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Hire an interpreter

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So, me and my fiance were trying to figure out how to deal with the language problem during the wedding, since my parents don't speak any English, but we are planning on having them over for the wedding. Since I won't be able to do the translation during my own wedding, we were thinking about hiring an interpreter. Has anybody had any experience like that?

Actually, we don't even have idea where to look for one and how much it will cost. So any help will be appreciated :)


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So, me and my fiance were trying to figure out how to deal with the language problem during the wedding, since my parents don't speak any English, but we are planning on having them over for the wedding. Since I won't be able to do the translation during my own wedding, we were thinking about hiring an interpreter. Has anybody had any experience like that?

Actually, we don't even have idea where to look for one and how much it will cost. So any help will be appreciated :)

Alla works as an independent interpreter for various clients, hospitals, government agencies, etc. Her rate for regular clients is $35 per hour, minimum 1 hour. 50 cents per mile for travel more than 25 miles.

Check with local hospitals, they will probably have interpreters they can refer you to. It is a fairly lucrative little business and if you are fluent in both English and Russian you may be surprised how much you can make doing this. It is good, relatively pleasant work.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Not to be a wedding crasher, but it's not likely they'll get a visa just for your wedding.

That being said, why would they need a translator? Weddings are pretty standard. "God made man and woman and blah, blah, blah... do you?.... do you?.. blah, blah, blah. Kiss." That's it. In some cultures you might step on a lightbulb or jump over a broom, take a ride in a chair, etc., but it's all pretty much the same. Throw in a candle lighting and a few songs, maybe a funny hat, two rings and you've pretty much just covered every wedding ever.

It's not like they're going to be hearing UN Resolutions and need real-time updates in their native language.

If you really need a translator, why not have your wedding in BOTH languages? Find a minister who can speak Russian or say all your "I vow to be there for you during dark skies and choppy seas" in Russian. You could simulcast it via HTB back to the old country or hit the SAP button midway through the ceremony.

Seriously though, since you're getting married you should practice what you're going to be preaching - just make your fiance learn and speak Russian at the wedding. Should take care of all your problems simultaneously. By the way, where is your fiance? Why is he not on VJ? He has many important things to be learning about being the groom of a MOB. It's a tough job!


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Yes, there is a fair chance they may not get the visa to visit.


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Howdy everyone, just discovered this fine place. I have not found the one yet, still getting all my ducks in a row as they say. This posting interested me because I wonder if the women from Russia and those places usually speak english. And if not do you think it is a problem getting a immigration marriage visa for her if she can't speak very well or maybe at all. Just curious. Hope everyone had a fine president's day!

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Howdy everyone, just discovered this fine place. I have not found the one yet, still getting all my ducks in a row as they say. This posting interested me because I wonder if the women from Russia and those places usually speak english. And if not do you think it is a problem getting a immigration marriage visa for her if she can't speak very well or maybe at all. Just curious. Hope everyone had a fine president's day!

You probably should start a new topic in this forum or read the topics in the RUB forum. As you are new, we can overlook that "hijacking" a topic is bad form (unless it is after the 3rd page or some such BS) :P At any rate, it is not the best way to get answers.

If we improve our education here, we will speak English as well as Russians. :P

Most Russian, Ukrainian and Belarussian women had English in school. Most speak at least some English. Most women in these countries do not speak English well, but many that seek foreign marriage do.

Neither Moscow nor Kiev are very difficult consulates and the countries are not considered "high fraud" so getting a visa is not particularly difficult if you meet the criteria and prvide the needed documents. You will have to show evidence of a relationship. Which means you will have to overcome the language barrier, if any, in some way or another. Some of the marriage agencies offer translation services for emails and such, though that can get pricey.

Other than that, FSU women are the best!


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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Not to be a wedding crasher, but it's not likely they'll get a visa just for your wedding.

That being said, why would they need a translator? Weddings are pretty standard. "God made man and woman and blah, blah, blah... do you?.... do you?.. blah, blah, blah. Kiss." That's it. In some cultures you might step on a lightbulb or jump over a broom, take a ride in a chair, etc., but it's all pretty much the same. Throw in a candle lighting and a few songs, maybe a funny hat, two rings and you've pretty much just covered every wedding ever.

It's not like they're going to be hearing UN Resolutions and need real-time updates in their native language.

If you really need a translator, why not have your wedding in BOTH languages? Find a minister who can speak Russian or say all your "I vow to be there for you during dark skies and choppy seas" in Russian. You could simulcast it via HTB back to the old country or hit the SAP button midway through the ceremony.

Seriously though, since you're getting married you should practice what you're going to be preaching - just make your fiance learn and speak Russian at the wedding. Should take care of all your problems simultaneously. By the way, where is your fiance? Why is he not on VJ? He has many important things to be learning about being the groom of a MOB. It's a tough job!

Well, I've been reading Russian immigration forums, and have seen some cases there when parents were coming just for the wedding and their visas were approved. I assume it's always 50/50 - you either get the visa or you don't. Worth trying anyway.

As for why we want an interpreter, we want my parents not only understand what's going on during the ceremony, but also be able to talk to people. Sure, I'll be there, but that was my fiance's idea, cause he doesn't want me to run in cirles on our wedding day.

My fiance might be here somewhere, I don't know :lol:

OK, actually, he uses the net in a very practical way and he is more like "get up and do something", but not waste your time on the internet talks. He would not even have a facebook account if I hadn't created one for him.

Using this forum and finding the information on the website is good for me though as a part of becoming more tough, independent and being able to talk to people. He thinks I need that to survive in the States.

We've been dating for 2,5 years, lived together for a little bit, I think he knows enough :) And I don't want RUBers to spoil him :lol: I'm telling him a lot of what's going on here though.


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We actually did hire and interpreter for my family when they came to our wedding in Ukraine. Parts of our wedding were in English and Ukrainian (for example my vows were in English). We had the interpreter for a few days because I wanted my family to feel comfortable touring the city....he did more than just interpret I guess, providing just useful information to them about Lviv/Ukraine/customs and so on. At the wedding he translated toasts my family made so the Ukranian guests could understand and translated what they were saying so my family could understand. I forget the exact cost, but it wasn't much...1-2 hundred per day. We were very pleased with him...it was well worth it for us.


Wife's visa journey:

03/19/07: Initial mailing of I-129F.

07/07/11: U.S. Citizenship approved and Oath Ceremony!

MIL's visa journey:

07/26/11: Initial mailing of I-130.

05/22/12: Interview passed!

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LvivLovers, thanks for sharing your experience.

Thank you, everybody, guys. I'll keep all the information in mind and pass it over to my fiance.


Вiрити нiкому не можна. Hавiть собi. Менi - можна ©

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So, me and my fiance were trying to figure out how to deal with the language problem during the wedding, since my parents don't speak any English, but we are planning on having them over for the wedding. Since I won't be able to do the translation during my own wedding, we were thinking about hiring an interpreter. Has anybody had any experience like that?

Actually, we don't even have idea where to look for one and how much it will cost. So any help will be appreciated :)

The chance is indeed 50/50. On the one hand, my friend's parents and sister were denied visas for her wedding (K-1). On the other hand, my parents came to the U.S. for my wedding when I was on an expiring J-1 in 2008, which everybody I knew said wouldn't happen - and they are both approaching retirement age and in fact it was their first time travelling abroad since the fall of Soviet Union! So keep your hopes up - just make sure that your parents collect ALL evidence possible to show their ties to Russia. Remember, they bear the burden of proof on their non-intention to immigrate.

As for interpretation - we didn't hire an interpretor, even though my husband doesn't speak Russian and my parents don't speak but elementary English. I think it's a waste of money. What we did is we asked one of our friends in the bridal party to help our parents get around, and it worked out well. I only had 2 bilingual bridesmaids and they both helped willingly. It was also cool that my maid of honor was my former classmate from Russia, so my parents knew her since she was like 6. Also, my husband's relative were pretty excited to meet my parents, so there was a lot of nonverbal communication going on, too! And Mom got to practice her English, which she was very proud of.

An option is this - if your wedding will take place close to a major university with international students OR a good Russian language program, you can post an ad in the languages department - or craigslist for that city - and hire a student who needs to practice their Russian or just to earn some money. The rate would be much smaller than that for a professional interpretor and it's up to you to set it. Just make sure you interview the person in advance :)

Good luck!

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The chance is indeed 50/50. On the one hand, my friend's parents and sister were denied visas for her wedding (K-1). On the other hand, my parents came to the U.S. for my wedding when I was on an expiring J-1 in 2008, which everybody I knew said wouldn't happen - and they are both approaching retirement age and in fact it was their first time travelling abroad since the fall of Soviet Union! So keep your hopes up - just make sure that your parents collect ALL evidence possible to show their ties to Russia. Remember, they bear the burden of proof on their non-intention to immigrate.

As for interpretation - we didn't hire an interpretor, even though my husband doesn't speak Russian and my parents don't speak but elementary English. I think it's a waste of money. What we did is we asked one of our friends in the bridal party to help our parents get around, and it worked out well. I only had 2 bilingual bridesmaids and they both helped willingly. It was also cool that my maid of honor was my former classmate from Russia, so my parents knew her since she was like 6. Also, my husband's relative were pretty excited to meet my parents, so there was a lot of nonverbal communication going on, too! And Mom got to practice her English, which she was very proud of.

An option is this - if your wedding will take place close to a major university with international students OR a good Russian language program, you can post an ad in the languages department - or craigslist for that city - and hire a student who needs to practice their Russian or just to earn some money. The rate would be much smaller than that for a professional interpretor and it's up to you to set it. Just make sure you interview the person in advance :)

Good luck!

The whole thing is really a ####### shoot and it's pretty ridiculous that the visa officers have so much arbitrary power. My brother-in-law, who is 30, single, unemployed, with no property to his name managed to get a visa for the wedding with essentially no questions asked. He really had very little to lose by jumping ship. I can't even honestly figure out what I would have said if I had to argue that he had ties to Russia. But it was a quick interview with no hang-ups. The one thing that I can point to as being useful is travel history. By brother in law had been to the US once before and returned on schedule. He also had past Schengen visas.

My mother in law also got a visa for the wedding. She owns an apartment but doesn't have steady work. She doesn't speak English. She also has an extensive history of Schengen and UK visas so I think that helped out.

We didn't hire an interpreter because my brother in law translated for my mother in law.

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We attended a wedding last month with the bride's family in attendance but Mom and Dad didn't speak any English. Her father performed part of the service since he is also a Baptist minister in his home country. My wife said that the young woman they had translating his words did not do a very good job. Apparently she did not know those references he made to the bible. Even I recognized what he was saying but just thought it was a too literal translation. So, if you find a translator, make sure they have experience and are fairly knowledgeable.

Also, because of the set up, the few Russian speaking guests were separated from the bride's family so we had to get up and walk across the hall to speak a little with them. I think they felt pretty isolated. At least it was not a new experience for them since their oldest daughter had also married an American. Sometimes you just need to cruise the universities to find that foreign gem walking through the halls. :thumbs:

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Wedding ceremonies are very scripted.....you should be able to obtain (discuss with the priest/minister/official/judge) what is going to be said and have that translated prior. Then no live translator to "interfere with the moment" is needed.


Phil (Lockport, near Chicago) and Alla (Lobnya, near Moscow)

As of Dec 7, 2009, now Zero miles apart (literally)!

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