How Do You Become A Game Translator?

Thinking of becoming a game translator? Video Game Translation >> can be a very demanding field, so here are some key factors to keep in mind!

A Game Translator’s Task

First things first. What does a game translator actually do? A game translator adapts a game’s dialogues, characters, story, and every little part of the game’s world, into a different language. this can also include marketing content, packaging content, and in-store descriptions.

To use the word translation is somewhat misleading, because there is so much more that this job involves. More than just translating the content, the content will need to be adapted to local audiences and be culturally and technically savvy as well.

A Game Translator’s Skillset

1. Be an in-country native. 

To translate into a certain language, you will need to be native in the target language and possess native fluency of the source language. On top of that, you will need to reside in the target area and be native in any dialects the translation might require. Living in the target area is expected because you will need to keep local sensitivities and trends in mind next to language and dialect.

2. Have a passion for and extensive knowledge of games

Next to language, many Language Service Providers (LSP) and also clients, will expect you to be passionate about and have extensive knowledge of the gaming industry. In fact, having preference and being passionate a certain kind of game would be even better if you want to develop a specialty.

3. Have a methodology that works

If you work for an LSP, a lot of reference material will be provided to you. They will request glossaries, style guides, and other reference materials for you to provide context for the game you are translating. If you are working independently, however, you will need to develop this methodology on your own and make sure you have all the materials you need in order to perform a successful translation. After all, you wouldn’t want to go back and forth too much because of mistranslations based on contextual confusion, right?

Next to that, you will need to decide if you will be working with a Translation CAT Tool. Again, this comes ready with an LSP where they will often have a too integrated into their Translation Management System (TMS). Make sure you know how to work with these tools. Not only will it help you with more accurate translations, you will also be able to work more successfully in preventing Text Expansion errors and leverage the Translation Memory that saves you time, and the client money.

4. Be creative

Games are often a sequence of stories, so translating them will require a certain level of creativity. Your translation will need to connect with the audience in an authentic way that makes the gameplay feel natural and engaging. This will require a level of creative translating and a gift for storytelling in the target language.

5. Be a team player and stay available

This is especially important when you are hired by an LSP to join a team of other translators, editors, proofreaders, Project Managers, and Localization Engineers. You will need to be available to answer messages, queries about your translations, and utilize the term base and CAT Tool effectively. You will be expected to contribute and offer help and support yourself when you can. Since this is often happens within a TMS, it is also paramount that you know how to function in a remote and multicultural team.

Learn More!

Read all about text expansion errors and how you can prevent them

>> Check out our guide on Game Localization for the Arabic language

>>Discover how you can break into the Turkish market with your game

>Learn why you should localize your game for the MENA region

>>Read about the best practices when localizing a 3D Unity game >>

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