Localization Tips: Overcoming the Top 5 Challenges in Russian Translations

Professional Russian translation services are increasingly becoming essential for organizations across the globe, not only due to the significant presence of the Russian language on the global market but also for many other reasons, including:

· Russian is the official language in Russia, a co-official language in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and is also spoken widely in Ukraine, Belarus, as well as in all the other former Soviet republics.  

·As a consequence of extensive immigration, Russian is also spoken in many other smaller communities throughout the world.

·About a quarter of the world’s scientific publications are produced in Russian.

·It is one of the six official languages of the UN.

Localization Tips

Localization is one of the challenges associated with the use of the Russian language. Although the Russian language officially follows standardized rules, many communities have adapted the language to reflect their location and environment. For example, many immigrants in countries such as the USA, Israel, Germany, Canada, and Australia use a version of Russian that is mixed with “Russified” local terminology. In Brooklyn, New York, for instance, it is standard practice to use some transliterated English language words in the body of a mainly Russian language text. 

Regardless of challenges, a reliable Russian language translation should be able to handle each particular project and provide you with the highest-quality translation or localization service.

Challenges Faced By Translators into Russian

We agree that every language is unique and different and has its own challenges when it comes to translating it into other languages. However, the Russian language is one of the most difficult languages as far as translation is concerned. We will mention below some of the challenges that any Russian translator might face.

Is There a Variation of The Russian Language Between The Russian Speaking Countries?

Russian is the 7th language worldwide by the number of speakers, with about 260 million speakers around the world.  spoken as a first language in Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Also, it’s considered as an unofficial language in many former Soviet countries like Estonia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Latvia. So customers might raise questions like: Does the Russian language have different variations like the English or the Arabic language? Do I need to hire a local Russian translator for each country? The answer is a big NO!

The Russian language is different and has no variations, as it’s regulated by only one authority, namely the Russian Academy of Science. This made the Russian language the same throughout all Russian speaking countries, with the same vocabulary and grammar everywhere. So there is no need to have different Russian translations for every Russian target country unless you need to target a very specific business.

Of course, there are slight differences in pronunciation among regions, or different dialects and colloquial speech which will matter if you have audio or video translation needs. As a result, you can hire a professional Russian translation company from any Russian speaking country.

Text Expansion When Translating From English into Russian

There is no problem if you have a document that you need to translate from English into Russian, but if you have a website, mobile application, software or such marketing documents as brochures, here comes the problem. When translating from English into Russian, the text is expected to expand 20%, as the Russian word has an average of 7.2 symbols while the English has 5.2 symbols. With this, the design or the layout might need to be adjusted.

For example, an important call to action like “Send a message by email” in English, will be in Russian: “Отправить сообщение электронной почтой”; so it will be a problem if you don’t have enough space when translating.

In such cases, Russian translators might have to shorten the translation by adding abbreviations;  so instead of using “Отправить”, they use “Отпр” – which might affect the user experience.


Using punctuation like periods, commas, colons, question marks and double quotations are different in Russian than English.

For example, in Russian colons are never used in titles. Single or double quotation (‘’, “”) marks are never used in Russian, instead chevrons («») are used. Also in English, the dollar sign ($) is used before the number while in Russian it’s used after and must have space, i.e $100 in English, 100 $ in Russian.

Machine Translation

Machine translation (MT) has lately started to be commonly used, as it’s faster and saves time and money especially if you have a high volume of translation. This can be applied to all languages but not to Russian.

English and Russian are highly different languagescand when the machine translates from English into Russian, it provides a very low-quality translation that looks unnatural and hard to read.

As an alternative solution, customers can use machine translation post editing (MTPE) to improve the quality of translation and add a human touch to it.

Providing Context to Your Translation Partner

To make sure that your Russian translated content will deliver the right message to your target content, you should advise your translation partner about the content that they are going to translate. As a word in English may have hundreds of meanings in Russian, so if your Russian language translator didn’t know the whole context of the document, he or she won’t provide a professional translation.

For such a language like Russian, you need to put your trust in a reliable company with a solid experience to make sure you get the best results EuroLingo is specialized in providing translation services from English and German into Russian, in addition to  other languages pairs like French, Finnish, Dutch, Polish, and Spanish. We are an ISO 17100 certified translation company that hassuccessfully managed to translate more than 5 million Russian words. 

We have widened our areas of expertise to cover all Russian business requirements, including the following:

  • Russian Document Translation
  • Russian Website Localization
  • Russian Mobile App Localization
  • Russian Product Description Translation
  • Russian Transcription
  • Russian Voiceover and Subtitling Services
  • Russian Marketing Localization
  • Russian E-Learning Translation

To stand out among hundreds of translation companies, we’ve built a team of the best in-country professional Russian translators. Our team of linguists, translators and editors hold high degrees in translation, plus being trained on the latest translation software programs so as to deliver the best for our clients.

So if you are still looking for a reliable Russian translation partner, make your decision and contact EuroLingo’s support team now.