Bad Video Game Translations

Bad Video Game Translations and How to Avoid Them

Bad video game translations and how to avoid them

Video games are one of the top priorities of the translation industry, and several video game translation services offer high-quality converted material. But don’t be fooled. Some video games have become notorious for poor translations! However, this does not mean that it was done on purpose. If you compare the game industry of ten years ago with today’s, it has developed tremendously.

Today, video game translation services are fast-paced, technology-driven, and use a hybrid approach to learn from their mistakes. The original translation and development of a video game is a time-consuming process. We all know that the majority of video games are produced in Japan. As a result, the majority of players were also Japanese.

This has created a significant market for online video games in Japan, but it has also caused difficulties for developers when they had to translate text and conversation into other languages.

Poor translations led to negative results and hurt sales. So how can we solve this problem? Read on to learn how to avoid similar mistakes.

Don’t cut corners when it comes to translation/localization.

In order to reach a larger audience, localization of your game and the quality of translation are crucial. There are many methods for localizing your game, each with their own costs. Some are free, but their quality is questionable. Budget cuts may seem lucrative in the short term, but they will cost much more in the long run. The first language or text that the player is confronted with gives him an immediate impression of the quality of your game. Working with an experienced game translation agency, like DYS Translations, will result in better localization and more profit.

Don’t use non-game translators.

Having talked about cultural localization of games, another important point in choosing the right translation providers and translators.

When translating the game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” from English to Japanese, the translators made a crucial mistake that resulted in misunderstanding the voice output or sound localization in certain audio lines of the game.



Give the translators enough context

Each game has its own storyline that the player needs to thoroughly understand in order to enjoy it. If something is lost in translation, the game may not make sense in the other language. Therefore, one of the most important aspects of translating games is providing translators with sufficient information about the game.

A style guide as well as a description of the scenes, characters and other important features must be provided to the translation company you choose. In addition, creating a glossary of terms will ensure that the game is consistent and the translation is successful.


To avoid poor video game translations, it is best to work with a translation platform that understands the company’s requirements in every aspect, from content to target culture, from consistency to meeting deadlines and so on.
DYS Translations has worked with some of the largest gaming companies in the world. We can assist you with your game translation needs based on our industry knowledge.


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