Introduction to Game Localization
4.2 (578 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,806 students enrolled

Introduction to Game Localization

Become a translator, tester or project manager specialized in gamelocalization and get paid for your gaming passion
4.2 (578 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
1,806 students enrolled
Last updated 9/2015
English [Auto]
Current price: $65.99 Original price: $94.99 Discount: 31% off
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This course includes
  • 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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What you'll learn
  • 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!

Who this course is for:
  • 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
Course content
Expand all 80 lectures 02:45:21
+ Introduction
4 lectures 08:42

¡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! ;)

Preview 02:06

Discover all the challenges that video game translators have to face in an amazing adventure in which the English-Spanish translator Pablo Muñoz is involved.

Music: Erik Skiff (

Preview 02:16

Welcome to the course! I really appreciate that you signed up for this video course on game localization, so let me say thank you before going straight to the point. :)

Thank You And Welcome!

Before starting the course, I think it’s a good idea to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about how I ended working in the game localization industry. ;)

Preview 03:28
+ The Game Localization Process
10 lectures 16:01

Welcome to Level 2! Let’s get started with internationalization, localization kits, the translation phase, the review phase and localization testing.

Intro To The Game Localization Process

What is internationalization (i18n) apart from a very long word that is hard to pronounce? Well, check it out in this lesson!

Internationalization (i18n)

The first i18n tip is… Leave enough space for larger texts!

i18n Best Practices - Tip 1

The second i18n tip is… Use a variable width font!

Source for screenshots:

i18n Best Practices - Tip 2

And the third i18n tip is… Use a font that supports all special characters from the beginning!

i18n Best Practices - Tip 3

I know internationalization could be a little bit technical (don’t worry because that’s only for developers), so I have prepared this summary to group the previous three recommendations in just one example. :)

i18n Best Practices - Summary

A localization kit consists of a number of different assets divided in different folders, such as source files, translated files, glossary, etc.

The Localization Kit

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:

The Translation Phase

There are several ways of proofing a translation. But which one is the best? Let’s see it. :)

The Review Phase

What’s localization testing? Well, I think a picture (or a video) is worth a thousand words. :D

Localization Testing

Let's see what you've learned in the Level 2!

Test Your Knowledge About The Game Localization Process
6 questions
+ Working In-house And As Freelancer
11 lectures 24:34

Welcome to Level 3! What do you prefer–working in-house or as a freelancer? See the topics we are going to cover in this module. :)

Intro To Working In-house And As A Freelancer

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:

Familiarizing With The Game In-House

Context is really important when translating. Want to see an example? Well, check out this video! Next time you don’t receive reference material from your client, please ask for it! ;)

Reference Material, Context And Freelancers

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:émon_controversy

Queries And How To Report Them

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:

Quick Look At A Query Sample File

Although normally clients give you a specific query template, here you have one if you don't have one. I hope it's useful! :)

Query Template

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. :)

Preview 01:09

What are the particularities of testing a game with in-house translators and testers? This lesson will cover some of them. :)

Testing By In-house Translators And Testers

Have you ever heard about the Dark Side Translators and the Jedi Translators? Let’s talk about the different challenges that freelancers have to face. :)

Challenges For Freelancers

Money can’t buy happiness, but hey, you can buy more games thanks to money! How much would you able to earn? Of course, these figures are what I got from my experience and by asking some other colleagues.

How Much Money Can You Make Working In The l10n Industry?

If you want to review all the pros and cons of working as an in-house translator or as a tester, then check this video out! ;)

Quick Comparison Between In-House and Freelance Translators

Let's see what you have learned in Level 3!

Test Your Knowledge About Working In-House Or As A Freelancer
6 questions
+ The Technical Aspects
13 lectures 20:55

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! :)

Intro To The Technical Aspects

What are the main elements of a translation file? What’s and ID? Do you have some comments apart from the source text? Discover it in this lesson! :)

How Does A Typical Game File Look Like?

Do you want to download the game file we have seen in Excel? Well, here you go! ;)

Game File Example In Excel

So what are tags and how can you identify them? In this lesson, you’ll see some of them with a real example.

Tags Or Those Strange Codes Around The Text

Do you want to practice your translation skills a little bit with tags? Well, here you have the example we just saw from Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat! ;)

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat Example For Translation

Why tags are so important? Pay special attention to this video and check out the quiz! ;)

Tags in Action I - Dragon Ball: Attack of the Sayans

After watching the video of the previous lecture, which of the following sentences do you think is more accurate?

What Was Wrong In The Previous Video?
1 question

Let’s review the tags of the previous lesson in context and see what would have happened if the translator used the tags wisely. ;)

Tags in Action I - Behind The Scenes

Now let’s watch another real example of tags, although this time you’ll see the original text next to the Nintendo DS screen. Pay special attention this time too, as there will be another quiz waiting for you! ;)

Tags in Action II - Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon

After watching the video of the previous lecture, which of the following sentences do you think is more accurate?

Identify Some Tags
1 question

So what are the different tag types in Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon? Check it out in this video. ;)

Tags in Action II - Behind The Scenes

Want to know what happens if you don’t pay attention to tags? Well, I’m pretty sure you’ll be more careful after watching this lecture!

Tags in Action II - Let's Cause Some Tag Bugs!

Sooner or later, you’ll come across some variables in game localization. But how they look like and how we can solve gender problems in other languages? Well, enter Pablo Muñoz’s tip for variables! ;)

Variables In Game Localization

Why is it so important to meet the character limitations? Well, I think this video is worth a thousand words. ;)

Note: The Fire Emblem example was modified by me, it's not like that in the original. ;)

Character Limitations

Oh, yes, I love macros! They count all the characters in a cell automagically for you and tell you if you are exceeding the limit.

God Bless The Macros To Count Characters!

Let's see what you have learned in Level 4!

Test Your Knowledge About Working The Technical Aspects In Game Localization
5 questions
+ Translation And Transcreation
18 lectures 38:47

Hey, you’ve become a Super Saiyan if you are watching this lesson! But why I am saying this? Well, discover it by yourself watching this video. ;)

Hey, You've Become A Super Saiyan!

Welcome to Level 5, translation and transcreation! We’ll see what transcreation is, how to transcreate in 3 steps, and example of transcreation, the limits of transcreation and we’ll practice with a lot of exercises. :)

Intro To Translation And Transcreation

So what’s transcreation? Can you guess it? Discover its meaning in this lesson!

More info and source:

What Is 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:

Transcreation In 3 Steps

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! :)

Exercise: Transcreate With Chef Ramsay And Other Memes!

If you think translating and transcreating is easy, be ready for this exercise, as you’ll have to identify the main issues in the text you’ll see! ;)

Eco Shooter A Short But Good Example Of Transcreation (I)

In the previous lecture, which three words (in order of appearance) could be hard to translate?

Identify The Words That Could Be Difficult To Translate
1 question

Now let’s analyze the three main issues that we would have if we were to localize this game. Stay tuned! :)

Eco Shooter Trailer:

Eco Shooter A Short But Good Example Of Transcreation (II)

Do you know that Eco Shooter was localized into Spanish? Let’s see if the translator’s solutions were good or if they could be improved. ;)

Eco Shooter A Short But Good Example Of Transcreation (III)

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:

The Limits Of Transcreation

Finally we put transcreation in practice! Let’s start with names, items and spells. Are you ready? 1, 2, 3, GO!

Transcreation In Practice I - Names, Items and Spells

Translating character descriptions could be really funny and challenging. You don’t believe me? Well, you’ll tell me after you watch this lecture! ;)

Transcreation In Practice II - Character Descriptions

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: and

Transcreation In Practice III - Dialogues And Accents

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!

Exercise: Translate Bonsai Barber Names, Descriptions And More!

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:'s_Drawing

Transcreation In Practice IV - Songs, Rhymes And Poems

This is a veeery tough challenge! Will you be able to translate the Child's Drawings of Silent Hill: Homecoming into your language while maintaining the rhymes? ;)

Exercise: Translate The Child's Drawings Of Silent Hill

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:

Source for Spanish video:

Transcreation In Practice V - Songs To Be Sung

So you want a real translation challenge involving songs? Then try to localize this opera song with tags everywhere! ;)

Transcreation In Practice Ultimate Edition - The FFVI Opera Song

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:

Good luck!

Exercise: Translate The FFVI Opera Song

Test Your Knowledge About Translation and Transcreation!

Test Your Knowledge About Translation and Transcreation
4 questions
+ Game Localization Testing
18 lectures 33:28

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! ;)

Intro To Game Localization Testing

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:

More about bugs:

What Is A 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:

System Bugs I - Font Issues

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!

Picture credits: and

System Bugs II - Wrong Text Implementation

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:

System Bugs III - Unexpected Issues

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:

Linguistic Bugs I - Misspellings And Grammar Mistakes

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:

Recommended site:

Article about the localization of the first Zelda:

Linguistic Bugs II - Mistranslations

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:

Linguistic Bugs III - Text Overflows And Truncations

You have to bear in mind that style is very subjective, so think it twice before reporting a style bug if it doesn’t add too much to the text! You know, the less unnecessary changes you make, the better. :)

Linguistic Bugs IV - Style Improvements

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:

Linguistic Bugs V - Inconsistencies

Do you know what the golden rule is when you are tester? No? OK, then this video is for you! Watch it as many times as you want! ;)

The Golden Rule For Being A Good Tester

In game localization, translators don’t usually have access to the time codes, which means that some subtitles will disappear too fast or that they will stay on the screen too much time.

Timing Issues In Subtitles

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.

Source for pictures: and

Cultural Issues

When playing a game, you have to take into account that there could be some hearing-impaired or even daltonic players who can enjoy a better gaming experience if some little things are considered. Well, let’s have a look at them to create a better (gaming) world! ;)

Accesibility Issues

A bug report has a loooot of things, so that’s why this lecture will provide you with everything you need to know! I know it can be overwhelming, but don’t worry, we’ll see everything in practice in the next lecture.

How To Report Bugs Effectively

If you need a bug report template, here you go! :)

Bug Report Template

Now let’s see all the elements of a bug report in context. I am sure you’ll enjoy this one! ;)

Bugs Reports Explained

WNF, WAI, NB… Have you seen them before? No? Well, then this lecture will teach you one or two things you didn’t know! ;)

Bug Statuses

Let's see what you have learned in Level 6!

Test Your Knowledge About Game Localization Testing
7 questions
+ Wrapping Up
2 lectures 03:30

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.):

- Game QA & Testing:

- Game Testing All in One:

Recommended Books On Game Localization

Oh, well, it’s so sad, but this is the end of the course… But don’t worry, because… See you next mission! ;)

Final Words And See You Next Mission!
+ Bonus!
4 lectures 19:23

You'll be familiar with these bugs, but anyway, I found this video very funny! :) Say thanks to @DreamInASkull, who recommended it to me. :)

Preview 04:14

I couldn't stop laughing at this... You have to watch this, believe me! :D

Preview 04:25

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

And if you want to watch the worst Spanish dubbing ever, just watch this! It's really INCREDIBLE lol

Preview 10:16
Multi-line Character Count Macro