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Dmytro Kuzmenko, Ukrainian Translator

Tell us a bit about who you are, your background, and how you came to work on translating Forgotton Anne?

My name is Dmytro Kuzmenko, I’m a freelance localizer and translator, and also an artist. I’ve worked mostly as translator of film and TV subtitles but since 2016 I’ve completely switched to videogames localization. Whenever I have had free time and inspiration I translated indie games I liked. I prefer games with beautiful art and story (these are quite rare), so I’ve noticed Forgotton Anne and thought it should have Ukrainian localization. It has quite big amount of text, so I asked for help two of my fellow translators— Leonid Khlivnyuk and Serhii Raboshchuk.

There is a lot of text to translate in Forgotton Anne. How did you approach the task?

We’ve used Crowdin for translation. Forgotton Anne localization files have quite a complex structure, so we needed to convert it manually to simpler key-value spreadsheets. Then we created glossaries and started to work. Crowdin is a very useful system for collaborative game localization.

What are some of the specific challenges you faced bringing Forgotton Anne into your native language?

The main challenge was translating meaningful names and to keep track of character’s gender, because in Ukrainian language verbs and adjectives have gender that correlates with noun or proper name. Other problem was English “you” that can be plural or singular, and even singular can be informal or formal. These are usual problems with any English to Ukrainian videogame localization. It was very helpful that you have a glossary with gender and age info about every character.

Were there any word or terms that proved particularly awkward or humorous to translate?

I don’t remember such words. Maybe because our languages are quite different so there are not many situations when humorous moments can happen.

What do you think about Forgotton Anne and translating/editing it?

I like this game, its story and art very much, so I enjoyed translating it as well as playing it.

How do you expect your culture will take to Forgotton Anne in your language?

English literacy is quite low in Ukraine, so most people can’t play story-driven games without localization. On the other hand, many people understand Russian, because more than 300 years Ukraine was occupied by Russian Empire and then by Soviet Russia, so they can play with Russian localization if they really want to try a game. But there is always some people who play only in Ukrainian. There are also many people who avoid using Russian language because historical reasons and current war with Russia. In any case people here have very positive attitude to games with Ukrainian localization and such games become a part of our local culture. Most of games that were localized to Ukrainian language are popular multiplayer games (Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PUBG) and there are not many good localizations of adventure games. I’m sure that Ukrainian localization of Forgotton Anne will be noticed.

Any message you want to enclose to players in your language?

Forgotton Anne — це чудова пригодницька гра, яку однозначно варто спробувати!

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