Will Hackett-Jones was born and raised in Suffolk, England. He developed an interest in Russian at Marlborough College, and at the age of 14 spent a month living in St Petersburg with a Russian family. It was fascinating, traumatic, completely unusual, and addictive. He continued with Russian at school and university, gaining an MA in Linguistics from Glasgow University in 2003. He then moved to St Petersburg to set up a magazine, Cool English, for learners of English. The magazine produced 50 editions before going bust in the financial crisis of 2009. Within a month he had set up Eclectic Translations, to fill the niche for high quality EN<>RU translation work. The company thrived, and 10 years later employs 12 people in its office in St Petersburg, translating and subtitling a large proportion of Russia’s film production, including the Oscar-nominated and Cannes-award winning films Leviathan, and Loveless; along with a host of animated films, TV serials, and feature films. The company also services a range of leading Russian and international companies.

Since 2010, Will has worked as a trainer at the St Petersburg Higher School of Translation and Intepretation, and in 2018 joined Middlebury Institute of International Studies as adjunct faculty for audio-visual translation.