Introduction to Game Localization
- 2.5 hours on-demand video
- 9 articles
- 8 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Examine the challenges you’ll face in each stage of the game localization process and choose where you’d like to work
- Compare the pros and cons of working in-house or as a freelancer and select your ideal lifestyle
- Learn how to spend more time translating and less worrying about technical issues
- Improve your creativity and let your words take players on a rollercoaster of emotions
- Learn to write professional bug reports and how to polish a translation until it’s perfect
- Some language skills in a language other than English
- Microsoft Excel (any version) or any other spreadsheet software for exercises
If you play localized games, this probably sounds familiar…
You’re playing your favorite game on a rainy winter afternoon. “Cool graphics! Amazing playability! Killer music! Stunning action! Wait a minute… What’s with all the spelling mistakes? That text doesn’t make sense! Who on earth translated this game!? I could’ve done a better job myself!”
Engage players in the game story
Learn the basic concepts behind game localization and specialize as a game translator, linguistic tester or game localization project manager.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Stages of the game localization process
Introduction to game internationalization, the game translation process, different review methods, the importance of linguistic testing. Examine the challenges you’ll face in each stage and decide which part of the process you’d like to work on!
- Differences between working in-house and as a freelancer
Learn how to get acquainted with the game you’ll be translating, what reference material looks like, how to report queries, and examine general rates and salaries before you establish your own. Compare pros and cons, and select your ideal lifestyle!
- The technical aspects
Get a handle on translating texts with codes, conquer those dreaded variables and learn how not to exceed character limitations. All with real examples and plenty of practical exercises! Spend more time translating and less worrying about technical issues!
- Translation and transcreation
Translating a game is nothing like translating software, laws or contracts. It’s actually great fun! (That’s the brotherhood’s best kept secret: you’ll get paid for doing something fascinating!). You’ll have a blast learning how to define characters by how they speak, and translating names, character descriptions and even songs and poems! Improve your creativity and let your words take players on a rollercoaster of emotions!
- Game localization testing
You’d be amazed by the amount of errors that appear when the translated text is implemented in the game. This module teaches you to identify the main types of linguistic bugs and to write straightforward, useful and professional reports. Contribute to a successful translation by reporting bugs and improvements to polish the text until it’s perfect!
Are you ready to become a game localization professional? Then insert coin and… Let’s rock!
- Translators looking to specialize in game localization
- Project managers looking to expand their game localization knowledge
- Developers looking to improve their internationalization processes and localize games
- People who love games and languages
- Anyone with an interest in the game industry looking to expand their job options
¡Hola, amigos! My name is Pablo Muñoz and I am English-into-Spanish translator. This course is going to focus on lots of things, like the game localization process, working as an in-house translator or as a freelancer, technical aspects, translation and transcreation, localization testing… I’m sure you’ll learn many things and that you’ll enjoy a lot! ;)
The second i18n tip is… Use a variable width font!
Source for screenshots: http://fusoya.eludevisibility.org/som/shots.html
There are several things you need to know about the translation phase, such as the daily productivity or if you need to be a gamer to be a good video game translator. Well, check it out in this lesson! :)
All Your Base Are Belong To Us video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fvTxv46ano
Being paid for playing is really great! But of course, it’s not about having fun and that’s it – there will be some things you need to note down while you are playing.
Source for the Bowser image in Super Mario RPG: http://www.3djuegos.com/comunidad-foros/tema/19937172/0/post-los-juegos-censurados-de-snes-pt1/
While you are translating a game, chances are you’ll have a lot of questions. That’s why queries are very important and why you need to know how to report them effectively.
Source of the Pokémon "nazi" picture: http://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Pokémon_controversy
We’ve studied queries in the previous section, but how do they look like? Check out this video to learn more about queries and don’t forget to download the file to have something for your first project! ;)
ISO 639 Code Tables: http://www-01.sil.org/iso639-3/codes.asp
Nothing can describe the experience of seeing your own translation on the screen for the first time, but here’s a video to show you how it could be. :)
Welcome to Level 4, the technical aspects! We’ll have a quick look at a typical game file and we’ll work with “tags”, variables, character limitations and macros. But don’t be afraid of this module, because you’ll see many real examples and you’ll have some exercises to practice! :)
So what’s transcreation? Can you guess it? Discover its meaning in this lesson!
More info and source: http://www.badlanguage.net/translation-vs-transcreation
In this lecture we’ll see how you can transcreate in three easy steps. Are you ready? ;)
Source for the Son of a submariner example: http://legendsoflocalization.com/son-of-a-submariner-kefkas-famous-line-in-detail/
If you enjoyed the previous lecture on transcreation and you feel like practicing a bit, why don't you go ahead and use one of the meme generators out there to create an awesome and funny meme that you can share with your friends? Don't forget to share it with me via Twitter using my username @pmstrad! :)
Now let’s analyze the three main issues that we would have if we were to localize this game. Stay tuned! :)
Eco Shooter Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPpS_CPRxng
What are the limits of transcreation? Is it possible to localize as much as we want? Well, of course that’s going to depend on the game, but the important thing to know is that you need to recreate the effect of the original in the target language. :)
Source video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX5XPo0lZVQ
How do pirates talk? And how can you characterize someone in a video game? Discover all of this in this lecture. :)
More info about the Chrono Cross accent system: http://wwwthinkinginsidethebox.blogspot.com.es/2011/09/chrono-crosss-accent-system.html and http://shrines.rpgclassics.com/psx/cc/characters.shtml
If you want to practice your translantion and transcreation skills, here you have an Excel file with all the character names and descriptions of Bonsai Barber! In addition to this, you can find the first newspaper that appears in the game, which includes some play words, of course. ;) Be sure to check the reference screenshots!
Oh, yes, rhymes and songs! If you have to translate a game that has some rhymes (and believe me that will happen sooner or later), be prepared!
Source for the Silent Hill poem: http://silenthill.wikia.com/wiki/Child's_Drawing
If you thought that translating text-based songs and rhymes was difficult, then you will not want to imagine how difficult would be translating songs to be sung. Or yes? Well, if that’s the case, this lecture is for you! ;)
Source for English video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNbvktlB0gU
Source for Spanish video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRGBLStiheU
In case you want to practice with the ultimate transcreation challenge, here's an Excel file with the contents of the opera song in Final Fantasy VI! You can try to see if it would be OK while watching the original video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuvSDedrtKM
Welcome to Level 6, game localization testing! There are TONS of topics in this module, as we’ll see the different kind of system and linguistic bugs (and yes, there are a lot of them!), as well as accessibility and cultural issues. And last but not least, you’ll learn how to write effective bugs reports to be a great tester! ;)
Oh, bugs, dear bugs! No matter how well you prepare things—there will always be bugs. But wait, er… Do you know what a bug is? If not, then this lesson is for you! ;)
Video about the funny bug: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1SFm62Etyc
More about bugs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_bug
Let’s start with system bugs! What are font issues? I bet you’ve seen them before, but it never hurts to revisit them. :)
Source for the FFIV example: http://legendsoflocalization.com/final-fantasy-iv/intro/
You translate everything and are eager to see your translation on screen, but suddenly you see there’s something wrong… The text is in German instead of Spanish!
When you play an unfinished game, there will be massive amount of unexpected issues, and some of them will be related to localization. Let’s see some examples.
Picture source: http://euw.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=270494
What kind of misspelling and grammar mistakes can we find when testing a game? Let’s see some examples from very old games. :)
Source for the Zelda picture: http://legendsoflocalization.com/the-legend-of-zelda/first-quest/
Be careful with mistranslations, as they can even create a legend! Don’t believe me? Then watch this video and tell me later! ;)
If you want to read more about the “Sheng Long” mistranslation legend, check out this link: http://streetfighter.wikia.com/wiki/Sheng_Long
Recommended site: http://legendsoflocalization.com/
Article about the localization of the first Zelda: http://legendsoflocalization.com/the-legend-of-zelda/first-quest/
There’s nothing worse than see a word that is “cut” or that the text is longer than the actual text box. Do you want to know what I mean? Check this video out!
Source of the second picture in German: https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/STORM-1276
Consistency is critical when there are several games of the same saga or when games are very big, since there’s nothing worse than use two translations for the same term by mistake.
Source for the Pokémon picture: http://es.pokemon.wikia.com/wiki/Contraataque
When developing a game, there could be some cultural issues in specific regions that the developer was not aware of. That’s why it’s always important to identify and report cultural issues.
Do you need more? Remember that you can always ask me anything you want, but anyway, here are three books that I am sure you’ll enjoy. ;)
Here are the links:
- The Game Localization Handbook (2nd ed.): http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/0763795933/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=3626&creative=24822&creativeASIN=0763795933&linkCode=as2&tag=algomasquetra-21
- Game QA & Testing: http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/1435439473/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=3626&creative=24822&creativeASIN=1435439473&linkCode=as2&tag=algomasquetra-21
- Game Testing All in One: http://www.amazon.es/gp/product/B005GRCTB0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=3626&creative=24822&creativeASIN=B005GRCTB0&linkCode=as2&tag=algomasquetra-21
I know many of you speak Spanish, so I am sure you'll like this video. It's long, but it's worth to watch. :D http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q3WdRBtRuo
And if you want to watch the worst Spanish dubbing ever, just watch this! It's really INCREDIBLE lol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDI8yTIomH4