The Challenges of Translating Video Games.

Video games are an incredibly popular form of entertainment worldwide. The best part of video games is that you can play them without going out. Initially, people used to go to cafes to play video games.

Thanks to the proliferation of the internet that made access to games everywhere.

The purpose of entertainment is fulfilled when the video game is available in a language that the audience understands.

Therefore, game developers that want to reach a wider audience must take assistance from video game translation. With the games in their mother tongue, the gamers get immersed in the game and enjoy playing it.

The Challenges of Translating Video Games.

The translation of video games is not a piece of cake. It comes with its unique sets of challenges and complexities that are not included in other kinds of entertainment.

Video game translation requires a deep understanding of both the source and target languages along with cultural and regional intricacies. Let’s dive into some of them.

Large Volume of Content. 

One of the main challenges of video game translation is the sheer volume of text involved. Modern video games contain a large amount of text in dialogue, descriptions, and menus.

This makes it a daunting task for translators to accurately and efficiently translate all of the text while remaining true to the theme of the game.

Cultural Differences.

The other biggest challenge of translating video games is the cultural differences between different countries.

For example, what is acceptable in one culture can not be acceptable in another. This means that translators must be aware of these cultural differences and ensure that the game is adapted accordingly. Here comes the need for game localization.

For instance, if you need to localize the game for China, you should know that in China, content containing blood, weapons, and politics is forbidden.

Game Mechanics.

Video games often use specialized terminology and slang that may not have direct translations in other languages. Moreover, some games have multiple endings or storylines.

Therefore, it becomes difficult to ensure consistency in the translations of the game. For this reason, the translators work closely with developers so that translations are done seamlessly to provide a pleasant gaming experience.

Synchronizing the Text with Audio.

Synchronizing text with audio and visual elements of the game is another challenge. It includes not only the translation of the content but also the matching of the content with the on-screen actions.

Moreover, it also includes the lip movements of the character. Sometimes, it requires phrases that should fit according to the timing of the game. Here the video translation company can be of great help.

Contraction and Expansion of the Languages.

Some languages expand after translation and some languages contract. For example, Spanish and French languages expand by 20-25% after the translation and Spanish language expand up to 35%.On the contrary

Spanish or French can result in 20-25% expansion, while German may expand as much as 35%. On the other hand, Chinese, Korean, or Japanese languages contract.

The translator should be very careful in accommodating the translated content in the game because expansion and contraction of the content can affect the user interface.

Time Constraints.

Usually, video games are released in foreign markets with a strict schedule. Therefore, translators have to work within tight deadlines.

It becomes difficult when the volume of the content in the game is large. To manage time in the game translation, the developers need to work with the translation team.

Handling The Placeholders.

Do you know that placeholders are small pieces of code? They are replaced by text later on. They look like %1$@, %s. However, they are also present in capitalized words.

You don’t need to translate them. If you translate them then you will face bugs in the game. Video translation companies know the things that need translation in the games.

Coding Challenges.

In this challenge, different ways are used to include translated content into the game. This process is wrong. For this, you need to build variables that can help the developers to get the language files.

Moreover, you should include language settings so that new languages are added in the future without interfering with the core of the game.

Wrapping Up.

Translation of video games is a very difficult task. However, if you hire a professional translation agency then you can overcome these challenges like the translation of large volumes of content on time, cultural differences, game mechanics, and synchronizing of the content.

In addition, you are also able to handle text expansion and contraction, handling the placeholder and codes. If these challenges are taken care of on time then game developers can release the game in foreign markets before their competitors.

Understanding these challenges is important before tapping into any foreign market so that you can handle the challenge there and then.

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