I always wanted to work as a translator and to translate books. My work has encompassed non-fiction translation but I have completed a memoir that is awaiting publication and I have proofread fiction work. In addition, I have completed a variety of translation projects for the media and for business.
How did you get into translation?
I started working for a charity – the Russian Aviation Research Trust – via a contact in October 2007. The charity maintains the largest Russian aviation archive outside the former Soviet Union.
I translated my first book for their journal – The Aircraft of R L Bartini by N V Yakubovich.
I was recommended on completion of this book to work for aviation authors and historians looking to publish manuscripts and book translations in the West.
This was made possible by me being put in contact with an agent in Moscow who specialised in aviation history and aeronautical engineering.
What was your first commission?
My first commission for publishing was a book called La-5/7 v Fw-190 by Dmitriy Khazanov and Aleksandr Medved and published by Osprey Publishing in 2011. This book compares and contrasts two fighter types in the Soviet WW2 – one Soviet and one German. In total I have worked on 25 books, translating 19 to date and although the majority have been around my specialism, I have also diversified.
Why aviation and aeronautics?
That’s a good question, it’s not an obvious choice. I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by aviation, and travelled to airshows and aviation events meeting fast jet and vintage aircraft pilots from an early age. This meant I had a background in the field and the terminology, though I’m still learning. I have been fortunate enough to be able to combine this with translation and the Russian language.
Why CIOL and what is MRAeS?
I had wanted to be part of CIOL since I started doing translation, and after I had built up a portfolio of work, having translated a few books by that stage, and spoken to representatives at a number of events I felt I had enough to chance an application. I initially applied as an Associate (ACIL) but on invitation from CIOL to upgrade my application, I became a full member (MCIL) in March 2012.
I became a Chartered Linguist (CL – Translator) in July 2017. In October 2017, I applied to the Royal Aeronautical Society – the only professional body encompassing the whole of aviation – as a Member (MRAeS) and was accepted. This made me a professional in the industry I had been serving as a translator.
What are your most memorable moments?
I think seeing my books on sale in flagship bookstores in Oxford and London, especially if they have my name on the front cover and title page. As a regular attendee at the Farnborough International Airshow, and knowing its history as the cradle of British aviation, having one of my books – Air Battles Over The Baltic – The Air War On 22 June 1941 – The Battle for Stalin’s Baltic Region, written by Mikhail Timin and published by Helion & Company in 2018, included in the Royal Aeronautical Society’s National Aerospace Library in Farnborough later that same year was definitely a highlight.
The Last War of the Superfortresses. MIG-15 vs B-292 over Korea by Leonid Krylov and Yuriy Tepsurkaev
Dubno 1941. The Greatest Tank Battle of the Second World War by Alexei Isaev