Localizing video games is a crucial yet often overlooked component of video game production. For a game to achieve global success and longevity, it must be accessible to players worldwide. A poorly executed translation can harm a game’s reputation and sales, particularly as consumers become more discerning and communication travels quickly through online platforms.
Despite the inherent pressures, internationalization, translation, and cultural adaptation processes offer exciting opportunities and challenges for skilled translators who take pride in effectively communicating the creator’s vision to players worldwide. These accomplished professionals play an integral role in ensuring that gamers around the globe can fully immerse themselves in the gaming experience, free from language barriers or cultural misinterpretations.
Video game publishers that wish to enter new markets and make sure their titles are playable by a worldwide audience must invest in game localization services.
The Localization Process in Game Development and the Importance of Collaborative Translation Teams
Most game translations offer a wide range of digital in-game and game marketing materials in addition to translating, culturally adapting, and internationalizing the game. Following the conclusion of the first translation effort, it also entails continuous localization, which involves tasks like upgrading assets and offering ongoing user assistance. In-game content translation, text that appears in visuals, subtitles, transcreation, conversations, voice-over work, marketing material, and translation quality assurance testing are frequently localized content types.
The earliest stage of a game’s development where translation specialists are first engaged may be during the early stages of character, plot, and technological development. In other words, the translation process may really start at any point, whether it’s before or after your game’s production.
Game developers can anticipate working with translation teams of linguists, voice-over dubbing experts, engineers, technicians, production managers, assistants, legal experts, in-country reviewers, marketing translation experts, and others. A collaborative team of specialists in these and other fields is required to achieve top-notch video game localization.
Some bigger game production studios handle the majority of their translation labor. Others commonly contract out some or all of the translation work and other process phases to professionals with expertise in various fields. In rare circumstances, game makers may depend on outside help to achieve tight deadlines or oversee protracted projects that call for specialized translation providers. On the other hand, smaller game makers frequently delegate the whole translation stage of the game’s development process to translation service providers (LSPs) and save their own resources for improving the game’s design.
So, What Are The Tips For Translating In-Game Text?
Game localization must translate the in-game text with consideration for cultural context. It makes the game available to players from other locations while ensuring that the translated text appropriately depicts the original game and its cultural allusions. It’s not a simple chore, though. It necessitates a thorough knowledge of the target language, the source language, and any cultural allusions the game may include.
There are some tips for translating in-game content while keeping the cultural setting in mind.
1. Recognize the source materials
Understanding the original material is the first step in accurately translating in-game text. The translator should play the game, understand the screenplay, and investigate cultural allusions. The background and cultural allusions significant to the game will be more apparent to the translator.
2. Recognize the target demographic
Translators must use appropriate language and tone to ensure that the intended audience comprehends the translated material. Moreover, they must deeply understand the target market, including their language, lifestyle, and unique cultural concepts. This knowledge is essential in delivering an accurate and engaging translation.
3. Use standardized terminology
When translating in-game text, consistency is essential. The translator should use the same vocabulary when translating cultural allusions throughout the game. This helps players better comprehend the game while ensuring the translation is correct and cohesive.
4. Be aware of cultural allusions
Cultural allusions are an essential component of game translation. The translator should pay close attention to any cultural allusions in the game and make sure they are correctly translated. This covers everything, from character names and conversations to in-game objects and locales. The translator should explain any cultural references in the translation if the intended audience is unfamiliar with them.
5. Adapt wordplay and humor
Wordplay and humor are frequently culture-specific, making translating them into other languages difficult. The translation should retain the intended message while adapting wordplay and comedy to make sense in the target tongue. This needs imagination and a solid command of both languages and cultures.
6. Beware of sensitive material
Games occasionally include delicate material like violence, sex, or religious allusions. The translator must know these delicate subjects to avoid offending or disrespecting the target audience’s cultural or religious views. To ensure that the translation is suitable, the translator should, if required, seek advice from consultants or cultural specialists.
7. Check your translation
Testing the translation when finished is crucial to ensure it is correct and understandable. This entails testing the translation within the game and soliciting player input. A proofreader or editor should check the translation to find any mistakes or contradictions.
8. Team together with others
It takes a group effort to translate in-game content while keeping cultural context in mind. To ensure the translation is accurate and culturally suitable, the translator should collaborate closely with developers, designers, and other stakeholders. This aids in identifying any discrepancies or problems early on in the process, which may save time and resources.
In conclusion, cultural context-aware translation of in-game content is a challenging procedure that necessitates a thorough knowledge of both languages and cultures. These guidelines help translators produce accurate, logical, culturally acceptable translations that connect with their intended audience. Ultimately, a well-translated game may create a more engaging and delightful experience for users from many locations.
We strongly advise game developers starting their game translation projects to work with professional game localization services with a track record of regularly delivering outstanding outcomes for game developers and users.