Proper translations make it possible for gamers to better relate to the game they are playing. Translations help based on their culture and locale. It’s something that developers can’t bypass. Correct translations and localization are critical.
A Global Community
Besides video and online games, translation extends to such items as the safety instructions for your car, the keyboard layout for your phone, and the packaging for food. The Bible is also translated in virtually every language in the world.
Proper translations does not apply only to diplomats or bureaucrats. They are instrumental in entertainment as well. Without the proper translation and localization, a game loses its pizazz and appeal. It’s much in the same way a foreign movie loses its notice if it is poorly interpreted.
Localization and Translation Go Hand-in-Hand
When making the proper translations, localization and translation go hand-in-hand. The key is to keep things simple by keeping the graphics and text separate. When developing a video or computer game then, developers create many of the design components with an eye on adopting a game for various international audiences.
Layers in Creating Games
Developers use layers to keep the artwork and text distinct. In this respect, layers in web design reference how a game is programmed and laid out.
For example, a site designer may use CSS to design a site with layers in the form of a framework, graphics, text, and images. This way, the designer can change the language or an image by concentrating on, at most, a couple layers, rather than redesign an entire page.
Using layering is essential then in the use of proper translations and localization. Without focusing on certain components, you won’t be able to satisfy a specific base of customers. Also, you need to make some considerations with respect to space.
For example, some languages, such as Japanese, require less space than words in English, Spanish, or German. The word, “information, for example, only needs two characters in Japanese.
Indeed, a translator needs to be expert in this respect as there can be over 100 ways of saying something in a certain language. However, translators can generally make a practical assessment by comparing the length of a language to English.
For instance, French and German usually need about 20% more space than English while Italian requires about 15% additional space, and Spanish about 25% more space. Arabic also needs about 25% added space. English, as a general rule of thumb, does not need as much space as the aforementioned languages.
As noted, Japanese generally requires a diminutive amount space compared to English as does Chinese. Since the writing systems are completely different, translators must coordinate their efforts with designers.
Dropdown lists, textural elements, and menus can shrink or grow, depending on a particular language. During the design phase then, designers must allow an appropriate amount of space for a translated text, and the translator must be proficient in making sure they know their limitations or restrictions in this respect.
Different Design Styles
Needless to say, culture also plays a major role in how someone in a country perceives a video game. In Japan, for instance, games are more in a linear fashion whereas the games in US and Europe are in a sandbox type style. In addition, the color palette is usually more vibrant for players in Asian countries as they appeal more to the overall aesthetics and cultural experience.
Using the proper translations involves a lot of hard work and detail. Therefore, the translation process entails more than just using the right phraseology. It also means using the right formats and correct numbers, dates, weights, currencies, and measures.
It’s a challenge for developers to cater to all cultural tastes. They can, however, find success if games have proper translation and localization for individual audiences. The important thing to remember is to use human translators and always plan ahead to avoid any last-minute crunches of time. That way, you can ensure, if not guarantee, better and more proper translations.