Interview Series: 6. Dmitry Kornyukhov – Best Russian Translator
June is almost finished and I haven't told you yet who I spoke with this month! So here it goes... ddddrrrrummmm rroooolll...my June translator is Dmitry Kornyukhov from Best Russian Translator! Dmitry translates into Russian and he specialises in video games localisation. He also is the founder of The Open Mic, the first blogging community and a social network for translators and for people looking for professional translators. He's also the co-host of Translators on Air. We spoke about video games, life as a translator, Toronto and volleyball! Check it out!
1. Dmitry, hi! What is it like running Best Russian Translator?
Well, if I was to describe it in one word I’d say it’s a ton of fun. Oops, that’s 3 words, but they perfectly describe how I feel about running a translation business. Just like any other solopreneur, I think when it comes to running an online business it all boils down to having a clearly defined structure.
When you’re just one person, both your organisational and communication skills have to be at an outstanding level because every single second matters (time, after all, is our most valuable resource).
2. Yeah, this is so true! Can you tell me what’s a typical day like, if there is such thing, at Best Russian Translator? My day starts in a similar fashion each and every time: shower and coffee (or tea) first, then I open my laptop and check my emails, although, I gotta admit that it’s very tempting to just grab my phone first and read emails. I’m trying to discipline myself though, as I think having morning rituals is very important because they help you start your new (business) day on the right foot.
Since most of my clients are video game localisation companies and game developers from Europe, I spend the first few hours of my business day answering their emails and managing newly received projects (taking notes on deadlines and volumes, making sure I can deliver everything as promised). If there are any accounting tasks (like sending payment reminders) I prefer to do this in the morning as well. Once the admin work is done I move to urgent translation tasks at hand (if any). When you work in video game localisation that often means that you’ll have to work on lots of small updates with short turnaround times. I try to prioritise them before anything else because it keeps my clients happy. If I don’t have any urgent tasks, I’m likely to start working on any current bigger projects and if I don’t have any projects at all, I’ll do some marketing and prospecting (which is my least favourite part, if I’m being honest). And, of course, if the weather is dreadful, I might call it a day and play some video games instead (but don’t tell my wife, okay?).
3. Haha! OK! And why translation? I showed interest for languages since I was 5 years old, so my parents hired a tutor when I was 6. So by the time I finished high school, I knew that my future profession would be somehow related to languages. I found a master’s program at the Belgorod State University and I felt like this could be a really good fit for me. At that time, I could hardly understand what this profession was about, but I think I’ve made the right choice. It’s a fascinating profession and you need to hone your craft on daily basis if you really want to make it in this industry. This is what makes it so difficult, yet so appealing. And it always blows my mind how my work helps people around the globe understand each other, how it helps companies unlock new markets and improve their sales. It’s truly fascinating!
4. It is truly fascinating and I think people often don’t see beyond translation and the actual impact it creates in today’s globalised world. In addition to translation, what other industry activities are you involved in? Well, I try to give back to the translation community through several initiatives. I’m the founder and lead developer of The Open Mic, - the first blogging community and a social network for translators and for people looking for professional translators. It has more than 2,600 registered members and I invite everyone to join (it’s free).😊
I’m also the co-host of a popular talk show for translators called Translators On Air where my colleague Elena and I invite and interview interesting people from our profession and invite the members of our mailing list to watch us live and ask questions in real time. It’s fun and very interactive! You should check it out or even better, you could become our next guest! 😉
5. And when you are not working, what do you do? I spend time with my wife, friends and family. We live in Toronto and it’s a beautiful city. There’s always something going on; many concerts, events and much more. I also love playing volleyball (I played semi-professionally in a team when I was in high school), so when it’s summer you can find me on the beach, playing with my friends.
6. Oh, amazing! And do you like to travel? We love travelling, but it’s quite expensive and we grow older, so it’s getting harder and harder to travel around the globe. But we do our best to visit at least one new place or new country each year. When I travel with my wife I forget about all the stress and worrying that comes with running your own business and just try to learn to live in the moment. I think everyone should do this as it helps you step back and see the bigger picture (maybe even come up with some other great business ideas along the way).
7. I agree. We all need a break here and then. Any plans for the future? Taking care of my family and growing my business. I’m blessed to be living in harmony with myself. I love what I do, and I try to spread the joy and the love for my profession with every chance I get. I’ll continue to focus on developing my translation business and hoping to get even more AAA projects in my favourite field of expertise (video games).
Oh, and of course I have big plans for The Open Mic and Translators On Air and I hope these awesome projects will take off as well and will reach new heights in the upcoming years.
Thank you Dmitry! They are awesome projects, so I’m sure they’ll take off as there’s already lots of buzz around them! Good luck with everything and nice chatting to you!
Dmitry is an English into Russian translator and video game localisation specialist from Toronto. He runs Best Russian Translator and he is the founder of The Open Mic and host of Translators On Air. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Crowdcast.