Claudia Moldovan, Romanian Translator
Tell us a bit about who you are, your background, and how you came to work on translating Forgotton Anne?
My name is Claudia Moldovan and currently I am only a student waiting to start my Games Art university course in September! I have met some of the Forgotton Anne team some time ago at EGX Rezzed in London, where I first heard of it and got to try the demo. The thing that stuck with me was the way it made me realize seconds after that maybe I shouldn't have distilled Dilly on sight, and one of the member's of the team comforting me about it. This made me follow up the game closely on Steam. When I have seen new translations were released, I just simply asked if I could volunteer to translate it in my language! I have always felt like media translated in my language from english wasn't up to par with the modern way people were speaking nowadays, and I was always willing to change that.
There is a lot of text to translate in Forgotton Anne. How did you approach the task?
I had already went through the whole game more than once to try and get different endings, therefore I felt confident enough to just jump right into it. I have translated several lines of text every weekend, just as I'd do with a second part-time job. Keeping a constant schedule has always been something I struggled with, but translating Forgotton Anne helped me to work on that.
What are some of the specific challenges you faced bringing Forgotton Anne into your native language?
Anything that had to rhyme and some puns have been especially difficult to figure out. The TV love poem has been the first thing that had to rhyme which I truly struggled to translate. There were terms such as "cathode-ray" which were awful to work with, but nevertheless at least there were words for it in Romanian and I did not need to make up one myself. I had tried my best to work with rhyming techniques I had learnt in school by making sure the end words matched for each line in groups of 2 for each line. The second thing was Camellia's chant when she's playing hopscotch. There was no way I could have made it rhyme with the original terms, therefore I had to make up my own which were quite different from the original, but still rhymed and made sense. Also Crate Boxton's whole existence. Everything from his name to the actions that you needed to use while disguised as him were a headache as in Romanian there are no specific words for nodding, shaking your head or waving.
Were there any word or terms that proved particularly awkward or humorous to translate?
The hardest thing has been translating the names of things. Particularly "forgotlings" and names of places. In English it's much easier to make up a name for a group of fictional things, but in Romanian there was no way I could have translated "forgotlings" without making it sound weird. I could have chosen "uităciuni”, but then it would have made it sound very awkward when referring to objects being alive. And my mom also offerred her opinion on that term saying it was really weird. So the easiest solution was to simply call them ”forgotten objects”, since it would have also been much easier to quickly call them "objects" in certain situations.
The Enforcer thing has also been quite difficult to figure out, as I wanted to make sure that Plumbum had something to misspell later on in an appropriate way. So I had thought "Executoarea", which means The Executor, was very appropriate since it's also a sort of mean term of the rebels referring to Anne; since to some forgotlings they feel like she's executing them when distilling. But it also happens to be similar with "Educatoarea" which is a term young kids call their first teachers in school, instead of saying teacher, therefore making it pretty funny for Plumbum to call Anne later on.
What do you think about Forgotton Anne and translating/editing it?
I absolutely loved the story and it provided a plot-twist in a way I wasn't expecting about the rebels. Fig had already become my favourite character before I started translating it, but when I was translating I once again fell in love with his character. Especially the "I could give you my actual hand, you know." joke. While translating I also once again almost started crying after the Plant was destroyed. Fig's whole persona at that moment amazingly humane.
How do you expect your culture will take to Forgotton Anne in your language?
I am hoping people will feel less awkward reading the Romanian in Forgotton Anne, unlike the way I feel when my mom is watching Netflix with Romanian subtitles. Their translations are always way too formal, and unfortunately every single piece of translated media is too formal in Romania. I have tried to make sure everything the characters were saying felt natural, but still have the same meaning, therefore I've used terms and shortenings of words which people use in real life instead of translating everything word by word. Most likely a lot of seasoned gamers will probably still play it in English, though this is a start into getting more people interested in gaming, as not everyone understands English well enough. I wish I had the option of translated games back when I didn't speak English and Flash player was big!
Any message you want to enclose to players in your language?
Jocurile indie merită încercate la fel de mult ca cele populare. Într-o bună zi vom avea facultăți si companii ca să putem face jocuri native în Română prima și prima dată, și doar apoi să le traducem în engleză!