What is Video Game Localization?

The process of converting and adaptinga video game’s content to another language and culture is  called video game localization. This includes the conversion, bot linguistic and formal, of game text, art assets and audio transcripts.

Since video games are a means of entertainment, we need to consider that the content is translated accurately in a way that not only conveys the right meaning but also has the intended function of the frame or the context of the game. If the translations are incorrect or incongruent with the purport and context of the game, the experience of the game will be defeated.

Localization of video games have two aspects: internationalization and specification. Whereas the former tries to introduce common factors so as to make the game globally accessible, the latter focuses on narrowing the scope of the game to a specific linguistic and cultural group. In either case the goal is to enhance the scope of sales of the video game.

Considering the global outreach through the internet, video game developers are now introducing localization earlier into their development cycle rather than post production of the first original version.

Video Game Localization Steps

The process involved in translating video games includes:

  1. identifying the translatable and localizable content;
  2. define a methodology for the translation process;
  3. organise a team of linguists, editors and testers;
  4. separate the translatable content;
  5. translate the content;
  6. check, review and improve the translation;
  7. export the translated text to the gaming platform;
  8. test the localised content, reporting errors and finally
  9. correcting and finalising the localization.

There is a clear distinction between translation and localization. Whereas translation is the conversion of linguistic components into the target language, localization refers to the adaptation of many other aspects of the game, such as date and time format, direction of text (right to left or left to right), functional meanings of the words used, all of which impact the translation as well as the structure and form of the game and the manner in which it is presented or in which the game and its features unfold in time.

Video game localization must consider  legal and cultural injunctions and must align the language and content of the games with the socio-cultural mores of the target country, culture and audience.

Word Part International are a leading translation service provider in India with adequate expertise in the matters discussed and outlined above.

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