Game Localization: Tips to be a good translator
Games localization is a widespread industry. Nowadays, the gamer's number is rapidly growing; people are playing games on their PC, Mobile, and social media. For the game developers, the need arose to localize their games in order to reach the maximum number of gamers around the world to be the all-time best selling games. Thus, you have to be ready, as a translator, to make your mark on this field and develop your skills along with the rapidly increasing of the industry.
Localization involves many steps. Given that we talk about the translation, we will focus here on the path the translator should follow in order to develop his/her skills in this industry.
First of all, a gamer should differentiate between the types of games and get to know all of them. Having such knowledge will assist him/her while translating a game.
Game types include:
· Action: a video game genre involves physical challenges. For example Spider-Man
· Survival horror: a video game genre focuses on character surviving while the game tries to frighten the player. For example: "Resident Evil"
· Shooting: a sub-genre of action games tests the reactions and speed of the player. It has many subgenres; First Person Shooter (FPS) e. g. "Overwatch", and Third Person Shooter. E.g. "Tom Clancy's The Division"
· Strategy: a video game genre in which the choices of the player determines the outcome of it. E.g. "Shadow of Tactics"
· Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA): a sub-genre of strategy video games, in which the player controls a character in a team competes with other teams. E.g. "League of Legends"
· Role Playing games (RPG): a video game genre in which the player controls the actions of a character. E.g "Final Fantasy"
· Simulation: a video game genre designed to simulate real-world activities. E.g. "The Sims"
· Sports: a video game genre simulates the practices of sports; team sports, track, and field, extreme and compact sports. E.g. "FIFA"
· Party Games: a video game designed to be easy to control and allow competition between large numbers of players. E.g. "That’s You!"
You can read more about the genres here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_video_game_genres
In the first place, a game translator should be a gamer, has a passion for games, and be familiar with the game environment. Also, s/he should play the game before translating it with the passion to understand the mindset of gamers, which assists you when starting translation.
A game translator has to be up to date with all trends in the game localization industry. So s/he has to read a lot about it, participate in the forums related to the industry, and get to know all the news and updates of the game developers. Also, s/he can play the games that already localized.
Game localization requires creativity. Given that there are lots of game types with different universes, characters, and in-game items, the translator has to translate them in a creative way; considering the cultural gap and the preferences of the target audience.
Nowadays, game localization industry uses a lot of tools in translation, so you have to consider developing your skills in this area and get to know all updates about tools used in game translation and master them. In addition, having good search techniques will take your translation to the next level.
Every step of the translation process has its challenges. Thus, you have to prepare yourself to handle and overcome them perfectly. The challenges you may face include:
· Cultures issues: depending on the country the game will be launched in, you will have to edit the translation when needed.
· Lack of context: if your game isn't launched yet, it will be a challenge in front of you when you start translation. Thus, you should raise a flag to your client asking for more details in order to have a clear vision of your characters, who speak to whom, and the in-game items.
· Length restriction: the space of the English language is less than the others, so you have to keep your translation within the length required.
Meeting localization recruiters' requirements
Recruiters are looking for good talent in game localization field. So, you have to develop your talent, passion and be creative and qualified enough to fill the position needed. The most important is your efficiency in the language of the source and how to convey it to your native language in a creative way conceding the cultural gaps and so on. You can express your talent and passion of game in general, and game localization in particular in the relevant websites such as Translatorscafe, Proz, and Linkedin.
Finally, being a gamer, creative, and passionate about games will assist you through your journey to make your own mark in the game localization industry. As well as the cultural knowledge of both source and target languages.
If you have any query about game localization, contact us and our game localization team will be happy to help.