In video game localization, content and context are two strictly connected elements. In fact, video game’s text would be quite difficult to be translated without all the background information. Lack of context and poor content translation often led to a number of memes spreading through the web, revived in some sequels.
The Importance of Content Translation
Today more than ever, translating video games has its own weight in the global market. Comments on social media about the interactive works that do not get translated underline that for many gamers playing in their own language is a deal-breaker. In our globalized society the linguistic knowledge is often given for granted, which actually is not.
Translating a video game makes it accessible for a broader market and this is why a localization strategy must be decided in the pre-production phase. Translating is not enough: video games often require a culturalization process too. These usually match with transcreation in order to get a coherent outcome in the cultural context of the target country.
Lack of Context Brings Bugs
Among the most common bugs in texts and translations, we find errors induced by lack of context. For example, some characters could be translated with a wrong gender because of the absence of context. Moreover, it is difficult to understand on what kind of text you are working without the right context: newspapers and dialogues could look the same.
Translating characters, places and cultural elements from a source language to a target one is a complex operation that must be taken into account from the start. A deep knowledge on linguistics and culture of the involved countries is necessary.
A correct translation is essential in the video games industry since it contributes to the success of a video game. In fact, the presence of a translation in a certain language can be the gap in a more and more fierce competition. It is up to the publisher to contact the best translators for the video game’s genre it is working on in order to guarantee the quality level.
With GLOS’ video game localization course you will have the opportunty to learn the fundamental phases of video game translation and its planning.