Video Games Require Expert Translations

Video games require expert translations today. That is because they include more text and activities. In addition, each game is geared toward the culture of the user. Therefore, using the services of an expert translator is especially important. All in all, the translation of a video game is different than other kinds of translations.

Video games require expert translations to provide a more immersive experience.

Video games require expert translations to provide a more immersive experience.

Translators Should Understand Game Play

Therefore, translators today must concentrate on the localization and translation of a video game. Not only that, they should be familiar with video game jargon. Otherwise, they will have a difficult time trying to decipher and translate words, such as “mob,”, “run,” and “pull,” as well as the WoW-centric words, such as “drop” or “rez.” At this time, WoW displays a rather broad library of words for a variety of language packs. However, not all games have that kind of language support.

In order to translate games then, you not only have to understand gamer jargon, you have to be knowledgeable about the culture of gamers too. Otherwise, the translation can end up being quite confusing. If you are not familiar with video games then, trying to translate the material can be almost impossible.

Keeping on Top of the Gaming Market

For example, an established vocabulary exists across the languages for such fictionalized creatures as dragons or elves. However, what does a translator do if he runs across a newly developed word? Not only do game writers create new races and creatures, they also develop names for items and equipment – all unique to a series. As a result, you need to keep on top of gaming to make the proper translation decisions for a specific market.


Needless to say, translations can become puzzling, as well, when it comes to localization. In some instances, a translator needs to decide if a literal or more metaphoric use of a word should be introduced into a market. The whole process then can become quite challenging. Plus, localization is where the translation of video games can get interesting. Translators often must come up with names that will work in a variety of niche contexts.

A Tall Order to Fill

Not only that, often, new idioms, fantasy languages, and new words are created by game writers to add more depth to their creative works. For example, J.K. Rowling created a number of idioms which immerse readers and movie-goers into her world of fantasy. One of these phrases is, “I’m so hungry I could eat a hippogriff.” Also, “What’s got your wand in a knot?” is another creative example. So, if you are a translator working on a translation of this type, you have a tall order to fill.

Not only are new languages created for the world of video game fantasy, those same words must be created so they are understood and appreciated by gamers in another culture. That is because games are expected to immerse their players into another time or world. This particular point is important to remember as even a small translation mistake can be rather jarring. As translations are regularly critiqued by gamers, they must be made to exacting standards.

Does the Translation Immerse the Player?

Therefore, when a translation is needed for a specific game, the translator must have a good deal of gaming experience, and must be familiar with the culture for the translation. Otherwise, the translation will fall short of its overall goal, and that is to thoroughly entertain and engage the player.

As a result, the game play experience, which is immersive, must translate its message across borders and languages. Again, translators must not only be experienced with gamer lingo but must also know the various game worlds. By taking this approach, a translation will remain true to the original version of the gaming work.