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IGDA Localization SIG

IGDA LocSIG Newsletter - July 2016

This month, we have two important announcements to make:

1. The LocJAM3 results have been announced on the official contest page! You will also find them in this email. Congratulations to all the winners!

2. As hinted during the past few weeks, we've been working on a new project and are now ready to make it official. LocJAM will have its first spin-off event: LocJAM Japan!

It will be a Japanese to English translation contest based on the Tyrano Builder visual novel editor.
Thanks to the kind support of its creator MK Shikemoku, we will have a full-fledged localization tool with advanced features from live preview to csv import/export!

We will provide more details about testing and contest dates as soon as we know them. In the meantime enjoy a few screenshots.

And of course, let us know if you have any questions and comments!

LocJAM3 Results


Game Audio Factory

Pro: Julie Henon (play)
It was really hard to choose! Very good translation, not literal. Good phrasing, use of words. Translated "1st floor" by "rez-de-chaussée" and not by "1er étage" like many others.


Amateur: Clémence Alcouffe - Amaury Doaré - Lucas Saïdi (play)
Very good translation, not literal, and not much mistakes. Non-breaking spaces and accented capital letters are here.


Special mention: Laura GOURDIN (play)
Translation of the game title is original. However, there are several mistakes (conjugation, missing accents, too many capital letters, missing non-breaking spaces, etc.).

La Marque Rose

Pro: Jean Nicolet (play)
Very accurate FR translations of both rules and maps, concisely written with special emphasis on readibility for game players and in a fluent style.


Amateur: Claire BOUDET (play)
FR localised versions of rules and maps are accurate, easy to understand for gamers and pleasant to read.



Altagram GmbH

Pro: Dominik Langer (play)
This entry was a blast to read. The style really fit the story and type of game and the instructions were well translated and therefore clear. The participant managed to create some witty translations that would make us smile and even though the text was not easy to work with he/she found some good solutions for the most tricky parts. Though there were still some minor issues, we found this to be our favorite entry in the PRO category.


Amateur: Dominik Hellfritzsch (play)
The style of this translation was overall very clear and fluent, which is important for this kind of manual text. The humorous parts were translated in a creative way and not too close to the English source. Due to the fact that only some minor issues could be found throughout the text, this is our favorite entry.


Special mention: Kai Wommelsdorf (play)
This entry came in as our second best. The translator used a fitting style and tackled most of the not always clear manual instructions in a good and creative way. Since this entry contained more mistakes than our winning one it wouldn't rank first but definitely deserves a special mention.

GlobaLoc GmbH

Pro: Daniel Polhaus (play)
It’s obvious that the translator has not only put a lot of effort into the translation itself but that he or she has also invested a lot of time familiarizing themselves with the source at hand. The rules and mechanics of the game were understood perfectly which resulted in a manual that was easy to read yet linguistically spot-on. Furthermore, the translation contained very few mistakes and the sentence structure was excellent. Overall it has been a pleasure reading it.


Amateur: Kai Wommelsdorf (play)
The translation was comprised of all the essential elements of a good translation: apart from some minor mistakes, there was great clarity of language, all terms were used correctly and appropriately, and the translator wholly and successfully conveyed the original source text into an accurate game manual with great readability.


Special mention: Andreas Huber (play)
In the amateur group, this stood out as a very good translation. Apart from some minor spelling and comma mistakes, the text is fluent, creative, and catchy. However, due do the fact that the formatting of the source text was not respected and that the introduction to the game was missing in the translated manual, this could not be elected as first-place material. However, we encourage the translator to keep up the great work and continue to improve his/her skills. The result is very promising and we would be thrilled to see more work from them in the future.

Native Prime

Pro: Dominik Langer (play)
This was a very good entry. There were almost no issues with spelling (only the choice of hyphenation in a few cases was questionable but still acceptable), and grammar as well as punctuation were also fine. The style was easy to read and fluent, the explanations well and clearly written. A few details could've been better, such as a translation of the title page. The same applies to the image subtitles in the manual and the floor names in the maps. Those details aside, the translator did a really good job :)


Amateur: Gianna Brucksch (play)
It was the one with the least grammar, spelling and punctuation errors, contained mostly correct translation and was good to read.


Special mention: Tabea Keller (play)
In my opinion, this was actually the best entry in the professional category. The translator provided great quality in spelling, grammar and punctuation, followed the recommended Duden spelling, has a very clear and precise style while maintaining creativity, and -- above all -- took care of all the details (title page background translated, image subtitles translated even in the manual etc.). However, while the translator maintained the general page layout, parts of the text layout were changed in such a manner that they were easier to understand and provided a better overview of the mechanics discussed in those paragraphs. Also, the use of a dice image instead of text is a nice touch. Unfortunately, the instructions said "ensure that [...] the original layout is maintained!". Due to this and the fact that, were this a regular job instead of a competition, clients often don't want the original layout to be changed (even if it is an improvement like in this case), I could not choose this entry as the winner (despite the advantages of above layout changes in the manual and the maps!)

Synthesis Deutschland GmbH

Pro: Tanja Braun (play)
Terminology is chosen remarkably well (one of the very few entries to use a word for "decoy" that captures the essence of the thing), captures the feeling of the setting and feels like it was written in the target language. Cover page translated as well (with the help of a text box insert). Reads very fluent and natural. Formatting replicated perfectly.

Amateur: Jacqueline Dörr (play)
Reads fluently, terminology is chosen well, sentence structure feels natural.



Binari Sonori

Pro: Matteo di Franza (play)
- Very nice style, readable and clean.
- A very good job content-wise, no translation errors have been detected.
- The candidate seems to know board game jargon and linguistic conventions very well.
- The candidate adjusted some sections of the manual improving content and layout whenever the source was not 100% clear (see the "snowmobile" section)
- All guidelines and publishing mistakes were taken into account.
- Images were manipulated to include graphic adaptation of the translation. Also, some pictures have been further enhanced (see the "sight cone" one).
- puns have been nicely localized and perfectly fit the context.


Amateur: Giuseppe Nasti (play)
- a nice and smooth translation, almost PRO level. No content mistakes have been flagged and style is pretty much what you would expect from a game manual.
- You can see the candidate tried not to replicate the English syntax, and this is notable since manuals usually have a "schematic" structure that naturally brings you to a 1:1 translation of the text. And this is definitely a PRO approach to translation.
- Common and well-known Italian terminology related to boardgames was correctly used throughout the text.
- Used a brilliant solution to improve a clumsy section in the English text - see the "differenziale di potenza psichica" value.
- Localized the names on counters.


Special mention: Valeria Rontini (play)
Completely revised the structure and layout of contents, actually making the contents more understandable. Translation though could be improved.

Native Prime Italy

Pro: Federica Gaeta (play)
Zero mistakes, fluent and elegant Italian. Bonus points for localizing the graphic elements both in the manual and maps.


Amateur: Martina Ercoli and Matteo Lupetti (play)
Zero mistakes, technically precise, good language skills. Bonus points for localizing the graphic elements both in the manual and maps.


Special mention: Taurino Daniele (play)
It would have been the same level as the winner, if not for a couple minor discrepancies, and the choice to localize everything BUT the game title.


Pro: Federica Gaeta (play)
Nice translation: smooth, clear, precise, coherent. Good graphic work, perfect floors conversion into Italian, and a good solution in changing the room numbers too.


Amateur: Taurino Daniele (play)
Good translation, with an adequate level of coherence. Smooth, clear and creative when necessary. Good graphic work to integrate the translation in a nice way.


Special mention: Valeria Rontini (play)
This entry was very creative in interpreting the text, reworking it for the sake of clarity. The final result is nice to read and extremely easy to understand.



Keywords International

Pro: Mieko Fukushima (play)
Very witty as well as accurate. Almost no mistranslation. English puns that usually do not make sense in Japanese are well handled. The fact that “statue” is translated as 生垣像 (hedge animal) indicates the translator knows the story this game was based upon very well.


Amateur: Ken Miyashita (play)
Very well researched, very few mistranslations.

Pole To Win Co., Ltd.

Pro: Mista (play)
No reason provided


Amateur: Keigo Yonemura (play)
No reason provided



Keywords International

Pro: Gabriel Ninô (play)
The professional who submitted this entry proved to have experience, using game terminology where appropriate, clarifying game mechanics, and improving the text with very interesting translation solutions. Their language skills allowed for a fluid, natural text, more attuned with good communication goals required by the industry.


Amateur: Fernando Junqueira Franco (play)
This entry showed above-average translation quality, very good language skills, insightful solutions, and attention to detail. Despite a possible lack of experience, this amateur applicant exhibited knowledge of game-related terminology in Portuguese and keen awareness to detect/correct problems in the source-text.


Special mention: Luiz Fernando Alves (play)
Although this entry’s translation quality was good overall, this translator provided a very interesting solution to a joke made by the author of the game. They earned this special mention because very few applicants provided good translations to this problem—in fact, most simply ignored it.



Pro: Luiz Fernando Alves (play)
Very high quality delivered, and many well thought translations, gave this one enough edge to stand out from the rest. Not only was all very accurate and polished, it also showed out of the box thinking. Congratulations!


Amateur: César Augusto do Nascimento (play)
Strong overall performance. Good and polished text, many nods to culturalization, especially in names and titles, clear instructions and an exceptional effort in the maps and token sheets. Albeit the presence of some issues, none of them were unexpected at the amateur level. Congratulations!


Special mention: Diogo Teixeira (play)
Another very high quality entry, very well polished, very consistent, that just misses the first place in tiny details, where the winner entry was simply more inspired. Congratulations!


Pro: Bruno Spinosa Tiussi (play)
No grammatical issues whatsoever, consistent and fluid language. They constantly simplified some texts during the translation so as to make the reading easier for the players and the end result is great.


Amateur: Felipe Souza (play)
We could find one typo in Brazilian Portuguese in this entry (a missing accent), but overall the style was great and the contestant seemed so excited about the game that he/she even translated the words in the cover for the game (which ended up looking amazing).


Mentions: Elisa Oliveira Camara (play)
This contestant offered an amazing performance, and the only thing that made us decide against it for the best overall was the fact that the chosen winner pasted the pictures with translated text from the excel file onto the Word document (in page 2), thus achieving an end result where almost every bit of text in the Word document was translated, which would help the players' understanding and improve factors such as consistency the cleanliness of the formatting and design.




Best overall: Gustavo Silva (play)
Not only was a really good effort to localize the full content, including the title, characters, etc, was also the most polished of all candidates, showing real dedication and attention to detail. Congratulations!


Special mention: Sofia Vale (play)
This was the most creative entry and the one with the strongest effort to culturalize the game. However, had many polishing issues (typos, spacings, misspellings), that prevented it from winning.



Janus Worldwide

Pro: Dmitri Sobotsinski (play)
Good quality. Respect to Shining


Amateur: Vadim Zaytsev (play)
Good quality, mistake free translation



Special mention: Julia Miroshnychenko (play)
Nicely reworked cover


Pro: Anastasia Stazhilo-Alekseeva (play)
Incredibly smooth phrasing, at times clarifying what could be confusing with a direct translation, nice term choices. The final choice wasn't easy, but though this translation somewhat lacks wit and has a few loose explanations, it's the best text out there.


Amateur: Marina Davydova (play)
Mostly accurate and mostly well-phrased. The least amount of issues marked, and given this is an amateur translation, very solid job overall.



Special mention: Dmitri Sobotsinski (play)
One of the best-phrased translations, unfortunately corrupted by a couple mistakes. But the author displayed a high level of game-design thought and attention.

Logrus Games

Pro: Olga Melnikova (play)
The work of this participant fulfills the majority of the criteria set forth. The translation in general was creatively competent, the text style was maintained, and the cover and title sheets were translated. Unfortunately, there are punctuation errors, with not always, in our opinion, well chosen vocabulary.


Amateur: Maria Rodionova (play)
The work of the participant meets the maximum number of criteria. The translation in general was creatively competent, the text style was maintained, and the poems' title text was translated. Unfortunately, there were syntax errors.


Special mention: Marina Ilyinykh (play)
A creative approach to translation, artistic translation of the title page, with a good translation of the name of the game. Shortcomings - tsya / tsya, Open locked door / Close the open door.


SPANISH (Europe)


Pro: Judith Bachiller (play)
Localization at its best: from user manual cover to character names, the game was brilliantly adapted to the Spanish culture.


Amateur: Carolina Rodríguez Martín (play)
Solid, accurate translation.


Special mention: Almudena Segura Checa (play)
The wittiest user manual we've read in a while!



Pro: Almudena Segura Checa (play)
We chose this translation because of the style. It's a professional translation that keeps the tone and style of the original. It reads fluently and it was really fun to evaluate.


Amateur: Tomás Costal (play)
We liked the professionalism of the entry, the style of the text and the decisions taken by the candidate.


Special mention: Raquel Castaño Clariana (play)
It was tough to decide between this and the winner. This was also a great entry, but we had to make a decision and the winner had some edge over this entry. Keep up the good work!


Pro: Almudena Segura Checa (play)
It is a very creative translation, but accurate and fluent at the same time. The contestant localized the maps changing the floor numbers, something very few candidates did (kudos!). Good grammar and style too.


Amateur: Carolina Rodríguez Martín (play)
The translation and the structure of the text are clear and there are no spelling mistakes. There were some mistranslations, but overall it was the best candidate!


Special mention: Judith Bachiller (play)
That cover had a lot of work! The phantom names are also very creative. The translation is fluent and sounds natural in Spanish.


SPANISH (Latin America)


Pro: Luciano Di Lorenzo (play)
Instead of a mention, we've got to go for an ex-aequo here. Both entries were solid enough (consistent, accurate and flawless in spelling) to deserve the top spot.


Amateur: Lucio Nicolás Alcaide (play)
Good effort. Even if not error-free, it shows potential.


Special mention: Juan Guillermo Beiner (play)
See above.


Pro: Juan Guillermo Beiner (play)
Excellent translation skills and overall style. Everything was perfectly clear, easy to read and free from grammar or spelling mistakes. Awesome job!


Amateur: Lucio Nicolás Alcaide (play)
Although it contains very few spelling and grammar mistakes, these were minor. The translation is quite clear and it has a very good style. This was not an easy task, especially for an amateur translator and this participant did a very good job. Well done!


Special mention: Andrés Sotelo Soria (play)
This entry contains a few inconsistencies and minor spelling issues, but this participant did an excellent job. The quality of the translation is quite good and even has a sense of humor. Keep up the good work!



Link Roundup
- (Almost) Made in Brazil: Going Mobile & Embracing Fully-Localized Code for Each New Territory

- Interview with Zero Time Dilemma Translator, Andy Chiang

- Interview with Former Square Enix Translator Tom Slattery

- Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Developers On Adapting To The West And Its Localization

- Game Localization Bibliography

- Ace Attorney's Creators Talk the New Title and Localization

- Image: "Here's how much text was in a game I localized back in the day with a small army of others... It was Dragon Quest VII."

- Fun fact: Capcom had to find a clever way to hide the number 7 both inside "Biohazard" and its western title "Resident Evil"

- The Exciting Ups And Painful Downs Of Game Localization

- XSEED Localization General Blog #1

- Video Game Translators Are on Your Side, So Stop Hating on Them

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