Why Translation and Localization For Video Game Development Matters

Nov 7, 2018

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Video games are all about immersion. You can have the most compelling story line, beautifully rendered graphics, and well-crafted characters - but all that authenticity can easily fall apart once the game is exported internationally. Here are three reasons properly translating and localizing for each new audience can help:

1. True translation is about more than just word-for-word

Anyone attempting to translate a message into another language by looking each word up in a non-English dictionary will quickly realize that the outcome is an indecipherable mess. Every language has its own grammatical conventions, sentence structure, and idioms and expressions, and these factors make simple word-for-word translation a nonstarter. Even results generated by automated Machine Translation solutions like Google Translate, which do attempt to learn and adhere to the conventions of various languages, tend to fall short of human-level accuracy and readability.

Relying instead on qualified, professional translators like the ones provided by Voiance helps ensure that the dialogue and story line your team has worked so hard to develop can be enjoyed in non-English speaking markets.

2. Localizing for cultural competency matters as much as linguistic accuracy

Converting your game convincingly for non-English cultures requires more than just finding the right words. Different cultures practice different norms, customs, and mores which may be unfamiliar to an outsider, but which they may find jarring or disruptive if violated in-game. Even elements like jokes or popular idioms may need to be reviewed to determine whether the markets targeted will understand them.

That’s where localization comes in, providing guidance on how to adapt the game for each new audience in such a way that cultural differences don’t disrupt the players’ experience.

3. Translation and localization apply to more than just the game itself

Making sure a game plays well in every culture to whom it’s marketed is a critical first step. Companies will likely want to supplement those efforts with translation and localization of additional components like:

- Support materials (packaging, manuals, user guides, etc.)

- Website translation and localization for the game’s website (if applicable)

- Promotional materials, including press releases, online ads, and promotional emails

Having these materials translated and localized for each new market improves the likelihood that your now-playable game will garner the attention it needs to be a success.

Want to learn more about professional translation and localization services at affordable rates? Contact Voiance consultant Alejandro Sanchez de Los Reyes today:

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Topics: Translation, localization, Video Game Industry, Translation and Localization

Written by Graham Newnum

Digital Marketing Specialist experienced in researching and writing about language access-related topics for healthcare, business, and government.
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