words of modern coinage – neologisms. Multifunctional words and their equivalents. Americanisms.

  • Antonymic translation, holistic transformations, compensation.

  • Acronyms and abbreviations. Truncated words. Attributive use of nouns. Conversion. Widening of meaning. Derivatives. Trendy words. Politically correct words and phrases.

  • Grammatical and syntactical translation transformations. Syntactic ambivalence. 

  • Changing sentence structure in translation. Emphatic constructions.

  • Types of speech. Translation of stylistic devices. Cultural adaptations.

  • Lexical and semantic translation transformations. Differentializing and specifying the meaning of the word. Generalization, additions and omissions.

  • Transcription, transliteration, calques. Translation of proper names. Translation of culture specific elements – realia.

  • A word-combination. Free words-combinations. Phraseological units. Loss of meaning – desemantization.

  • Prepositive attributive complexes. Causative constructions. Elliptical constructions.

  • Non-finite forms of the verb. Infinitive constructions.

  • Functions of the participle. Translation of participial constructions.

  • Gerund and constructions with gerund.

  • Translation of articles. Grammatical changes in translation.

Course curriculum

Meet your instructor: Elena Werner, Ph.D.​

​I have been an ATA certified English>Russian translator since 2004, and have worked as a certified court interpreter for the states of Oregon and Washington for 19 years.

I have been teaching translation and interpretation for more than 30 years.

"I started doing some small translating projects and realized my skills were good, but I wanted to grow to excellence. Reconnecting with my colleagues and taking a class led by a first-rate instructor was a boost in the desired direction.

It is a one-of-a kind class available in the USA by an amazing experienced instructor who teaches in-depth translation theory with lots of practical applications and opportunities for discussion. The size of the class allowed for discussion, flexibility and individualized approach to students' needs.

Elena stands above average instructors by far in her expertise. But it is also her personal approach that made this class valuable and memorable. She allows for ideas to be exchanged in such a manner that a student leaves with sharper skills while also gaining a sense of confidence and empowerment to be a better translator.

Elena allowed flexibility while holding herself to a high standard of efficiency, diligence, commitment to the class and to students' needs.

She conducted discussions from a friendly perspective where her expertise and knowledge served a purpose of advancement for the group, but never as an obstacle or from the point of superiority.

I have learned to be less afraid taking English texts apart for understanding and have begun practicing using more of the tools learned in the class in order to convey the meaning into Russian in a more readable manner.

I enjoyed to my surprise the collaborative effort of translation as a team, its helpfulness from feedback and idea exchange.

I feel more confident and have better skills to proceed with translation projects." 

Anya Hicks, En<>Ru interpreter since 2009, Russian language professional at Anya Hicks Language Services, participant of the 2018 course run

The Basics of Translation Theory and Practice Mini-Course

Duration: 2.5 months

Maximum number of participants: 5–6.

Expected workload: 4–5 hours a week.

Class format: weekly classes and an Office Hour once every two weeks.

Start date: April 17, 2019, 6:30 PM PST


Course Fee: 350 USD.

You can cancel your registration at any time during the first 2 weeks of classes and receive a full refund, no questions asked.

Pick a color

Register until April 16 to get a 40-minute one-on-one preliminary “diagnostic” session.We will work together to identify your main weak spots in translation, and I will give you recommendations for ways to overcome them.

As with all of my courses, you can cancel your registration at any time during the first 2 weeks of classes, no questions asked, and get a full refund.

©2019 by Elena's Language Services. Made by Hillsdale Digital