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Common Challenges Of Russian Localization And How To Overcome Them

Posted by Chloe G. on July 29, 2022.

Russian localizations are in high demand to meet new business goals in the booming worldwide economies of numerous fields.

Russian is currently one of the ten most widely spoken languages with more than 160 million speakers. In general, Russian localization can be exceedingly difficult, from the Cyrillic alphabet to the various preferences and requirements of Russian speakers. 

The 6 tips below will help you surpass any challenges of your upcoming Russian localization projects.

The quirks of the Russian language

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You don’t need to be familiar with all of the Russian language’s nuances. But the following characteristics can negatively impact your Russian content usability if you overlook them:

  • Cyrillic Script: Make sure there is a corresponding Cyrillic font for the Latin typeface you are using on your website. Otherwise, any text written in English (or any other language using Alphabetic characters) will be noticeable.
  • Formal and Informal Forms of Address: Avoid mixing them up, particularly when switching from informal to formal.  
  • Different Formatting for Headlines: Giving the impression of a “Dear Sir/ Madam” email with randomly capitalized nouns on a website level may not be a smart idea since Russian users often worry about landing on a “not official” page.


Russian localization challenging Google

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In Russia, search engines like Yandex are dominating. Yandex outperforms Google in the Russian market, although there are no Google-related restrictions there. Its understanding of Russian Culture and language is unmatched. 

Over 166 million people speak Russian as their first language. However, it is also highly similar to the native tongues of the Ukrainian and Belarusian people. You should notice and include these points in your Russian localization project.


Same word but different ending

Six cases are from Russia (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, instrumental, and prepositional). The ending of a noun in a sentence is regulated by the case, the gender, and the number.

For instance, in Russian, a single female word will end differently from a single male noun, and both will have six alternative endings depending on the situation. It could be challenging to translate every noun you encounter if your dictionary or software glossary only recognizes one kind of ending.

Russian proper nouns can have different syllable counts. It can occasionally display nine different grammatical situations. But sometimes businesses make an effort to focus on just one thing. As a result, a Russian Translator’s task is made simpler. Content is more effective when it is localized. 

To get a perfect Russian localization, you need to find a skilled native Russian translator who know the Russian language and the local culture deeply. 

There are three types of Russian localization: TO (Translation Only), TE (Translation + Edit), and TEP (Translation + Edit + Proofreading). Based on your needs and demands, you can select a type of translation that meet your goals. For a challenging language like Russian, you should choose TE or TEP option for your localization projects to get the most quality translation possible.


The Russian genders

While nouns in English are gender-neutral, with the exception of nouns that are used to refer to living things like “doe” and “buck,” nouns in Russian can have one of three genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter.

A noun’s gender is frequently tied directly to the gender of the thing it refers to. Speakers must learn the words and their genders because gender can occasionally be random. One of the most challenging Russian grammar rules for English speakers to understand is gender.

What is the solution to this problem? You can rely on a native Russian translator or a trusted translation provider that has years of experience in the industry. 


The sign of bad manners

The following actions should not be shown in visuals or photos on your website as they are considered to be unpleasant or impolite in Russia.

  • Have your coat checked at a restaurant, workplace, or public tower’s entrance.
  • Keep your hands tucked away while standing.
  • Lie back in a chair.
  • Put your arm on a chair’s backrest.
  • Sit down and spread your legs widely.
  • Cross your legs so that the bottom of your shoe is exposed.
  • Put your arms crossed above your head.
  • Tap the top of your head.
  • Point a finger at a person.

Make a guideline and set clear requirements and needs for your translation provider so that you can get the most quality Russian localization. By doing so, you can reduce the turnaround time for your project and get outstanding qualified Russian localizations and translations. 


Bad luck signs

You should not include the following elements in your content since they are a sign of bad luck for Russian customers.

  • Kissing or hand-shaking across a door’s threshold. You’re attracting demonic things into your house.
  • Whistling in a car or home refer that the money is being frittered away.

Be notice of bad luck signs to avoid making mistakes on your content/website. 

For more Russian market guides, you can see this post.


Colors in Rusia

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Choose color wisely for your content and visuals to reach your target audience effectively without making any mistakes. Here are some points that you should notice:

  • Red is typically thought of as a positive color despite communism’s downfall.
  • Black might be a good color, but it’s also connected to death.
  • Gray and brown are considered to be very unlucky colors.
  • Sending a woman yellow flowers is inappropriate unless you are ending an affair.
  • An even number of blossoms are for the departed when it comes to flowers. Therefore, you must include one extra red rose when drawing a dozen red ones for a joyful event.


Russian expanded text

There is no issue if you need to translate a paper from English to Russian, but there is an issue if you need to translate a website, a mobile application, software, or marketing materials like brochures. The text should increase by 20% when translating from English to Russian because the former language’s words typically contain 7.2 symbols as opposed to 5.2 in the former. This may necessitate adjusting the layout or design.

For instance, if you don’t have enough room when translating, a crucial call to action like “Send a message via email” in English will be “тpавит сооение лектронно ото” in Russian. In these circumstances, Russian translators might be forced to minimize the translation in order to make it shorter; hence, they might use “тр” instead of “травит” to the user’s interests.

To deal with expanded text, you can use Russian desktop publishing services to have your translation done perfectly.



Russian and English have various rules for using punctuation including periods, commas, colons, question marks, and double quotes.

Colonization is never used in titles, for instance, in Russian. Russian never uses single or double quote marks (“, “), just chevrons («»). The dollar symbol ($) is also placed before the number in English, whereas it is placed after the number in Russian and requires space, as in $100 in English and 100 $ in Russian.

To get a qualified translation, you should set a guideline and requirements for translators from the beginning of the project.


Rely on the professional Russian localization service to avoid mistakes

In conclusion, you should inform your translation partner of the content they will be translating in order to ensure that your Russian-translated content will convey the intended meaning to your target audience. Because a term in English might have hundreds of different meanings in Russian, if your Russian language translator doesn’t understand the full context of the document, the translation won’t be accurate. To ensure you obtain the greatest results with a language like Russian, you need to find a reputable translation and localization company that support you with Russian localization services at top quality. 

For years in the industry, GTE Localize is one of the best translation companies on GoodFirms that provide businesses with trustworthy Russian localization from or into over 100 languages globally. We make use of language technology such as CAT tools, management platforms, etc to bring you the most affordable price and fast turnaround time for your Russian localization project.

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We’ve collected a group of the top local, qualified Russian translators to distinguish ourselves from the hundreds of other translation agencies. For the finest results for our clients, our staff of linguists, translators, and editors holds advanced degrees in translation and has received training in the newest translation tools.

Make your choice and get in touch with our Russian localization staff right away to get a free quotation or book a 1:1 consultation today.