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.

Deciding between generic or customized MT engines

What should you consider before deciding?

Choosing the right MT engine can be challenging, especially if you don’t know which engine has the best features and customizations for your project. 

Implementing the wrong MT engine, whether generic or customized, can lead to poor results and higher costs, resulting in linguistic mistakes that are out of context and lack any specific writing style. 

When translating a text with a professional translator specialized in, for example, Banking or Marketing, the final result can lead to higher accuracy in the text. The same will happen if we work with a customized MT engine trained in a specific domain with additional contextual information to increase accuracy in the final project. 

There are different levels of performance in a customized MT engine. So here are some things to consider when choosing the correct MT.

Choosing the right MT engine can take time. Therefore, getting feedback from the translators and post-editors working on the project is essential. 

In Episode 5, our expert Laura Casanellas tells us more about the different types of MT engines you can find and tips for choosing the right MT and what to consider.

In this episode, Patricia Freitag, our expert in translation and post-editing, also shares her experience and gives some examples of common mistakes when translating with a generic or customized engine. 

“There are many common errors, some are bigger, and some are easier to spot,” says Patricia Freitag. 

That is why the post-editor must work as part of the process to detect any issues in the translation. 

Some examples of issues our expert Patrica shared are:  

  • Words that can be used in many industries like “chip.” Depending on the context, the meaning can change. 
  • Punctuation issues like .pdf – some MT would put a space after the period
  • Product names – e.g., YouTube
  • Association between segments can be an issue when translating from ENG to POR, for example.

You can watch more common errors and examples to consider when choosing an MT engine for your projects in Episode 6 – Usual and unusual errors in Portuguese- The TextTrans experience.

In most cases and projects, a machine translation post-editing expert will be required to eliminate issues and provide better quality for the project. 

In conclusion, choosing the best MT engine will depend on the project. 

We encourage you to watch our video series ‘Adventures in Machine Translation’ to help you choose the right generic or customized MT engine and the things you should consider before making the final decision. 

You can also contact us at TextTrans; we will be happy to provide you with more information.

And if you want to know more about our experts, you can watch Episode 1 of our adventure series.

What is the secret to high-quality post-editing?

What is the secret to high-quality post-editing? Are quality expectations different for post-edited content than for translated content?

Machine translation post-editing (MTPE) is the process where pre-translated text by a machine translation (MT) engine is then reviewed by a specialized post-editor meeting the specific project needs and the quality standards required. 

MT can enhance and facilitate the translator’s work by making the process faster and increasing their speed to be able to translate large quantities of texts in a shorter space of time.

MTPE also involves providing the desired level of output quality depending on the client requirements.  In the industry, there are two types of post-editing:

  • Light post-editing (LPE) – the text is modified by the post-editor to make sure the text is legible and accurately conveys the meaning of the source document, ensuring that the main ideas are clear in the target language. 
  • Full post-editing (FPE) – the text is thoroughly reviewed and edited to ensure that there are no errors, focusing on accuracy and legibility. This can also include stylistic factors.

Assuring high-quality results from MTPE requires many steps, not only the actual post-editing but also reviewing source texts, creating a termbase, research, and more.

In the 3rd episode of our Adventure in Machine Translation Series, our experts talk about the differences between post-editing and translation, the importance of providing post-editing services with trained translators, the secret to high-quality post-editing, and other topics. 

You can watch the video here: 

Episode 3 – What is the secret to high-quality post-editing

But let’s not stop there…

These days it is not only important to provide translation and MT services, but to have trained and specialized translators in MTPE. It is important that language specialists and the client share information in order to meet the quality expectations. This makes sure that the quality and accuracy of the text are met, as well as the client’s expectations. 

In Episode 4, Patricia Freitag and Laura Casanellas talk about the essential elements for post-editing, some of the common errors, and what to expect when we use MT as a tool. Additionally, they address topics like skills translator specialists should have, preparing and empowering professionals in the translation industry, and how to get the most out of MT services.

As many questions about MT and MTPE appear, you can learn more about the answers by watching the video here:

Episode 4 – Errors, expectations and editing? What do you need to know?

If you want to see more of our episodes, we invite you to visit our YouTube channel and our LinkedIn profile for more updates.

Is my content suitable for Machine Translation?

The demand for content is constantly increasing, and users expect this content to be available in their language almost immediately. 

Being able to communicate with customers in their language shows them respect and care. This adds value to your company and your loyal customers. But translating large amounts of content can take a long time and can be expensive. 

Recent developments in technology have enabled massive improvements in Machine Translation (MT). Large amounts of content can be translated quickly with the aid of MT, maintaining high-quality levels and reducing costs. 

In this second episode of our series, our experts Laura Casanellas, from MagicBeans Agency, and Patricia Freitag, our Linguistic Lead at TextTrans, provide a deeper understanding of which content works best with MT. 

Our experts discuss topics like content types, syntax, creative language, the difference between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese when using MT, and much more. 

Click on the video below to watch their conversation!

If you want to watch the first episode and get to know more about our experts, please click in the link below.

Adventures in Machine Translation Series

As you know MT is becoming more important in our industry and is here to stay. 

We thought it might be interesting for you to learn about some of the specificities of Machine Translation at TextTrans. So we have created a short series of videos to dig deeper on the topic providing you with two different perspectives in MT from two experts in the area.

Our experts are Laura Casanellas from MagicBeans Agency and Patricia Freitag, our Linguistic Lead at TextTrans.

Laura Casanellas has 20 years of experience in the localization industry and 10 years as an MT consultant. She currently works assisting companies with Machine Translation, Technology, and Language Quality implementations.

Laura Casanellas Luri
Machine Translation Expert
Magic Beans Agency

Patricia has over 10 years of experience in translation and reviewing and is specialized in English to Portuguese post-editing and in translator training. Additionally, she is currently completing her PhD research in the use of natural language in translation.

Patricia Freitag
Linguistic Lead at TextTrans

In the series Laura and Patricia will discuss many topics related to MT like:

  • Which Content is suitable
  • Post-editing best practices
  • Common errors to avoid
  • MT implementation success stories
  • MT providers and CAT tools
  • and many more…

Get to know these two experts and their experience in the first short video here!