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Localization Roundtable at GDC presented by the IGDA

Posted By Laura Gutierrez, Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Localization Roundtable at GDC presented by the IGDA
By Laura Gutierrez

This one hour session was hosted on Thursday morning (March 22nd) and we had about 60 attendees from all perspectives.

The audience had localization managers, developers, translators, students, executives from localization companies and other attendees curious about localization and the session was moderated by Simone Crossignani and Laura Gutierrez (board members of the IGDA Game Localization SIG) and Seb Ohsan Berthelsen (Operations Manager at Square Enix). This was the only session about localization at GDC.

We tried a new format that had already been used in the previous GDC and at TGS which was to prepare macrotopics and questions and moderate the discussion between attendees and we asked the audience to vote on the macro topic which interested them the most.

The topics (in order of less to more interest were):

1. Practices

2. Audio

3. Technology

4. LQA

Practices

On the hard to find language pairs, an attendee pointed out that Indonesian to English for Board games is a rare pair, and then the conversation moved quickly towards evaluating the quality of translators and more specifically that of fan translations or crowdsourced translators.

A few developers said they are using fan translations because it’s cheaper and the people doing them are actually playing the game and it seems like they can be faster than translation agencies or professional translators (work over hours and on weekends), they get the feedback directly from players (as they are players themselves) however some of the issues pointed out were that they are not always reliable and the quality is also not necessarily there, therefore, another developer suggested using fans do the translation and professional revise it.

Another problem raised concerns the credits because it is uncertain who gets credit for the translation plus fans cannot handle high volumes or be too quick with bigger projects.

Audio

The question we asked was: what are the common grounds and differences between translating for the movie industry versus for the gaming industry?

Here are the similarities (in red) and the differences (in black)

Movie

Gaming

Dubbing with rhythm lip sync

Dubbing with rhythm lip sync

Context provided by the screen

Context given by the file

Excel File

Different formats

One audio track

Multiple files

Audio specialized translators

Gaming specialized translators (who know how to deal with technical implementations and understand the game)

English recording is done first for dubbing

English recording is done first for dubbing

Volume and time challenging

Volume and time challenging

Very slow process

Fast process (challenging deadlines)

Subtitling tools used

CAT tools used

Another issue raised regarding audio is the rising cost of voice talent.

With more and more developers creating licensed IPs, the voices of the movie characters dubbed into the certain market need to be used as per player preference. This raises the cost of the production of the game as the unions have higher prices than regular voice actors and it’s not a good practice to use another actor for the voice of a certain character.


Technology

To the question if machine translation is being used and in which context the answer was yes, either a trained machine translation for in-game content or for the chats. The trained machine translation worked apparently well for some languages like FIGS but not too well with Asian languages. For the chat, it’s a solution that works really well according to the developer.

Machine learning was mentioned as an interesting solution for the future of the industry for context that is fairly simple but not for texts that require creativity or a deeper cultural context.

Regarding the tools, developers for PC and console expressed a preference for MemoQ whereas mobile developers talked about Memsource. Some developers have also created their own tools which allow an easier collaboration between developers and translators and to ease their own workflow (minimize the manual tasks). Some have also built their own API internally.A recommended format for localization which would work both for translator and developers was XLIFF, and Excel was mentioned a few times for being the devil devil

Localization Quality Assurance

The last point we discussed was how to integrate the player’s feedback into the localization workflow. It seems like gaming companies are making a bigger effort to have player support more integrated with localization which means that they can channel the player’s feedback about localization in an easier way to their provider.

A Localization Manager from a big gaming company mentioned scouting the forums and the community actively for feedback as well as customer support tickets (tagged) to then analyze the feedback and select internally which one is valid and which one isn’t, then submit the changes, but besides the tagging the process still is manual.

The last point mentioned was that the Chinese market cares more about the quality than other markets as some players are used to translating games themselves.


Unfortunately, it seems like the timing was short and there could have been many more topics covered or explored as the community had a lot to say.

We also regret not having informed everyone in a clearer way about our Facebook Page so they could check out our cute new logo but mainly so they could follow us and participate in the discussions happening there. But we were overall very happy with the discussion and the sharing of practices and look forward to the next sessions! Hope a lot of you can make it there, we will inform you about them on our Facebook Page, our Blog and our Newsletter (subscribe here).

Link Roundup
[TOOL] TMBuilder - You just received a bunch of old translations a reference? Put them side by side in Excel and turn them into a memory ready for your CAT tool (or Xbench)
The Words For Gaming In Different Languages - A brief but fascinating overview of gaming terms used around the world
[BLOG] A brief history of visual novels in America - From the first timid steps to today's thriving niche

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Localizing Achievements, Trophies, and Other Shenanigans

Posted By Adolfo Gómez-Urda Montijano, Friday, March 2, 2018

Localizing Achievements, Trophies, and Other Shenanigans

 

By Adolfo Gómez-Urda Montijano

The localization of a console/PC game’s achievement and trophy assets can be extremely time-consuming and inefficient if not done properly, especially if your game supports several languages and platforms. Due to a lack of publicly available tools to localize these assets, many developers unfortunately still rely on a manual copy/paste process.

In this article, I will provide a few tips for both developers and translators to maximize automation and efficiency, and minimize human error. This article focuses on the Microsoft, Sony, and PC games.

In console/PC games (PlayStation®4, Xbox One/UWP, Steam), these assets are not part of the UI text and, as such, must be handled through each party’s tool:

  • PlayStation®4: You will need to use a proprietary Sony tool. This tool allows you to export and import these assets via xml-looking files. Most games will also contain a platinum trophy, which is granted to the player when all non-DLC trophies are obtained. The trophy file also contains trophy group names and descriptions for DLC-related content, for example. The platinum trophy and groups do not exist in the other platforms.
  • Xbox One and UWP: You will need to use an online platform called XDP. These assets can be exported and imported in an Excel-friendly xml format using the Localized Strings section of the XDP, as explained in their publicly available Web site. Besides the Xbox One/UWP achievements, other strings handled through this system are Rich Presence (shows what your friend is doing at the moment), Hero Stats, Leaderboards, etc., which are not part of the other platforms (and if they are, they are regular game strings). To localize these strings through the XDP, you will need a MS dev account and be granted access to the game.
  • Steam: You will need to have a SteamWorks account with access to the game’s achievement setup page. These assets can be uploaded in vdf format, which are basically resource files. Unlike other platforms, the Steam vdf files only contain achievements.

Setup Your Language List

Each platform supports a different list of available language/region combinations. You will need to set up your language support carefully to achieve the expected outcome in each platform. Here are some peculiarities:

  • PlayStation®4: Sony keep adding support for new languages to their system. Make sure you follow their system software updates, since a non-supported language could become supported right before your game ships, which means you will need to localize the trophies into this language if your game is localized into it.
  • XDP: Provides support for different regions for the same language. You can therefore fill a default column and as many region-specific locales as needed. As such, if your game is localized into European and Latin American Spanish, you should enter your Latin American translations under the default es column and the European Spanish translations under the es-ES column. This means players from Spain will see the European Spanish translations, while other Spanish-speaking countries will see the default es translations.
  • Steam: Steam only supports one Spanish flavour in the achievements. As such, if your game is localized into more than one Spanish flavour, you will need to decide which flavour you will use in the achievements. When localizing into European and Latin American Spanish, I normally use the Latin American version in the achievements, since there are more potential players in South and Central America than in Spain. To keep everyone happy, you can also decide to use translations that are as neutral as possible and valid for all Spanish territories, but this is not always possible.

Validate, Compare, Merge, Diff and Translate

Here are some tips that will help you validate the English text and minimize string updates after the initial translation:

  • If your game supports several of the platforms above, compare the English text across all the supported platforms to ensure they match. The Xbox One/UWP platform provides support for two types of achievement descriptions (Achieved and Not Achieved). Developers can therefore use two different texts in English for the pre-achieved text and the achieved text (for example, “Complete the game in normal difficulty” and “Completed the game in normal difficulty”). I always try to convince developers to stay away from this possibility. Using the same text for both descriptions will allow you to merge all platform descriptions into one single string, which will improve efficiency and reduce the risk of human-error in all languages.
  • Avoid using platform-specific references, such as the platform’s specific store or any other platform-specific terminology (the word “achievement”, for example).
  • Since the allowed string length for the achievement names and descriptions is different depending on the platform, you should follow the strictest rules (XDP) and limit your achievement names to 44 characters and your descriptions to 100 characters. Since these will expand when localized, if possible, keep your English text under 35 and 80 characters respectively.
  • For some reason, developers love to use song and movie references in the achievement names. Most of the time, these infringe copyright laws and end up having to be replaced late in the process. Therefore, always ensure your marketing and legal team have reviewed the achievement names before they are localized.
  • Developers also love to use word puns. This is great, but ensure all word puns are properly explained to the translators so that they can be adapted to the target locale.
  • Do not start translating these assets until the English text is exactly the same across all platforms.

You Need a Tool

Your tool should be able to perform the following tasks:

  1. Validate and Compare: Compare all non-platform-specific achievement/trophy names and descriptions to ensure they match in English. If possible, ensure Achieved and Not Achieved texts are also the same. Make sure punctuation is consistent in English. This mainly comes down to ensuring all or none of the descriptions have a period at the end and that there are no trailing spaces or line breaks.
  2. Merge, Export and Diff:  Once you have ensured all achievement/trophy names and descriptions are the same in your previous step, you can export them as one single string pair to your CMS tool or Excel. If this is not your first export, the export process should also include a diff to highlight the differences between the previously localized text and the latest text. This will help translators understand how the English string was updated and adapt their translations more easily.
  3. Translation Validation and Integration: Once the new and modified strings are updated in all languages, your tool should validate the translations (length, punctuation, no line breaks, etc.) and propagate them to the appropriate file format for each platform.

Integrate the Localized Assets

Once the xml, sfm, and vdf files have been updated with the latest translations, there is an additional step needed to integrate the updates into the game for each platform:

  • Xbox One/UWP: You will need to use the Import Strings button in the Localized Strings section of the XDP to upload the updated translations to the XDP. After a successful import, the dev member in charge of the XDP site will need to publish the updates to Microsoft. Once submitted, the translations will appear updated in the game after a few hours. You might need to flash your console to see the updates, though.
  • PS4: Once you have integrated the trophy translations, submit them to your version control software so that it’s picked up by the next build.
  • Steam: You will need to upload the updated vdf files to Steam via the SteamWorks Web site. To find out more information about how to integrate the localized achievements, you will need a SteamWorks account. You should also submit the localized achievement files to your version control software every time they are uploaded to SteamWorks for tracking purposes.

Translation Guidelines for Translators

To minimize the amount of mistranslations and updates in the translations, you should send some translation guidelines for the localization of these assets to the translators:

  • Translators should be extremely careful when translating these strings. These translations will need to be integrated separately for each platform, so updating them takes longer than updating any other translation assets. As such, translations should be reviewed as many times as necessary to ensure there are no grammar mistakes and that they are consistent with the translations used in the in-game text assets. For example, there could be references to character names, location names and other terminology used in the in-game texts.
  • Punctuation: Achievement names should never end with a period. Descriptions, on the other hand, should use consistent punctuation in each language (always or never end with a period).
  • Achievement names should be catchy, funny, smart, sometimes use word puns, and should be translated with a marketing style. Players always like it when achievement names make them smile :) Unless also used in English, translators should avoid using song, brand or movie names.
  • Achievement descriptions on the other hand need to be extremely precise. No room for inspiration here. Players will get very frustrated if they do not get an achievement after having followed what the description tells them to do. Follow the source text as much as possible. An imprecise or incomplete description could be flagged by 1st party during submission.
  • Translations should follow these string length limitations:
    • If the game supports one of the Microsoft platforms, achievement names should never exceed 44 characters.
    • If the game supports one of the Microsoft platforms, achievement descriptions should never exceed 100 characters.
    • Microsoft only: Rich presence strings should be 100 characters or less.
    • Microsoft only: Hero Stats strings should be 40 characters or less.

 

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Problematic Case Conversion in Turkish

Posted By Laura Gutierrez, Friday, November 24, 2017

Problematic Case Conversion in Turkish

 
In video games, there is a very common issue with the Turkish language most gaming companies have to deal with when the game reaches the LQA phase. It is normally a result of the automatic capitalization of the letter “i”. Very often, translations are converted to upper case at runtime, after the translation process. And this conversion is sometimes done inappropriately by converting the lower case “i” into an “I”. But the Turkish upper case “i" looks slightly different than the upper case Latin “i".

In Turkish, the character “i” becomes “İ” when capitalized, while the “ı” (a Turkish-specific character) becomes “I” (which looks just like the Latin upper case “I”).

The out-of-the-box capitalization method implemented by developers or by localization tools by default is often the standard ‘toUpper()’, which doesn’t follow language-specific rules and will convert the “i” into an “I”. As for the lower case “ı”, it will simply fail to capitalize it at all. This will result in a very strange looking text in the game with uncapitalized characters and wrongly capitalized ones.

Let’s recap:

  • right capitalization in Turkish: i-> İ and ı -> I
  • wrong capitalization in Turkish: i-> I and ı -> ı

This is what the “i” should look like when properly capitalized: 

The first

This is what it will look like when the auto-capitalization fails:

And finally, here is an example where the auto-capitalization of the special Turkish character “ı” fails (it should display as KALDIR):

 

Ideally, the ‘toUpper()’ conversion method should be avoided completely, even if your game is not localized into Turkish, since it can also cause other issues in other languages (for example, with the German “ß”, which should become “SS” when converted to upper case). If a specific string is to be displayed in upper case in game, it should be written as such in the string database that is sent out for translation. Translators will simply follow the case used in the source text. If this means having to duplicate certain strings that will be displayed using different case in different parts of the game, translating a string twice is preferable than having to deal with inappropriate capitalization during the LQA phase.

If it is too late to avoid the ToUpper conversion due to how far the game is into the LQA phase, here is a code snippet that can be used to properly convert these two problematic Turkish characters:


public string AutoCapitalize(string text, Language lang)

{

   // Check for Empty String

    if (string.IsNullOrEmpty(text))

        return "";


    // Single letter string

    if (text.Length == 1) {

        if(!lang.Name.Equals(Language.Turkish)) {

            return text[0].ToString().ToUpper();

        } else {

            return AutoCapitalizeTurkishLetter(text[0].ToString());

        }

      }


    // Multiple letters string

    if(!lang.Name.Equals(Language.Turkish)) {

        return text[0].ToString().ToUpper() + text.Substring(1);

    } else {

        return AutoCapitalizeTurkishLetter(text[0].ToString()) + text.Substring(1);

    }

}


private string AutoCapitalizeTurkishLetter(string letter) {

    switch (letter)

    {

        case "i": return "İ";

        case "ı": return "I";

        default:    

            return letter.ToUpper();

    }

}

 

This should help you solve this Turkish capitalization issue. We hope you found this article helpful! And if you are a developer, remember to stay away from ToUpper()!

Tags:  capitalization  localization  lqa  toupper  turkish 

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That Magic Character Only French Translators Use

Posted By Alain Dellepiane, Sunday, September 17, 2017

IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - December 2017

Hi everyone and welcome back!

We start here a fascinating mini-series of articles about challenges in game localization, by Adolfo Gómez-Urda Montijano and Laura Gutierrez.

Topic of the month: the non-breakable space and how it can help you (even if you're not French!)

Enjoy and remember to follow us on facebook, twitter, gamasutra or the IGDA website :)
That Magic Character Only French Translators Use
By Adolfo Gómez-Urda Montijano and Laura Gutierrez

Automatic line-wrapping in video games is the source of numerous localization bugs that can only be seen by the Localization QA team. In the normal workflow, translators localize texts but don't have access to the game itself, so they have no visibility over the size of the text box where their translation will be displayed and what it will look like on the screen once integrated into the localized version of the game. If a translation doesn’t fit into one single line within the text box where it's used, it will be automatically split into different lines of text. Automatic line-splitting is an excellent and necessary feature, but it can introduce many localization bugs due to inappropriate line-wrapping or orphaned words.

There is one "magical" character that can help alleviate these issues, but translators are not often aware of its existence. We are of course talking about the non-breaking space (aka no-break space, non-breakable space, hard space, or fixed space), which can be typed by using the ALT+0160 key combination. Although it looks like a regular space when typed, it will behave as a very special space that will allow us to keep two or more different pieces of text together. French translators are the only ones who normally use them, due to a French punctuation rule that states that a space should be left before certain punctuation symbols, such as question marks, interrogation marks, colons, and semi-colons.

Automatic line-wrapping when a regular space is used instead of a non-breaking space


This character is very powerful and, if used properly by the translators, it can reduce dramatically the number of localization bugs found by LQA.

In order for translators to freely use this character, the development team should ensure it is properly supported by the game fonts. Most modern fonts support this character, but some development teams may create their own custom-fonts and omit this character or intentionally reduce the number of characters supported by the game to save memory. As a senior localization project manager, it is my responsibility to always analyze the game fonts to ensure they support all the necessary characters for all the supported languages. This character is always included in my analysis and, if not supported, I flag it as a necessary character for localization as important as any other accented character.

Some examples of the correct usage on the non-breaking space in French.

Asking if the non-breaking space is supported should be one of the first questions translators ask developers as it will avoid lots of hassle and firefighting after LQA is done.

Here are some examples of translations where this space should be used instead of the normal space (of course, only if you are supposed to use a space to follow your language's punctuation rules):

  • In French, before the question/exclamation marks, colon, and semi-colon:

  • In German, before the ellipsis character: Warten auf Benachrichtigungen …

  • Between numeric values and units: 20 km, 30 MB, 100 %

  • Between a numeric value and the following word: 5 coins

  • Between the words "press", "hold", "tap", "swipe" and button variables: To continue, please press [START_BUTTON]

English is no different, of course, and it would be great if the development teams started to use this character more often when writing the English texts and dialogues, since this would force the translators to use it and benefit from it more often.

Link Roundup
Accents and dialects in games - Shiver me timbers! Marianna Sacra wrote a darn good mini-series on how well (or not) accents and dialects translate in German, Italian and French

Localizing “Jump Up, Super Star!” - How Rob T. at Nintendo put his musical and linguistic skills in service of adapting the instantly iconic Super Mario Odyssey song

Why deep learning sucks - Dutch veteran and tech-enthusiast Loek van Kooten puts machine translation to the test on real gaming projects (and with his usual sincerity)

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IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - January/February 2017

Posted By Anthony D. Teixeira, Tuesday, March 7, 2017

IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - January/February 2017

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Interested in meeting fellow localization enthusiasts? We will be organizing two events related to the upcoming GDC. Follow the respective links for more details:

IGDA Localization SIG Meetup @ GDC 2017: An informal meetup with localization professionals

IGDA Localization SIG Round Table - GDC 2017: Join this round table to discuss localization, highlights and accomplishments of the group as well as plans for 2017 and beyond!

We hope to see you there!

LocJAM Japan and LocJAM 4 News
LocJAM Japan

A huge thank you to all 118 participants of LocJAM Japan.
For those who joined, you can download your free certificate here: http://locjam.org/cert

The jury was extremely impressed with the quality of both amateur and professional entries. The choice is difficult, but we're moving toward a verdict! Watch this space for the results, which should be announced within a few weeks.

LocJAM4

In the meantime, we're making progress with the preparation of LocJAM4.
-Translators will work in the same translation environment as LocJAM Japan (Tyrano Builder)
-Should happen sometime around April 15th-30th
-If you are an experienced translator and want to organize a local study group, please fill up this form before the end of February https://goo.gl/forms/wSss4b3qIwX5fsps1
-If you work for a localization company specialized in video games, please fill up this form before the end of February https://goo.gl/forms/k7PWIHG8x3fF0zk72
-If you like the contest and are in touch with any entity that could be interested (university, translator association, game magazine) please fill up this form before the end of February https://goo.gl/forms/dSZLpQiJuXW5tEKB3
Link Roundup
We have a bit of catch-up to do here after skipping the January newsletter (apologies!). A lot of good reads, from light topics to very technical ones.

Student Speak: Using MT for Game Localization - Giulia Mattoni, an Italian Translation Technology student from DCU talks about her experience using Machine Translation for evaluating player support content localization.

Funky Fantasy IV: a Machine-Translated Video Game Experiment - MT may be gradually improving, but it still has a long way to go, as illustrated here

The history of hit points

Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns - Localization Blog #2

Dark Conflict (EU) and Days Of Ruin (US) - An interesting comparison of both localizations

Square Enix on why Dragon Quest hasn’t been as popular as Final Fantasy in the west

Imagined Commodities: Video Game Localization and Mythologies of Cultural Difference - If you're in for a very interesting thesis

Interview: Localizing Yakuza with Scott Strichart

What Are These Japanese WarioWare Moves All About? - More great stuff from Clyde Mandelin

Localizing Video Games for Different Markets Is a Minefield

And to conclude, a list of links related to LocJAM Japan that you may find interesting ahead of LocJAM4: How to Localize the Package (the process will be the same for LocJAM4), the Kyoto Workshop Presentation, and a more technical article about internationalizing Ikinari Maou, LocJAM Japan's game, if you're curious about what goes into organizing a localization contest.                         

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IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - December 2016

Posted By Anthony D. Teixeira, Tuesday, March 7, 2017
IGDA Localization SIG

IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - December 2016

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LocJAM Japan is live! Special thanks to the IGDA Foundation for their support. Join us now and try to win a Famicom mini. More details on LocJAM's official website.

The game to translate is Ikinari Maou by Shintaro Ito.
Download the zip file and follow the readme.pdf instruction file within. For
more notes and tips, please visit our Facebook group
(https://www.facebook.com/groups/igdalocsig/) or our official chat
(http://pilgrim.io/ljjp) .

LocJAM Japan FAQ

How do I participate?


A translation pack will be published on the locjam.org website during the contest, which you must translate and send back as instructed in order to participate.
While most game jams are focused on speed, LocJAM provides about two weeks in order to cover only one day of translation work, so that anyone determined enough can participate, regardless of concurring work/study engagements
 

Who can participate?


Everyone is free to participate, without limitations with respect to age, nationality, place of residence, or professional status.. You must apply as a professional if: you have won LocJAM before, or you have a University Degree as a translator, or you have any other Degree plus two years of experience (~200.000 words translated or ~800.000 words reviewed) either professionally or as a volunteer, or you have five years of translation experience (~500.000 words translated or ~2.000.000 words reviewed) either professionally or as a volunteer.
Amounts for Japanese into English are doubled, so ~400,000 moji translated or ~1,600,000 moji reviewed and
~1,000,000 moji translated or ~4.000.000 moji reviewed.
 

Are groups allowed?


Yes, you are free to join forces with any number of translators. editors and supporters. However, eventual prizes will be awarded to only one member of the group.
 

Is it free of charge?


Yes, it’s entirely free and non-profit. All contest activities are managed by volunteers with material costs covered by yearly grants from the IGDA Foundation.
 

Why should I participate?


The focus is on providing visibility through the website and meetings. The general idea is to provide something that can help the career of translator without encouraging a cut-throat competition. This is a jam, the people you meet and the experience you acquire matter more than being in the winners list. In other words, the focus is squarely on the journey, not the destination.
 

What are the local study groups?


Study groups are local gatherings that independent volunteers organize around the world during the contest.

It’s not necessary to attend one in order to join the contest, but we recommend it: networking and discussing with fellow localizers is always useful.
Just remember: besides verifying the qualifications of the host and requiring that the event is free and no promotional, the contest organizers have no control over the study groups and no direct relationship with their host.

If you are organizing a local study group and would like to see it listed on this site, please write to info@locjam.org
 

What are the goals of the event?


LocJAM is a community event organized by the Localization Group of the International Game Developers Association.
As such, it matches its goal of acting as a focal point for the game localization community at large, gathering its different members and souls around a single game.
Creativity and collaboration are strongly encouraged and LocJAM administrators reserve the right to disqualify any contestant acting aggressively, maliciously or otherwise creating discomfort to the community in general.
 

What is your privacy policy?


The jury has no access to contact details and reviews entries in anonymous form.
At the end of the contest, contact details of the winners are published online (if desired).
Details of non-winning entries get removed and aren’t used for any purpose except further LocJAM announcements.
 

Why isn’t my language part of the contest?


LocJAM is a free event run by a tiny group of volunteers.
The inclusion of further languages that have an established localization industry and can provide both a sizable audience and qualified jurors may be taken into consideration, but your active participation and support will be required.

This said, our games can be easily translated into a variety of languages, so if yours isn’t represented, feel free to participate anyway and share the results with the community. LocJAM will always support such efforts, even when we didn’t have the means to always provide an official jury for your language.
 

Why can’t we get feedback from the jurors? Why can’t I leave them notes?


While LocJAM strives to imitate professional translation project as much as possible, it’s impossible to recreate the one-to-one relationship between author and translator.

LocJAM is literally open to anyone, and providing clear, consistent and meaningful feedback to everyone would substantially turn it into an open translation course on the Internet.

As this would be way beyond our aims and resources, we kindly ask participants to work based on their best assumption and collaborate with the other participants in order to find the best solutions.

In any case, rest assured that any objective issue with the source text will be known by the jury and taken into consideration during the review process.
Link Roundup
Is localising games for India a smart move?

Mother 3 Translator Finds Cool New Way To Compare English And Japanese Scripts

The Civ VI page on Steam is tweaked in order to include relevant figures and magazine quotes for each country

Improving game localizations

Football Manager 2017 trashed on Steam by angry Chinese fans

“Eat Your Hamburgers, Apollo”: A Survey of Japanese Video Game Localization Methods and Challenges

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IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - November 2016

Posted By Anthony D. Teixeira, Sunday, November 20, 2016

IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - November 2016

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We are proud to officially announce LocJAM Japan! Everything you need to know about the event is right below:

From Friday, December 9th through Sunday, December 25th, anyone interested in translating a game from Japanese into English will have a chance to take part in the LocJAM Japan, the first local spinoff of the LocJAM game localization competition.

Spawned by the IGDA LocSIG, the Localization Special Interest Group of the International Game Developers Association and supported by the IGDA Foundation, the competition centers around the translation of a free and non-commercialgame available to anyone on the www.locjam.org website. All entries will be verified and judged by eight experienced localization specialists, with separate prizes in place for amateur and professional translators.

We are very proud of these past three editions of the LocJAM contest. With over 1,500 participants, they have shaped a lively community and even launched a few careers,” says Alain Dellepiane, chair of the IGDA LocSIG. “Now, LocJAM Japan will let us go on a more local scale while paving the road for an even greaterLocJAM4 international contest in 2017.

The competition is free and open to everyone, with the popular “NES Mini” console as a final prize -needless to say in its Japan-exclusive Famicom incarnation-. Backing the online contest, two study groups will be held in Tokyo and Kyoto, where candidates will be able to meet, network and help each other under the guidance of veteran game translators.

For more information on participating in the LocJAM Japan contest, visit http://www.locjam.org

For more details on LocJAM, including videos, photos and logos, visithttp://www.locjam.org/press_kit

Please help us spread the word. Here are a few materials that can help you with that

Interview with Valerio Starna (Riot Games)

Valerio Starna, Riot Games

Please tell us about yourself, your work in game localization and your initiatives about it.

My name isValerio Starna,and I am the European Localization & QA Manager at Riot Games. I have been at Riot a little over 4 years now, building and leading the team dedicated to the localization of League of Legends for Europe. Based in Dublin, we localize LOL into 9 EU languages. I have been in localization since 2007, and before that, I have been a freelance translator for 7 years.

Similar to many, what drove me to this industry in the first place is my love of games. From Monkey Island to WOW: Legion, I used to stay up all night playing the latest games; however, my favorites were RPGs and RTSs. Even now, I still try to pull an all-nighter to rank up or to finish one more quest, but boy do I pay the price the next morning!

Over the course of my career, I was lucky enough to work on both sides of the fence, as I spent a few years working for LSPs and just as many working with Publishers/Developers. I feel that my knowledge into the inner workings of both worlds allowed me to bring nuggets of value to my roles every time I switched side.

How is working for a language service provider and a developer different? Any advice you’d like to give to anyone willing to make a career in game localization?

In my experience, the main difference is the pace. Work at an LSP can be quite hectic, as usually a Localization PM will look after multiple clients and, depending on the complexity of the projects, can spend a lot of time trying to assemble the right team for the job. The pace at a developer is different. As you get closer to a patch day, the stream of activity increases tenfold, only to calm down again after the live date. Having said that, work on a live game such as League of Legends is seldom quiet. Every day we push out a lot of content through our web and social platforms, as well as the game itself, and everything goes through our Localization team. The one thing that both LSPs and Developers have in common though is that everything is urgent and needed yesterday.

I think that the key to be successful in this line of work is learning to default to trust. Whether you are an LSP talking to a client, or a developer collaborating up with a vendor on a project, trust needs to be extended from both sides if you want to be successful. The “perfect vendor” is a myth, it simply does not exist (sorry Sales folks). Only through trust and partnership can such a myth become a reality. At Riot, my team has to effectively build relationships with every different development group and vendors, to streamline localization. This is very important, because each language effectively has its own brand, its own in-jokes, with the localisation crafted to deliver the best player experience in that language. It's not a guide book handed down from Central, and then translated nine ways, and we can achieve our goal only through solid partnerships both inside and outside of Riot.

For anybody willing to start down this path, one piece of advice would be to do not take anything for granted, and always strive to build a rapport with your client/vendor. Make sure that anybody working on a project feels part of the team; be they internal or external to the company. That goes a long way towards ensuring lasting partnerships and personal success.

The tough question: League of Legends has been released in 2009. How do you manage to keep your team engaged with an ongoing project that has been on the market for over 7 years?

League of Legends never stays still! League is not a traditional boxed product, and it is everything surrounding it that creates the majority of localization work. This “other” content includes videos, songs, short stories and novellas, as well as dev blogs and announcements. It has increased year by year, both in quantity and quality, so we had to continuously step up our game in order to keep pace with the creative minds behind the game. As mentioned before, League players expect the game to have its own brand in their language, i.e. to resonate with them culturally and artistically. This is even truer for the “other” content, as a video or a song should draw you in no matter what language you speak. To accommodate this, we iterated on a structure of the team multiple times, going from a classic full-outsource model, to an in-house team, finally settling on a hybrid model… with a twist! Following the trends and trying to stay ahead of the curve definitely kept both my team and myself entertained. However, the secret sauce behind the engagement is still the same: my team loves video games. And League of Legends is always a truly fun ride.
 
Link Roundup
Quite a few interviews this month, together with interesting articles about the art and craft of game localization.

The importance of Localization Quality Assurance

Localizing a Unity Indie Game: The Hidden Costs

Sega, Ubisoft, Deep Silver, Gameforge: What’s New in Game Localization?

We Work With an Army of Translators, Says GameHouse Translation Manager

Interview: Localising DRAGON QUEST VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past -
An interview with Oli Chance, who had kindly answered our questions about Ni No Kuni a few years ago

Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer - The game's localization lead discusses the complexity of adapting the story to the west

8 Top Internationalization Changes in iOS 10
 

 

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IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - October 2016

Posted By Anthony D. Teixeira, Monday, October 24, 2016
IGDA Localization SIG

IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - October 2016

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We are very excited to announce that the IGDA Foundation has accepted our grant for LocJAM Japan and LocJAM 4. Concretely, the funding will allow us to have a new website ready by the end of the year, and we are also preparing a couple of surprises for participants.

Thanks to Kathy Astromoff and Sheri Graner Ray at the foundation for making this possible and to all of you for making the contest so lively and interesting year after year!
Interview with Geraint Howells (Shloc)

Geraint Howells

(Note: This interview was conducted after Geraint's presentation at JAT’s PROJECT Kyoto 2015, "Playing for Laughs: Humour and Levity in Localisation", based on Shloc's experience with the localization of Ni No Kuni)

Hi Geraint! Could you quickly introduce yourself and tell us your personal experience and how you entered the localization arena?

Hello. My name is Geraint Howells. I’m a member of Shloc Ltd., a video game localisation team. I’m mainly involved in Japanese-English translation and related work. I started out as an in-house translator for Nintendo, and went freelance after a few years there. I became part of Shloc with some colleagues about...six years ago, and set up the Shloc Japan office in 2014.

During the conference you mentioned how having English speakers from different countries often led to debate. Could you provide a few examples and explain how they enrich translation?

The Japanese – English team at Shloc is made up of UK translators, so we naturally have a British view on things. As such, it’s always helpful to get input from English speakers from other parts of the world. Obviously, this helps us avoid making cultural faux pas, but it’s also often a great source of new ideas and inspirations.

For example, a few creatures’ names [in Ni No Kuni] have been inspired by old Australian legends or folk stories. We wouldn’t have been known about these seams of gold if we didn’t have input from people from that area.

Still during the conference, you mentioned Astérix as an example of creativity with character naming. Do you find it useful to look at other fields like comics and movies for inspiration? What other titles and authors would you recommend to aspiring game translators

I do believe that Asterix is some kind of gold standard for localisation. I think it goes to show the rewards that can be reaped when localisers try and recreate the spirit of the original rather than its specifics. In fact, many European comics from that era had a similar creative spirit that I really like when it came to the localisation.

I don’t really have a specific list of recommendations, but I do think it’s really helpful to look outside the field of games. And indeed (when it comes to Japanese) outside the field of manga and anime, since these fields have very often been translated in a specific style, for a specific audience.

You also mentioned how Ni No Kuni was localized in close collaboration with the voice-over team. How did this affect the process? What kind of contribution did the actors make to your work?

I wouldn’t quite say that it was a close collaboration, but we were always open to suggestions and input from the voice artists and directors. This was especially true when an actor had better knowledge of a particular dialect than we did. As such, we tried to cast actors who naturally spoke the accents and dialects we were trying to recreate. This sometimes meant that we’d be told when we were using constructions or expressions that didn’t quite seem natural, and it would also mean that the actors could have an input if we needed to change a line (for length reasons, for example).

The tough question "I do get annoyed when I hear how hard localization is. (...) It is by far one of the easiest processes in game design. (...) (About) removing Japanese idioms and references westerners won't get..... I'm having a very hard time thinking of a game in the last few generations that actually did this an even a remotely significant level." It's quite common to see comments like these being posted online whenever localization is mentioned. If this comment came from the makers of a game you work on, what would your reaction be?

First of all, I’m not sure there are many people complaining that localisation is hard. It’s a craft, like anything else. It takes care and attention to do it properly, but it’s not a constant struggle. Otherwise it would be a miserable line of work.

I think that comments such as these are largely examples of sour grapes. If writing does not matter to you, it’s understandable that you would claim that it’s worth investing much time in. However, I really think that people would feel differently if they could see what they were missing out on.

Let’s take Ni No Kuni as an example. If we had translated the fairies’ dialogue straight, pretty much literally but of course “removing Japanese idioms and references western players won’t get”, then you would have had a situation where players of the original were laughing away and getting carried along with the silliness, while players of the translated version would have been plodding through screen after screen of joyless text. I think that’s doing the English-speaking audience a disservice, personally.
Link Roundup
Interview: Brian Gray on localizing Gotta Protectors

SMTIV: Faux Pas-calypse - Or how a string accidentally left untranslated can result in apologies from the developer

A Look At Untranslated Text In Video Game Localizations - A small compilation written after the above-mentioned story

An Interview With Mastiff: The Passion Behind Localization

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment – Death By Localization

Video: How Capcom localizes games like Monster Hunter

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IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - September 2016

Posted By Anthony D. Teixeira, Sunday, September 25, 2016

 

  IGDA Localization SIG

After its summer break, our newsletter is back for the few remaining months of the year, which we expect to be rich in events.

Our plans for LocJAM Japan are making good progress. The idea is to hold the contest in December, with details to be announced in November.

So far, we have a jury, a localization tool being finalized and a pretty good idea of what game we will share this time. As usual, keep an eye on our Facebook group for the latest updates.

For now, we hope you will enjoy our monthly interview and link roundup.

Becoming a game translator in Brazil: Interview with Paula Ianelli G. Luiz

Please tell us about yourself, your work in game localization and your initiatives about it.

My name is Paula Ianelli G. Luiz and I am a full-time translator and interpreter who translates from English and Spanish into Brazilian Portuguese. I have known I wanted to be a translator since high school, which led me to a 4-year all-day translation program in college.

However, what dates even further back is my love of games – my first ever console being a Master System Girl which I would not put down all day. So you can guess how thrilled I was when I finally got the opportunity to be a game localization professional. I was over the moon!

This market was still getting on its feet at the time, but it started to gain a lot of momentum a few months later and I found myself exactly where I wanted to be. I have since translated several AAA games across a set of different genres, including works such as Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, Far Cry 4, Far Cry 3 and ZombiU.

What kind of changes have you seen in localization practices since you started?

It has been a pleasure to witness how the game localization market is evolving in Brazil. We had a few brilliant titles translated back in the 90's, but that was eventually dropped after about a decade.

Then we saw a boom in that market seven years ago or so. When that happened, a few Brazilian translators had experience in this domain, but distributors and translation companies basically had to go on a hunt to find qualified, full-time professionals who know what gaming is about.

It took a few years for it to dawn on translators that this market had a lot of untapped potential. This has changed though. Now there is much more people interested in localizing games.

As we gained experience and improved our processes and techniques, we also witnessed another clear shift on the other side of this equation: our audience. Public perception has changed a lot, and our players now expect their games in Brazilian Portuguese, both in numbers and quality.

 

The tough question: what is your opinion about such changes? Which do you think are clearly positive and which others are utterly negative and why?

I love how players became more involved in the process. A simple Google search will show you dozens of comments on whether a specific game was successfully localized or not from the user's perspective.

That is gold to us, because it allows us to improve based on what really matters and it also works as a reminder that there is someone at the other end who will read what we decide to write. It is also great to watch them demand a proper translation when a certain work is not up to the standards – or even when a game has not been localized into Brazilian Portuguese.

Now, as I said, an increased demand has brought more translators to this market. This would not necessarily be a bad thing were these professionals qualified to deliver great work, but that is not always the case.

We now see a bunch of translation companies and professionals that do not really know what they are doing when localizing a game. Nobody benefits from that. Everyone has their own goals, but our aspiration as a market should be to produce the highest quality there is so players continue thoroughly enjoying these games.

We also need to up our quality game to encourage distributors to continue localizing these titles into Brazilian Portuguese. I am always upset when I play an incredible game and then find out it has not been translated, because something good should be accessible to everybody, regardless of their knowledge of English.

When we do get a chance to have an impact on the lives of so many audience members, we should make it count. We still have a long way to go, but it is inspiring to see some companies and translators really taking this opportunity to improve our standards as much as we can. I hope we all see more of that in the future

 

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Link Roundup
Here is our selection for the months of July-August. A short list, but various topics covered.

Japan Localization - An interesting article about localization for the Japanese market, with lots of concrete examples

Modern Military RPG Long Gone Days Requires Interpreters For Some Of Its NPCs

True tales from localization hell - More horror stories from our translator friends

The impact of localization on reviews - A study over 800,000 reviews from games available on the Google Play Store.

Localization on Unity: Adapting the Game Environment – Part 1 - A two-part article from the same blog as above, with practical advice for developers localizing their games in Unity

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IGDA LocSIG Newsletter & LocJAM3 Results - July 2016

Posted By Anthony D. Teixeira, Tuesday, July 19, 2016


 

Do you want to receive the newsletter directly in your mailbox?Register here!

IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - July 2016

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This month, we have two important announcements to make:

1. The LocJAM3 results have been announced on the official contest page! You will also find them in this email. Congratulations to all the winners!

2. As hinted during the past few weeks, we've been working on a new project and are now ready to make it official. LocJAM will have its first spin-off event: LocJAM Japan!

It will be a Japanese to English translation contest based on the Tyrano Builder visual novel editor.
Thanks to the kind support of its creator MK Shikemoku, we will have a full-fledged localization tool with advanced features from live preview to csv import/export!

We will provide more details about testing and contest dates as soon as we know them. In the meantime enjoy a few screenshots.

And of course, let us know if you have any questions and comments!

 


LocJAM3 Results

FRENCH

Game Audio Factory

Pro: Julie Henon (play)
It was really hard to choose! Very good translation, not literal. Good phrasing, use of words. Translated "1st floor" by "rez-de-chaussée" and not by "1er étage" like many others.

 

Amateur: Clémence Alcouffe - Amaury Doaré - Lucas Saïdi (play)
Very good translation, not literal, and not much mistakes. Non-breaking spaces and accented capital letters are here.

 

Special mention: Laura GOURDIN (play)
Translation of the game title is original. However, there are several mistakes (conjugation, missing accents, too many capital letters, missing non-breaking spaces, etc.).

La Marque Rose

Pro: Jean Nicolet (play)
Very accurate FR translations of both rules and maps, concisely written with special emphasis on readibility for game players and in a fluent style.

 

Amateur: Claire BOUDET (play)
FR localised versions of rules and maps are accurate, easy to understand for gamers and pleasant to read.

 

GERMAN

Altagram GmbH

Pro: Dominik Langer (play)
This entry was a blast to read. The style really fit the story and type of game and the instructions were well translated and therefore clear. The participant managed to create some witty translations that would make us smile and even though the text was not easy to work with he/she found some good solutions for the most tricky parts. Though there were still some minor issues, we found this to be our favorite entry in the PRO category.

 

Amateur: Dominik Hellfritzsch (play)
The style of this translation was overall very clear and fluent, which is important for this kind of manual text. The humorous parts were translated in a creative way and not too close to the English source. Due to the fact that only some minor issues could be found throughout the text, this is our favorite entry.

 

Special mention: Kai Wommelsdorf (play)
This entry came in as our second best. The translator used a fitting style and tackled most of the not always clear manual instructions in a good and creative way. Since this entry contained more mistakes than our winning one it wouldn't rank first but definitely deserves a special mention.

GlobaLoc GmbH

Pro: Daniel Polhaus (play)
It’s obvious that the translator has not only put a lot of effort into the translation itself but that he or she has also invested a lot of time familiarizing themselves with the source at hand. The rules and mechanics of the game were understood perfectly which resulted in a manual that was easy to read yet linguistically spot-on. Furthermore, the translation contained very few mistakes and the sentence structure was excellent. Overall it has been a pleasure reading it.

 

Amateur: Kai Wommelsdorf (play)
The translation was comprised of all the essential elements of a good translation: apart from some minor mistakes, there was great clarity of language, all terms were used correctly and appropriately, and the translator wholly and successfully conveyed the original source text into an accurate game manual with great readability.

 

Special mention: Andreas Huber (play)
In the amateur group, this stood out as a very good translation. Apart from some minor spelling and comma mistakes, the text is fluent, creative, and catchy. However, due do the fact that the formatting of the source text was not respected and that the introduction to the game was missing in the translated manual, this could not be elected as first-place material. However, we encourage the translator to keep up the great work and continue to improve his/her skills. The result is very promising and we would be thrilled to see more work from them in the future.

Native Prime

Pro: Dominik Langer (play)
This was a very good entry. There were almost no issues with spelling (only the choice of hyphenation in a few cases was questionable but still acceptable), and grammar as well as punctuation were also fine. The style was easy to read and fluent, the explanations well and clearly written. A few details could've been better, such as a translation of the title page. The same applies to the image subtitles in the manual and the floor names in the maps. Those details aside, the translator did a really good job :)

 

Amateur: Gianna Brucksch (play)
It was the one with the least grammar, spelling and punctuation errors, contained mostly correct translation and was good to read.

 

Special mention: Tabea Keller (play)
In my opinion, this was actually the best entry in the professional category. The translator provided great quality in spelling, grammar and punctuation, followed the recommended Duden spelling, has a very clear and precise style while maintaining creativity, and -- above all -- took care of all the details (title page background translated, image subtitles translated even in the manual etc.). However, while the translator maintained the general page layout, parts of the text layout were changed in such a manner that they were easier to understand and provided a better overview of the mechanics discussed in those paragraphs. Also, the use of a dice image instead of text is a nice touch. Unfortunately, the instructions said "ensure that [...] the original layout is maintained!". Due to this and the fact that, were this a regular job instead of a competition, clients often don't want the original layout to be changed (even if it is an improvement like in this case), I could not choose this entry as the winner (despite the advantages of above layout changes in the manual and the maps!)

Synthesis Deutschland GmbH

Pro: Tanja Braun (play)
Terminology is chosen remarkably well (one of the very few entries to use a word for "decoy" that captures the essence of the thing), captures the feeling of the setting and feels like it was written in the target language. Cover page translated as well (with the help of a text box insert). Reads very fluent and natural. Formatting replicated perfectly.


Amateur: Jacqueline Dörr (play)
Reads fluently, terminology is chosen well, sentence structure feels natural.

 

ITALIAN

Binari Sonori

Pro: Matteo di Franza (play)
- Very nice style, readable and clean.
- A very good job content-wise, no translation errors have been detected.
- The candidate seems to know board game jargon and linguistic conventions very well.
- The candidate adjusted some sections of the manual improving content and layout whenever the source was not 100% clear (see the "snowmobile" section)
- All guidelines and publishing mistakes were taken into account.
- Images were manipulated to include graphic adaptation of the translation. Also, some pictures have been further enhanced (see the "sight cone" one).
- puns have been nicely localized and perfectly fit the context.

 

Amateur: Giuseppe Nasti (play)
- a nice and smooth translation, almost PRO level. No content mistakes have been flagged and style is pretty much what you would expect from a game manual.
- You can see the candidate tried not to replicate the English syntax, and this is notable since manuals usually have a "schematic" structure that naturally brings you to a 1:1 translation of the text. And this is definitely a PRO approach to translation.
- Common and well-known Italian terminology related to boardgames was correctly used throughout the text.
- Used a brilliant solution to improve a clumsy section in the English text - see the "differenziale di potenza psichica" value.
- Localized the names on counters.

 

Special mention: Valeria Rontini (play)
Completely revised the structure and layout of contents, actually making the contents more understandable. Translation though could be improved.

Native Prime Italy

Pro: Federica Gaeta (play)
Zero mistakes, fluent and elegant Italian. Bonus points for localizing the graphic elements both in the manual and maps.

 

Amateur: Martina Ercoli and Matteo Lupetti (play)
Zero mistakes, technically precise, good language skills. Bonus points for localizing the graphic elements both in the manual and maps.

 

Special mention: Taurino Daniele (play)
It would have been the same level as the winner, if not for a couple minor discrepancies, and the choice to localize everything BUT the game title.

Synthesis

Pro: Federica Gaeta (play)
Nice translation: smooth, clear, precise, coherent. Good graphic work, perfect floors conversion into Italian, and a good solution in changing the room numbers too.

 

Amateur: Taurino Daniele (play)
Good translation, with an adequate level of coherence. Smooth, clear and creative when necessary. Good graphic work to integrate the translation in a nice way.

 

Special mention: Valeria Rontini (play)
This entry was very creative in interpreting the text, reworking it for the sake of clarity. The final result is nice to read and extremely easy to understand.

 

JAPANESE

Keywords International

Pro: Mieko Fukushima (play)
Very witty as well as accurate. Almost no mistranslation. English puns that usually do not make sense in Japanese are well handled. The fact that “statue” is translated as 生垣像 (hedge animal) indicates the translator knows the story this game was based upon very well.

 

Amateur: Ken Miyashita (play)
Very well researched, very few mistranslations.

Pole To Win Co., Ltd.

Pro: Mista (play)
No reason provided

 

Amateur: Keigo Yonemura (play)
No reason provided

 

PORTUGUESE (Brazil)

Keywords International

Pro: Gabriel Ninô (play)
The professional who submitted this entry proved to have experience, using game terminology where appropriate, clarifying game mechanics, and improving the text with very interesting translation solutions. Their language skills allowed for a fluid, natural text, more attuned with good communication goals required by the industry.

 

Amateur: Fernando Junqueira Franco (play)
This entry showed above-average translation quality, very good language skills, insightful solutions, and attention to detail. Despite a possible lack of experience, this amateur applicant exhibited knowledge of game-related terminology in Portuguese and keen awareness to detect/correct problems in the source-text.

 

Special mention: Luiz Fernando Alves (play)
Although this entry’s translation quality was good overall, this translator provided a very interesting solution to a joke made by the author of the game. They earned this special mention because very few applicants provided good translations to this problem—in fact, most simply ignored it.

 


Locsmiths

Pro: Luiz Fernando Alves (play)
Very high quality delivered, and many well thought translations, gave this one enough edge to stand out from the rest. Not only was all very accurate and polished, it also showed out of the box thinking. Congratulations!

 

Amateur: César Augusto do Nascimento (play)
Strong overall performance. Good and polished text, many nods to culturalization, especially in names and titles, clear instructions and an exceptional effort in the maps and token sheets. Albeit the presence of some issues, none of them were unexpected at the amateur level. Congratulations!

 

Special mention: Diogo Teixeira (play)
Another very high quality entry, very well polished, very consistent, that just misses the first place in tiny details, where the winner entry was simply more inspired. Congratulations!

Synthesis

Pro: Bruno Spinosa Tiussi (play)
No grammatical issues whatsoever, consistent and fluid language. They constantly simplified some texts during the translation so as to make the reading easier for the players and the end result is great.

 

Amateur: Felipe Souza (play)
We could find one typo in Brazilian Portuguese in this entry (a missing accent), but overall the style was great and the contestant seemed so excited about the game that he/she even translated the words in the cover for the game (which ended up looking amazing).

 

Mentions: Elisa Oliveira Camara (play)
This contestant offered an amazing performance, and the only thing that made us decide against it for the best overall was the fact that the chosen winner pasted the pictures with translated text from the excel file onto the Word document (in page 2), thus achieving an end result where almost every bit of text in the Word document was translated, which would help the players' understanding and improve factors such as consistency the cleanliness of the formatting and design.

 

PORTUGUESE (Europe)

Locsmiths

Best overall: Gustavo Silva (play)
Not only was a really good effort to localize the full content, including the title, characters, etc, was also the most polished of all candidates, showing real dedication and attention to detail. Congratulations!

 

Special mention: Sofia Vale (play)
This was the most creative entry and the one with the strongest effort to culturalize the game. However, had many polishing issues (typos, spacings, misspellings), that prevented it from winning.

 

RUSSIAN

Janus Worldwide

Pro: Dmitri Sobotsinski (play)
Good quality. Respect to Shining

 

Amateur: Vadim Zaytsev (play)
Good quality, mistake free translation

 

 

Special mention: Julia Miroshnychenko (play)
Nicely reworked cover

Levsha

Pro: Anastasia Stazhilo-Alekseeva (play)
Incredibly smooth phrasing, at times clarifying what could be confusing with a direct translation, nice term choices. The final choice wasn't easy, but though this translation somewhat lacks wit and has a few loose explanations, it's the best text out there.

 

Amateur: Marina Davydova (play)
Mostly accurate and mostly well-phrased. The least amount of issues marked, and given this is an amateur translation, very solid job overall.

 

 

Special mention: Dmitri Sobotsinski (play)
One of the best-phrased translations, unfortunately corrupted by a couple mistakes. But the author displayed a high level of game-design thought and attention.

Logrus Games

Pro: Olga Melnikova (play)
The work of this participant fulfills the majority of the criteria set forth. The translation in general was creatively competent, the text style was maintained, and the cover and title sheets were translated. Unfortunately, there are punctuation errors, with not always, in our opinion, well chosen vocabulary.

 

Amateur: Maria Rodionova (play)
The work of the participant meets the maximum number of criteria. The translation in general was creatively competent, the text style was maintained, and the poems' title text was translated. Unfortunately, there were syntax errors.

 

Special mention: Marina Ilyinykh (play)
A creative approach to translation, artistic translation of the title page, with a good translation of the name of the game. Shortcomings - tsya / tsya, Open locked door / Close the open door.

 

SPANISH (Europe)

KITETEAM SPAIN

Pro: Judith Bachiller (play)
Localization at its best: from user manual cover to character names, the game was brilliantly adapted to the Spanish culture.

 

Amateur: Carolina Rodríguez Martín (play)
Solid, accurate translation.

 

Special mention: Almudena Segura Checa (play)
The wittiest user manual we've read in a while!

 

NATIVE PRIME SPAIN

Pro: Almudena Segura Checa (play)
We chose this translation because of the style. It's a professional translation that keeps the tone and style of the original. It reads fluently and it was really fun to evaluate.

 

Amateur: Tomás Costal (play)
We liked the professionalism of the entry, the style of the text and the decisions taken by the candidate.

 

Special mention: Raquel Castaño Clariana (play)
It was tough to decide between this and the winner. This was also a great entry, but we had to make a decision and the winner had some edge over this entry. Keep up the good work!

SYNTHESIS IBERIA

Pro: Almudena Segura Checa (play)
It is a very creative translation, but accurate and fluent at the same time. The contestant localized the maps changing the floor numbers, something very few candidates did (kudos!). Good grammar and style too.

 

Amateur: Carolina Rodríguez Martín (play)
The translation and the structure of the text are clear and there are no spelling mistakes. There were some mistranslations, but overall it was the best candidate!

 

Special mention: Judith Bachiller (play)
That cover had a lot of work! The phantom names are also very creative. The translation is fluent and sounds natural in Spanish.

 

SPANISH (Latin America)

KITETEAM MEXICO

Pro: Luciano Di Lorenzo (play)
Instead of a mention, we've got to go for an ex-aequo here. Both entries were solid enough (consistent, accurate and flawless in spelling) to deserve the top spot.

 

Amateur: Lucio Nicolás Alcaide (play)
Good effort. Even if not error-free, it shows potential.

 

Special mention: Juan Guillermo Beiner (play)
See above.

SYNTHESIS IBERIA

Pro: Juan Guillermo Beiner (play)
Excellent translation skills and overall style. Everything was perfectly clear, easy to read and free from grammar or spelling mistakes. Awesome job!

 

Amateur: Lucio Nicolás Alcaide (play)
Although it contains very few spelling and grammar mistakes, these were minor. The translation is quite clear and it has a very good style. This was not an easy task, especially for an amateur translator and this participant did a very good job. Well done!

 

Special mention: Andrés Sotelo Soria (play)
This entry contains a few inconsistencies and minor spelling issues, but this participant did an excellent job. The quality of the translation is quite good and even has a sense of humor. Keep up the good work!

 

 

THANK YOU FOR PLAYING!
Link Roundup
- (Almost) Made in Brazil: Going Mobile & Embracing Fully-Localized Code for Each New Territory

- Interview with Zero Time Dilemma Translator, Andy Chiang

- Interview with Former Square Enix Translator Tom Slattery

- Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Developers On Adapting To The West And Its Localization

- Game Localization Bibliography

- Ace Attorney's Creators Talk the New Title and Localization

- Image: "Here's how much text was in a game I localized back in the day with a small army of others... It was Dragon Quest VII."

- Fun fact: Capcom had to find a clever way to hide the number 7 both inside "Biohazard" and its western title "Resident Evil"

- The Exciting Ups And Painful Downs Of Game Localization

- XSEED Localization General Blog #1

- Video Game Translators Are on Your Side, So Stop Hating on Them

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