I am a translator and an editor. When asked how many languages do I know, I have to say three – which makes me quite uncomfortable, because this is usually followed by the inevitable expressions of admiration, which I always feel obliged to temper with a doze of reality: I do know three languages, but all imperfect in various ways. On the other hand, there really is no such thing as a perfect knowledge of anything, including language. So here are the sources of some of my reasonably imperfect linguistic knowledge: I was born in Russia, lived there until my mid teens, and up until then did all of my reading (which in those years was a lot) in Russian. It is my true mother-tongue, and is the language I understand best. It is also the language in which I have some trouble expressing myself, for the simple reason of the lack of practice.
English is my second language. I took my first two-months-long daily course in English at the age of 6. It was an amazing experience: suddenly I found myself chatting and singing in a language I never heard before (I am talking USSR in the 60s). Then I started school and forgot all about that – until the 5th grade, when foreign languages used to be introduced in the SU at that time. Those two months from five years before suddenly all floated to the surface and the entire class, including the teacher, looked at me funny.
I learned Hebrew after moving to Israel in the mid 70s, and so my Russian is rather rusty when it comes to speaking and writing – although reading is fine (thanks to all that early practice). This is why I list English and Hebrew as my native languages when translation and editing are concerned, and why I translate only from Russian, not into it.
Generally speaking, I translate between Hebrew and English, both ways, and from Russian into both English and Hebrew, while I mostly edit in English. If you are interested in my translation or editing services, or just wish to tell me how much you admire me, for whatever reason, or just wish to ask a question, or tell me something I don’t know (your chances are very good indeed) – feel free to drop me a line here.
BTW, some of the posts on this blog have a Hebrew version (not necessarily a translation). Some posts are entirely in Hebrew, which means that they deal with issues non-Israelis would probably find of little, if any, interest. In the future there also might appear posts in Russian, pending an improvement in my Russian typing skills – fingers crossed (or maybe rather not).