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Language support?

03-26-2011, 05:15 PM
#1
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 425
Language support?

What are peoples views on language support in games?

Personally I think it is a good thing to implement because after all English is not the only main language of the world.

I think supporting these languages are important if you want to seem professional in the App game market:

English
French
German
Spanish
Italian
Chinese
Japanese
Korean
03-26-2011, 07:39 PM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinthNinja View Post
What are peoples views on language support in games?

Personally I think it is a good thing to implement because after all English is not the only main language of the world.

I think supporting these languages are important if you want to seem professional in the App game market:

English
French
German
Spanish
Italian
Chinese
Japanese
Korean
Language support is a tough one. I would love to support EFIGS + Asian/Eastern countries but that usually comes at a cost. With the way the App Store game is played these days it seems better to put as much effort and polish into an App you're making and release it. If it does well then keep supporting it and maybe here is where you start adding language support.

iPhone/iPod Touch Apps by Tiny Tech Studios

03-27-2011, 01:42 AM
#3
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 172
What TinyTechnician said.

Localization certainly would be nice to have but, assuming your resources are limited, your time and money are probably better spent fine tuning other aspects of your game that would be more critical to its success. Of course, once you have a hit on your hands, you can afford to spend some time and money on localization. In the meantime, I would say it helps to at least build your game with localization in mind in case you decide to add additional language support later.

Personally, I'm using what I call "poor man's localization" which means I try to use icons instead of text whenever I can
03-27-2011, 04:39 AM
#4
We would like to point out this Touch Arcade thread about translation services for iOS apps.

We are DYS: Translations and we provide translation and localization services for iOS and Android applications for a reasonable price.

Since the launch of the iTunes App Store we translated over 1000 applications into multiple languages, and I can confirm the ones listed by NinthNinja are the most important.

We translate from/into: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, (Simplified and Traditional) Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish.

Feel free to contact us for further information.

Have a nice day,
Seiko.
03-27-2011, 02:37 PM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by dansu View Post
In the meantime, I would say it helps to at least build your game with localization in mind in case you decide to add additional language support later.

Personally, I'm using what I call "poor man's localization" which means I try to use icons instead of text whenever I can

Totally agree, just because you are not planning on localizing the App (on the first release) this doesn't mean you shouldn't plan for it. Organization of assets and strings would be highly beneficial in the long run if you start off developing with localization in mind.

Also love the "poor man's localization" tactic (which I've used also). Even if you have English text under icons...the idea of having meaningful icons and UI design will help user's who don't read/speak the language. I'm sure most of us have experienced this...playing some app or game that wasn't in our native language but it didn't really matter since you could understand what you needed to do just based on the icons and presentation.

iPhone/iPod Touch Apps by Tiny Tech Studios
03-27-2011, 09:56 PM
#6
Yes, icons and graphic lead can outweigh language. Most time, I didn't pay attention to the language and text instruction, with no patience to read.
03-29-2011, 12:58 PM
#7
Speaking of language support...this tutorial just popped up How To Localize an iPhone App Tutorial

Good read for anyone interested.

iPhone/iPod Touch Apps by Tiny Tech Studios
03-30-2011, 11:14 AM
#8
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: London
Posts: 15
Our game Cup Stack is localized for romance langauges, but we havn't (yet) included Japanese, or other Sinitic/Japonic languages..

Localization is relatively cheap and a lot of companies that provide the service do so at a very reasonable rate (which usually includes making minor updates to the local files for free). We used a company called Game Localization Network. I highly recommend them...

If you are on a shoe-string budget instead of just resorting to menu/graphic icons with no text you can always use Google Translate. We actually used this for some very minor updates. (you can download google translate as an app now..)

I wouldn't recommend trying to include Japanese/Chinese languages or any language that uses an alphabet that is different from the romance languages. At least not for your first release/update. Not only do you need multiple character maps but some languages have multiple alphabets (I think Japanese has 6 different alphabets!) We had a programmer working for us who was responsible for coding the Japanese localization for one of the Harry Potter games. He said it was one of the hardest things he has ever had to do...
03-31-2011, 11:46 AM
#9
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 65
When localising a game, you have to change all UI display strings (you also need to consider the display lengths: in some languages words are much longer than in english), all spoken audio and all in-game text.
So better think it through at the beginning of the development prozess, even when you are going to do the localisation much later....
03-31-2011, 01:31 PM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
I wouldn't recommend trying to include Japanese/Chinese languages or any language that uses an alphabet that is different from the romance languages. At least not for your first release/update. Not only do you need multiple character maps but some languages have multiple alphabets (I think Japanese has 6 different alphabets!) We had a programmer working for us who was responsible for coding the Japanese localization for one of the Harry Potter games. He said it was one of the hardest things he has ever had to do...
I don't agree with this.

Japanese consists of three different alphabets, but this is not a very good reason for not considering this language (even for your very first release).

Japan is one of the top 3 markets for most of our clients.

I wouldn't recommend translating your documents in some languages rather than others just because they are less complex.

This is all about providing the most appropriate file format to the translations agency (we recommend .strings).

Once you provide a good file format to the translator, he/she'll HAVE TO find a solution to your problem. This is what they're paid for. At least this is what our translators are paid for.

Always make sure the translations agency will assist you in case you need help after they deliver the finished documents to you.

All the best,
Seiko.