Dmitry Puchkov

Dmitry Yuryevich Puchkov (Russian: Дми́трий Ю́рьевич Пучко́в; born August 2, 1961), also known as Goblin (Russian: Гоблин), is a Russian media personality most known for his humorous English-to-Russian film and video game translations as well as his Oper.ru web blog and, from 2008 until 2022, his eponymous YouTube channel. Puchkov considers himself a Neo-Sovietist and, on several occasions, has demonstrated both public and personal support for the politics of Vladimir Putin coninciding with pro-Kremlin narratives. For that he has been called a "Kremlin pundit" and a "warhawk" by the free media ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, both terms he vehemently denies.[2]

Dmitry Puchkov
Дмитрий Пучков
Dmitry Puchkov in 2013
Dmitry Puchkov in 2013
Born
Dmitry Yuryevich Puchkov

(1961-08-02) August 2, 1961 (age 61)
Other namesGoblin
CitizenshipRussian
Occupation
Writer
Years active1997–present
YouTube information
Channel
Subscribers2.75 million[1]
(April 2022)
Total views1.1 billion[1]
(April 2022)
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2015
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2018

Last updated: April 2022
Websiteoper.ru

Although initially studying to become an electrical engineer, Puchkov served in the Soviet army then, as the USSR collapsed, made a personal hobby of pirate translating famous Hollywood films into Russian. His alternative voice-over translations thereof are widely known both for their perceived profanity and humour.[3][4] Puchkov's later career also included screenplay and comic book writing.

Puchkov helped to establish communities to spread memes and Russian influence campaigns on Tynu40k Goblina which spread Pro-Soviet and Russian victory in WWII memes.[5] Puchkov had three million subscribers on YouTube before being removed for violating community guidelines [6] when spreading pro-Putin propaganda for which Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev demanded revenge [7]

Early careerEdit

Puchkov was born on August 2, 1961, in Kirovograd (present-day Kropyvnytskyi), Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union. His mother is Ukrainian and his father is a Russian of German descent. Puchkov was known by the nickname Goblin or Starshiy operupolnomochenniy Goblin (Senior Operative Agent Goblin) years before he became popular as a film translator. At the time of his earliest public works, he worked as a police investigator for the Militsiya. Because of a newspaper article entitled "Goblins in Militsiya Overcoats" that rebuked the corruption of the Militsiya staff, Puchkov and his workmates began to call each other "goblins" ironically.

Puchkov started using the pen name Goblin while sharing his experience in PC gaming-oriented magazines when writing about the video game Quake. He started a personal website called Goblin's Dead End (Tynu40k Goblina), which focused on Quake. Puchkov became a popular commentator among the Quake community, but he remained virtually unknown otherwise.

His book Dungeon Cleaners (Санитары подземелий) was published in 1999 and quickly sold out, becoming an Internet bestseller. Loosely based on the game concept, the book later became the basis for the 2006 tactical role-playing video game Planet Alcatraz [ru] and its 2008 sequel developed by 1C using Skyfallen Entertainment's TheEngine.

Political activism and propagandaEdit

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 Puchkov was interviewed by radio "Комсомольская Правда", where he explained that the reason of Russia's invasion was the actions of the United States[1]. He claimed that the Security Service of Ukraine is controlled completely by the CIA or that western media would deceive a hundred times more than soviet media did.[8]

In March 2022, Puchkov supported Russia's military aggression against Ukraine. He repeatedly transmitted the main theses of Russian propaganda. Hence, according to some EU officials, Puchkov is responsible for supporting Russian aggressive policy that threatens Ukraine's sovereignty and independence.[9]

SanctionsEdit

In December 2022, he was included in the EU sanctions lists (9th sanctions package for Russia's invasion of Ukraine).[10] The European Union representatives noted that in 2014, Puchkov published a book "Ukraine is Russia", in which he implied that Ukraine is not an independent state thus reproducing the ideas of Russian propaganda.[11][9] [12]

Film translationsEdit

Puchkov studied English at the Militsya House of Culture for two years, but is otherwise self-taught as a translator. His first film translation was completed during the perestroika period, when Western productions were first introduced to Soviet viewers.

At that time I already had certain knowledge in English. The quantity of untranslated phrases and obvious bloopers irritated me from the very beginning. And at that time I already wanted to make translation thoroughly, in other words do it the way a good film deserves.

The first films he translated were Carlito's Way in 1995, and shortly after Aliens, Once Upon a Time in the West, Full Metal Jacket, The Thing and Last Action Hero. All of these translations were made for a small circle of friends and were never publicly released, but since the process of dubbing by means of the videocassette recorder was not complicated, the translations became widely known and distributed.

The development of the DVD format revived Puchkov's interest in translating films, and his works became known to a larger public audience. Translated tracks of the films could be downloaded at no charge as MP3 files (includes only voice of Goblin, without original sound of the film) from Puchkov's website. He named his studio Polny P (Полный Пэ, Пэ in this context stands for the curse word пиздец, the phrase roughly translates to "complete fuck-up") and designed a logo, which, being stamped on every translation DVD, CD or video cassette, became a recognizable label.

Puchkov is known as a strong advocate of quality translation, and opposes the practice of literal interpretation of films, which has become commonplace in Russia. His position is that precise translation backed by thorough research and identification of Russian equivalents in cases of lexical gaps should be the product provided to Russian aficionados of foreign films. Puchkov maintains lists of gaffes made by other film translators.[13]

"Alternative approach"Edit

In contrast to the films officially released in Russia, which are in most cases fully dubbed with multiple voices and complete deletion of the original language, all of Puchkov's translations are single-voiced—both female and male voices are read by Puchkov himself and issued as voiceover, allowing the original soundtrack to be heard. Puchkov contends that this provides a more authentic product, closer to what the director originally intended. Puchkov's works feature an approach in which every line is translated properly and never deleted, and in which the style of language and speech is made as close to an original as possible. Word play and other figures of speech are translated to appropriate forms found in Russian.

Another important highlight of Puchkov's work is the translation of English expletives to Russian expletives. Original dialogue containing words and expressions usually censored on American public television channels, are left intact in Puchkov's dialogue translations.

The official Russian dub of foreign films is commonly stripped of all profanities by the studios, a practice which not only waters down the director's vision but also confuses the audience, as colorful colloquial expressions are lost in the word-for-word translation, bearing little similarity with the original. Goblin's use of semantic translation prevents important plot points from becoming distorted, as villains unintentionally are transformed into comical characters when the official profanity free Russian dub fails to convey the original meaning.

There are several widely known funny examples of this softened translations, like this dialogue in Commando:
— Fuck you! Asshole! — Прощайся с жизнью! (Say "good bye" to your life!)
— Fuck YOU! Asshole! — Это ты прощайся с жизнью! (Say "good bye" to your life yourself!)

Commercial translationsEdit

Since film translation is a hobby for Puchkov, he translates only those films that he is interested in and does not receive any money for his translations. However, due to his popularity, he receives commercial offers from licensed foreign film distributors in Russia to translate films that are screened in theaters and aired on TV. The list of his commercial translations includes: Team America: World Police, South Park, The Sopranos, the funny translation of Bimmer produced in cooperation with the makers of the original, and others.

The latest work in this field is Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla. This time, distributors contracted Puchkov to do a translation for the dub, with himself voice-acting the narrator, Archy. At the premiere Puchkov himself read a non-censored, voiceover translation; in theaters, a somewhat milder version was shown.

In addition to his film translation, he also made several commercial translations of video games, including Odium, Serious Sam, Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project, and Bimmer: Blown Away Towers [ru].

Dmitry Buzadzhi, a Russian language translator, does contend that the quality of Puchkov's own translations is rather mediocre, notwithstanding his supposedly thorough approach.[14]

Humorous translationsEdit

Another important facet of his translation works are his so-called "funny translations", which are parodies of awkward translations presented at the Russian film market, where characters apparently speak quite differently from how they spoke in the original films. The discrepancy between "funny-translated" and original film creates a strong comic effect. Moreover, changing the names of characters, music, and adding new video and sound effects can turn a serious film into a true slapstick comedy. "Funny-translated" films often skewer prominent world and Russian events (including social and political life) and contain references to well-known American, Soviet and current Russian films. Puchkov's "funny translations" come with the logo of another of Puchkov's studios, Bozhya Iskra (God's Spark). All funny translations are made with the help of Puchkov's site visitors and their names appear at the end of the film in a cast section.

Funny translations made by Bozhya Iskra
Original title Russian title English translation
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ВК: Братва и Кольцо LotR: The Fellas and the Ring (the word "Fellas" is a common idiom for the Russian mob, and mobsters specifically – roughly equivalent to the use of "the boys" in an old American mob film)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ВК: Две сорванные башни LotR: The Two Blown Away Towers ("tower blown away" is a common Russian idiom meaning "off the kilter", "crazy and dangerous", "tower" standing for head or brain)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ВК: Возвращение Бомжа LotR: The Return of the Hobo (the Hobo as a title for Aragorn character is taken from the earlier humorous translations, taking into account Aragorn's wandering nature)
The Matrix Шматрица The Shmatrix (after a trans-language Yiddish practice of jokingly rhyming the source word with a "sh-" equivalent; in Soviet practice it was commonly associated not with Jews, but with strong-accented Caucasus natives)
Bimmer Антибумер Antibimmer
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace Звёздные войны: Буря в стакане Star Wars: Storm in the Glass (idiomatically: Star Wars: Tempest in a Teapot)

The Lord of the Rings translations were adapted by Goblin into two books containing much of the humor of the translated films. A video game, The Fellas and the Ring [ru], has also been developed by Gaijin Entertainment and published in Russia by 1C. The game allows the player to choose one of seven characters and play through 12 levels slashing through enemies equipped with weapons ranging from knives to flamethrowers.

ProjectsEdit

On February 15, 2008, The Truth About 9th Company documentary video game was officially launched. Puchkov has proved himself as the ideological leader and inspirer of the development of this project, which was announced as the response to "the intentional destruction of historical memory of the people".[15]

Ban on YouTubeEdit

On August 4, 2022, YouTube completely removed the channel of Dmitry Puchkov, notifying him of a violation of community rules.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

Puchkov was brought up in the family of an army officer who traveled a great deal around the country. He studied at six different schools, including a boarding school, and finished his 10th grade in the German Democratic Republic. He served in the army, where he was employed as a military driver and operated a truck; he also received basic tank driver training. He retired from his work in the Militsiya in 1998 after working there for 6 years.

He has also worked as a librarian, truck driver, air compressor operator, automobile mechanic, plumber, driller assistant, electrician, polisher, turner, metal smith, cab driver, masseur, police canine handler, criminal investigator and sales manager.[17]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "About Dmitry Puchkov". YouTube.
  2. ^ {{cite news |last=Angelsey |first=Anders|title=Russian Pundit Says Men Over 40 Too Damaged by 'Constant' Drinking To Fight |work=Newsweek |date=November 2022 |url=http://english.mn.ru/english/issue.php?2005-38-26 |accessdate=2007-03-16 |archive-url=https://www.newsweek.com/russian-pundit-says-men-over-40-too-damaged-constant-drinking-fight-1757294
  3. ^ Schreck, Carl (July 29, 2003). "Goblin Makes Case Against Demonizing Expletives" (PDF). The St. Petersburg Times. No. 56. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 5, 2011. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
  4. ^ Liakhovich, Oleg (October 2005). "Elves and Goblins of Russian Translation". The Moscow News. No. 38. Archived from the original on July 1, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2007.
  5. ^ Makhortykh, M. (2015). Everything for the lulz: Historical memes and World War II memory on Lurkomor’e. Digital Icons: Studies in Russian, Eurasian and Central European New Media, 13, 63-90.
  6. ^ Jones, Peggy (November 27, 2022). "This is What Evil Sounds Like".
  7. ^ "Medvedev vowed to "revenge" after deleting Puchkov's YouTube channel". https://westobserver.com. Retrieved January 28, 2023. {{cite web}}: External link in |website= (help).
  8. ^ «Западные СМИ рассказывают: как только Россию порвут на куски, каждый финн получит трёх рабов», Novaya Gazeta, August 17, 2022
  9. ^ a b "Official Journal of the European Union". europa.eu. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  10. ^ "В санкционном списке ЕС – Михалков, Лепс, "Единая Россия" и армия РФ". Радио Свобода (in Russian). Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  11. ^ "Dmitriy Yuryevich PUCHKOV". www.opensanctions.orgundefined. Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  12. ^ "COUNCIL DECISION (CFSP) 2022/2477 of 16 December 2022". Retrieved February 8, 2023.
  13. ^ Puchkov, Dmitry (July 29, 2012). "Вопросы Goblinу про переводы фильмов". oper.ru (in Russian). Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  14. ^ Buzadzhi, Dmitry (March 13, 2006). "Герой безрыбья". KpNemo (in Russian). Archived from the original on April 30, 2008.
  15. ^ "Правда о девятой роте". pravdao9rote.ru (in Russian). Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  16. ^ "Google removed the YouTube channel of video blogger Dmitry "Goblin" Puchkov". Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  17. ^ Puchkov, Dmitry (August 2, 2006). "Про 45 лет". oper.ru (in Russian). Retrieved December 27, 2009.

Further readingEdit

  • Rulyova, Natalia (2005). "Piracy and Narrative Games: Dmitry Puchkov's Translations of "The Lord of the Rings"". The Slavic and East European Journal. 49 (4): 625–638. doi:10.2307/20058349. JSTOR 20058349.

External linksEdit