Localization or Translation?
According to the dictionary, these are the definitions of translating:
1. To turn from one language into another.
2. To change the form, condition, nature, etc, of;
3. To transform; to convert; to interpret.
4. To explain in terms that can be more easily understood.
Thus, it's the act of converting a text or work from one language to another, and the translator needs do be experienced, thorough and focused on the details. Also, there are several dictionaries and tools that can help us translate a piece from one language into another.
However, localization goes beyond those concepts. And what is "Localization", you ask?
Localizing, in addition to translating, involves adapting a project (a game, an application , a website, etc) to the desired target-language. We adjust the contents to a new language considering essential aspects such as habits, customs, culture and beliefs.
It doesn't involve only translating isolated words; instead, it's necessary to analyze the context in which these words are inserted. There are other elements that should always be considered, because the experience with apps and games brings along elements that go beyond the text.
And what happens when a given content is badly translated? Find out:
If a game is not well-localized, it will be received poorly by foreign consumers or the target market. For example, in many latin languages such as Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French, common nouns have genders. As such, your game must anticipate this (and other) characteristics so that it can be localized adequately.
Sometimes a product name has a meaning or sound that is unintended in the target language. For example, IKEA sells a workbench called FARTFULL. In Swedish, this means “Full Speed”; in English, however, the product ended up becoming a joke among consumers. Guess why?
Not convinced yet?
Here are some famous examples of games that suffered from poor localization:
So why localize?
There are several complaints and low ratings by users in apps and games available on Play Store and Apple Store, mentioning the lack of support for their native languages in the products offered for download.
Even with globalization and widespread access to information, several users have restrictions and cultural barriers with foreign languages. That may be due to age, low education, restricted or difficult internet access, among others. All these factors make users delete the game, avoid buying it or not recommend it to their friends – simply because there is a language barrier.
Therefore, if you created a game, an app or a boardgame, you can trust Rook to have it localized appropriately.