Localization of games

Localization of computer games is a wonderful opportunity to conquer new markers. But to justify the expenses involved, gamers all over the world should not feel that your game is a localized product, they should regard it as an original one.

The modern computer game is a complex product which combines various types of textual, graphic and audiovisual information, each one of which requires localization. Thus, the localization process is considerably more complicated than written translation, and combines localizing software and dubbing audio films.

There are several levels of depth of game localization:

  • paper-based localization (box, user manual, advertising materials etc.)
  • economic localization (the entire text contained in the game is translated – interface, hints, subtitles, descriptions etc.)
  • in-depth localization (game is dubbed)
  • additional localization (graphic objects are localized)
  • deep localization (scenario is adapted for a specific country)

The depth of localization is determined by the specific nature of the project, the project budget and other factors.

The first, compulsory stage is preparing a localization package (which is impossible without the developer’s involvement), including a file with translated text, a list of sound files requiring dubbing, and also tracks and textual messages displayed on screen in the game etc.

Despite the apparent simplicity of the texts, the translation must be made by professionals specializing in computer games. Otherwise there will almost inevitably be errors that will require serious editing, in some cases even repeat translation. For example, if the length of a translated text is considerably longer than the original, it may not fit on the original button, inside the window or the field assigned for it; the text for dubbing should be translated taking into account the length of the original phrase, and when dubbing, lip syncing should be used; if the translation is made in isolation from the context, errors in meaning may arise.

Our team carries out full localization of computer games, including:

  • Subtitles, dubbing dialogues and screenplays (in written form in bilingual tables, tables synchronized with video and animation, spoken text in written form);
  • Rerecording (in conversational form, in the form of sound files)
  • Translation of game manuals (translations of hardware and software requirement, legal information, game instructions, technical texts);
  • Translation of packaging (advertising texts, legal requirements for trademarks, technical information);
  • Translation of ReadMe files;
  • Translation and localization of websites (full translation of texts, banners etc.);
  • Translation of the user interface.

The Association of Professional Translators has experience of translating and localizing different types of games (arcade, shooter, online-games etc.).

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