How do you enter the video games translation domain?
Thread poster: Pedro Castro

Pedro Castro  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
Apr 21, 2015

Hi! I hope you are well. I've seen may job postings on video game translation. They all require previous experience in this domain so, how do you even get experience if you don't get the chance to enter a project? The way I see it, even if you get the chance to get qualifications from a course/degree, you still have to be experienced, right?

What do you do? Do you volunteer for an indie/low budget/no budget project?

Thank you and good day to everyone.


Regards,

Pedro


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Tomasz First
Poland
Local time: 00:02
Polish to English
+ ...
Been wondering about this for some time Apr 21, 2015

Hi Pedro,

I've been wondering about the same thing for some time now. Gaming's been my passion since I was a little kid and to combine it with translation would be a great thing, I guess.

Last year, I attended a special class at my university run by a translator experienced in gaming. His hint about getting started was quite simple: "just keep asking companies specialised in gaming translation, don't give up easily". Seems obvious, but there's nothing to lose.

I've tried twice to apply for a gaming translation job - no luck in both cases. One reason was too little experience, the other one - rates. Tough luck but I still hope to translate a game one day.

Cheers,

Tomasz


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Some helpful resources Apr 21, 2015

There are a few ways to get started, and being an experienced translator will give you a big advantage.

I have been putting together some resources through my blog and YouTube channel that might be helpful:
http://www.opl10nt9n.com/blog/how-to-break-into-video-game-translation

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgAqFoQC3_lMXYPr3KA4GaH9PZQ73YcP7

I personally started out doing QA for a few games while they were in their Beta and Alpha stages in exchange for free copies of the games I worked on, while translating legal texts on the side. Curseforge.com has a section where you can translate addons and mods for some of the more popular games (I've translated about 50 for World of Warcraft... I'm a little addicted). Today I rely very heavily on my blog and find most of my clients through social media.

I would also suggest that you check out the LocJam events (https://www.facebook.com/groups/igdalocsig/), as they have some really great information and the annual contests are a lot of fun. We're just finishing up with this year's competition and the winners are to be announced shortly.

Video game translation/localization can be a little tricky. There is a lot more that goes into the project than what we would initially imagine. I love it, though. ^_^


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Pedro Castro  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Indeed Apr 22, 2015

Tomasz First wrote:

Hi Pedro,

I've been wondering about the same thing for some time now. Gaming's been my passion since I was a little kid and to combine it with translation would be a great thing, I guess.

Last year, I attended a special class at my university run by a translator experienced in gaming. His hint about getting started was quite simple: "just keep asking companies specialised in gaming translation, don't give up easily". Seems obvious, but there's nothing to lose.

I've tried twice to apply for a gaming translation job - no luck in both cases. One reason was too little experience, the other one - rates. Tough luck but I still hope to translate a game one day.

Cheers,

Tomasz


Hello, Tomasz. Thank you for your answer. Yes, knocking at these companies' doors is my first thought. As ell as a fan of VGs, I also think there is an enormous potential for career development in this industry. Thanks again.

Cheers,

Pedro


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Pedro Castro  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:02
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Wow! Apr 22, 2015

Triston Goodwin wrote:

There are a few ways to get started, and being an experienced translator will give you a big advantage.

I have been putting together some resources through my blog and YouTube channel that might be helpful:
http://www.opl10nt9n.com/blog/how-to-break-into-video-game-translation

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgAqFoQC3_lMXYPr3KA4GaH9PZQ73YcP7

I personally started out doing QA for a few games while they were in their Beta and Alpha stages in exchange for free copies of the games I worked on, while translating legal texts on the side. Curseforge.com has a section where you can translate addons and mods for some of the more popular games (I've translated about 50 for World of Warcraft... I'm a little addicted). Today I rely very heavily on my blog and find most of my clients through social media.

I would also suggest that you check out the LocJam events (https://www.facebook.com/groups/igdalocsig/), as they have some really great information and the annual contests are a lot of fun. We're just finishing up with this year's competition and the winners are to be announced shortly.

Video game translation/localization can be a little tricky. There is a lot more that goes into the project than what we would initially imagine. I love it, though. ^_^



Hello, Triston. Thank you for your answer and this info. Yes, the exchange for free copies sounds fantastic. I'll check this links you shared in this thread. I', glad to know that you like what you have done so far. Thanks again.

Regards,

Pedro


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Rafael Ribeiro  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 20:02
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Thanks! :) Apr 25, 2015

I want to thank all for these questions and Pedro for the topic. This has been on my mind for quite some time now. Thank you again.

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Annamaria Sondrio  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 00:02
English to Italian
Volunteering Apr 25, 2015

Hi guys,

Though I'm totally against unpaid work, unless done for CHARITY organisations/serious purposes, here are a couple of links which may be useful to get some experience:

https://translation.steampowered.com/
http://gamefroot.com/help-us-translate-gamefroot/

I would suggest avoiding fan translation (9 over 10 they are not 'legal', due to copyright issues).
Try having a look at some indie game communities, or Googlesearching strings such as "we need help translating our game".

Good luck!

Anna


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ÇAĞDAŞ MANDALI  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 01:02
English to Turkish
+ ...
semi-professional gaming background Apr 25, 2015

my first game translations went on two parallel paths:

1- when i had a poker room affiliate account for a global poker network, i had around 50 players, i was dealing with their payment, technical issues, etc. to attract more players, i started translating some of the network's game strategy articles and publish them on my affiliate page. of course these were subject to network's approval before being submitted, and they became more than happy with these translated articles and started sending me more of them to translate, and this time they were paying me

2-i was a moderator on a MMO game forum. there was a builder's feature and players could contribute with their custom scenarios and maps, in any language (yes, there were people creating TR scenarios to play with own friends). i was responsible from their TR versions' addition to the game official page. in my spare time, i used to translate the EN ones i liked the most into TR. when some of these became very popular, developers asked me to translate more. and then more, and then more...

i came up with these two opportunities around the same period, maybe within the same year. a short while after, FB became live, more and more people started playing online and social games. i chased developers for their localization, and found more than 20 clients in only 2 years.


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