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My Interpreting, Guiding and Other Services

Interpreting

Escort and Guiding

When you come to Ukraine, I am your ultimate guide and troubleshooter not to mention interpreter. You can rely on me in every respect. If you need anything, just ask and I will tell you if I can do it or not. For example, I can be your driver if we rent a car thus helping you to save on cabs, you can send me to the train station to get tickets, I can do shopping for/with you and fulfil many other reasonable requests. Remember, when you are in Ukraine I am your personal aide, always by your side and at your disposal. Not your dog but your friend you can rely on.

You need this if you are coming over to Ukraine:

Rates

My hourly fee is $20, my daily fee is $150. Costs are paid by the customer (see below).

Please make up your mind on paying by the hour or by the day before we start.

Really long jobs (7 days and longer) might be subject to better offers, please contact me.

The above rates apply to up to 2 clients that I guide together. If there are 3 or 4 people I interpret for, the rates have to be multiplied by 1.5. For bigger groups, please contact me. Children accompanied by one or both parents do not count, even if they are grown-up.

Important! The daily charge rate is based on my availability for a single working day, NOT 24 hours, but up to 12 hours, starting in the morning/afternoon/evening but not extending after 0:00 and/or to the same hour next day. In other words, a day is a day and it ends at midnight.

The fee will apply even if I am not actively interpreting or acting in your interests otherwise for the entire period, that is regardless of the total work time and load (it is up to the customer to choose to pay per day or hour). In other words, it does not matter how many hours a day I actually work and when I start — unless you pay by the hour, but this is going to be more expensive, and it only works in Odessa.

Time needed to get to the work location and fares are not billed in Odessa. Elsewhere it is the same rule as long as at least three full successive days are booked and the job is within Ukraine. However, if I use my car, special conditions apply (see below).

However, once I join the customer(s), they bear all costs such as reasonable food, accommodation, and fares/fuel till we part, plus transporation get home by train or car, after we part, if we do outside of Odessa.

Is It Really Expensive?

I understand that the above rates may seem high to some people but you should also understand that first, they are high if you only hire me for a short time, and second, as I provide much more than just interpreting, it is quite justified. For example, if you are traveling around Ukraine, you can rent a car and have me drive you around — no need to hire cabs which can be quite expensive. If you simply hire an interpreter, you will have to cover their costs but you will also have to pay for a cab ride separately and much more than just for gasoline while your interpreter will not be doing much during the ride. There are other examples you can think of yourself when you can save by having a single person doing everything for you instead of hiring different people every time. With me, you just do not have to do that, I am the only one you need for most of the things. What’s more, I am your friend and supporter while anyone else you may hire does not really care about anything other than they were hired for and may even have their own agenda. For example, if you are using an agency interpreter on a date with a girl from a dating agency, you cannot be sure that the two do not ‘work together’ as a duo of pro-daters, one posing as a marriage-minded girl looking for a husband and the other as her interpreter. But I can tell a pro-dater and at any event I can tell you much more than an agency female interpreter will. So it pays back eventually.

If you are not convinced yet, please read the FAQ section to find out what things are like.

Costs

Since interpreting requires accompanying the customer, the latter is supposed to pay for food, accommodation, fares or fuel and other relevant costs. Basically, the client is supposed to cover my reasonable costs since we met and while I am with him/her. So, I have to pay for my transportation costs to meet the client if the job is in a different town (but only if we do not agree otherwise and only if it is in Ukraine; also if the job is at least three days to justify my costs and I do not drive my car), but once I am there, the client bears other fares and costs until we say good-bye to each other and I am on my own again (however, my getting home must be covered).

I do not force my clients to pay for my food but as long as I accompany them it is natural that they treat me, it is not too expensive and a matter of simple politeness. I do not try to order expensive food at restaurants, just something to eat. (As a rule, my food is cheap because I do not eat meat and prefer simple healthy food). If the client does not want to feed me, we will have to arrange lunch and dinner breaks, or I can do without food, it does not really matter as my goal is not to have a free dinner but help you. By the way, thanks to my healthy way of life which includes no meat/alcohol/cigarettes/television, I can do without food longer than ordinary people.

Online Interpreting

If you talk to someone on instant messaging you can have your conversation translated in the background. All you need to do is to add me to your contact list and then copy and paste your messages for translation back and forth. The rate is $10 per hour.

Phone Conversations

The rate is $1.00 per minute. Usually I translate three-way conference calls, when both parties and I are online and can all hear each other at a time. You should check with your telephone operator how to establish a conference call. You can also use Skype if you have Skype Out to reach the other person, and I already have Skype.

Guidance

As I mentioned above, being your interpreter, I am also your guide and troubleshooter. There is no additional charge for this. If I accompany you, I can help you with anything reasonable that you may want, just ask. Basically, I am at your disposal all the time like your majordomo, butler, deputy, secretary or aide-de-camp (choose the term you like best). However, this does not mean that I take full responsibility for you and your relationship with people you meet; I provide aid rather than do everything for you, and what I really must do is just translate well, so please do not take it for granted. And I am certainly not your slave so do not take it literally too. But remember: interpreting is just one thing I can do for you, and never hesitate to ask about anything, even though I might not be able to do what you request. But I promise to do my best. By the way, you do not need to be around for me to do something, so you may hire me for something without coming over, for example driving to another town to find your girl.r

Translation

It is also possible to translate letters, documents (without certifying them though) and other texts. Please read the details in my other web site dedicated to translation services (as this one deals with interpreting primarily): RussianTranslator.IgorKalinin.Com.

Driving

I can drive you anywhere in Ukraine in my car. My rate is $0.50 per kilometer and it includes gasoline and maintenance.

This does not however include interpreting and other services I offer here, so if you are interested in a full package you may want to pay a daily fee and rent a third party car that I can drive (possibly in turns with you). I normally do not use my car when I am working as a guide/interpreter because it is too much load and attention.

However, if I take my car per customer’s request when I am hired to be a guide or interpreter hourly or daily, I charge extra for the fuel and maintenance. Typically it is about $20 around Odessa (depending on how much driving is needed) and may be more if I drive out of town. In the latter instance, the customers fill my car and we drive wherever they need to get. To make it square and transparent, I make a full tank at my expense when we start and the customers make it full at their expense when we finish, and a small maintenance fee of $5 a day is added in cash. If the customers part with me outside of Odessa they must pay for my fuel to return to Odessa (based on previous experience, the necessary amount can be calculated; I keep records of mileage and fuel during all trips).

Two important conditions:

  1. A day’s mileage must not exceed 500 km,
  2. Highway driving after the sunset must be avoided at all costs, especially on unfamilar or bad highways, unless it is a very short distance and/or is of paramount importance.

In fact, it is your safety!!! When I get tired I am more like to get into an accident. As for night driving, I must confess that my eyesight is not great in darkness, even though I have good headlights. Besides, at night it is cold and more likely to be foggy.

I have bad experience of hitting a very bad pothole which broke my rear bow spring somewhere in the country in the winter at night. I was able to fix it soon and slowly get to the destination, but it was very unpleasant both for me and my customer, and cost me a lot to replace it. I need not mention flat tires and broken discs. Ukrainian highways are very bad, possibly worse than in Africa, so it is often a challenge to drive even in the daylight and perfect weather, not to mention night/rain/snow/fog, etc.

If you arrive in Kiev, I can pick you up and drive to Dnipro, Harkov, Zaporojye, Sumy, etc. If you fly to Odessa, I can drive you to Nikolayev, Hersonr, etc. In this case I may need a retainer to cover my costs.

Other Related Services

As your guide, I can basically do a lot of things, besides translation and interpretation, but you have to ask. Below are other related services I provide:

Arranging Accommodation

If you are going to visit Ukraine, you have to stay somewhere. I can help you get a good apartment in Odessa or Kiev and other towns for a good price. Please let me know your requirements and range of prices you can afford, and I will come up with something. I might charge an apartment booking fee which is between $50 and $100 but more often the landlord pays me my commission directly so it is free for you.

I have a wide range of quality apartments ranging between $50 and $150 a night. I cooperate with some agencies and flat owners and you can be sure that you will have an apartment to suit your needs.

Airport Pick-Up/Transfer

Regardless of who provides you accommodation/apartment, you can have me meet you at the airport of Odessa, Simferopol, or Kiev) and take you to your hotel or apartment. This costs $90 (car included). If you hire me for the day, pick-up is included (without the taxi cost).

Train/Plane Tickets Reservation

I can book train or air tickets for you in Ukraine and deliver it to you when you arrive. The booking fee is $40 and you have to add the cost of the ticket to the total amount. The above fee does not include delivery. If you want to be handed over your ticket when you arrive, please add $20 to the booking fee.

I need the money upfront.

Cell Phone Rental

Having a working mobile phone is very important while traveling around Ukraine. However, you cannot be sure that your phone is compatible with Ukrainian networks and will be working smoothly while roaming. Even if it is, roaming rates are very high but you may not be able to recharge your account from Ukraine. You might try using a local SIM chip but very often your phone is locked to your home carrier to prevent it from being used on different networks.

A good solution is cell phone rental in Ukraine. You get a working mobile phone with a charger (and sometimes a spare battery) and an active local SIM card. You can use it directly without the need of going anywhere and doing anything except turning it on and recharging the account. The rate is $4 a day plus you have take care of your minutes on your own but it is very easy and cheap. However, be careful when calling abroad. Although I can teach you how to use cheap dialing, it is not as cheap as local calls, so if you talk for hours, you will have to replenish your account very often. Therefore it is advised to limit your conversations. Another advantage in addition to being in touch all the time and able to call locally cheaply is the ability of locals to call you. If you are on your own phone in roaming they will have to dial your country and pay a lot plus possible bad connection as the call has to go to your country and then come back even though you may be standing next to the person calling you. Not everyone is going to call you this way, so you may be out of touch.

A refundable security payment may be required to rent a cell in case you damage or lose it forget to return it. For the time being it is $100 and is paid back to you in exchange for the phone.

Flowers & Gifts Delivery

If you want to surprise your lady with a great bunch of flowers on March 8 (Women’s Day in Ukraine) or just at any time, you do not have to do it yourself. For $60 I will go anywhere in Odessa and deliver your gift to her. Please note that it does not include the cost of the gift. To help you estimate your costs, I can tell you that a rose costs about $4, a box of chocolate can be about $2. $10 may be a good guess for a nice bouquet, that is $70 total. I can also deliver your gift or arrange a delivery in Kiev, Nikolayev and some other towns; contact me for details. It might cost a bit more.

This service could be used as a covert check-up on somebody as I will tell you the results of the delivery: whether it was successful, who was there, what happened, etc. and you will be able to draw your conclusions. See the Discovery service below also.

Dating & Introductions

Please see the next page which is dedicated to such services.

Discovery / Detective

Finding a Person

If you have someone in Ukraine you lost contact with I can help you. Please let me know as much detail as possible and I will try to find them for you. The cost of this service is $90 plus costs if any. You only pay if the search was successful.

Genealogy & Relatives

Another need to look for a person might be if you are trying to trace your relatives back in Ukraine while you are of a Ukrainian descent. A lot of Ukrainians fled or emigrated from the USSR between 1917 and 1991, especially in 1918-1922, during the Civil War, then in the 1930s during the Kremlin-orchestrated famine which killed about 6 million people in Ukraine alone (by the way, Russia suffered too, so it was not a genocide of the Ukrainian nation as some modern politicians try to portray it), then during the Second World War from 1939 through 1945 and in the 1950s. Now some of them who settled in the US and EU are trying to find their relatives who stayed and survived in Ukraine or were separated from them during the war. What I offer is search for your relatives bearing the same surname based on telephone directories. Currently I can cover Odessa but I am working to expand my network and should be able to cover all major towns in Ukraine.

Besides telephone search, I can drive to any location in Ukraine to look for surviving family members and trace your ancestry if you provide enough information about the village or town where your family lived before the maelstrom of historical events scattered them around, some landing in America, some in Ukraine… Knowing your genealogy is important.

Advice

Since I know the Russian and Ukrainian culture very well, I can consult you on many issues. By the way it is free, so do not hesitate to ask. We can use instant messaging, phone or Skype. See the contact page for details.

Payment

All the above rates are in Euro and this is the best currency. But I accept payment in US dollars, GB pounds or Hryvnyas according to the actual exchange rate to Euro: in cash, via Contact, Western Union, bank wire, WebMoney, Moneygram, Paypal, etc.

Contact me for details.

Booking

While I am not always deluged with offers to interpret for several weeks, if you want my assistance during your visit it makes sense to book my time. I consider my time open unless it has been paid for already. It is not a must and you do not have to wire me funds if you are not comfortable with it. I understand the issues of scammers and sending money to someone you have not met in person (however, it basically applies to women and online dating). Yet if someone else does and I am suddenly not available when you come over despite earlier plans and arrangements, it is not my fault. I have lost business because I declined other offers relying on someone’s words and I am not going to make this mistake again. The one who pays first gets it. No offence but as long as you do not trust me, I do not see why I should trust you.

To book my time you need to pay for at least one day.

However, if you need me in a town other than Odessa, I will certainly need advance payment. While I do not charge you for my transportation to our meeting point, I rely on my fees to cover my costs. If you do not show up I need to have something to pay for my transportation. This time booking means at least two days paid in advance.

Important Notice

  1. Please note that all the above fees are non-refundable.
  2. I guarantee that I take no interest in your relationship with other parties and provide accurate translation at all times. If you suspect wrong translation, study Russian and prove where I am wrong. Impressions and suspicions do not qualify as proof; opinions of other people as well unless they are disinterested professional translators. Note that I do not regard dating agency interpreters as professionals.
  3. To avoid confusion and misunderstanding, it is strongly recommended that you read some FAQs, especially if you have never been to Ukraine before and never used an interpreter. By engaging my services, you confirm that you have read all of my web site and agree with my terms and conditions such as fees, costs, etc. Which means that you accept my rates and requirements. If you do not, you can negotiate before the job.
  4. I take up no responsibility for your failures resulting from wrong expectations and lack of communication. Once you become my client, you are urged to let me know your plans and goals and to unambiguously define what you expect me to do. I cannot read your mind and make decisions for you, and I must not assume. While I am your guide in Ukraine you have to know what you want and where you are going. What’s more, you should realize I am not a god and you cannot expect me to do miracles and go overboard. You can only count on reasonable assistance and advice as outlined above. Also, if you want success you should listen to my experience; if you want to make your own decisions all the time regardless of my advice, then once you fail — it is your fault. Do not blame me.
  5. As long as I am working for you, you are strongly urged to let me know what you think about my assistance to you and point out my mistakes as well as your wishes. If you have any claims or minsunderstandings with me, you must instantly come up with them while I am working for you and find ways to settle any problems before we part. If you say that you are happy at the end of the job it means you are, period. Any further claims you were aware of while I worked for you would be considered invalid. In plain words: if something is wrong, just tell me on the spot, do not wait for months and years after we are done.

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