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The trend of culture in the game, but the road to Chineseization is still full of thorns

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I don't know when it started, whether a game has Chinese Chinese has become a hot topic. We often see "no comment on Chinese," "Is it difficult to translate?" Speech.


However, translating a game full of local flavor into Chinese content is obviously more difficult than what the player thinks. As an important process of commercial promotion and game development, the pressure and workload of the game group are self-evident. . In this regard, we should adjust our mindset and treat the in-game culture project as much as other games. They are difficult and important tasks.


Translation never has the right answer


In addition to the lack of language localization, the quality of the language in the game is also a part of the player's concern. For example, the game "Civilization 6", although it provides the language selection of Mandarin and Simplified Chinese, but the player's spit on the official level of "Civilization 6" has been continuous. An official Chinese-speaking team with professional standards frequently makes a stylistic structure that seems to be "machine-turning", which inevitably causes the players to resent. This kind of problem does not appear in just one game. At present, many games have the same problem. It is precisely because of the various irrationalities in the translation process that such inferior translations were born.


A local Chinese localizer told me: "The official Chinese text of some games is as messy as an abandoned garbage station. "


The text of the game he said was used to build the vocabulary, which is the first step in the culture they will do in the game. Building a vocabulary has also become the most time-consuming step in all work. The amount of modern game text is getting bigger and bigger, and individual games can reach more than half a million words. The translation work can't be monopolized. In order to reduce the existence of differentiation and personal style, there must be a leader in the translation team. The disorganized text is analyzed to determine all the proper nouns, as well as their unique translations, which ultimately form a vocabulary for use by translators.


Applying the bone-catching work of this egg to a million-word RPG-like game is boring and boring beyond the imagination of all of us. The smooth words that the player sees are only a logical text and some additional explanations in front of them. The compilers need to determine the vocabulary usage, the style of the translation, and the How to translate the puns of a headache. However, the above difficulties are just the beginning.


Screenshot of a game's text


The texts extracted in the picture are their daily routines. It can be seen that the whole text is messy in content. Dialogues, scenes, and introductions can't get a clue from the words, which is what we often call " contextual connections. " . These unfinished texts are the main reason for the decline of translators. The meaning of the text is not understood. It can only be translated according to the general situation. How can it be translated accurately?


In Civilization 6, the "Infantry Square" was translated into "Plaza"


The messy text is not the only difficulty in the translation process. The bigger difficulty is that the translated text is mostly grammatically incorrect, which makes it difficult for players to read. Translating words into words and localizing languages ​​are two different concepts, and translation is much simpler. The process of localization of the game is sometimes accompanied by the game development process. In many cases, minor changes to the game's story are enough to overturn all that the translation team has done before. Every foreign language syllabus of a pun is required by the translator to rack their brains to come up with a Chinese stalk that meets the language habits of the country.


What you see is not the income


The game text is not the WYSIWYG text in the traditional sense. It is actually only a part of the whole game. It also needs to cooperate with the game characters, specific scenes, etc. to play a role. Most 3A games are synchronized game development progress. In the process, the translators can't experience the game plot, the picture, the music and the words as the players. Therefore, most translators only know about the game information only 75% of the players, because they only face the text. .


Based on this premise, it is also the quality of the manufacturer's own text that increases the difficulty. The text provided by each manufacturer will be different, but manufacturers who pay a little attention to Chinese characters will know that a neat text supply will directly determine the quality of Chinese localization. Japanese game makers are very careful in this regard. They will arrange the text neatly, and will also clearly mark the tone and expression of the characters in the game. Such a text can solve most of the misunderstandings.


Simplified and traditional Chinese in "Pokémon Dream Day/Month" has different changes, and the degree of localization is extremely high, taking care of the daily language differences of players on both sides of the strait.

However, British and American manufacturers generally lack the production and basic considerations of Chinese projects. Few manufacturers will realize that the tidyness of the game text will directly determine the quality of Chinese characters. Generally, only the texts in the game will be sent to the Chinese group. The result is that the entire Chinese group has been caught in a difficult context, and in addition, the "Civilization 6" machine mentioned above will also appear.


The "Reverse Referee" series is a full-text AVG, which may be enjoyed for the player and a nightmare for the translator.


Except for some of the well-known Chinese groups, most of the folk Chinese groups are in a much tougher situation. Most of the games they are responsible for are Japanese games, and the average number of words in each game is about equal to a million-word novel. Most of them are not interested in translating. Most of them are translated on the premise of hobbies, and the salary is very small. At the same time, the text extracted from the cracking game is even more messy. For example, the text of "Reverse Referee" is out of order. After the crack is finished, it must be arranged in the positive order, then translated into Chinese, and then returned. When the time comes back, the workload is very astounding and cumbersome. In addition, the translation process, the docking staff, etc. are also the factors that cause the translation project to be difficult, but the details are too many, and the description will not be made here. The only lucky thing is that most of the members of these Chinese groups are the ashes of this type of game. The understanding of the game culture is beyond the general Chinese group, which makes this work possible.


More glutinous Chinese market


Since the "FM2017" is not finished, the players have paid more and more attention to the topic of whether the game needs to be finished. There is demand for supply. On all kinds of platforms, there are foreign developers who want to please Chinese players, and directly use machine translation to create a game with built-in simplified Chinese. Despite this, there are still a large number of players paying for it and enjoying this feeling of being respected.

This Baohua Dream Player's Chinese petition has four languages, including Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese and English.


The game language supports this problem, which has been plaguing the player for many years. Even if the players are louder and louder, it is impossible to solve it in a short time. This is a problem that few players who have screamed at the Chinese have not thought about it. The game does not consider the factors involved in the built-in Simplified Chinese. It is not just the cause of piracy on the Internet. It is more of a factor of interest.


China's policy has long been conservative towards foreign game companies. For big companies, their willingness to enter the Chinese market is actually not as strong as we think. Although more and more attention is paid, other countries' fixed sales are enough to stabilize themselves, and they do not need to take risks to open up a new territory. All in all, whether or not Simplified Chinese is included in the game is just a decision of marketing. As with the FM2017 event, the solution to the final event is still the publisher's strategic adjustment based on the market.


Some of the players’ native Chinese quality is terrible.


From a legal point of view, most domestic Chinese groups are not legal in extracting texts and modifying games without permission, so that these Chinese versions can only be circulated in the square and cannot be placed on the countertop. This is also difficult for the domestic Chinese group. One of the reasons. Do those 3A masterpieces like these folk translations? Although the answer is yes, big companies are not willing to let themselves fall into the trap. Therefore, there are only two ways to distribute Chinese games through legal channels: hiring a translation team and requesting a domestic agent. However, there are very few games that are willing to come out through these channels. You can see the number of Chinese games in steam2016. In 2016, a total of 412 models were released. Of the 412, most of the games are temporary legal loopholes - it is for global players who are willing to use Simplified Chinese, rather than a single country using Simplified Chinese. In this way, games that enter the domestic market through legal channels can only be exclusively distributed by the platform or domestic agents. The real folk Chinese group can not be exposed to these games.


The outsourcing of game translation is a relatively common work of the folk Chinese group, and the competition is still fierce. This kind of stagnation will continue, and even worse, the shortage of resources, the frequent mobilization of translators, and the pressure of survival of the Chinese group means competition for resources and lower prices. In the end, these outsourcers may get only 30% of the developer's original planned investment costs, while the remaining 70% are more in the pockets of each of the upper teams. Although the data looks a bit exaggerated, the truth is that .


Having said that, I believe that you have already felt the pressure on the workers who actually provided us with the Chinese characters in the game. Under these pressures, they can only take more orders to maintain their lives. In addition, some masterpieces have the conditions of release date, early commissioning, etc., and their construction period will be infinitely compressed, and the result is that they will be rushed out. Works of lower quality translation standards.


The demand for Chinese Chinese characters in Chinese games is urgent, but this market still does not have enough conditions to prop up all Chinese Chinese games. If you want to survive, you can't just look at your eyes, but you don't care about your body. Now the Chinese group and the translators who are in chaos may need a period of calm thinking.


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This article first appeared in @任玩堂 , I kindly ask everyone to pay attention to our knowledge column .

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