Who are you?
My name is Pavel Mondschein and I am a freelance translator from English to Czech. I focus mostly on videogame translations – I have been working in this field since year 2000 (but no, I am not responsible for the Y2K mess). My secondary specialization is casino games. “Secondary” means that so far I have translated “only” 1 million words; the wordcount for videogames is much higher, I have already lost count…
What services do you offer?
Translation, of course. All my work is properly proofread before delivery, I can also proofread text translated by somebody else. I can edit somebody else’s translation before voice recording, I can transcreate your marketing materials so they hit Czech audience with maximum force. I can provide LQA testing for your game (or web page), and either fix everything right in source files, or report all bugs in a bug-tracking system.
Nice. Is there something you do NOT offer?
Yup, many things. For example I do not “post-edit machine translation” – I respect that sometimes MT can be effective, but I prefer to handle translation in more creative way. I also do not offer DTP services, voice recording and similar stuff. And I never deliver translation late. If the deadline has passed and you haven’t heard from me, it is very likely that I am dead :).
So you are a videogames expert? What makes you say so?
I have started working in videogame business in 1997 as a reviewer/editor, since 2000 I have been working also as a freelance videogame translator. In 2004 I took a full-time job in a major Czech videogame distribution company as a localization specialist. I have spent 8 great years there, and I have contributed to hundreds of projects as a translator, proofreader, tester, or localization manager. Since 2012 I am freelance again. Yes, I consider myself to be a videogames expert.
Do I know some games on which you have been working?
Very likely so. If you know names like Warhammer, The Witcher, Metro, Alan Wake, Company of Heroes or Thief, you know my work. I am also member of a localization team that provides localization for one of the biggest games on market (the project is covered by NDA, obviously, so I cannot name it, but I guarantee you know the game). But that does not mean that I focus only on big, AAA project. I have also translated many casual/mobile games, and I am proud of it.
Can you translate for us also something else?
If it is some general text, sure. But if it is some technical/financial/medical etc. stuff, it will be much better to find somebody, who specializes in this respective field.
I have 10.000 words that need to be translated tomorrow. Can you do that?
No. With such wordcount I would not be able to guarantee you top quality of the work, and as such I cannot accept this task. But I will gladly deliver it within three days.
Our file is full of variables, and everything should be translated in gender neutral form (we have both male and female players). Will it be problem?
No, this is not a problem at all. That is pretty standard for videogame strings, so juggling with variables and gender neutral forms is just part of the job.
Can you translate also from Czech to English?
No. As you might have noticed, my English is not “native level”.
We have a highly confidential project. Will you sign my NDA?
Sure, actually 90% of my work is covered by NDA – and even without them I treat all my clients and projects as if there was an NDA.
What is your rate?
My rate is not set in stone, it is always a matter of mutual agreement. I am not the cheapest videogame translator around, I can guarantee you that. On the other hand, the more you are flexible with deadlines, the more I am flexible with rate.
And… uhm… what the hell is “Merchalka”, anyway? Why is your web domain called like that?
Do not look for any special meaning behind that. “Mechalka” is just name of our house.
You know that your web is ugly, right?
Yeah, I am aware of that. But that is because I focus on translation projects, and I do not have time to do something more with these pages. It took me FOUR YEARS to write this “FAQ”, I did not have time for it before :).