Exclusive Interview with Roy Pedersen, CEO of All-in Translations
Our colleague, Szaló Réka interviewed Roy Pedersen, CEO / Chief Editor at All-in Translations
Roy Pedersen was born in Norway. He has a background in journalism, used to write sports for Norwegian newspapers. Started working in the gaming industry in Malta in 2005. First with Expekt as a Norwegian Customer Support Agent then with PokerStars as a remotely based Team Leader and Poker Specialist.
Founded All-in Translations in Malta in 2008 which is now an ISO certified market leading language service provider in the gaming industry, working with almost 400 translator and writers around the world. Won the CEEGC Best Service Provider of the Year 2017 award. Recently started the All-in Translations’ 10 Year Anniversary Tour with CEEGC Budapest.
Thank you very much for being available for this interview. First I would like to ask you to shortly introduce yourself.
Pedersen: 36 years old from a small town in the southeast of Norway. Married to a Greek goddess, two children. We all have red hair. Ginger Power! Educated as a journalist and within the field of communication. Worked about 6 years as a sports journalist before joining Expekt.com in Malta. Moved on to work with PokerStars and then got the idea of setting up a localization company specialising in gaming. Next year All-in Translations is celebrating 10 years 🙂
All In Translations offers a complete package of translation services in a wide range of languages, but it is also specialized in gaming-related content. Why did you choose gaming? Will you please tell us more about your company?
Pedersen: I have loved to gamble since I was about 14 years old. It started with slot machines, scratch tickets and simple sportsbetting at the neighborhood kiosk. In the early 2000s I started playing online. I played “all” the games and tried many sites, my favourite was poker. After a while I recognised a pattern whenever the games and websites had been translated into Norwegian. It was obvious that the person who had translated either was not a language professional or had zero clue about gaming. The gaming terminology is quite complex so you need to understand it in order to do translate it well. I asked some friends and old colleagues which spoke other languages to check some gaming sites in Spanish, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, German, Dutch, etc. and the findings were crystal clear: Most gaming websites had poor translations or worse. As soon as I got my annual bonus I resigned and founded the company in Malta. I invested all of the limited funds I had so the name gave itself: All In Translations.
Which are the most required services?
Pedersen: Although we call ourselves All-in Translations we always localize instead of just translating. Localization is our most required service by far but we are delivering more and more content written from scratch. Other popular services are language proficiency testing and voice-overs. We are still waiting for gaming companies to ask us to provide video content for them – the very talented production team is good to go.
Our 10 most popular languages are German, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, French and Danish.
You also do translation work from and into less used languages. Which are the languages that you can provide services in?
Pedersen: We have more than 70 languages available and we never really get requests outside of this. Try us!
Tell us, please more about the projects you have worked on, and about the difficulties and successes you have experienced so far.
Pedersen: In 2009 our biggest client at the time ordered their website translated into 13 languages, but the company went bankrupt and the owner went missing before even uploading the translations. We never received payment, and we did not have funds to pay the translators that had already done the job.
I was left with a choice: Declare bankruptcy myself or take a loan. I really believed in the company so I decided to take a loan – just enough to pay everybody and a little bit extra for continued operations and marketing.
Our reputation among translators became monumental almost overnight, and ever since this happened we have had the privilege of choosing among the best gaming translators in the world.
About 1 week later I got an email from Playtech. We had been recommended to them and they had a massive Estonian project. We got it, they were happy with the result, and for 8 years now we have delivered translations for them in more than 30 languages on a daily basis.
What is your opinion about the language gambling industry uses? Are there major problems, mistakes, which should not be used anymore?
Pedersen: The biggest problem with the language in the gambling industry as I see it is that people are translating too directly from English. They often don’t consider the syntax of the target language, but instead they translate each sentence with the same syntax as in the English source text. With properly localized brands / products, one doesn’t normally think about localization. We notice it only when something goes awry – sentences are intelligible but awkward, a catchphrase sounds unmistakably offensive, some jokes feel like there’s something essential missing, etc. Meaning that a good localization is an invisible localization. And when it comes to gaming, this means that good localization can ensure a gaming atmosphere for players in the target country that is exactly the same atmosphere their counterparts from the game’s source country enjoy – without thinking how all this sounds so natural and entertaining.
Your company offers its clients almost every possible service that is connected to languages and it is a rapidly growing, developing company. What is the price of this success?
Pedersen: I have no complaints, really. We have worked incredibly hard during the last years on maintaining great quality despite rapid growth, but I feel we are on the right path. Becoming ISO certified in March 2016 was a good validation of that. The team we have now is fantastic. I think everybody is very motivated and that makes me proud and happy.
Please, tell us more about the future plans of All In Translations.
Pedersen: Next year we will have our 10 year anniversary and we will celebrate with a big party in Paceville in Malta where it all began. It will take place after SiGMA in November. Recently we launched our Anniversary Tour which is basically a calendar of all the events we will attend leading up to that. It’s a long list!
Professionally and strategically our focus lies on expanding the content department and going more heavily into Asia and Asian languages. Our new website will be ready soon and we are excited about that.
What upcoming events is the company focusing on nowadays and how prepared is the company for these events?
I hope this is OK 🙂 – http://allintranslations.com/10-year-anniversary-tour-calendar/
We just started making the invitations for the 10 year anniversary party by hand. They will look very nice I think and I look forward to giving them out to our great clients and friends in the gaming industry in the coming events.
I would like to congratulate you and the team of All In Translations for the award you won at the Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference which took place last month in Budapest. Will you please, tell us more about this conference and of course about the award, as well? You were awarded the title: Best iGaming Service Provider. What does this award mean to you and your colleagues?
Pedersen: I was a bit surprised by how much this meant for my colleagues actually. Everybody was euphoric for a few days. This shows how much they care and they really deserved it. It was the 4th time we were nominated for an award so we could not have been happier to finally win. I also like the fact that this award was decided by votes, not a jury.
Who is your favorite actor or actress?
Pedersen: Right now: Amy Adams from Arrival. I also didn’t hate Scarlett Johansson in Lost In Translation.
Where would you travel the most in Central Europe?
Pedersen: I have never gone snowboarding in the Alps. This is high on my bucket list right now.