Oral translation is a special kind of art, often not related as much to one's command of this or that language, as to the ability to quickly react to changing situations, find the right words and build natural-sounding phrases, at the same time preserving the meaning, content and style of the original sentence. I have always been in awe of simultaneous interpreters working for the United Nations or accompanying government delegations and I believe that one of my most important professional achievements is the ability to do it well, reliably and with total confidence. I understand very well those people who talk about "meditation" when engaging in their favorite professional occupation, about the kind of concentration that brings time to a standstill and pushes beyond the limits of awareness anything not directly related to the job at hand. It is a kind of Zen, communion with a higher plane of existence, when the constant chatter of our "inner conversation" dies down and in its place comes peace and serenity. Whether you are translating for a large international organization like the U.N or working for an online education institution, you need to choose just the right vocabulary for the task at hand. The deeper you know a language, the more precise you can be. The focus required to call on the best word is intense, and you must use much energy to do so successfully. This is the challenge, and appeal of a translator's job.
A translator's job is perfect for the Internet. When I have no interpreting assignments, I often work sitting in front of my computer wearing slippers and a housecoat, and dreaming about how one of these days I might be able to do the same thing while sitting on a beach somewhere in Hawaii, with a computer that, though it fits in my palm, precisely "hears", captures and records my words. The original document I am working with is suspended in midair (a hologram?) and all my dictionaries and thesauri are held in the same computer's memory. That is a dream, science fiction for the time being, but the computer technology is growing by leaps and bounds, there are amazing new things being invented and entering our life every day, so it may very well be that the day is not far off when my dream could become reality. Until that day, I guess I will just have to live with working in my tiny office, breathing the second-hand smoke (the first-hand, too…) and staring at the snow behind the window of my Toronto apartment.
I personally work with English, Russian and Ukrainian, but I will take on any project with any language combinations, for the simple reason that the Internet unites me and many of my colleagues into a single entity, a coherent structure, capable of undertaking and fulfilling any task.
One should consider the fact that with the advent of the Internet, things have become a lot simpler, and at the same time a lot more complicated. Vast quantities of information have become available via the Internet, but the quantity of misinformation is just as tremendous. It is not easy to find one's way in this ocean of data, and well-designed advertising often leads to a dead end, if not a quagmire. I do not claim that there are no translators better than I am (though, to be quite honest, it's a pleasant thought to entertain once in a while), but the things I guarantee to all my clients are highly professional work, as to quality as well as deadlines, and complete, strictest confidentiality.
I am willing to undertake certain projects (those that spark my interest) free of charge. These are mostly articles and literature having to do with human rights, animal welfare, etc., coming from known charitable organizations and funds.
Note: If you would like to see a sample of my translation work, I suggest reading the above article (In both English and Russian).