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  #11  
Old 12-04-2009, 06:10 PM
MidianGTX MidianGTX is offline
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Originally Posted by Spotlight View Post
Don't talk for your no-quality games (if you're a developer).
Investing on translations is a smart thing to do, if your software has some potential.

Do you even know why the big firms translate their games?

I'm according to you that the Arabic market is pretty ridiculous, but don't under estimate the potential of markets like Japan, Germany, Italy and France.
I'm not a developer but if I was I'd say it's a pretty cheap and immature shot to say my apps had no quality when you didn't even know what they were.

Yeah, translating is useful, when you're EA. If your team consists of five people and you're making your game using the money you earn from your day job sat in the office, translating into Arabic of all languages is unfortunately pretty low on the list.

Come to think of it, the Playstation 3 console doesn't even support Arabic. It took them until the last firmware update just to get Polish in there. Clearly not a priority.
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2009, 04:08 PM
mo3ath mo3ath is offline
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what makes the translation into Arabic that costly?

Suppose the developer had plenty of Arabic translators, for free,, will it still be costing?

If it won't be costing, then I know some translators (English to Arabic), who translate for free.
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2009, 04:24 PM
Yffum Yffum is offline
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Originally Posted by mo3ath View Post
what makes the translation into Arabic that costly?

Suppose the developer had plenty of Arabic translators, for free,, will it still be costing?

If it won't be costing, then I know some translators (English to Arabic), who translate for free.
Because, why would a developer bother translating their app into Arabic when they could be working on other things or translating it into more popular languages.
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  #14  
Old 12-05-2009, 04:48 PM
Flickitty Flickitty is offline
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Originally Posted by mo3ath View Post
what makes the translation into Arabic that costly?

Suppose the developer had plenty of Arabic translators, for free,, will it still be costing?

If it won't be costing, then I know some translators (English to Arabic), who translate for free.
Localizing takes time and effort- the language just doesn't show up on the screen magically. Especially with Arabic, which reads right to left, many menus will need to be changed in order to accomodate this.

Furthermore, translation is not a 1:1 ratio to English. While many phrases may fit perfectly and align on a menu in English, in another language the phrases can be broken, run off the page or wreak general havok. Many alphabets contain subtle accents that can be difficult to see in certain fonts and sizes.

Also, what happens when you make a text change? Add a menu or new content? I don't think it is fair for the translator to keep doing this for free. I think the developer will also quickly realize that the market isn't big enough to actually pay the translator.

Also the quality of the translation matters. Running text through Google is free, however if you have a game that has any depth to the storyline/dialog or funny dialogs, those don't cross over too well.

We ran into this a LOT with Snails back in 2002 when we translated to French. We used the fairly common phrase 'Red Herring' in English, but there wasn't an adequate French translation. If I remember correctly, the phrase was used as a pun, but also had significance. So that part of the storyline and joke quickly broke down. I don't remember how Jaybot resolved that one.

And finally, when it comes to localisation, as I said before, the Big 8 markets should be targeted first. You can witness first hand how much your sales will fluctuate based on that. From there you can determine whether the lesser markets are worth your time and effort.

Flickitty was hugely popular in UAE and Saudi Arabia, among other Arabian markets. We didn't translate into those languages.

Last edited by Flickitty; 12-05-2009 at 04:52 PM..
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2009, 04:53 PM
MidianGTX MidianGTX is offline
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Flickitty was hugely popular in UAE and Saudi Arabia, among other Arabian markets. We didn't translate into those languages.
Yeah a sizable portion of the population over there are pretty good at speaking English anyway, boot up the Playstation Home EU server at 3am GMT and it's nothing but people from the UAE and KSA.

It's actually quite amusing how they can use English letters to write to each other in Arabic, it comes out looking like txt spk and full of numb3rs.
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2009, 05:56 PM
Spotlight Spotlight is offline
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Originally Posted by Flickitty View Post
Also the quality of the translation matters. Running text through Google is free, however if you have a game that has any depth to the storyline/dialog or funny dialogs, those don't cross over too well.
Rule number 1: never use Google Translator.

The Spanish version of 2XL Supercross is a good example of how a stupid software online can ruin a good work. "Next" was translated as "Pregnancy".
"Next Lap" as "Pregnancy Soon".

Better to keep it in English than translating with Google Translate.
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2009, 06:46 PM
Flickitty Flickitty is offline
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Originally Posted by Spotlight View Post
Rule number 1: never use Google Translator.

The Spanish version of 2XL Supercross is a good example of how a stupid software online can ruin a good work. "Next" was translated as "Pregnancy".
"Next Lap" as "Pregnancy Soon".

Better to keep it in English than translating with Google Translate.
Did I recommend using Google Translator? No.

However, you support my argument that good translation is necessary, regardless whether the translator is an actual human or otherwise. How are you able to verify that something is translated properly, until you receive notice from a user? Updating that mistake is not fast nor easy on iPhone with its approval process.

Despite my obvious ignorance, I maintain that indie developers should not bother with localization until they have the means to do it properly- which means a LOT of support in the USA as well as the target country.

way' ninwis lwiknsn, i_skwists scac'aypmx skek'aka.
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  #18  
Old 12-08-2009, 04:11 AM
dawvee dawvee is offline
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I definitely agree with you, Flickitty. Considering that the USA generates more game sales than almost every other territory combined, localizing just doesn't make sense unless you're already getting significant revenue from the English version, and even then, only targetting the other big markets is likely all that will be worth the effort.

I think the importance of it also comes down to how necessary the textual information is to playing the game. Most iPhone games are quite simple in their mechanics, like puzzle or action/arcade games, so it's fairly intuitive to play them without being able to read most of the text on-screen. That would obviously be a lot different for a more text-oriented game like an adventure game or an RPG, for example.
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  #19  
Old 12-10-2009, 07:03 PM
Shentloc Shentloc is offline
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Flickitty, I agree with most of what you say.

Quote:
Also, what happens when you make a text change? Add a menu or new content? I don't think it is fair for the translator to keep doing this for free. I think the developer will also quickly realize that the market isn't big enough to actually pay the translator.
Expecting people to translate for free isn't really a good approach, right. Except, of course, they offer it I think it really depends how much text you got in your game/app to justify localization costs for a language that doesn't cover one of the "Big 8" (like the ring of that...). If you go for a translated iTunes text and maybe a "How-to-Play" section in your game that's fully translated while the game itself is in English, then that's a very good approach provided you stress that in your press releases, at iTunes and so on.

You never know where your games' gonna be a hit. We got a client whose sales figures went through the roof like a frigging rocket in some South Asian countries ... and they didn't even promote the game there! They ended up more MUCH more money in those countries than in the big markets. That said: you never know what's gonna happen: some Arab teenager liking your game, loving that it's in his mother tongue (at least a part of it) ... and before you know it, word of mouth translates into revenue ...

Anyhoo, just my two cents.
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  #20  
Old 12-14-2009, 05:53 AM
don1709 don1709 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flickitty View Post
Localizing takes time and effort- the language just doesn't show up on the screen magically. Especially with Arabic, which reads right to left, many menus will need to be changed in order to accomodate this.

Furthermore, translation is not a 1:1 ratio to English. While many phrases may fit perfectly and align on a menu in English, in another language the phrases can be broken, run off the page or wreak general havok. Many alphabets contain subtle accents that can be difficult to see in certain fonts and sizes.

Also, what happens when you make a text change? Add a menu or new content? I don't think it is fair for the translator to keep doing this for free. I think the developer will also quickly realize that the market isn't big enough to actually pay the translator.

Also the quality of the translation matters. Running text through Google is free, however if you have a game that has any depth to the storyline/dialog or funny dialogs, those don't cross over too well.

This is very true what Flickitty mentions here. Obviously they have gone through the localization process in the past. Before people localize for the first time, they often do not realize what processes are involved in software localization and how many things can go wrong concerning quality. Translation is only one part of the localization process. There is also proofreading, editing, linguistic testing, etc. etc.

If you don't test for example, you might end up with words fitting in one language and not fitting in another language. Also, you cannot just have somebody translate and then use it in your game right away. You should always have it proofread by somebody else plus, under normal circumstances, you would even have a third person editing it.

Now add to that that Arabic is a bidirectional language which causes even more problems so you can see quickly how a small developer will probably not think about Arabic too much at this point. This might change off course as more iPhones are sold in Arabic speaking countries.

As for translating for free: I agree that this is normally not the best approach. Translating is hard work and so why should it be free? You get what you pay for in the end. BUT there is exceptions. There is always people out there who are trying to start out somewhere and are willing to trade experience against free translation (such as me right now I am sure this is great for small developers.....a company such as EA, who has a localization budget, will choose a localization company anyway and pay the price for it.

One thing is interesting to note though: Even a company such as EA can still have problems with translation quality. Gaming companies work on extremely tight release schedules. It is a fact that by not calculating enough time for the localization of a game, it is one of the most common causes for a bad translation. And also one of the reasons why many localization companies would rather not work on games localization as there is too much pressure and unrealistic expectations by many gaming companies. This applies of course to larger game projects, not necessarily to a small iPhone app. But still, it shows quite good that the localization process is definitely not an easy task (in any language not just Arabic).

Last edited by don1709; 12-14-2009 at 06:00 AM..
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