Crowdsourcing used for video game translation

The future of video game translation could lie in the power of the public in the form of language crowdsourcing.

The premise of crowdsourcing is simple: rather than enlisting the services of a professional translator to translate content in a game or computer program, the task is given to native speakers of that language who can pool their resources and expertise to complete the job much more cheaply.

Translating something as heavily scripted and content-heavy as a game is very costly and time-consuming, and if the translator isn’t a native speaker of the target language they may struggle to pick up on the nuances, wordplay and subtleties of language that the characters or narrators in the game may be using. This is why it’s so useful to draw on the rich linguistic knowledge of the speakers of the language to get the most natural, accurate translation.

Ackuna is one of the companies pioneering this type of game content translation, and it will work by allowing volunteers to perform the translation bit by bit to avoid making it too big a burden for any one translator. The volunteers are vetted by a translation system so that only the best translators are used to maintain the quality of the translation.

There is a distinct trend for hyper-realistic games at the moment, and with this comes an increase in more realistic, potentially colloquial scripts for the characters to keep it feeling relevant and authentic. Professional translators may be trained in translating business documents or more formal copy, so any slang or inventive uses of language will be more effectively translated.

This goes to show that you don’t need to be a language expert or a professional translator to be able to offer your assistance to translation projects. People of all ability levels could be able to help as part of a crowdsourcing project such as those run by companies like Ackuna, which just goes to show that learning languages is more important than ever.

Find out more about the Ackuna crowdsourcing game translation project here>>

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