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Default Drakensang - Translation of Gone Gold Announcement

July 21st, 2008, 10:45
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Germans are almost as bad as russians with their english versions.
And English versions are sometimes never translated into German.

Sorry, but I couldn't resist in saying that.

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July 21st, 2008, 11:18
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
And English versions are sometimes never translated into German.

Sorry, but I couldn't resist in saying that.
Finns have never had problems of making english versions (i.e death rally, flatout, shadow grounds, max payne, alan wake, etc), allthough none of the english versions ever get translated to finnish. I can understand russians (their game dev is young & have more problems with english) but germans no. They are simply too pompous with their language. I studied up to three foreign languages - I would except germans to speak atleast one.

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Last edited by zakhal; July 21st, 2008 at 11:32.
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July 21st, 2008, 12:06
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Finns have never had problems of making english versions (i.e death rally, flatout, shadow grounds, max payne, alan wake, etc), allthough none of the english versions ever get translated to finnish. I can understand russians (their game dev is young & have more problems with english) but germans no. They are simply too pompous with their language. I studied up to three foreign languages - I would except germans to speak atleast one.
Every German pupil learns English and in most cases one other language, typically French or Latin, sometimes Spanish, Russian, Italian or Old Greek.

Sounds like you completely misunderstand the problem.
Small markets (read: unimportant markets or secondary markets) get the standard version (= English) because a localization is not a worthwhile investment. Big markets demand a translation into their own language. A publisher can only afford not to make a German / French / Italian / Spanish translation if his game is very simple (-> for example shooters) or if he wants to position it as a niche product for a core audience. Size is in this case something like a disadvantage because the customer expects everything to be in his primary language, which automatically leads to lower foreign language skills compared to countries in which for example TV shows are shown in English.

Of course they make a German version first if Germany is their home market. Then the translations are done, and of course they are limited by budget. The publisher can hardly spend 250k on English voice recordings if his calculations say the game will only make 1M international royalties.
The reason for the time delay is simple: The publisher often needs to enlist external help for the translation. It´s cost efficient to wait until you have final source material.
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July 21st, 2008, 12:12
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
The publisher can hardly spend 250k on English voice recordings if his calculations say the game will only make 1M international royalties.
250,000€ for voice translations? Thats insane. Better just make english only version in the first place so you dont need to make additional translations. It has a way bigger market anyways and it shouldnt be a problem since every german speaks english.

Have to say I dont remember the french to ever have problems like this with the english versions. And they are a big market too.

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Last edited by zakhal; July 21st, 2008 at 12:27.
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July 21st, 2008, 18:45
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post

Have to say I dont remember the french to ever have problems like this with the english versions. And they are a big market too.
Pardon me, please!?!?
You probably do not know many French people, do you?
Acc. to common lore, they are most peculiar about their language, have an aversion against anglizisms eroding their native tongue and have a natural "resistance roll" against English, so to say.
Or i have fallen to bad cliches otherwise.

If not then i´d have to say they´re probably the primary candidate for insisting on localized versions for their home market before any other country.

The quota amongst French netizens might be lower, but it´s still there.

As for us Germans:
Yes, it´s right that many of us, especially computer illiterate people, can handle English fairly well on average.
Nevertheless no German Publisher/Developer could ever afford to make a genuine English version alone for a game developed in and for the German market first.
Unthinkable.

And it doubt that many other countries wouldn´t serve their local market first before all others in terms of language versions.

CD Projekt did this for their "The Witcher" as well and many others do.
Even though they have to be praised for possessing the brightness and courage to bring out a multilingual version of the game.
So i could play it in English one time and the other in German and compare and improve my English (hopefully), just like with movie DVDs!


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P.S.: I hope i didn´t hurt an French companion´s feelings!
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July 21st, 2008, 19:20
No international publisher would have signed Drakensang right from the beginning.

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July 22nd, 2008, 12:25
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
Better just make english only version in the first place so you dont need to make additional translations. It has a way bigger market anyways and it shouldnt be a problem since every german speaks english.
Exactly that is the problem.

To put it in a rather bitter and cynical tone, people with English as their first language have the greatest number of games worldwide to chose from.

Considering how many games are actually translated into languages of small(er) countries, English-speaking people live in a world of vast luxury.

(Apart from simply horrible translations like the infamous "all your base are belong to us". )

So, they can be demanding without haviong to fear any losses. They will ALWAYS be pleased and catered, because the English-speaking marked IS the biggest of the whole world !

In many German gamers, for example, this leads into frustration. Not being considered a "proper market" by the neglection of translations into their own language by the big publishers might drive gamers of ALL countries nuts.

There was an incident that made me quite frighten : During the development of Sacred, Ascaron I think announced a chat session with the developers - in English language. For the English-speaking international audience.

The reactions were very, very bitter. Quite a number of people actually wrote down words of … I'd call it "anti-americanism" about the "developer chat" being in English, and for an international audience - meanwhile they never had a developer chat themselves before ! And that although Ascaron is a German company, and the developing team was (as far as I know) a German-speaking one !

This outcry made me feel horrified because it showed me a deep, deep bitterniss down there. People were actually feel being neglected by international companies to whom the English-language market was more important than anything else.

This outcry made me feel ashamed, too, because of the words of anti-americanism I happened to read. This shouldn't be in a public forum ! This was just impolite ! I thought.

But something inside of me said : Within all of their bitterness they are right : It hurts not being considered a "proper market" by companies which are so much profit-oriented that they forget that there are distinct cultures and languages in this world !

This was a kind of lesson I learned from this incident. I decided to put my word into the need to properly translate games into - if possible - all languages of the world,

because the people are Humans with their distinct cultures and languages, and not just money-deliverers !

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July 22nd, 2008, 12:39
to get back to the topic (or one question along the way):

bernd beyreuter stated quite a few times that they could never rely on the german market. i think that means they are going to put a big effort into localozation, never fear.
and since they are working with a german publisher there simply was no reason to develop the game in english the first place.
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July 22nd, 2008, 13:02
It would have been useless. dtp is not an international publisher, they can't sell an english product. Developing a german game in english for them that then has to be translated into german is not an option. Only few germans would buy an english game, especially if it is from a german developer. Germans buy english games when it is an international product because they mainly fear the sometimes cheap and therefore quite horrible german translations. But that's the only reason. If you don't find an international publisher (and Radon Labs have been looking for a publisher since 2001 / 2002), you do it with a local publisher. Then you try to make the best game possible for your home market and then try to sell it to another publisher who takes care for a hopefully correct localisation. That's the way how Attic did it for RoA and that's the way it worked out for Legend, that now gets published by THQ, Sacred, and so on.

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July 22nd, 2008, 16:33
I would have thought that the old Realms of Arkania brand was sufficient to at least garner interest from an English language publisher even if that branding has been dropped from the current title. I was interested in this game from its first announcement simply because of familiarity with RoA and I'm sure I'm not alone.

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July 24th, 2008, 19:37
Originally Posted by zakhal View Post
250,000€ for voice translations? Thats insane. Better just make english only version in the first place so you dont need to make additional translations. It has a way bigger market anyways and it shouldnt be a problem since every german speaks english.
If you know a foreign language, you also know that you can write much more sophisticated in your native language. If you want to make sure that a text is easy to understand for a six years old, let a foreigner write it. Also, while a scottish accent is state of the art for dwarves, barbarians and starship mechanics, you really don't want to hear various german accents all troughout the game

There is an ascending difficulty in being able to read, understand spoken word, write and speak a foreign language. Yes, most germans below the age of 40 can read english and understand someone speaking in high-level english. Most of them won't understand a single sentence in, say, London, though.

As for markets, there is a reason why US-games are not primarly produced in Chinese…

Firstly, German is the largest central european market, including Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. France and Spain together have about the same population as the German speaking countries. Sure, there are ten times as many native French and Spanish speakers over the world, but wealthy central europe is a much better market for such decadent hobbies as computer roleplaying.

Secondly, Drakensang uses a very popular german P&P-System, playing DSA (Das Schwarze Auge / The Dark Eye) is as common as D&D. Just like you know automatically what to expect when reading "D&D", a German automatically knows what to expect when reading "DSA", developing the game in english would be counterproductive.

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July 24th, 2008, 23:53
No argument with that but putting a minimal effort into developing an English community would help proselytise the limited marketing they're likely to muster for NA and UK.

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July 25th, 2008, 06:48
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
This was a kind of lesson I learned from this incident. I decided to put my word into the need to properly translate games into - if possible - all languages of the world,
There are 230 spoken languages in europe (23 official) alone but I dont see any problem if all games were released in english too even though english is not my native language. It simply makes things easier. I dont mind multilingual versions (some things cant be translated) but english version should in the least be released at the sametime atleast in europe!

The bad thing about multilingual is that it raises costs. I have to pay more money for the game and thats how (apart from taxes) I have seen publishers defend the reason that EU games cost more than i.e US ones.

Originally Posted by old-time gamer View Post
There is an ascending difficulty in being able to read, understand spoken word, write and speak a foreign language. Yes, most germans below the age of 40 can read english and understand someone speaking in high-level english. Most of them won't understand a single sentence in, say, London, though.
I havent yet had problems with that either. I work, study, watch TV, read, listen and even think in english somtimes. Practise makes perfect. I even stopped reading TV subtitles 10 years ago or more.

Allthough as a minority Ive been forced to learn other languages too. But I never complain abt the miss treatment of my own native language but instead just hope that english is enough because I dont have time to perfect every big language in europe just so that they can be considered as "proper markets" too.

But anyways if germans dont wanna make english games the loss is to themselves. They are loosing sales and making less money. English is the absolute majority in european union (just like it is in US too ) so it would make sense to sell to that market too. Perhaps german publishers should learn to become european publishers.

Originally Posted by old-time gamer View Post
Secondly, Drakensang uses a very popular german P&P-System, playing DSA (Das Schwarze Auge / The Dark Eye) is as common as D&D. Just like you know automatically what to expect when reading "D&D", a German automatically knows what to expect when reading "DSA", developing the game in english would be counterproductive.
I know and thats one thing that has always made the entire RoA series interesting. I had never heard of Dark Eye until the first game was released and I read the review. I would surely like to know more and perhaps even play it if its released with the english CE (propably not though). I have plenty enough of D&D games allready and the system was never my favorite anyways.

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Last edited by zakhal; July 25th, 2008 at 09:03.
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July 25th, 2008, 11:02
The point is that both culture AND language are closely intertwined with one another. Tolkien was one of the few who actually saw and acknowledged this - and he incorporated this concept into his making of hid Middeearth Elves.

Not translating something into one language means eventually in the end not acknowledging the country's own culture. Because there is no culture with its very specific language. You can turn it around as you wish, but you can't deny that each language has its own culture and voce versa. This begins with slang expressions and ends with full-blown languages like the gaelic one.

In an discussion once a rather young IT trainee said that it doesn't matter when a language dies out: The information is retained.

This is a purely information-based point of view that could come only from an IT-professional. No professional in culture-oriented occupations would EVER say such a thing !

Because when a language dies it, the information is NOT retained. Only a very, very tiny fracture of all possible information held within a language.

The kind of information that can be formulated and transferred via some sort of language heavily depends on the layout of the language, how it is "constructed".

You can put much, much more information into a language that is suited for it, apart from a very minimalistic, heavily reduced language that is the English language according to Frederick Bodmer's book "The Loom of Languages", for example.

Just take the cliché of the Inuit "having 100 words for fish". How do you actually transport suich a variety of "fish-information" into a language that has - for example - only 1 word for fish ?

Take the word "geist" of the German language, for example. The German language has only 1 word for what's in the English language: ghost, spirit, wraith, spectre, maybe even banshee. So how do you transport the meaning of a wraith into the German language ? The might suurely be misunderstandings, because the German word of "geist" sometimes also means the mind. THe German language just cannot receive the information that is placed into the variety - subtle or not - of "ghosts" in the English language !

The German book/novel title "Das kunstseidene Mädchen" is usually translated as "the artificial silk girl". But this isn't right. It should rather read: "the artrificial-silky girl". This is just a tiny change of information, but it transports the German meaning much better ! Plus, the word "kunstseiden" contains several subtle sub-meaning that you can't just catch with words alone.

I call these "sub-meaning" the "emotional image of a word".

So - the language contains a certain amount of information that just cannot be ported 1:1 into another language - simply due to the different layout of the language. Texts of philosophers are the best place to prove this, imho.

But neglecting the need to translate something into an language also neglects the existence of an own culture that is connected with this language.

Okay, the origional meaning is better kept while NOT translating the text … - but how many people in a country can understand the text to its full extrnd ? It is not so that every German, for example knows the English language to 100 %. This will never be reached, and to a great part only by living in an English-speaking country.

So, to make an untranslated game understandable for the big mass, its language must even be reduced - "dumbed down" - a bit to let it made understandable to those who do not know the English language enough to understand subtleties.

No, no, not translating means to me: "You have no culture worth translating into".

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August 25th, 2008, 15:32
translation of Drakensang to english -
http://drakensangtranslation.freeforums.org/

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September 26th, 2008, 10:32
OK….
But anybody knows when this cursed game will be released in NA?
I do not expect an Italian localization so I hope will get soon an English version.
Some release update?

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September 26th, 2008, 13:54
Everyone assumes the first few months of 2009.

Q1 or Q2, I don't remember anymore.

Gorath ?

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September 26th, 2008, 14:37
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Everyone assumes the first few months of 2009.

Q1 or Q2, I don't remember anymore.
Official date is either Q1 2009 (most recently announced) or January 2009 (from an old trailer). But that date's not valid anymore, so Q1 2009 it is.

I think I put in a question on the release date in the interview I submitted to them a while back, so clarification coming soon(-ish).
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September 26th, 2008, 18:44
Just thought I'd pop in and give the Asian view on translating games. First off the games being sold over here, dating back to the days of Nintendo, were hardly ever translated into Chinese. For Nintendo it was buy the Japanese language version or nothing. For PC games when I first got here a lot of them were in English with the manual in Chinese. Now more and more games are being translated into Traditional Chinese by the publishers here. Not the majority of them yet, but I've had to special order a lot more in the recent years. I guess the publishers here finally figured out that they could make a bigger profit in Hong Kong and Taiwan if they translated it into Traditional Chinese.

I don't know about the rest of China since their written language is Simplified Chinese, but I would suppose that since the publishers are translating more into Traditional Chinese they would also do the same for China. Maybe not since I don't think they are quite at the level of Hong Kong and Taiwan, yet.

I'm not sure about this whole disrespecting a culture theory that has been popping up in the thread. Taiwanese have been playing games that were not in chinese for a long time and it's normal for them. Even RPGs where knowing the plot of the game is half the reason I like them, but to the people here it's not. I however won't buy a PS3 due to the fact that the majority of the games are in Japanese, but for my friends they don't seem to care if it is in Japanese, English or Chinese.

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September 26th, 2008, 19:36
Off-Topic

Skaven, you can speak all 3 languages? Amazing, if so! I'm lucky to understand my own language, much less another

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