Sunday, 23 June 2013

TRANSLATION FIELD: The Journal of Specialised Translation on 'Game Localisation'

Game Localisation: Unleashing Imagination with 'Restricted' Translation

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From its humble beginning in the 1970s, the video games industry has flourished and become a world-wide phenomenon. Although most games are developed in Japanese and English, the globalisation of popular culture and the desire to expand to new markets have led most producers to localise their games into many target language versions. This has brought about the emergence of a new field in translation, game localisation, which combines elements of audiovisual translation and software localisation. This paper looks at the specific features of game localisation which give it its unique nature. It examines the priorities and constraints associated with translation of this particular genre, which relies heavily on imagination and creativity to deliver a satisfactory game experience. Using as a case study the best-selling PlayStation series, Final Fantasy, examples are presented to illustrate the challenges game localisers face, focusing particularly on linguistic and cultural issues.

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