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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Project Eternity - Update #8, Novella, Translations

Default Project Eternity - Update #8, Novella, Translations

September 27th, 2012, 14:17
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Me too. I know plenty of people who actually get pissed when they are denied the "original" or "true" English version of an artistic work.
What if the game was *originally* made in another language ? A language you don't understand - would you play a game in Spanish, Russian or German languages, too ? To exprience "the original artistic work" ?

Problem is : Developers don't do works in their own languages anymore.
Gothidc was developed in English, not German, if I recall correctly. Genuine German adventure games are usually developed in English in the first place - not in their developers' language. (And, of course, teams become more and more international, too.)

How do you decide if a game still contains its "original artistic work" (or here : "original language") if it is translated into another language even during the development process ?

People able of speaking English have is so much easier. Because most of the games are made in English and then - if so - translated back into the original developers' language.

I once did something like that : I once wrote a Star Wars Fan Fiction story in English language first - and then I had to translate it back !

The greatest problem I see is with language transporting concepts. The language, I fear, at least partially defines the way of thinking that is used by speakers of this language. You can see this with certain words which just cannot be properly translated into another language. The English language has several words for ghostly appearances, for exammple : Ghost, spectre, wraith The German language has only 1 : Geist. Meaning that German listeners/readers just won't be able to catch any subtlety carried by the different English-language words. everything's "Geist" to them - and "Geist" has other meanings as well : "Spirit", for example. "Zeitgeist" is "the spirit of the time", and "spirit" can also mean "spirit" like in alcoholic beverages, allowing a word-game which is only available to Germans.

If a game is developed in English language first by let's say German developers - and then translated back into German - if carried out well, no problem. If not - fumblement extraordinaire !

Which implies, by the way, that with a game even made in English language in the first place, one cannot be sure whether there was something lost within he translation process into the English language, too.

And those who are not capable of understanding the English language might wonder. And perhaps even receive bad replies by those who cannot understand their points of view because they've been playing the game in English language anyway.

Originally Posted by Avantenor View Post
@jwishner: The game is covered by german news press, so there are definitely some more fans that would like to buy the game. There have been only two issues from the beginning: No localization and no Paypal. Everyone has to learn english in school, that's correct, but Fantasy english is a different beast than all-day or business english. And maybe you've heart about british advertises making fun of germans speaking english.

The next barrier is having to use a credit card for Kickstarter. Germans usually don't use credit cards we have a debit card system for daily shopping and bankwire for online shopping. Actually, no one needs to have a credit card to get along here, so there are many that simply don't have a credit card.
Right on both points. Thank you.

Germans do use credit cards to some extend nowadays - but it's just not common.
What's common are direct bank transfers, or, nowadays, paying with Sparkassen-Cards.

If there was a kind of Kickstarter thing here in Germany, everyone would be required to use bank transfers. Or maybe Paypal. Much less credit cards. But mostly bank transfers.
And the international community would perhaps feel like kind of shut out because of this, except when they use IBAN.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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September 28th, 2012, 03:35
Originally Posted by Avantenor View Post
@jwishner: The game is covered by german news press, so there are definitely some more fans that would like to buy the game. There have been only two issues from the beginning: No localization and no Paypal. Everyone has to learn english in school, that's correct, but Fantasy english is a different beast than all-day or business english. And maybe you've heart about british advertises making fun of germans speaking english.

The next barrier is having to use a credit card for Kickstarter. Germans usually don't use credit cards we have a debit card system for daily shopping and bankwire for online shopping. Actually, no one needs to have a credit card to get along here, so there are many that simply don't have a credit card.
My point was not that lack of game-text localization is not an impediment but rather that it did not seem reasonable that it would see a positive return on investment as a stretch goal. I had forgotten about the differences in the commonly-used forms payment and accessibility to Amazon payment services though. That does seem like a far stronger reason than the ones I offered. What I had suggested- that the site itself is presented in English - would only preclude those who weren't comfortable with English at all. What you say however would effect consumers regardless of their desire to play with or without translation - many of whom might very well be enticed by promise of a high quality localization. It does still support the assertion that this may not have been a profitable stretch goal.
Last edited by jhwisner; September 28th, 2012 at 04:15.
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September 28th, 2012, 12:08
View of an freelance translator, as in the Germn gaming mag "Gamestar" (one of the few printed gaming mags left, and it's one of the more serious ones ) : http://www.gamestar.de/specials/repo…chwer_ist.html

The full article can be found here : http://www.uekw.de/sites/default/fil…im_Dunkeln.pdf

You could use google translations or so for translating it - and thus - as a nice side effect - experience the whole problems of translations yourself

Worst thing is - and I know this from my own experience - when the translator gets the mere text. No context at all ! - And that full of words with several meanings !!!

One important thing the article mentions is - apart from the devastating lack of any context - that in most cases Graphics are considered far more important than Text - resulting in only a tiny fraction of the money being available for good translations. So why translate at all ? Money saved - can be further put into graphics …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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