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The french translation was poorly made

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Dunno about GameScribes but I can assure you that QLOC has all of their workers on-site. I happen to be an ex-employee, so I kinda have first hand knowledge.

 

Do you know what "localization testing" is? It's that thing where you get raw text, done with Google Translate or on a knee, and you have to translate it into coherent sentences. You then send your work to the developers, they put it into the game, then send it back to you for a re-test. So yeah, the company who did the Google Translate is not really important here: the actual translators are.

 

It's called testing, not actual translating for a reason. Like I said, the actual translating was done by different company than QLOC on Pillars 1. QLOC also did some normal Q&A for both games and did the translations for Polish, Russian and Chinese on Deadfire.

 

Paradox uses that same company on pretty much every game they publish. Obsidian went with multiple different companies this time.

 

You honestly think anyone would pay a bunch of Polish people to translate games into Italian, German or French? I seriously ****ing doubt it when there are so many translators on those said languages to hire at a relatively cheap price.


Hate the living, love the dead.

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Professional translator here. 

 

If we give these translation companies the benefit of the doubt, they may have been translating with 0 context (just from a spreadsheet, as someone said). Even if you're really good at your second language, jumping in the deep end without any context or any idea what's happening on screen is extremely difficult. Even worse, they may have divided the job between many people. Now you have even less idea what's going because you're doing chapter 3 while another guy is doing chapter 1&2. Add an extra layer of awful if they didn't play PoE1.

 

On the other hand, if they used non-natives or, heaven forbid, google translate, that's just embarrassing.

 

That's how translations work on both movies and tv series as well. The translator doesn't have the context for what he is translating as he isn't seeing what is happening on the screen. That leads to stupid translation mistakes, but that's just how it goes most of the time.

Everytime I watch a movie on NetFlix and I pay any attention to the actual subtitles, I notice multiple simple errors that even a 7th grader would notice. But since the translator has no actual context it becomes a guessing game when words can mean multiple things.


Hate the living, love the dead.

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A real translation is ALWAYS from a foreign language to a mothertongue language, it's the first rule in professional translation.

 

This is not true. Although I agree that it is generally best to translate into your first language, this is by no means a rule. I, for instance, have translated quite a lot of stuff into English, which is not my first language.

 

This may not be true abroad, but in France, in translator studies, it's what you learn.

 

 

Whether something is true or not does not depend on the country where you are. If this is what is taught in France, it doesn't make it true. It may also be the first rule in professional translation in France, which is fine with me, but even this does not make it true. (I would go so far as to argue that any proper discipline should also encourage its students to question the discipline itself, just to keep themselves from becoming too dogmatic.)

 

It's perfectly sensible to start with the idea that translations should be done into one's native language. But translating into other languages, too, is not only a possibility, it is also something that people do incredibly well.

 

But, I agree, this is slightly off-topic.

 

 

It's indeed pretty much off-topic. But being french, i would daresay that YES, France is dogmatic and pretty narrow minded in my opinion. While you're taught to think by yourself at school, in the end, it's ok only if you abide by the dogma of the day :). And you will be regarded as a weirdo if you dare surprise anyone by saying even a casual line that is not expected. There are much more social, tight up codes that you would think.

 

I guess good tanslators have a price. Be it paying their skill or the time they need to do a proper job. Question is: considering the stretch goals, does it take this much money to get a proper translation? I thought these stretch goals were already costly enough during the campaign.

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Dunno about GameScribes but I can assure you that QLOC has all of their workers on-site. I happen to be an ex-employee, so I kinda have first hand knowledge.

 

Do you know what "localization testing" is? It's that thing where you get raw text, done with Google Translate or on a knee, and you have to translate it into coherent sentences. You then send your work to the developers, they put it into the game, then send it back to you for a re-test. So yeah, the company who did the Google Translate is not really important here: the actual translators are.

 

It's called testing, not actual translating for a reason. Like I said, the actual translating was done by different company than QLOC on Pillars 1. QLOC also did some normal Q&A for both games and did the translations for Polish, Russian and Chinese on Deadfire.

 

Paradox uses that same company on pretty much every game they publish. Obsidian went with multiple different companies this time.

 

You honestly think anyone would pay a bunch of Polish people to translate games into Italian, German or French? I seriously ****ing doubt it when there are so many translators on those said languages to hire at a relatively cheap price.

 

It's called "testing" because it isn't done from scratch, as I've explained. This isn't conjecture, I'm literally telling you how it went. Original translation might've been created by someone else, but everything you see in-game is the result of Localization QA work.

 

They weren't "polish people". Each language had a native translator. Usually recruited through a Facebook ad by the type of "does anyone know of any guy from country XXX who likes games?" or from a pre-defined pool of freelancers, used previously on different projects.

 

Feel free to believe whatever you want to I guess.

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Abel: The likely problem, I would say, is that Obsidian doesn't really care, doesn't pay properly, doesn't give enough time for the translators, doesn't care who the translators are and isn't qualified to make sure whether the translation makes any sense. Consequently, the translators make an awful mess in an awful hurry, and get paid very little.

 

It's heartbreaking.

 

You are just pulling that out of your ***.  If they didn't care about translations they wouldn't do them in the 1st place. No one works for free, not even translators who I bet are paid according to the norms since they are using a well known company to do the translations. Is it enough? Dunno, but it's up the contractor to decide what they pay their employees. Obsidian can't go handpicking people off the streets/LinkedIn to translate their games and paying them more than they would get by working for a translating company.

 

Should they do immense background check on everyone who their contractor hires? They aren't fluent in said languages and can't check millions of words due to that, you have to trust these companies to do the job they are hired to do. They even changed the company that did the Pillars 1 since they got flak on the translation.

 

 If they hire a 3rd party, it doesn't solve ****. You still have someone who isn't deep into the lore doing the reviews, they will miss stuff. Josh even said Jorge Salgado did some reviews on the translations, but obviously you can't have your staffers reading endless amount of translations since they have other stuff to work on.

 

Translators rarely if ever, have enough time to translate properly. Bigger project, bigger the mess. 


Hate the living, love the dead.

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It's called "testing" because it isn't done from scratch, as I've explained. This isn't conjecture, I'm literally telling you how it went. Original translation might've been created by someone else, but everything you see in-game is the result of Localization QA work.

 

They weren't "polish people". Each language had a native translator. Usually recruited through a Facebook ad by the type of "does anyone know of any guy from country XXX who likes games?" or from a pre-defined pool of freelancers, used previously on different projects.

 

Feel free to believe whatever you want to I guess.

 

 

So, in your words. Gaming companies 1st pay professional translators X amount of dollars to translate their games into a language, then some amount to an editor in the same company to edit all the translations and then they go ahead and hire some 3rd party company to **** it all up by having someone pulled from the street with no apparent translating skills to go ahead and change up anything they want in "Localization testing" without the actual translators having a say in it?

 

Sounds like great method to **** up games. Why anyone would do that... I don't understand. But if that's localization testing, then the whole gaming business is beyond retarded on this issue.


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Why anyone would do that... I don't understand.

 

I can answer that. It started in some company, where a person who was told that he is "in charge" felt the need to justify his pitiful existence. So he decided to make things more efficient. He managed to make the product cheaper by hiring unemployed coal miners from the street instead of qualified workers and totally ****ed it up in the process. But no one told him (so they wouldn't get replaced by an unemployed coal miner from the street, too) and besides he wouldn't have cared anyway. Problem was that now this company could offer their services cheaper than every other company in the field. At first that was not a big problem, but some of their customers didn't care much about quality so they had their little niche on the market. Which constantly grew. Why? Because out there's always someone "in charge" who feels the need to justify his pitiful existence. And before you can say "The free market regulates itself" hiring unemployed coal miners had become industry standard, the prices dropped and the end customers got so much used to buying games with 200 hours of gameplay for 5.99$ (Delivered next thuesday, without delay and in perfect condition) that they took higher prices for an insult and started attacking you with pitchforks if you dared offering them additional DLC content or (god forbid) a full expansion.

Edited by Lord_Mord
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Translators rarely if ever, have enough time to translate properly. Bigger project, bigger the mess. 

 

Just out of curiosity: how much do you actually know about what you're talking about? I've been doing translations for twenty years, I've translated 70+ books and quite a lot of academic writing, song lyrics, poetry, magazine articles etc. I have always had time to translate properly. That is a prerequisite for me taking the project in the first place.

 

There are specific areas where translators often don't have enough time (television and movies, for instance), and interpreters nearly always have to work under incredibly tight time constraints, but what you're saying simply isn't true.

Edited by xzar_monty

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Just out of curiosity: how much do you actually know about what you're talking about? I've been doing translations for twenty years, I've translated 70+ books and quite a lot of academic writing, song lyrics, poetry, magazine articles etc. I have always had time to translate properly. That is a prerequisite for me taking the project in the first place.

 

There are specific areas where translators often don't have enough time (television and movies, for instance), and interpreters nearly always have to work under incredibly tight time constraints, but what you're saying simply isn't true.

 

 

I know few translators and I've talked with them about their job, since I considered it as a job at one point. Obviously their take on the issue won't be true in every company and country.

 

Printed media is a different beast than the gaming and film industry. Some of the smaller printing houses at least here in Finland take their time translating books. It might take over a year for them to finish the translated version. It shows in the quality. Books are way better translated than say movies.

 

Games and films you need to get them out at the same time pretty much everywhere. Translators had more time back in the day (and they could actually do the translations while watching the show), when tv shows would air a year later in Finnish tv, but thesedays you will need to have the translations done when the show airs on HBO/NetFlix etc. since it will get released here on the same day as well. And quite often they don't have the context on what they are translating (doing it from transcripts or audio only) and they might get the text/audio quite late, so they are in a rush.

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Hate the living, love the dead.

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In my opinion it would be best if Obsidian released the game without localisation but provide a good infrastructure for fan-made translations (modding). Usually those are better - and they cost nothing. Bonus claps if they'd provide some kind of compensation.

 

That can't be the way. You can't outsource that kind of stuff to the players. Sooner or later the game companies would assume that as normal. Do you want to wait for every new games fan translation, if it ever gets finished. Once the professional made translations were better than the fan stuff. Somehow the standards for this have to raise again.

 

I don't expect everything to sound like ****ing Goethe, but every film, game or whatever should be translated in a manner that fits the level of the original text. And the crap we got for PoE1+2 is just highly unworthy of the original.

 

Well it can't be worse than the really bad localisation Deadfire got delivered with. And imagine: somebody got actually paid for that nonsense.

 

Seriously: even without any context given I could do a better job of translating this game into German. I'm no professional by any means and have only translated some YouTube subtitles for several channels I like in a community efford - but I couldn't do worse than this. I simply couldn't.

 

Luckily I personally don't care because I only play games in their native language (as long as I can understand it of course) - but in genereal this is a real shame. Better to not deliver a game with such an embarrassing localisation but instead spend the money on good modding infrastructure so that there's a least a chance that there will be a good translation someday.

Edited by Boeroer
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Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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It's really embarrassing when a product is brought into the market in such a state that a lot of people can legitimately claim "I could do better than this!" -- and they are right.

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I won’t start translating all the game, but just for the term Deadfire Archipelago, already I feel like there has been a lost opportunity to translate it in French as « l’Archipel des Feux Endormis », or in English it would quite literally means Sleeping Fires.

 

If I recall correctly, Josh Sawyer even stated somewhere that it was the meaning they were going for with Deadfire, because of the volcanic activities of the region.

 

Seriously, I feel like they were handed the project and they did not ask any question or anything to Obsidian to try and specify the meaning behind specific terms, reading all of you about it.
 

If anything, if I was Obsidian, I would ask some of my money back, because the work done seems to be very poorly done, not even close to be professional in nature :S

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I won’t start translating all the game, but just for the term Deadfire Archipelago, already I feel like there has been a lost opportunity to translate it in French as « l’Archipel des Feux Endormis », or in English it would quite literally means Sleeping Fires.

 

I heard in France you try to avoid the english language as much as possible. I wonder how you did it in the Pirates of the Carribean movies. In Germany most of the terms (Like "Black Pearl" for example) were kept in english language, with a few exceptions. How's it in France?


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I won’t start translating all the game, but just for the term Deadfire Archipelago, already I feel like there has been a lost opportunity to translate it in French as « l’Archipel des Feux Endormis », or in English it would quite literally means Sleeping Fires.

 

I heard in France you try to avoid the english language as much as possible. I wonder how you did it in the Pirates of the Carribean movies. In Germany most of the terms (Like "Black Pearl" for example) were kept in english language, with a few exceptions. How's it in France?

 

 

Disclaimer : I am not from France, but from Canada, Québec, a French speaking province.

 

But as a rule of thumb, here, though I believe it is similar in France where they are somewhat more liberal on the question, titles from books and movies are translated, but trademarks and such are not.

 

 

So, for instance, Pirates of the Caribbean, as a movie, is translated « Pirates des Caraïbes » everywhere. But everything inside the book or movie will be translated unless specified otherwise that it was meant to be in a foreign language or something. So, « Black Pearl » becomes « La Perle Noire », but every Spanish vessels in some of the movies are not translated ; the same for every bit of dialogues in spanish.

 

But, in the case of Wallmart ; it is a trademark and such is not translated anywhere it is used. I am curious by what it would be translated though, because it is quite generic when taken literally. I guess one might want to translate it by « Le centre commercial Mur à Mur » or « Mur à Mur » for short, but that is just me :p

 

Fun fact : Videogames are not restricted by law in Québec to have their names translated. I guess it is because of the fact it is considered a trademark, here, but do not just take my word for it, I have not done any Law School. So, Pillars of Eternity stays Pillars of Eternity and is not translated into « Les Piliers de l’Éternité », which sound quite nice actually.

 

 

Oh ! By the way, for the original poster thinking about the poetic ring to some of the names, I thought about it : The Leaden Key could be translated in French by « La Clef Saturné », which would be exactly Leaden Key but with the added bonus to refer to the old discipline of alchemy during the Middle Ages, higher mysteries and secrets, etc.

 

It would go quite nicely with the organization based around old secrets and will not sound as flat or weird as « La Clef en Plomb » or « La Clef de Plomb ».

 

Though, perhaps something referring to Saturn, an actual planet from our own solar system, might not be the best, depending on what you are aiming for with your translation ^^"

Edited by Occursus
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The "Clé saturnée" is actually a pretty good idea. Nice find.  :yes:

 

 

 

I won’t start translating all the game, but just for the term Deadfire Archipelago, already I feel like there has been a lost opportunity to translate it in French as « l’Archipel des Feux Endormis », or in English it would quite literally means Sleeping Fires.

 

I heard in France you try to avoid the english language as much as possible. I wonder how you did it in the Pirates of the Carribean movies. In Germany most of the terms (Like "Black Pearl" for example) were kept in english language, with a few exceptions. How's it in France?

 

 

Dungeons & Dragons used to be Donjons & Dragons when I was a kid but these days it's just Dungeons & Dragons. 

 

It costs less not to translate these terms as they are trademarks. 

 

It's my understanding things are not exactly the same in Canada. 

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I won’t start translating all the game, but just for the term Deadfire Archipelago, already I feel like there has been a lost opportunity to translate it in French as « l’Archipel des Feux Endormis », or in English it would quite literally means Sleeping Fires.

 

I heard in France you try to avoid the english language as much as possible. I wonder how you did it in the Pirates of the Carribean movies. In Germany most of the terms (Like "Black Pearl" for example) were kept in english language, with a few exceptions. How's it in France?

 

 

I seem to vaguely remember "Black Pearl" was kept in english in France. Which i think is actually a good thing. Unless the story took place in France and it would just seem wrong.

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Oh man. Such … 4 pages.

I am not even sure what i should say to you. But as one of the curators of the German translation fix I feel like I have to.

Btw. hello Lord Mord.

 

So we have some situation, in which the translation companies did excel translation again. And I can just see from the stringtables that the short texts are absolute hell. Without the actual game you have no chance to get them correct. Look at this: https://github.com/Xaratas/pillarsofeternity-2-german-patch/commit/c2ee2e6218ac6e515d83ff01142c18127847ef50

„Scaling“, just one word. No context, so „Entschuppen“ was a possible pick. If the translator never actually played the game (which I think they hadn't, as there was no „game“ at the time, not even a developer alpha to play with) he had no clue that the more correct translation is „skalierend“.

Or the nice „Unlocked!“. That one carried over from PoE 1. You unlock doors and chests and and it's totally not „Freigeschaltet!“, even if that makes some sense in a game environment. It's „Aufgeschlossen!“

Then, mind the excel tables. Lines which go together, like ability names and descriptions are not necessarily next to each other. Some spells are even not ready when you get the texts (there were plenty of them which had plain values while developing which got later replaced by tokens to have some scaling effects).

And then the keywords. For this mod https://www.nexusmods.com/pillarsofeternity2/mods/32?tab=posts I had to juggle with around 50 abilities to get the keywords in (and change words which were no longer true because of patches with nerfs). Without a game to see this all in action and combination it's totally not easy.

What's way more game breaking were the broken replacement tags of all kind. That is stuff which a qa tester should have found.

For myself the experience with the long texts in German is quite well. There are a few typos here and there, and a few minor things. But I haven't found apples auto-correct cluster**** yet. (In PoE 1 there were plenty of it.)

 

So yes, you can be annoyed but bear in mind that 1 million words in Excelformat is not cool.

On the other side, you can report the problems here in the forum. German has a fix ready, Italian has a fix ready, thanks to Kilay, Russian has a mod shortly. And this time Cdiaz is working to make sure the translators get the pointer to this forum and include all the found stuff to enhance future patches.

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when Obsidian announced that the localisations wouldn't be voiced, that pretty much killed any interest for me. I'm not going to play a game listening to English dialogue and reading German text. Also, i believe that only if the lines are voiced will the effort be made for the text to make sense since an actor has to make sense when he speaks the lines. Localised versions of today are no selling point to me, i don't bother trying them out, just glad i had english back in school.

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So yes, you can be annoyed but bear in mind that 1 million words in Excelformat is not cool.

On the other side, you can report the problems here in the forum. German has a fix ready, Italian has a fix ready, thanks to Kilay, Russian has a mod shortly. And this time Cdiaz is working to make sure the translators get the pointer to this forum and include all the found stuff to enhance future patches.

I don't want to attack the translators or something. But that whole workflow is just plain bull**** and it's obvious that the translation company as a whole didn't really care. I think the problem lies at Obsidian, be it because of budget problems or whatever. The translation company is crap, the whole workflow is crap.

 

Mods can't replace a well made translation. You can just fix the worst things, that is not the same as a thought out, lovingly crafted translation. Besides, lots of people will never even download it. I want, and maybe I'm just very naive and idealistic here, that the kids these days get a game that is at least as much a good read as the games in our days, maybe even better. In the best case it would be just like reading a book. Deadfire came very close to a good book. Not Dostojewski, but better than Ayn Rand (Maybe I just don't like Ayn Rand, but you get the point. It's definitely better than Rowling.). In German it's just gibberish. And with the mod it's corrected gibberish. You can read it, it makes sense, some phrases sound more natural but it still does not feel like something.

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Oh man. Such … 4 pages.

I am not even sure what i should say to you. But as one of the curators of the German translation fix I feel like I have to.

Btw. hello Lord Mord.

 

So yes, you can be annoyed but bear in mind that 1 million words in Excelformat is not cool.

On the other side, you can report the problems here in the forum. German has a fix ready, Italian has a fix ready, thanks to Kilay, Russian has a mod shortly. And this time Cdiaz is working to make sure the translators get the pointer to this forum and include all the found stuff to enhance future patches.

 

Now, if this word count (1 million words) is anywhere near accurate, that alone pretty much explains why the translation is rubbish. A million words is approximately ten regular-sized novels (350 to 450 pages, depending on the layout). If a very good translator worked at it full time, it would take approximately two years to come up with a good translation for all of it.

 

So, what I think has happened is that either,

1) a lot of people have worked on the translations independently of each other with no one to co-ordinate their efforts and make sure everything is consistent,

or,

2) a small number of people (perhaps just one) has run everything through google translate and pretty much left it at that, with some minor revisions.

 

The enormity of the work is such that it seems more obvious than ever that Obsidian have no idea what they're doing. IF that 1 million words is correct.

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I counted the words for the current german translation mod without DLCs.

 

1.100.656 words...

 

Please also keep in mind that game translations also have some limitations which books do not have. E.g. word length.

 

If you have a button labled "Sell" and you have only 4 letters you need to abbreviate.

 

Or if you want have words linked to the cyclopedia like the affliction types they need to be consistent. But this can cause grammar errors. At least in german.

Stuff that works with the english language might not work in other languages.

 

E. g.:

 

This was a critial hit.

He scored a critial hit.

 

Dies war ein kritischer Treffer.

Er hat einen kritischen Treffer erzielt.

 

So either so do care, that some words are not linked or you try to change the translation till it fits but may sound awkward.

 

 

Good translations also need to be prepared.

E.g. have a character list.

 

E.g.: Kim.

Is Kim  a male or female character? "Kim Possible" vs "Kim Jong-un"

 

Explain where are the text strings used, so you know the context. Turn to port? Is port a harbor or should you turn left?

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I am a good supporter of all or nothing.

 

If Obsidian plan to humiliate a language = stay in english.

 

Or perhaps less language but with a better quality.

 

Plus, translator work at full speed in conditions of excruciating stress, 1 month before the release of the game (true story...)

 

Question at 1 million dollar, why me, Balthazar, and others, doesn't receive a copy of the full game to avoid this shame to the french community ?

 

I could have cleared the most visible errors BEFORE the realase date...

 

Official translators = massive work without context

+

Balthazar and co. = Context + Nosy spy in each tooltip.

 

= Correct work. (Without doubt not perfect, but at least correct)

Edited by theBalthazar

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