The Russian school of dressmaking (in translation)


We have received the following query:

I am learning how to draft and sew my own clothes. There are these fabulous Russian books and dvds that have ALL I want.They teach you easy and clever ways to get the right fit without having to do numerous alterations . They have those great techniques that would give you professional results without having to put much effort!

 I could not find them in anywhere in English!!!

The problem is that they are in Russian and I have been trying to find a translation agency that has reasonable prices but they are Way too much for me . It is for my personal use , I don’t intend to sell and gain profit.

Most would charge between 8-15 cents per word and for 1 hour dvd the prices are outrages like 1000 dollars!

I wonder do you know of a reasonable price translation agency or individual who has good translations but not expensive?

There is a software but it still needs someone to review and by the way it costs 300 dollars.

It seems to me that it’s highly unlikely ever to be an economic proposition to have a book translated especially for yourself.

If it was me, I think I would pay for some dressmaking lessons instead, as being cheaper and more useful.

If you want to use the books/DVDs, I would advertise on Gumtree (craigslist, etc) for a Russian speaker to spend an hour or three going through them with you and explaining what they’re about–that might be enough if there are plenty of illustrations.  The other thing to remember is that a surprising amount of Russian ‘practical’ literature is derived from foreign-language sources, so that’s something you could easily get someone to check for you–whether there’s an English-language original it’s been adapted from.

For a specific technical area with a restricted vocabulary and range of grammatical constructions automatic translation might be good enough though I’m not sure how you would get the text in from a hard-copy original. If you can get the text in electronic form, try a sample on one of the free online translators and see how useful the result is.

However, I can’t help feeling that what you want to know is common currency among women of a certain age and background–for instance, anyone who was a young woman in the UK in the 1940s or 1950s will know how to make her own clothes and have spent many, many evenings doing so…It’s just a case of making contact.

If I think about cooking, which unlike dressmaking I do know about, I find it quite hard to cook from an American recipe–not only are the measures different, but some common implements and procedures are described differently and some of the ingredients are just different.  Still more with a recipe in French…My point here being again that you really need a person rather than a text…

Meanwhile, a translator (retired) has kindly commented as follows:

I agree with all the comments. And even in leafy Leamington you can get group or private sewing lessons really easily.

Why the questioner has ended up with Russian sources only I can’t imagine. It’s likely that there are still more people dress-making in Russia than UK/US, but there are older books giving this sort of information in English. Re the translation – it’s the sort of comment that makes my blood boil. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys. I bet she doesn’t do her own job for less than the minimum wage. I doubt if she’d get a proper translation for less than the lower quote though the upper one sounds relatively high. Obviously a freelance might be cheaper than an agency. The free translations are pretty good these days, so I don’t know why she’s even looked at purchasing software.



Tags: , ,

One Response to “The Russian school of dressmaking (in translation)”

  1. Ирина Решетило Says:

    My name is Irina and I live in Russia. I’m a begginer translator and it’ll be intresting to me to translate this book. More over my mom is a good sewer and sometimes I sew too.
    The qwestion of the price we may discuss by mail.
    Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: