I am a highly educated professional with a degree in Medicine and a diploma of “English as a second language” which I earned in the USA.
What places me head and shoulders above my colleagues is that I spent twelve years living and working in the United States where I acquired a mastery of both the written and spoken English language that is second to none in Russia. My English language fluency is culturally competent over a wide range of technical fields from mining to law, and that fact that I work regularly for the UN, EU delegates, the Russian government, the US government, the Canadian and Russian Departments of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice of the Russian Federation, several US law enforcement agencies, including federal agencies (ICE, DHS, DOD) is clear testimony to the fact that I am uniquely professionally qualified. In fact, when I perform written translations from Russian into English and send them to a native speaker for proofreading, usually the proofreading comments are mostly superficial — verb tense usage, articles, etc., that are easily corrected before the final version is sent to the client.
Lets assume you inquired: “Do you have any language or translation-related credentials we could have verified?” My answer is “No”. I have not been trained as a translator. I studied the English language in America, I worked as interpreter and translator for 12 years in America, I owned several business entities in America, I socialized daily with educated speakers of the English language (lawyers, judges, doctors, writer, teachers, you name it), I even had a common-law marriage with an American woman, and I am native speaker of the Russian language. Those are my credentials which, if fused together, create a strong profile of a true professional, capable of producing a remarkable translation into a foreign language.
Over the last three years being back in Russia, I have tested over 500 translators and 100 translation agencies (I tested only their ability to translate into a foreign language). Unfortunately the failure rate has been nearly 100%. Since Russia is a “one language country” and foreign languages are taught by the Russians, the quality of English language skills is dramatically low. It is worth noting, that even if someone has a diploma in translation in Russia (for example, if a graduate graduated with a diploma with honors) this does not necessarily mean anything. It also does not seem to matter whether you are fresh out of school or a seasoned Russian translator with 15-20 years of experience, Russians still cannot translate into any foreign language. Based on my testing, it does not seem to matter whether a translator is from Moscow or from a remote village in Siberia, the results are pitifully the same. Russians cannot translate into any foreign language. In 99% of the reviewed cases translations into foreign languages could not be proofread since the meaning was completely lost. A text, translated by Russians to the English language looks like a salad of words devoid of essence.
Regrettably, only those whose life story is to some extent similar to mine (education received abroad, marriage to a foreign citizen, many years living in a foreign language environment, etc.) can translate to a foreign language and produce adequate results. The word “adequate” does not necessarily mean “not requiring proofreading”. It means that the resulting text will only have to undergo a minor correction (for example, articles added or changed, verb tenses corrected on occasion) whereas the story line will remain perfectly clear, sentences of the resulting texts will not have to be rewritten, and so on.