Localizing Video Games Encourages Globalizaton
Localizing video games serves to bridge cultural differences. This type of connection is important for the globalization of games. To better understand their uses, translation and localization should be defined.
Translation is a process where a source language is changed into a target language. Words are substituted in one language for the same types of words in another language.
Localization adapts the content of a video game so it can be used locally. Therefore, localization extends beyond translation to modify certain elemetns. This is done so a game appeals to a market’s culture. For example, you normally greet someone with “Hola” in Spanish-speaking countries. However, you may issue a friendly “Hi,” “Hello,” or “Hey!” in English-speaking locales.
Making the Necessary Adaptations
In order to stay competitive in the global video market then, you need to adapt the content to the target audience. Therefore, localizing video games ensures that translated copy is adjusted correctly. Using localization enables translators to meet an end-user’s expectations.
Therefore, cultural content, when localized, means more than the adaptation of words or phrases. You also need to regard colors. Consider how shapes, sizes, and styles are used. Images, graphics, and icons should be reviewed as well as societal values and social codes. For example, red is a good-luck color in China. However, in the Middle East, the color symbolizes danger or evil.
In addition, you have to consider functional information when localizing video games. For example date and time formats may be different as well as geo references, weights, and measurements.
While website translations serve to bridge the barriers of language, localization refines the content. If you keep this in mind, translations are easier to manage.
The whole idea is to plan a video so that can be adapted globally. In order to make localization effective then, you need to outline a strategy. Make sure the game is global-ready.
Do Not Treat Localization as an Additional Activity
Unfortunately, a lack of planning can make games translation painful. Therefore, do not treat localization as an afterthought. You are not merely translating copy. Instead, you are creating a customized game.
Localization is an activity that is part of an adaptation strategy. Therefore, catering to the preferences of your audience will get your game recognized. That is because games are shaped by the culture in which they are played. A language service provider (LSP) takes this into account in order to boost game use. Once a game’s content is localized then, you only need to make updates. This simplifies the localization process.
The languages you choose for localization depend on your video game. Copy that translates and localizes well is comprised of shorter sentences, or contains a maximum of 15 words. An active voice should be used too. Unfortunately, the use of humor, which is often used in video games, is hard to translate.
In addition, English phrasal verbs tend to be a problem. For instance, use the word “met” instead of “ran into.” Make sure sufficient room is left for the expansion of text. The LSP company you work with should provide up to a 35% expansion from English into another language. Also, if you are translating in Asian, the complexity of the strokes often requires slight increases in font size.
In order to translate copy and support localization then, you need to plan. Again, localization should never be employed after a translation. Instead, it should be a part of the planning process. To make the activity easier, you need to simplify game content. In fact, simplification is the key to refining a video game. Use the process of localization to assist you in this respect.
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Video Game Soundtracks