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43 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

The German mod for PoE (at least the parts I read about in these forums) was def. way better than the original. But having said that: those dedicated guys were able to work with an already existing translation and didn't have to do one from scratch - which most likey is more difficult and time consuming(?).

Making one from scratch is a lot more difficult and time consuming. Translation is one of those unfortunate jobs that is difficult to do well but where errors are fairly easy to spot if you have reasonable knowledge of both language and context. So, correcting a faulty translation is a lot easier and quicker than making one from scratch -- and this, by the way, is precisely the reason why publishing houses have editors and proofreaders whose job is extremely important. I personally want my editor to be as harsh and nitpicky as possible, because although the criticism I receive may not feel nice, it will certainly make the finished work a lot better. The extra work done by those dedicated guys you mention probably falls somewhere between editing and translating, i.e. they were doing some of both.

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2 hours ago, xzar_monty said:

Translation is one of those unfortunate jobs that is difficult to do well but where errors are fairly easy to spot ...

Funnily, this is also true for software development. Poor Obsidian.

By the way, I find it curious that there exists an important difference between translating books/movies and games. Nobody expects that the author of a book should also provide translations of it. Nor is this the case with movies. But when we are talking about games, it is expected that the localization should be provided by the game developer and at the game release date no less. I wonder why that is.

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38 minutes ago, wih said:

By the way, I find it curious that there exists an important difference between translating books/movies and games. Nobody expects that the author of a book should also provide translations of it. Nor is this the case with movies. But when we are talking about games, it is expected that the localization should be provided by the game developer and at the game release date no less. I wonder why that is.

Fair point. Probably because the field is so new that there essentially are no established traditions. In a sense, I believe Josh Sawyer also alluded to this when he said that he doesn't know of any time- and cost-efficient solutions to his translation dilemma. The industry hasn't established itself yet when it comes to this question.

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There is a difference between a book and a game. You need to put the translation into the game which consists of a lot more than just text. Therefore you need access to the game's inner workings. There's nothing under the hood of a book. Everything the book consists of (on the material plane ;) is visible. No need to shove the translation into an existing product, you simply create a new one. 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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10 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

There is a difference between a book and a game. You need to put the translation into the game which consists of a lot more than just text. Therefore you need access to the game's inner workings. There's nothing under the hood of a book. Everything the book consists of (on the material plane ;) is visible. No need to shove the translation into an existing product, you simply create a new one. 

True, but this is a superficial difference. Most companies externalize their strings anyway, so it is not a problem for them to provide what is needed for a third party to create a translation for a certain language. Then the said third party will be responsible for the quality of the translation, not the game developer.

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10 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

There is a difference between a book and a game. You need to put the translation into the game which consists of a lot more than just text. Therefore you need access to the game's inner workings. There's nothing under the hood of a book. Everything the book consists of (on the material plane ;) is visible. No need to shove the translation into an existing product, you simply create a new one. 

Yep. So, the mechanics of translation are very different in a book or a movie from what they are in a computer game. This is important to keep in mind.

It's comparable to how art forms differ. Writing a book is one of the cheapest ways of making excellent art (if you can do it -- which most people obviously can't, myself included). But making a movie is nearly always at least fairly expensive, as is getting a symphony performed.

Translating a computer game isn't necessarily always more expensive than translating a book, but it almost certainly is a lot more complicated. The text in a book is in a "straight line" from start to finish, whereas in a computer game it's scattered all over the place.

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@wih: But that is already done. Just that the developer has to put the strings back into the game (access to it's inner workings). 

It's not like a translation company does the translation and then also publishes the translated game - as it would be with books. 

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1 minute ago, wih said:

True, but this is a superficial difference.

Actually, it's not. Translating an essay of 10,000 words is a lot easier than translating 406 small pieces of text that add up to 10,000 words. Losing coherence and making errors of logic is much more likely in the second case.

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6 minutes ago, Boeroer said:

@wih: But that is already done. Just that the developer has to put the strings back into the game (access to it's inner workings). 

It's not like a translation company does the translation and then also publishes the translated game - as it would be with books. 

I mean it like this: The game developer releases the game in English. There is no localization yet. Then some outside company decides to create a Spanish translation. They use the tools provided by the game developer to create the translation. Now their translation is a different product, which Spanish speakers can buy, along with the game. Then the user installs the translation into the game and now they can play the game in Spanish.

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22 minutes ago, xzar_monty said:

Actually, it's not. Translating an essay of 10,000 words is a lot easier than translating 406 small pieces of text that add up to 10,000 words. Losing coherence and making errors of logic is much more likely in the second case.

Ah, absolutely. You also can't translate a movie well if you only have the subtitles file. You will need to watch the movie first.

By "superficial difference" I only meant the fact that you need access to the inner workings of the game, and this difficulty can be overcome. But in any event translating a game like Pillars is going to be a lot harder than translating a book or a movie.

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The Lord himself has returned to the forums. Praise this miracle :thumbsup:

I helped with the german translation mod by reporting errors. The mod made the bad translation better, but the result is still not perfect because non of the modders was a professional writer, as far as I know. We could deal with spelling and grammar problems, but some things cannot be changed easily by modders. Sorry, I was just reporting bugs, I did not write any code.

Translating a book is easier than translating a game. People read a book from beginning to end in a row. Games give several exclusive options that depend on each other. For example you can kill a char or not and killing him starts another quest. Games have also tons of other text such as UI elements, barks and a codex that explains stuff. So a game has tons of text but the players does not read the text in the order it is written in the code and different players will read stuff in a different order.

There are also things the translator cannot change. For example in text box one you have three options and selecting option one will start text box two where character A is speaking and then text box three where character B is speaking. The same text has a different lengh in different languages, but you need to fit it into the same number of boxes in the same order.

Since translators will not see text in the same order as the player it is absolutely neccessary that they know the context in which stuff is happening.

There are some cases in which it would have been better not to translate a game at all instead of having the terrible translation we got ( still get nightmares from Oblivion, you surely know what a potion with the name "TrdschwH" does, right?

RPGs are the most difficult games to translate because usually they are very big, they have tons of text and most of them have a complex fantasy setting that needs to be explained.

The opposite end of the spectrum would be a puzzle or arcade game. In tetris you only have to translate the main menu and the score screen.

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12 minutes ago, Madscientist said:

There are also things the translator cannot change. For example in text box one you have three options and selecting option one will start text box two where character A is speaking and then text box three where character B is speaking. The same text has a different lengh in different languages, but you need to fit it into the same number of boxes in the same order.

 

There are some cases in which it would have been better not to translate a game at all instead of having the terrible translation we got ( still get nightmares from Oblivion, you surely know what a potion with the name "TrdschwH" does, right?

Yeah. Your first point is somewhat related to what it is to translate a musical -- quite possibly the most difficult form of translation. Much of the text is set to music, so the translation has to be rhythmically accurate down to the level of syllables, not only text boxes. Translating poems and songs can be similar, but a musical has a lot of them.

Concerning your second point, I am almost inclined to think that it might be better not to translate these games at all, but obviously I'm not in a position to have an informed opinion: in order to have that, I would have to know the financial side (costs vs. increased sales, all that stuff) a lot better than I do. Actually, I don't know it at all atm.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would like to see more games like Temple of Elemental Evil. With less load times is a must because I lost air with the load times...literary. This fact alone suffocates people and ultimately killed it for me and probably alot of other gamers as well guys. I will say this though the turn-base was Vital and if that ever goes away I'm Done and will not play anymore as I actually abandoned my gameplay with PoE1.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I dearly love both POE 1 and POE2.  I love the richness of the story and the quest plots.   I love the thought and care that went into the companion characters, their quests, and the interactions.  I can't get enough of the interactions!  I love the quality of the modeling, texturing, and animation.  The voice acting is good, the scripts, the artwork.  Love it all.

I wasn't a great fan of the naval combat mini-games, but I didn't hate them, either.

I'd buy POE3, 4, 5, and onwards because I'm story and character oriented and POE delivers on that big time.  The Baldur's gate series is the only thing comparable, and I like POE better. The combat-focused players have PLENTY of game choices available to them. People who want MMORPGs have PLENTY available.  But for the niche that likes single-player RPGs with deep plots and characters --- it's tough to find games for us, especially for Mac users.

So please - keep them coming!

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