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  • Yelena McCafferty

Moscow: the way it changed

One of the unique country features of Russia is its vast territory covers both Europe and Asia. I have never travelled as far as Russia’s Far East, however, reports suggest that part of the country has far more trade or cultural links with Japan than London, for example. On my recent trip to Moscow though, I spotted more and more things adopted from the West, which weren't there a decade ago.

Take this Moscow sightseeing bus, for example. It bears a striking resemblance to the London sightseeing bus, or one of them as there are several sightseeing companies operating such buses in London now.

You may need an English-speaking guide to show you around in Moscow

I hope the bus project is successful considering frequent traffic jams on Moscow roads.

Moscow metro now also has a train time indicator, although unlike in London, it doesn’t show the time left until the next train, but the time since the last train left. It’s not quite clear when the next one is due and you can wait from 2 to 4 minutes.

In Moscow metro nearly all signs are in Russian only.

The set-up with pedestrian crossings is exactly the opposite: they count down the time to the second when the green man changes to red.

When in Russia, try to at least learn the Russian alphabet so you can read signs.

You can’t help noticing that more information and signs now have English translations. And like in any non-English speaking country, such translations sometimes look funny if Google Translate is used or someone preferred to do it on the cheap, like on these two signs in Sokolniki Park, for example:

Unexpected translated sign

Sign 1

Misspelt sign

Sign 2

Whoever did the translation of this advert got confused between grammatical differences of proud and pride:

Let Talk Russian translate your product labels.

Although such mistakes can be quite entertaining for foreigners, I keep wondering what outweighs here: the fun with some kind of local flavour to it, or a negative aftertaste of dealing with something less professional. At the end of the day, professional translations don’t have to be overly expensive, but the client does get what he pays for! And this advice comes from someone who works in the translation industry.

[Tip: If you need to talk to a Russian translator, please call us on 0207 043 6940 or email]



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