The International Game Developers Association (IDGA), the largest global association, brought together more than ten thousand members for the next localization contest held by a group of localization experts (Localization Special Interest Group - LOCSIG) in spring 2017. The results of the contest were published recently. Teams and individual participants translated a short opensource game, created for the contest and never published before, from English into Arabic, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Logrus Global specialists, who were among the jurors this year, studied the translations thoroughly.
The jurors strictly evaluated the skill level of the candidates: they took note not only of such obvious criteria as misprints, compliance with the rules of punctuation and spelling, but also immersion into details, compliance with the features of genre, tone and style, understanding of the peculiarities of gameplay, and player psychology.
The main challenge for localizers this year was to correctly capture the nuances of style used by the characters. A mixture of old English words, colloquialisms and deliberate errors of the source text turned the localization process into a quest, and as a result most of the participants missed at least one of these elements. While such words as "thy" and "thou" were mostly translated correctly, the intentional illiteracy of the main character in his diary went almost unnoticed. Such gems as "arch guy" translated as "super guy" will make the jurors smile for a long time.
Of course, nobody managed to completely avoid errors and even the winners' work had minor punctuation inconsistencies or incorrect translation, which although not really affecting the main idea, still interferes with true pleasure from the game.
However, the winners encouraged us with their creative approach. They managed not only to transfer the whole range subtleties of meaning, but also to maintain the style and humor of the game. Excellent native language mastery and understanding of all nuances of a foreign language distinguish them from other competitors, and the abundance of details leaves you with the feeling they visited the 6th century themselves.
Overall, we enjoyed the process. We had an opportunity to see how fans were transformed into professionals, while the game localization process became a true art form.
Follow the news and don't miss the next round of the contest next year! Remember, you can participate for free from anywhere in the world!