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  • Language Concepts LLC

Guide to Online Game Translations

The success and longevity of a video game may depend on its ability to thrive in a global market.

As the number of savvy gamers around the world continues to grow, their aptness to try new, foreign games does too.

Online video games have never felt so pressured to compete for the best gaming translations in the industry.

Ensuring that a video game is high-quality can make or break its reputation and sales.

Despite this pressure, the process of translating a video game offers exciting challenges, and rewards for translation experts.

At Language Concepts, we bring technical expertise, international market knowledge and industry experience to our clients.

Every gaming translation project uses the industry’s most robust process to ensure a seamless and engaging gaming experience.

Translating Games with Language Concepts

Language Concepts has translated a variety of content for gaming creators in the past. We have experience translating romance-dating games, political-news content, humorous entertainment and more!

We translate online games in English to Spanish, and Portuguese, and other languages.

If you need a professional gaming translator to help localize your product in another language, feel free to contact us!


Games Translation Process

A crucial characteristic that our gaming translators need to have goes beyond their linguistic capabilities, creativity.

Many online games that we translate include puns, which, oftentimes, are difficult to translate into the target language. Using a literal or direct translation when humor is involved just does not work.

When we translate comical content like jokes, puns, nicknames, etc., we combine the tone of the source text with the humor that local audiences will understand and appreciate.

In many instances, we create funny and satirical names and/or taglines that are appropriate for the target language. These translations should relate to the cultural context of the target language without referencing real people.

We put ourselves in the mind of a gamer to create unique personas that captivate who the gamer wants to be.

Last but not least, Language Concepts handles an online gaming translation like a website localization project.

Prior to beginning, we’ll develop a style guide that essentially acts as an outline with clear instructions from the client. Specific details are included in this outline to give our gaming translators a clear concept of the client’s vision.

We thoroughly review each step of the translation process as we go, to provide you with the most accurate translations.

The last step in our review process is right before the live date. Language Concepts will play the localized content for the client to ensure a seamless gaming experience for everyone.

Other Gaming Translation Services We Provide:

  • Packaging & Instructions

  • Marketing Materials

  • User Agreements

  • Voiceover Narratives

  • Digital Support Content

  • Gaming Guides

  • Graphics, etc.

The Phases of Gaming Translation

Here’s a quick run-down of how the gaming translation process works:

#1. Pre-Production

Before investing in a professional gaming translator, you’ll have to ensure that your game is ready for the translation process.

This includes:

  • Choosing the right language(s) for your game translation

  • Budgeting

  • Preparing the necessary documentation

  • Standard legal agreements for localization

  • Collect any critical reviews to tweak the new version of your game

#2. Video Game Localization

Localization includes various, broad steps, all which are broken down the process even further, later:

  • Preparing Assets to be Localized

  • Ensuring Quality by Collaborating with a Translation Expert

  • Translation

  • Culturalization

  • Internationalization

  • Examination of Source Files

  • In-Country Reviewing

  • Translation Testing

  • Quality Assurance

The bulk of the gaming translation process involves delivering a range of digital game marketing assets through translating, culturalization, and internationalizing.

Continuous localization is necessary even after the project is complete to provide ongoing user support and so on.

Assets localized in an online video game include:

  • Text: Captions, subtitles, user interface, etc.

  • Visuals: Graphics and other digital artwork

  • Audio: Narratives and voice-overs

#3. Translation

Translating an online video game involves translating audio files and software text.

Based on the gamer’s cultural experience, translations should naturally interpret the game’s dialogue, graphics, and text elements.

Game Assets for Translation May Include:

  • Text Files

  • In-Game & Web Graphics

  • User Manuals

  • Instruction Guides

  • Policy Statements

  • Marketing Materials: Display Ads, Banners, etc.

  • Physical Packaging

  • Digital Packaging

  • Website

  • Voice-Over

  • Sales Brochures

  • Social Media Pages

  • In-Game Advertising

Continuous translations include gaming updates, software patches and other support services.

#4. Culturalization

Culturalization focuses on molding every translation to sound as genuine, and natural as possible.

This portion of the process is vital in making the game relatable to every user in the new target market.

Potential Problems That Arise During Culturalization:

  • History & Origin of the Country: Cultures may be protective of their historical narratives and any inaccuracy can trigger negative emotions.

  • Religious Beliefs: Religion is a delicate topic that should be addressed lightly. To avoid offending any religious communities, we recommend avoiding including any religious references.

  • Ethnic Stereotypes: Lacking inclusiveness and being ethnically insensitive with your gaming translations will be recognized as offensive and inappropriate. However, video games can tackle race in various forms, and any stereotypes used should be done with grace.

  • Geopolitics: Some countries claim territories and expect them to be depicted accurately on real-world locations and gaming maps.

#5. Internationalization

Internationalizing eliminates any pieces of code that vary from the original language to the target language.

This streamlines the game’s translation efforts and makes it more adaptable when communicating with gamers throughout different languages and cultures.

How to Avoid Issues During Internationalization:

  • Spacing: Leave enough space while you’re translating text from a source language to the target language

  • Coding: Avoid elements that vary by region and are hard to code

  • Graphics: Avoid embedding text in graphic files

  • Extracting Text: Create insertion points prior to deriving the text strings for translation

#6. Technologies

Due to the complex nature of game translations, most professionals invest in common translation technologies to increase their efficiency and accuracy.

#7. Challenges

Here are the most common challenges that professionals experience during gaming translations:

  • Translator Bias

  • Vague Context

  • Inaccurate Tone

  • Maintaining Brevity

  • Text Issues

  • Coding Errors

  • Ignoring Placeholders

  • Lack of Creativity

  • Inappropriate Slang Use

  • Unrealistic Expectations

#9. Quality Assurance Testing

Each step of the gaming translation process should perform various quality tests to catch and correct issues.

Testing can be done at any point of the development process. This makes it easy for translators to review their work for any mistakes.

After the game is entirely translated and reviewed, game designers and developers should consider post-translation testing to ensure accuracy.

Contact Language Concepts for any questions or inquiries regarding gaming translation!

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