It may not be obvious, but video game localization has become a key factor in developing and commercializing games. Not only do they have an increasing complexity in the amount of content, but we must also take into account the large number of mobile games that are launched into the market non-stop.
Translators who are dedicated to video game localization must have increasingly versatile skills. For example, texts on the screen vary from simple texts in contextual menus (such as “save” or “options”) to extensive lines of dialogue to be subtitled, which requires the translator to be familiar with all subtitling rules. Also, when the game includes dubbing, you will also have to take lip sync into account.
Knowing the framework where texts appear in the game is essential, so one of the most useful recommendations to get to know the content to the fullest is: play. Having a visual complement to know the character, the scenario or the situation can be of great help. You don’t have to be a hardcore player, but you do need to understand the context of each section to be translated. Many times we will see texts surrounded only by codes, and we cannot know if that code refers to a feminine, masculine, plural, or singular noun, for example.
In addition, knowing the context of the game, the translation will always be more truthful. We must be aware if it’s a sequel, if it’s based on a movie or a comic, or if it’s a spin-off. Many franchises use a certain terminology that we will have to know in order to localize all the content correctly.
Although it does not seem necessary to mention it, it is an important point: mastering English perfectly as a working language. The vast majority of the games to be translated will be in English. And, if they come from Eastern countries such as China or Japan, they are almost always localized in English first and then into the rest of the languages.
Localizing video games is one of the corners within the world of translation that has grown the most in recent years. Trusted Translations can help you with any localization you need, including applications and video games.