Localization of games is, on one hand, similar to literary translation, and on the other – requires special technical expertise, just as in case of software localization. For this reason the field of game localization, no matter how easy it may seem, is one of the most complex areas of this sphere of action.
First of all, linguists should use their technical knowledge and apps localization skills to correctly interpret the elements of user interface and menu. Besides, translators should be familiar with the topic of the game. For example, in case of fantasy games they should know the origin of character or artifact names. Moreover, a localizer should have rich imagination, as some of the names in games often need inventing from scratch to correctly reflect their origin and convey the pun in Russian or Ukrainian. The sense of style is critically important in the translation of screen texts and dialogs. Surely, you don’t want users to laugh at your translation when instead of phrase “Why are you meddling in other people’s business?” (required by the context) they’ll hear something like “Are you sure you should be concerned about this?”.
Finally, the translator should (ideally) be a bit of a gamer himself/herself and play the game that is localized for some time, because it’ll give him/her better understanding of what kind of text appears on the screen, as well as when and why it is shown. In some cases you have to discover the origin of words and invent new terms to properly convey the corresponding derivation.
Taking into consideration the above, our company’s game localization department is currently at the stage of development, and we are glad to welcome new clients who help us progress in this area.