What would be a good translation of the word "backstory," specifically when talking about a character in literature? I was thinking предыстория but I'm not sure if it has the right connotations.

  • And what connotations "backstory" has?
    – Artemix
    May 10, 2017 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


Actualy, предыстория is absolutely fine here. Literally предыстория is something that is before a story (or history). And I cannot remember any connotations that could make it not suitable here.


Предыстория is usually referred to events, not biographies. Here I would suggest something like

прошлое героя (is interchangeable with the other two, герой can be used for shows and literature)

история персонажа (is interchangeable with the other two, персонаж can be used for shows and for literature)

биография действующего лица (interchangeable with the previous two and less common, действующее лицо can be used for shows only).

  • персонаж can perfectly be (and is) used to convey the meaning of "movie character"
    – Quassnoi
    May 10, 2017 at 16:31
  • Seems like you are right here
    – Manjusri
    May 10, 2017 at 18:29

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