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jcottier
11-03-2007, 02:21 PM
Hello,

I am about to release my new game and I am wondering something. My text is in English (British English). And I want to make it proper American English ;-)

For example I have words like colour and unhip. If you are American and read these words, what do you think? Do you understand them or do you think I am stupid and can't spell?

I would like to hear from American people, I don't care about the British 8) (I know what they think already).

thanks

JC

Maupin
11-03-2007, 03:02 PM
Most Americans won't have a problem with British spellings. I think only a braindead American wouldn't know what "colour" meant. Or think you misspelled it. And I didn't know "unhip" was particularly British... unless I'm braindead and it means something besides "not hip."

Does your game have a lot of text? The only words I would worry too much about are ones with completely different spellings. truck/lorry soccer/football eraser/rubber (that last pair might get one into trouble ;) etc. Those might confuse younger players.

However, depending on the audience and genre, a Brit feel might give a game more charm. If the game specifically takes place in the UK, for example, then the British English is a big plus. If it's just a simple puzzle game with little text, then it probably doesn't matter either way...

jcottier
11-03-2007, 03:13 PM
The game (time management) is taking place in the USA and France at the end. There is a fair amount of text and it was proofread by a british friend of mine. The story is more "complex" and important than in most casual games. We have a lot of French references but British ones would be out of place in the story.

When I check spell with "english us", only colour and unhip seems to be a problem.

JC

Coyote
11-03-2007, 05:33 PM
Anyone who is semi-literate (and if your game has text, I guess you are assuming that) here in the U.S. will have no problem. I'm pretty used to seeing color spelled both ways. And "unhip" ought to be in American English!

papillon
11-03-2007, 06:10 PM
There are many little things that can confuse people, but they'll generally get over it. A minor confusion beats some of the mangled non-native english that sometimes shows up... :)

If it's a quiz game or a word game where the precision of language is very important, then worry about it, otherwise, nah.

The british word that my brain keeps insisting is wrong is 'storey' when talking about houses.

gary_ash
11-03-2007, 06:11 PM
As Maupin most American's know enough to recognize things like color vs colour. Concern yourself with words that have different meanings in the US. Although I know that the rest of the world refers to soccer as football it didn't register in my mind once while playing an old point and click adventure. If you do decide to have it localized be very careful of things like that.
I wouldn't bother with a translation, differences in spellings don't bother me but it if you do mess up common american phrases you'll look bad. I wouldn't call it stupid just sloppy. If people see colour and so forth they wont expect perfect slang use color and other american spellings and people will have different expectations.

gb

ninesquirrels
11-03-2007, 08:29 PM
You know - this became an issue once on a concept art request I made when I was working at a studio in Scotland. I wanted a big brawny hunter, with a shotgun, and flannel shirt, and thos big straps that you wear over your shoulders to hold up your pants. In the states, those are referred to as suspenders - so I asked for "a hunter wearing a flannel shirt and suspenders"

Apparently in the UK, "suspenders" are used to hold up a ladies stockings. I got back an image of a big hairy hunter in a flannel shirt holding a shotgun, and wearing fishnet hose. I still have that image around here somewhere... :)

But no - don't stress on your British English - nobody in the states is going to care enough to make it worth changing - you won't lose sales over it.

jcottier
11-04-2007, 01:43 AM
Cool! Thank you all for your post.

I guess, when English is not your first language, it is another thing to worry about during game development.

thanks

JC

Desktop Gaming
11-04-2007, 02:14 AM
You know - this became an issue once on a concept art request I made when I was working at a studio in Scotland. I wanted a big brawny hunter, with a shotgun, and flannel shirt, and thos big straps that you wear over your shoulders to hold up your pants. In the states, those are referred to as suspenders - so I asked for "a hunter wearing a flannel shirt and suspenders"

Apparently in the UK, "suspenders" are used to hold up a ladies stockings. I got back an image of a big hairy hunter in a flannel shirt holding a shotgun, and wearing fishnet hose. I still have that image around here somewhere... :)

But no - don't stress on your British English - nobody in the states is going to care enough to make it worth changing - you won't lose sales over it.

*kicks ninesquirrels in the fanny*

:D

Mikademus
11-04-2007, 02:43 AM
I want to make it proper American English
Just to stir up some commotion, as a halt-Briton, I'd like to point out that there is no such thing as "American English", much less "proper American English" :D

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/blrevocation3a.htm

Staton_Richardson
11-04-2007, 04:32 AM
I use the "colour" spelling and I'm a US American. I don't think anyone would
have a problem with spelling differences it's the coloquialism that would
cause a problem. Like that scene from the IT Crownd where the Irish guy
says responds to the a question about liking crack with "Yes I love crack"

for US Americans. crack = joke

bard
11-04-2007, 06:53 AM
Nah, no worries. English is English. :-) Besides, it seems like the most awkward problems arise going from AE to BE. In the U.S. we have SLIGHTLY different meanings for words such as pants and fanny. :eek:

Jamie W
11-04-2007, 08:12 AM
Apparently in the UK, "suspenders" are used to hold up a ladies stockings. I got back an image of a big hairy hunter in a flannel shirt holding a shotgun, and wearing fishnet hose. I still have that image around here somewhere... :)

Bizzare! Can we see it? (willing to pay)

Spore Man
11-04-2007, 12:05 PM
If it looks like a mispelling, then that erodes your appearance of "professionalism" to the customer, no?

More importantly, avoid using sayings like "punters", "twat", and other Brittish sayings. They make no sense or are much more offensive to americans.

cliffski
11-04-2007, 12:57 PM
Nah, no worries. English is English. :-) Besides, it seems like the most awkward problems arise going from AE to BE. In the U.S. we have SLIGHTLY different meanings for words such as pants and fanny. :eek:

while we are on the topic, the word spunk means something different in the UK...

Coyote
11-04-2007, 03:09 PM
Okay, now I wonder what "spunk" means in Britain.

I know using the term "stuffed" means something TOTALLY different in the U.S. versus the U.K. (or Australia). Here in the U.S., it's something one might say after having a large dinner...

princec
11-05-2007, 12:46 AM
It's all about context ;)

Anyway - I'd never translate my games into American. They're British games!

Cas :)

cliffski
11-05-2007, 01:56 AM
Okay, now I wonder what "spunk" means in Britain.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spunk
third from the top.

leads to allsorts of s******ing.

Cartman
11-05-2007, 08:38 AM
My two cents(or pence). :)

Personally I like everything British. Any game that comes from Europe has gotten my attention since the Amiga days. However, when I see "colour" it does make me pause. I can't explain why but it always has. And I immediately know it was made outside of the states. I don't know if it affects my decision to buy or not, but it does make me pause.

As others have suggested, the American audience does get offended easily so I would stay away from British slang terms and outdated American slang terms.

Reactor
11-13-2007, 12:48 AM
LOL ninesquirrels... great story ;)

Mikademus
11-13-2007, 09:34 AM
Personally I like everything British.
Well, I too come down on the British side of the Pond, however, in a game set in America I do think that the American "spelling" is suitable, but I say that Canadian and Australian spelling is correct for those locales too. That said, I love "Jenne D'Arc" for my PlayStation Portable, but that game was translated from Japanese by an American company. In it, the text of the French characters is spelled with a (phoney) French accent, but the British text is spelled the American way, and it is just plain wrong Wrong WRONG and annoys me no ends! Do localise, but localise sensibly and PROPERLY!