So, I warn you right away that our notes are not some sort of analytical article “on the subject” or something similar. These notes are exactly what the notes. Rather, they convey a kind of inner feeling of the process and talk about the thoughts and difficulties that arise along the way in people who are just starting to try their hand on this path.
They have been posted for several months in our group, so they may have lost their freshness slightly, but suddenly you will be interested in reading this.
Today’s note (or rather there are two) is just that. One of our editors (and translators) will tell you about our first official localization, Dusk Diver for Wanin International. It was a great success for us to have the game (of course, because a few days ago we couldn’t even think of officially practicing our little hobby) and so we tried to do everything with a lot of dedication.
Most likely, this will be the only article dedicated to a single game. The following ones will deal with more extensive or, conversely, more personal topics.
1. “South English of Good”
Previously, it always seemed to me that only Russian localization could suffer from terrible translation. And how else can you think of it, when legendary creations from a pirated translation like “I SEEN SOME SHIT” or “CHERYL WHERE ARE YOU?” And not only did the pirated translation have obvious problems – even the official modern drafts have many loopholes and glaring errors.
So that’s it. I have never come across such an official English localization as in Dusk Diver. At first, at first glance, everything seemed very correct, but already during the translation we found so many errors that we could not count… And not only grammatical – the semantic errors were much more important. I will give an example by translating sentences from English to Russian in advance without changing their meaning.
Situation: heroes (Leo, Veida) discuss an old series. Somewhere next to them is a character named Bache. Is silent. He does not appear in the conversation.
Leo: “I remembered an old TV show, Space Wars.”
Veida: “Oh, I remember him. I was given a role, but then they broke the contract – I accidentally hit the supplement. “
Leo: “Yeah, this time I don’t agree with Weida. Now Bahe’s reaction is more human. “
And then the question arises … What the hell did we just read? What is the reaction if Bahe doesn’t say anything, doesn’t even laugh? Or he laughed, but it was offscreen, and the player should have understood and so… No, of course not. It’s all about bad localization in English. To understand the meaning of the last line, we turned to the original language, Chinese. We opened an online translator to translate a sentence from Chinese and… got the very sentence which was in English. Hence the idea arose that our colleagues at the store had passed most of the text through an online translator. Like, that will do.
Then we turned to the dictionary of hieroglyphics, where we got to the bottom of the truth. In fact, Leo said the following: “I never thought I would say that, but… Now Bahe seems less crazy to me than Veida.” But it took a long time to decipher this and many other controversial points. Not to mention that the dialogue above is part of an extra task, so it’s still a flower. The flowers ended when we had to gradually restore the main plot – its meaning was lost due to the same poor-quality localization.
Oh, how proud my parents would be if they found out that in the translation we relied more on Chinese than English… They would definitely have a tear. Their daughter translates from Chinese without knowing Chinese. It really was one of the toughest challenges in translating Dusk Diver.
However, do we feel exhausted, exhausted? Not at all. Even though we had to immerse ourselves in the wilderness of the internet, study hieroglyphics, new terms for us and Asian cuisine (because the food in Dusk Diver is a very important part of the gameplay), we feel happy. Indeed, it is in the study of something new that development resides. We grew up with this game. We put our soul, our personal time and a lot of energy into it.
2. “Can you rebuild the archive?”
“Can you rebuild the archive? The text translation is ready, I want to see what it looks like in the game. “
Fortunately, there is no limit – the main step in locating Dusk Diver is complete! Little remains to be done! Yes? Yes?..
Our manager answers the call and calls a technical specialist, who compares the text, then performs manipulations incomprehensible to me for an hour and deposits the archive with our location. We put this crack in the game folder – and voila! The Russian language appears in the game. Everything seems simple, but… these manipulations, as I said, take an hour of precious time, after which I go back into the game and immediately see a lot of flaws in the text. It will take a lot of effort and time to resolve them. A lot of…
Everyone knows that text translation is just one of three whales that support game localization. The other two whales are the technical part and the drafting of the translation. We can say that editing is the last step in localization, because by the time the turn comes the translation is already done and the technical specialists are just waiting for the ready-made text to be inserted into the game. And now … The Dusk Diver translation is complete – it’s time to edit. On this project, I translated the text rules at the same time (and editing my own text is several times more difficult). I don’t know of any other editors, but for me personally it is easier to translate the text than it is to scan it over and over again with my eyes for errors and loopholes.
Is the same word repeated in two consecutive sentences? – Fix it!
Too often the sound “s” sounds, why does the sentence lose its euphony? – Fix it!
Lots of consonants in a row? – Fix it!
Does the line not match the character? – Fix it!
Does the translation sound like Prompt? – Correct, translate again!
All of this is carefully researched in the text, not to mention the usual grammatical and spelling mistakes. But is all this visible from the first reading? From the second? Do not. You will still miss this or that little detail, or even an outright mistake, which you look at and think: “How ?! How could you not have noticed ?! And so I start the third circle of proofreading the text. The text is already floating in front of my eyes, but despite everything I keep reading it – a common editorial error. You should always rest from the text and come back to it with a sober head and fresh eyes – only then can you see those mistakes that went unnoticed in previous proofreading. If you do all of a sudden, the eye gets used to the text and stops “seeing” it.
But I promised my friends to finish the project by the end of the month, and so I couldn’t break my word and edit without stopping. They tell me, they say, give up – the testers are already reading the text in the game itself. I accept and I write:
“The main editing step is ready. Can I rebuild the archive? “
The chef takes an hour to meet the demand. Throw away our crack. Out of curiosity, I enter the game and see the text “after the main editing phase”.
“No, you know, I still read the text in the game. In the game it feels different so I will be able to see these errors that I have never seen before.” “
Broken tags, unbalanced word breaks and silly mistakes. Damn, I’m even ashamed to write about it. And how, you wonder, didn’t I notice this after three re-readings ?! And now we come back to the topic that you still need to rest from the edited text. You shouldn’t be complaining about the time spent here – rest at least a few days, at least a week, if necessary.
I replay the game (for the third time) to reread all the text, but in the game. I go through it 100%, without missing a single word. And that’s all. Finally everything.
“Can you rebuild the archive? Everything is ready. “
I’m sorry for our boss – my conscience already torments him by constantly calling him. We get the crack, the game is sent to the testers. Last sequence.
“Are you going to test the game and broadcast it to me at the same time?” Maybe I’ll see something else. “
Another rereading. It would seem, why? Only we… have completely rewritten the sentences of the townspeople, which they pronounce in random order. Because they discovered that the same words can be spoken by women and men – they had to be completely impersonal. (That’s what it means to give the game to the tester – I didn’t even notice it. Apparently, because I was only looking at the text.) And there was also such that somewhere there was an extra point at the end of a sentence or, on the contrary, it was not there. It would seem like a trifle. But everything must be at its best. We finish the tests, I write:
“Can you rebuild the archive?”
For the last time. Wiping the sweat and blood from our foreheads, we all fall exhausted to the ground. Exhausted but satisfied, we say, “The localization is ready. Our first official translation… is complete, “and we leave for a short rest. To embark on another project with renewed vigor.
The translation was sent to the developer a month ago and will appear in-game with the next patch.
Source : The Verge