Achieving great results in game localization, our success story

At TextTrans, we have worked on many different projects during the past 22 years. Today we wanted to present one of our success stories with our two experts, Luiz Lendengues, our Language Specialist, and Lau Lemos, one of our excellent Project Managers.

The success story is based on this feedback:

Thank you very much for all your stunning support, appreciate all your swift deliveries ❤

You guys are an amazing team, and we are really happy to work with you all 😊 Big Kudos to Lau Lemos and Luiz Lendengues – for always handling the turbulence with such ease and making sure we get to make the client deliveries. Apologies for the uncertainties during the tournament, but I guess all is well that ends well. You guys are champions.

Cheers and Good night! Take care.

Can you tell us about the client, the background, experience, tenure, and the vertical we are working on? 

The end client is a big company in the Gaming industry, and we were covering their World Tournament. So due to its importance, high visibility, and strict deadlines, it was a very challenging project. We had to be online early in the morning and on weekends to translate, synchronize the subtitles in the videos and deliver high-quality TEP work without any delays.

Can you tell us a little bit about the project?

We were responsible for translating the subtitles into ptBR and ptPT of the player´s interviews and Open Mic of a tournament where different teams from different countries were playing one of the client’s top games.

What were the delivery times like? Were there any dates that had to be modified?

We had to be online for almost two months, weekends included, and cover the tournament from the beginning until the end. Usually, the time frame to be online was 3 ~ 5h a day, starting at 6am CET. The project happened every day, with no changes allowed, and we strictly followed the deadline and schedule. 

What were the main objectives?

Deliver a high-quality translation on time.

What type of text was translated?

Interviews with the players before and after their games in the tournament.

How was the team created? How many people were on the team, and what were their roles?

We had 4 translators in our ptPT team and around 6 translators in our ptBR team. 

Lau worked as our PM, and Luiz mainly as a linguist but also assisted as a Project Manager at times when she wasn’t available. The translation team was created according to the schedule sent by the client. We arranged it according to the availability of the translators.

How would you describe the project plan?

The plan worked; the client followed the schedule as much as possible. The problem was when the project hand-offs would be late, and then we had to organize accordingly, and we had less time to translate. This was the main challenge.

What tools do you use to plan and organize the team and objectives?

We only used an Excel sheet to organize the schedules. We had a group on WhatsApp to confirm the translator´s availability the day before and solve doubts or issues via email. To translate, the client asked us to use memoQ.

Can you describe your experience during the collaboration?

Lau: It was very challenging since the deadlines were tight, and we had to be online early in the morning, but the project was very cool and dynamic.

Luiz: Because I’m a gaming enthusiast, being part of this project was actually a lot of fun! Getting to know more about the client’s requirements and the current state of their industry was really enriching. I wasn’t really familiar with all of the ins and outs of managing a large project from this client, so Lau’s help during this process was critical—she explained each step our team had to go through in order to deliver a high-quality result. I was in charge of assigning the jobs to each translator upon arrival, making sure the subtitles for the videos met the client’s expectations, and reviewing all of the content before delivery.

Were there any difficulties or challenges that you faced during the project? Can you describe some?

Every project has its uniqueness. The main issue here was the time restrictions and when it was delayed for over an hour, and we had to wait online until it arrived, even at the weekends. Sometimes we would need some info from the client, but it was hard to get answers on time, so we had to follow our best judgment.

Can you tell us how you handled them?

We used our best judgment, as we normally do in situations like that.

Were there any changes you weren’t anticipating that you had to deal with?

Yes, sometimes the size of the project would be 3x bigger than expected, so we had to seek extra help on the weekend, so the translators really had to commit and make exceptions since the importance of the project was really high. 

What was the most rewarding part of the project?

To see that everything worked fine in the end and that we were able to deliver a high-quality translation within the deadlines. And finally, the client was happy with it.

Also, the fact that a Brazilian team won it in the end, so it was exciting for us, as we were all cheering for them.

How do you feel about the final outcome? 

Lau: I feel satisfied that all the hard work paid off, especially when we got this wonderful feedback from the client.

Luiz: This was my first time managing a high-visibility project with many requirements, and receiving such positive feedback from our client gives me confidence in my work as a backup project manager. I feel very optimistic about the result and believe our partnership with this client will live on for many years.

Laudecene Sippel Lemos

Laudencene Lemos
Project Manager

Luiz Lendengues
Language Specialist

Meet the expert – Luiz, our game localization specialist

Luiz Lendengues is one of our Language Specialists and currently works full-time at TextTrans, performing translation, review, and quality assurance. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Translation from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, having specialized in narrative studies and the relationship between narratology (the study of narrative structure) and translation. He started working in the localization industry in 2016 and has gained vast experience since then, especially with marketing, information technology, and medical content. 

He is one of the main translators in charge of our localization gaming projects, and we have prepared a small interview where he tells us about his career and experience, as well as crucial steps and processes for the gaming industry. 

How did you start your path in the localization industry? 

Initially,  when I was still an undergraduate at university, I used to translate and review small texts, such as abstracts and quick bios for academic papers published by a monthly journal called Brazilian Journal on Presence Studies. With time, I started taking on higher-visibility projects, such as scientific articles, and eventually started working a full-time job at a localization company in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where I currently live.

Can you tell us more about your role and objectives at TextTrans? What are your main duties and responsibilities?

My main roles at TextTrans are to review and quality-assure the translations done by our team of specialized translators. This includes ensuring consistency, accuracy, and compliance with client requirements. I also translate content on occasion, and I’m in charge of creating internal glossaries, replying to and implementing client feedback, as well as helping our project managers with any language-related queries.

What do you like the most about working at TextTrans? 

Not only do I have a great team of co-workers who are always willing to help, but I also really enjoy the flexibility in my daily job. As a remote worker, I can adjust my schedule whenever I need to go to a doctor’s appointment, for instance, while also meeting our client’s deadlines. This reflects TextTrans’ views on a healthy work-life balance.

Can you tell us more about game translation and localization?

Game localization involves not only translating but also adapting the contents of a game to a target audience and country. You have to know the ins and outs of their culture—slang, historical facts, sensitive topics, etc.—to ensure players have a deeper and more meaningful connection with the game they’re playing while also having fun. For anyone that wants to understand the process of game localization, I’d suggest reading this blog post.

What are the top skills a game localizer needs?

Because many games are set in a unique world that is not necessarily an accurate depiction of reality, you have to get creative when localizing games, as you may find new words and concepts that need to be fully understood in order to provide translations in the best possible way. Role-playing games are known for being very complex and rich in lore, so if that’s the kind of game you’re localizing, playing around with your imagination and tapping into your ingenuity will definitely be helpful. In case you’re dealing with subtitles or on-screen text—like quick tips and dialogs—there’s also a chance that you may have to condense long sentences into simpler text that is easier to read. For this, exercising your summarizing skills is also recommended.

What steps would you say are essential when translating games and what things do you consider fundamental?

Checking the client-provided materials is a basic step in this process, as it helps you to identify and meet the client’s expectations, as well as to be aware of the tone/register you’ll need to use when producing content in your target language. Ensuring consistency is a requirement in any localization project, so that’s another step. Other than that, I’d say you need to get familiar with how the game itself works and how its different elements are connected to anticipate any challenges you might face during the actual translation process. As always, conducting a final QA step is key to providing a high-quality localization.

How do you prepare for a gaming translation?

Preparing to localize a video game is not much different from the work that goes into preparing for other types of localization projects. It usually starts with getting familiar with the materials provided by the client, if any, understanding the client’s expectations, and doing some research on the game at hand or the studio that developed it. However, it does help if you have access to a demo so that you can experience the game for yourself prior to localizing it.

What CAT tools or other software should a video game translator master?

Most video games are localized using the major CAT tools that are available on the market and that translators are already used to, such as Trados Studio and memoQ. You may come across some projects that require working online, though, especially if the testing team is still making changes to the game content, so mastering online tools is also important. Smartcat and Crowdin are a few examples. In addition, it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with subtitling software as well, such as SubtitleEdit, because many games today have extensive dialogues and cutscenes, and sometimes you have to fit several lines into the screen.

Can you give us examples of challenges you have faced working in this industry? Tell us an example.

Just last month, I reviewed a subtitling project for a leading game developer and publisher where there were many different speakers all talking at the same time in a scene. This proved to be quite a challenge, as the subtitles had to be concise due to spacing limitations and convey the meaning of every utterance. On this occasion, I had to omit parts of the original content, which was not an easy decision to make (and could lead to issues if done carelessly), but in the end, it was the only possible solution.

Are there any ethical dilemmas when translating in this industry? 

It really depends on the language you’re translating to and the country where the localized version of the game will be published. As a rule, it is important to be aware of the state of the world and to always be respectful of different cultures. In more conservative countries, for example, swear words are still taboo and frowned upon, even in informal contexts, so translating them while also maintaining the same tone can be a problem if the game you’re localizing includes that kind of content.

Do you consider yourself a gamer? Can you tell us some of your favorite games? 

I enjoy playing video games during my free time. They can be quite engaging and are great for bonding with other people, either online or locally. Some of my favorite titles are Outlast, The Last of Us (Parts I and II), the Resident Evil franchise, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

What is your vision for the future of the gaming industry localization worldwide? And for Brazil?

Based on recent reports and surveys, the gaming localization market is evidently on the rise and will continue to expand around the world and in Brazil specifically. Our country is one of the biggest consumers of video and mobile games, so there will probably be many opportunities to explore this industry. Brazilian Portuguese is already considered one of the top in-demand target languages for the gaming sector, and this means we can expect more developers and publishers to invest in the localization of their games into the language. 

Can you give us some advice for aspiring gaming linguists?

The best advice I can give is this: play as many games as you can, from different genres and for different platforms, both the original and the localized version, if available. It’s also helpful to watch videos and read articles that detail how a specific game was developed because then you’ll have a better understanding of the mechanics of video games. This will also help you improve your gaming vocabulary, which can be really useful as you take on a localization project.

Brazilian Portuguese – The most in-demand language for the Gaming sector

Game localization for Brazilian Portuguese – a promising market

The Video Game industry shows no sign of slowing down. In the past few years, the fact that an increasing variety of titles and platforms are available (console, PC, and mobile) has attracted more and more people to the gaming world.

Data from a report by a leading provider of gaming market statistics, Newzoo, shows that the number of players is higher than ever, and an estimated 3 billion people worldwide will dedicate many hours of playtime to gaming entertainment by 2023. This indicates that a large part of the global population accesses game content on a constant basis.

Because most game development studios are based in the United States, new titles are initially released in English. But not all players speak English, which can result in a poor experience due to the language barrier. In Brazil, only 5% of the population aged 16 and above say they have some knowledge of English. 

That’s where game localization comes in: the process of translating and adapting content from a video game to a target location and culture so that players feel as though it was originally created for them. This involves translating character dialogues, instructions, lore, menus, and basically everything that can be seen on screen when playing a game. 

Sounds like quite a task, huh? 

Luckily, with an experienced team of professional translators specialized in localization, this can be successfully done.

As a first step, translators must familiarize themselves with the reference materials provided by the client (assuming they exist)—termbases, style guides, translation memory—and with the game itself to know how all the pieces will fit together in the final product. Playing the actual game can be very helpful, but this is only possible when it has already been launched in English and when it is either free of charge or when the client provides access to a demo to those involved in the translation process.

Sometimes, due to developers’ and publishers’ confidentiality concerns, the game is unavailable, and no screenshots and scripts are provided, making the task more challenging for translators. In these cases, it is especially useful to choose translators who are gamers themselves, so they can use their “XP” to figure out the context of the sentences.

After getting familiar with the content, it is time to translate! During this process, the translator should aim at keeping consistency throughout the game for words and expressions that come up several times. These words may or may not be in the glossary. In battle royale games, for example, a lot of the terms used are widely known by the audience and might not be in the glossary. Consistency is key either way.

Another characteristic of translating games is the need to transcreate certain elements. Depending on the client’s requirements and the genre, this may include names of characters and places, collectible items, weapons, special abilities, jokes, and cultural references. A classic example is the Goth family in The Sims series. Instead of simply choosing “Gótico”—this would be the literal equivalent in Brazilian Portuguese—the translation team went for a less obvious yet great option: “Caixão” (coffin), which is not only similar to “Paixão,” a common Portuguese last name but also semantically linked to the original name.

Some parts of the game (i.e. buttons, actions, technical data, etc.) do not require full transcreation and can be translated by relying on translation memory and a machine translation engine. Chosen by the client, this translation engine automatically translates the source content into the target content, which is then post-edited by translators to make sure it fully conveys the intended meaning. This saves money and time, and translators can focus on finding the best solution for more complex aspects which require a creative approach.

Once the translation is complete, the review step is carried out to ensure that the text complies with the client-provided materials, that no omissions have been made, and the source meaning is aptly conveyed. To do this, reviewers read the source text line by line and compare it to the target content while making the appropriate changes where necessary. The target text must sound as fluent as possible so that the local audience can actually feel that the game has been produced especially for them and makes complete sense for their region.

Finally, in the quality assurance step, translators improve the final content quality by checking minor issues, such as words that are misplaced due to last-minute changes made in the previous step. If possible, they also test the game to verify how it will look on real devices. This is done to make sure that all the visual elements are clearly visible and that no text is truncated while playing the game. These days, this step is usually completed on a sample of interactive screens from the actual game interface or screenshots provided by the client.

With a market size of nearly $200 billion in 2022, it is evident that the gaming industry is a profitable space, specifically in Brazil, where a great part of the population plays video games. This is in line with data published by LocalizedDirect: one of the top 5 target languages for the gaming market is Brazilian Portuguese, which is the main language TextTrans works with.

Our team of expert translators includes many gaming enthusiasts and players, as well as those with relevant marketing and legal translation experience for the additional accompanying materials! 

So, should you need help, we support you when you need to localize games, no matter the genre, so you reach the next level in the localization industry. 😉

For any questions, please feel free to contact us at