Localization: useful tips and technics.

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by jcottier, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, I've just wrote a guest blog post for the Amazon Developer Blog about localization techs. It should be very useful if you want to start localizing your apps but have little idea where to start.

    JC
     
  2. Mister Builder

    Mister Builder New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you mean techniques, not technics, to help localize your post into English =P.
     
  3. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    LOL, I'm talking about localization, not proofreading ;)

    JC
     
  4. Mister Builder

    Mister Builder New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    I consider them really to be one and the same process, just different steps within it. If you're going to localize your game, and then leave it without proofreading from a native or skilled speaker of that language, then you're simply skipping an important step possibly for time saving? Lol
     
  5. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    Off course, I was just joking... It was just funny that I made such a big spelling mistake. Now is there a moderator that can fix my title? :)

    JC
     
  6. Nutter2000

    Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    993
    Likes Received:
    3
    Maybe you should leave it as it is and claim it's an ironic statement :D

    Checking out the blog post now :)

    Edit: Nice post well done, you've covered the basics :)

    Surprised you didn't mention the 30% gap rule of thumb when using images (unless I missed it)
    i.e. make sure there's 30% extra space in the image when creating the english version to cover expansion when translating to other languages.

    Heh, funnily enough I recently used google translate to translate description text for an ios game :D
    It's actually got better in recent years but I agree it's still a poor substitute.
    Surprisingly the game got amount of good downloads from those countries despite the bad translation and the game itself being in english!
     
    #6 Nutter2000, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  7. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess it's ok to use it when doing some test, like checking the German length, but I didn't want to mention it, because I really don't want people to use it in their final build, it is that bad.

    As far as text images, I am really trying to keep that to a minimum, and if it is inside a button, then I don't do it at all (as I prefer to gain dev speed other quality) and use my main text display instead.
    Also, you can have dynamic scale-able button, witch kind of solve everything but you are limited to a certain type of design for such buttons.

    JC
     
  8. Nutter2000

    Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    993
    Likes Received:
    3
    Yeah, using a decent translator is definitely preferable :)
    I only used translate to keep the costs down on a low cost reskin and I wanted to test how much difference it made with a localised description.
    For what it's worth, I'm a big fan of getting things localised properly to reach as many people as possible but even I was surprised how much difference that made compared to previous game that was english only.

    re: text images.
    I totally agree, they're a pain and to be avoided where possible.
    Unfortunately, sometimes you can't get the effect you want with a standard font so it's a trade off between the time required to code it to getting it looking right with text fonts and just getting it done with images.

    Yeah, dynamically scalable buttons have a habit of coming back to bite you I've found.
    You can find your buttons and labels start overlapping in certainly languages if you're not careful.
    So like you say they work for certain restricted gui designs but not all.
    Alternatively, you still use the 30% rule but put that space around your gui elements instead of inside them.

    Great article though :)
     
  9. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    > Great article though :)
    Thanks :)

    >to keep the costs down
    Don't hesitate to ask your community, most of the people will do it for free if you put their name in the credits (and as long as it doesn't take ages to translate).

    JC
     
  10. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,739
    Likes Received:
    80
    Do you guys have any sales stats for translated versions vs their English counterparts? I'm just curious if it is worth the extra work or not?
     
  11. Nutter2000

    Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    993
    Likes Received:
    3
    Normally I'd agree with you.

    Ferion, for example, is largely community translated.
    Community translation is a wonderful thing to have but it often takes time because people are doing it in their spare time, and you do have to double check that they haven't added a swear word or two for fun :)

    I simply made the decision for this app to go with GTranslate to save time and money as it isn't a great app really just a very cheap one which made it a purely business decision.

    It's not something I'd recommend for better quality apps or doing as a habit but I am, I think, experienced enough to know when you can risk getting away with such short cuts.
    At the end of the day, it's just my opinion after all and my loss if it backfires :)


    Heh, of course, sometimes the official translators get things wrong too.
    Years ago, I was working for a company on a football management cd-rom game.
    We sent off the text to be translated by a highly rated localisation company in Russia but when we got it back someone at the publisher noticed that in the German text, instead of the word for football "squad" they'd actually translated it as the colloquial word for Nazi death squad!
    Not something you want in your aged 8+ football game! :D
     
  12. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,385
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, I don't have any stats. But I know that localized version have open me many more distribution channels/partners for my games. So, all these incomes won't be here if I had only English.
    Anyway, people prefer to read in their own language. Will you consider using apps in French? Probably not :)

    JC
     
  13. Nutter2000

    Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    993
    Likes Received:
    3
    It's very hard to show a scientific like for like because of differences in app styles / categories / release timings / low number of downloads and the low number of apps I have coupled with the varying distribution of the iPhone around the world.

    However, the IOS app I was discussing with the G translated description compared to the app I was comparing it to (released Dec 2013).
    (Full disclosure: the title was properly translated but the Google translation was identical anyway).
    Translations were: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil), Chinese (Simplified), Japanese and Russian

    Just counting the top 10 country downloads: 40.9% of downloads were from non-English speaking countries while 39.1% were from English speaking.
    Of those Russia was top non-English with 11% followed by Mexico (8.9%), France (8.1%), China (4.3%), Saudi Arabia (3.2%), Germany (2.7%), Italy (2.7%)


    The previous English only app (released May 2013):
    Just counting the top 10 country downloads: 9.9% of downloads were from non-English speaking countries while 76.1% came from English speaking
    Of those, Russia was top non-English with 2.5%, France (2.3%), China (1.9%), Brazil (1.2%), Italy (1.1%) and Germany (0.9%)


    So, while there are a lot of things that could affect those stats, in my opinion that shows a trend and absolutely validates getting it translated even thought it was only a poor meta-description job and not the app itself.

    Edit: It's also worth pointing out that the two apps have roughly the same number of unique users despite the translated version only being released 26th December

    Edit: Edit: YMMV etc ;-)
     
    #13 Nutter2000, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer