1. Tell us a bit about who you are, your background, and how you came to work on translating Forgotton Anne?
Hi all, I’m Alexander Preymak. I love video games and I translate them into Russian. It's that simple. I translated Broken Sword 5, Thimbleweed Park™, Hollow Knight and some other decent games so far! I just got in touch with the guys via email and pinged them on Twitter. That’s how the magic works. Oh, and to do so you have to have a decent portfolio, or at least a raging will to translate into good Russian.
2. There is a lot of text to translate in Forgotton Anne. How did you approach the task?
Oh, it is so very simple. Fake it till you make it. Send google-translated texts. Viola! Your translation is done. It’s all in Cyrillic, so they’ll never tell the difference! D:
3. What are some of the specific challenges you faced bringing Forgotton Anne into your native language?
The length of a phrase can differ greatly in English and Russian, so it’s the usual thing. One must keep an eye on that. The other thing is mementos you collect in-game. They are mainly posters with colorful graphics and a bunch of fonts. Danila and I consulted the guys on how to implement our Russian texts in the best way possible for them to look top-notch in the game. You can collect all mementos and see whether we succeeded for yourself.
4. Were there any word or terms that proved particularly awkward or humorous to translate?
Can’t say we had any problems with the terms, but we had certain difficulties rendering Arca into Russian. We decided to make it into an abbreviation and capitalize the whole word. It’s now “АРКА” and it stands for “активный ручной конвертор анимы” which perfectly goes along with the lore and could be roughly put into English as “handheld active anima converter.” Kudos to my talented but humble editor Danila Evstifeev. We did Hollow Knight together.
5. What do you think about Forgotton Anne and translating/editing it?
The game has pleasant texts with a lot of subtle humor and intricate wordplay. I did enjoy translating it. It’s in my top 5 translated games so far. Until Broken Sword 6 comes out, that is.
6. How do you expect your culture will take to Forgotton Anne in your language?
We tried to localize it accordingly. The world of Forgotton Anne has a lot in common with industrious USSR era (let alone a wise and all-knowing leader), so we used some common terms and word-combinations to stress the point on that similarity. To my mind it appeals at many levels to several generations of Russians and to all Russian-speaking people of the former Eastern Bloc as well. People in Russia are also fond of Studio Ghibli animation, that’s why the art style of the game is a major selling point here too.
7. Any message you want to enclose to players in your language?
Покупайте игры только с официальным русским переводом: так вы показывайте разработчикам, что цените их труд и труд переводчиков! Поддерживая это начинание рублем, вы даете другим инди- разработчикам понять, что нам нужно больше официальных русских версий. Спасибо!