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video game localization

Written by Montserrat González

Montserrat is a professional translator who likes to read and write fictional stories. There's nothing she enjoys more than spending time with her friends and family.

April 29, 2022

Localization Errors in Video Games

When requesting a video game localization service, you are expecting that your content will be in the hands of experts, and you trust that the result will help you position yourself in other markets. The question is, how do you know if your video game is well localized? Keep on reading! Today I’ll tell you about the localization errors in video games.

To know more about the video games localization process, I recommend you to read this other article where you’ll also learn some tips for video games translation.

Localization errors might affect your video game negatively, from the player having a bad experience, to wasting money. You MUST take on account which mistakes should be AVOIDED in your video game’s localization.

 

Slangs and idiomatic expressions

Let’s start off with idiomatic expressions. They are informal expressions whose meaning cannot interfere because of the composed words in them. The difficulties in regards to localization of idiomatic expressions is that its translation varies according to the region. Let’s see an example: In English, you say someone is cool when he or she is nice, but in Mexico these people are known as “buena onda”, while in other countries they are known as “buen rollo”. Localization depends on the region of the target players.

On the other hand, if such expressions are translated literally or if they’re not changed correctly, they could bring negative consequences to the player; from being uncomfortable because the translation sounds unnatural, to misunderstanding the game’s story. It is not the same to say “that got out of control!” than “that got out of my hands!”

 

Puns

Puns are a very frequent resource in video games. For this reason, doing a good localization of such can keep the game’s magic. On the other hand, it could lose its ‘spark’.

 

Cultural References

As translators, our main goal is to provide the localization service that you deserve. For this, we considered that many times cultural references should be localized in order to be a good fit for the target audience. Otherwise, if the audience does not understand your references, the clients might not understand a certain part of your video game, which would limit their experience.

 

Getting Dialects Mixed

This is a mistake that is not too noticeable yet it can affect the video game’s quality. Combining words that are only used in United States with those that are exclusively used in England or other English-speaking countries could potentially confuse the players.

 

Number of characters

When developing a video game, the number of characters is crucial in order to keep the harmony on screen during the game. This can turn into a big problem when we consider that English is the localization and the source language, because normally, languages like Spanish or German need more characters to convey the same message. Here is where the translator’s creativity comes in place to reduce the characters and express the whole content within the limit, just like a tweet!

 

Tags

As translators, we use softwares of assisted translation that help us speed up our work and offer the best quality to clients like you. In these softwares, there are formatting tags that (its name says it all) modify the text formatting like the characters in bold and italics. Moreover, there are tags that represent icons or other characters. Therefore, when you leave out these tags, the text will have no format and the icons will not be reflected in the game.

For avoiding these types of errors. it is necessary to perform a quality assurance process through assisted translation softwares, like in quality assurance services. You can read about it in the following section:

 

Quality assurance testings to avoid localization errors.

These video game testings are a great opportunity to analyze thoroughly the errors behind localization. If you don’t perform these testings, you will be compromising the quality in regards to the language, culture, and market in which the game is developed, hence the technical flaws that may arise.

Localization errors in video games could affect the quality and your income. I recommend you to contact professionals in the area who offer what you need in order that your video game achieves success in other markets.

In Traduality Language Solutions we offer professional localization services as well as quality assurance testings for localization. We can help you grow and take your video game to the whole world! Contact us now!

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