Game Translation 101 | Adapting Your Game’s Storytelling to Foreign Cultures

Game Translation 101 | Adapting Your Game’s Storytelling to Foreign Cultures

The game industry is thriving like never before. Video games are in high demand, and people spend a considerable amount of time playing them. PUBG, Fortnite, and MineCraft are some famous examples of viral video games across the web. Localization of games plays a major role in increasing the player base, and it also significantly enhances the user experience. All major game development companies adapt their game content, characters and storytelling to local audiences, which makes them resonate with foreign players on a deeper level.

In this article, we’ll talk about the best way to go about your game translation and how to make it easier to fit in your target regions more smoothly through localized game storytelling.

Your Guide to Culture-Appropriate Game Translations and Storytelling

Research Target Cultures 

It is crucial to have a keen understanding of the cultures and preferences of your global audience. It will allow you to approach your game translations with clear goals in mind. Cultural awareness also helps you craft a more appealing and relevant game plot and story. You can also hire a local translation company that has an in-depth understanding of the traditions, social values, and cultural norms of the target audience. Otherwise, you’ve to study the culture yourself to keep your game storytelling aligned with the cultural values of foreign players.

Integrate Cultural Themes 

You must include as many cultural references as possible in your game to engage players from diverse backgrounds. For this, you can get inspiration from local historical events, mythology, and folklore. When your game themes are culture-friendly, it will help you create narratives that are more meaningful to your potential players and augment their overall game experience.

Translating Dialogues and Text 

If you really want to create a compelling game experience, you can’t simply go for direct translations. Translators have to meticulously pay attention to all the linguistic nuances, idiomatic expressions and cultural references. It is critical for translators to maintain their game tone and style consistency throughout the translation. To achieve this, they must develop game translation glossaries for different regions. When you adapt each dialog to the respective culture and communication style of natives, it automatically creates an original gaming experience. Localized dialogues also aid in better local character development with relevant accents, tones, and communication styles.

Humor and Tone Adaptation 

Your translations should suit the cultural sensibilities of your target audience. Otherwise, it can cause misunderstandings, and your audience may find it hard to comprehend your content. For instance, what is funny in one culture may be considered offensive in others. So, you have to be extra careful while translating humor and other emotional expressions by the characters in the game to avoid any inconvenience.

Avoiding Stereotypes and Cliches 

Too much use of stereotypes and cliches in your game storytelling negatively impacts your game experience, and it may also offend your players. Around the world, people are rethinking their cultures, and they often strongly question the stereotypical behaviors that are part of their culture. Not all types of cultural resonance are appreciated. Young audiences mostly believe in liberal values and gender equality, and if the typical culture of a country goes against these values, you better not embrace them. So, when you make the right use of culture, it’s what makes the difference in game localization.

Consult Culture Experts 

To know any country’s culture, you need to live in it, or extensively read through its literature and history. Sometimes the generic idea of a country’s culture is not enough to create a captivating game story. If you don’t know the culture of a country, the simplest way to navigate through its nuances while doing translation is to hire culture experts. Companies that offer gaming translation services mostly have dedicated culture consultants who guide certified linguists to craft a culturally resonating story around a game that will make your game successful in the global landscape.

Beta Testing and Feedback

Whenever you create a translated and localized version of your game, beta testing is a must. It will allow you to judge the overall cultural appropriateness, impact, and linguistic accuracy of your translated game. Through beta testing, you’ll get valuable feedback from your players regarding the game plot, characters, dialogues, and experience. Doing this will allow you to improve your localization process and generate fine-tuned translations with maximum impact on your players.

You can use the feedback from players to adapt your game in a way that builds community engagement and increases player satisfaction. Local game community building is the easiest game marketing and promotion tactic that will boost your game’s reach and promote loyalty.

Final Verdict!

Game translation for foreign audiences is challenging and rewarding at the same time. You will be able to get more people to download your game and spend the most time on it. When you make your game resonate with local players, it not just boosts its reach in the global marketplace, but also gives it an edge over other competitors who are not currently localizing their games. For game translation, you can either do it yourself by hiring professional translators, or get help from a reliable translation service provider.

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