How to translate Computer Orders?
Thread poster: Mondrian

Mondrian  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:26
English to German
Apr 7, 2010

Hello,

I need help to understand and translate computer orders or descriptions (localisation file - no context).
At the moment:

- texture detail
- player shadow
- draw distance
- plant distance
- camera: auto follow
- war flow
- normal flow
- change flow

The only thing I found up to now is this site published by Microsoft. Clearly a good site for all languages.
Still, there could be more like this.

Thanks in advance!

- Mondrian


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 19:26
English to Hungarian
+ ...
That's the job... Apr 7, 2010

- Read up on the project. What software is it, what does it do, are there earlier translations etc. "There is no context" is a just cheap excuse. There is always context of some sort, you just have to look harder. Get the program's user manual (probably your best source), find screenshots of the interface. Harass the client if you have to.
- As to particular terms, Google is your friend. If you are stumped, post the question in kudoz with full context and all you have managed to unearth.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:26
English to German
+ ...
There is no such thing as "no context" Apr 7, 2010

Your context in this case might be "3D program for game design" or similar. A translator should know what kind of product he / she is working on.



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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:26
English to Dutch
+ ...
KudoZ Apr 7, 2010

You should ask questions like this on KudoZ - it's there for precisely these kind of problems.

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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:26
Italian to English
Squash or not Apr 7, 2010

Jan Willem van Dormolen wrote:

You should ask questions like this on KudoZ - it's there for precisely these kind of problems.


That's right Willem. However I decided to allow Mondrian the benefit of the doubt - that he is asking advice on useful sources rather than the specific terms mentioned, especially as others have responded in this spirit.


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Mondrian  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:26
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
Sources Apr 17, 2010

Well, yes it was meant in this spirit, Jan Willem!

And I forgot to post the microsoft link:
http://www.microsoft.com/language/en/us/default.mspx

Thanks for your reply, Nicole. It's true, I work for the game industry, which is new for me. I had three days to translate a file with almost 9000 tidbits. I got no manual, I couldn't even speak with our own developers, because they are so busy. Even the translator who works here for more than one year struggled with the meanings. I had hoped to find a source comparable to the microsoft page.

And Farkas, I thought this site is about helping each other. I couldn't use any of your answers. I use Google constantly, it didn't help. And if I say that there is no context, then it is true.

The file is on it's way to get implemented. But I certainly will receive files with similar contents in the near future. So, I still appreciate any answers, that are focused on the kernel of my initial post.

Thanks,
Mondrian


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:26
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Context Apr 18, 2010

Mondrian wrote:
And if I say that there is no context, then it is true.



Sorry, but it's not true. Just by these few terms I can make a pretty well educated guess that it is some kind of 3D war/battle/exploration game where the player gets to chose a character. Also, the context of the above terms themselves tells me that they are used to set the graphic detail that the program displays during the changing scenes of the game on screen. (You're lucky that they didn't alphabetize the strings, so you do get a context!) The more detail, the more computer "muscle" the player needs or the slower the game becomes. Therefore, the player gets to adjust the above settings. (And no, I'm not a computer game specialist.)

Ergo: - With how much detail should the texture be displayed?
- Should the player character cast shadows (= lots of additional calculations for the computer)?
- How much into the distance should the program "see", ie. how far from the "camera" should the environment still be drawn on-screen by the program?
etc.

Maybe you also need to practice your Google skills a bit? Within short time I found "Weitsicht" for "draw distance"...
I'm sure you won't find everything in a bilingual context. But you should at least be able to find out what some of those terms mean to get an idea of the context. And if you can't find anything for a specific term, it might be a program-specific term. Time to get creative!

But who assigned this job to you without giving you sufficient support and information when you don't have any experience with computer games (sounds like you're working in-house)? You can definitely blame everything on that person!

You definitely need some experience. So, get some computer games (preferably the ones you're supposed to localize) and start playing!


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Mondrian  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:26
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
again... Apr 18, 2010

Perhaps I am not precise enough.

The question is: is there a collection with standardised tanslations for these terms?

Of course I can think of something and get real "creative". But my point is, that the receptionist should understand my words without even thinking twice. This isn't a poem, I am not free to translate it the way I want.

It's hard to believe that there isn't a collection, how to properly translate these technical expressions. And if there isn't one, I am going to start such a collection.

And yes, I am an in-house translator, but I was hired to translate the texts inside the game. I wasn't prepared for this. And no, "Weitsicht" is, from what I understand, not the exact meaning. I am not searching for "some" translation, I am looking for the exact translation.


But thanks for all answers,
- Mondrian


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:26
English to German
+ ...
Yikes. Apr 18, 2010

Okay, here it comes.

Mondrian wrote:

Perhaps I am not precise enough.

The question is: is there a collection with standardised tanslations for these terms?


No. Also, you have not specified what platform you are working on.

Of course I can think of something and get real "creative". But my point is, that the receptionist should understand my words without even thinking twice. This isn't a poem, I am not free to translate it the way I want.


You have to explain the new product. You can not expect a user to be familiar with the lingo of all platforms on this planet. Apple will have a different lingo than Windows. And so on.

It's hard to believe that there isn't a collection, how to properly translate these technical expressions.


Especially in the fast paced world of software development, you cannot rely on previously translated text. Most certainly not on Windows machine translations.

And no, "Weitsicht" is, from what I understand, not the exact meaning. I am not searching for "some" translation, I am looking for the exact translation.


There might be no such thing. I am translating a lot for a software developer, a direct client. It is me who has to name all those groundbreaking innovations. That's my job. This is what I am paid for.


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Mondrian  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:26
English to German
TOPIC STARTER
hm Apr 18, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:

There might be no such thing.



This means that you don't know.

And all the graphic technique at the moment isn't really groundbreaking anymore. BTW big translation agencies hand out glossaries to standardise these terms.

I will try my luck with an institute that is specialised on graphic design here in Germany. For me it's a vaste of time, energy, and creativity if every translator comes up with his own termns for exactly the same technical expressions. It can also lead to confusion. This isn't necessary IMO.

And if there really is no standardised glossary, it's high on time to make one.

- Mondrian


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 19:26
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Can't standardise everything Apr 18, 2010

Of course there are glossaries out there in all sorts of fields and language combinations, but I don't take any of them as my Bible... The idea that you can just get "the standard glossary" and be able to automatically take over all terms from it is badly flawed. Even if the glossaries contained no erros, context and client-specific use of terminology can override the standard term choice any theoretical perfect glossary would suggest. The only time when a glossary is an indisputable source is when it's supplied by the client with strict instructions.

By the way, graphic design and computer graphics are two very different things.


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