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What not to do in Gaming Localization. Part II

This is the second part of our tips and tricks regarding content localization and fails you should definitely be avoiding

Although the feature is directed at gaming localization, we find that the advice shared is universal and can be applied to different industries. So let’s not waste any time and get right into it:

Use HTML

Via Giphy.com

Sorry guys, but we live in a digital world where HTML is a must, even for translators and especially if you work with gaming or other digital products. Don’t worry, we are not saying you have to become a programming language expert, yet some HTML markup will make your work exponentially easier.

And speaking of easy, HTML is simple. You might find it handy when a client comes in with a fast job and you need a quick fix. Your effort will not go unnoticed!

So if by now you are wondering where to learn this programming language super fast, do a quick google search and you’ll find countless free HTML courses!

Transcreate!

Via Giphy.com

Not everything is 100% translatable. Different languages have different meanings and cultural codifications. So even if your employer might be perplexed by your loose choice of translation, stick to your guns and transcreate. Transcre-what?

Transcreate! It means not getting hung up on a specific word but rather chasing the context or meaning hidden.

It’s a very powerful tool and in the age of AI-powered machine translation, maybe the only one which makes a difference between man and machine. So use it!

Deleting placeholders!

Via Giphy.com

Placeholders are small pieces of code which eventually get replaced by the text in the later programming steps. If you do by any chance translate them in your app or game, it will lead to certain catastrophe.

Some translators forget about this rule, especially when dealing with complex languages due to the different grammatical cases of these languages. Example: German has four different cases. Usually, you have to build placeholder values for apps in Nominative. Sooo,… yeah! Do not meddle with them. :)

Not defining “you”

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Personal pronouns are problematic when translating from English into another language. It may also be quite difficult to be clear on who is addressed in the app or game. Meaning: is the app/game referring to a group of people or a single person?

Not avoiding concatenated sentences

Via Giphy.com

Try to avoid using concatenated sentences as a programmer when writing your app/game code and have an idea of the languages you want your product localized into. If you choose to include serial sentencing, prepare for some unexpected surprises that might end up requiring changes to the code.

By using this method, you run the risk of slowing your translator down exponentially. You are basically tying the hands of your translator which will result in fewer linguistic choices.

And because no article is ever complete without a wee bit of fun, here are some gaming localization fails.

Via Giphy.com

1. Fatal Fury Special

2. Ghostbusters

3. Metal Gear Solid

Do you have your own game localization tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

About Beluga

Beluga helps fast-moving companies to translate their digital contents. With more than a decade of experience, professional linguists in all major markets and the latest translation technology at use, Beluga is a stable partner of many of the most thriving enterprises in the technology sector. The business goal: To help fast-growing companies offer their international audiences an excellent and engaging user experience.