Wasteland 2 Polish and Russian localization confirmed

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Maxxim

    Maxxim First time out of the vault

    34
    Apr 2, 2003
    Sam Ecorners, I'm trying to focus on solutions that produce predictable results in predictable timeframes. Crowdsourcing is not one of them.

    egalor, my idea here is to counter the intuitive but profoundly incorrect assumption many laymen have that translation is easy and natural just because understanding and producing speech/text in one's native language is easy and natural.

    In my line of work, I see this fundamental misunderstanding very, very often. E.g. some corporation pays its consultants hundreds of dollars an hour for several months to come up with a clever marketing slogan, and then expects translators to localize it in a few hours' time for ten cents per word.

    Another profoundly incorrect assumption that I'm targeting with the "clone Avellone" dictum is that all languages are equal and translation is some sort of a mechanical process whereby you "just say what he said" or "just write this in your language, how hard can it be?".

    Of course, I'm not saying that good translation is impossible, that would be silly. I'm saying that to achieve a perfect translation you would need to clone Avellone (with a different native language for each copy). And since we can't clone Avellone even though we really love MCA and want more of him around, we have to settle for good translation. But again, producing a good translation is a lot harder than it may seem to most people.
     
  2. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    Unfortunately, Brian confirmed to me that they want to "fan source" the whole localization. Which I don't think is the best idea.
     
  3. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    I know that I won't be involved in the german localization. Just don't want to spoil me the game. :)
     
  4. Maxxim

    Maxxim First time out of the vault

    34
    Apr 2, 2003
    So Brian really plans to crowdsource the localization, huh? That's a shame.

    Because I strongly support Brian's approach of making games "by gamers, for gamers". Making games that you enjoy making for fans that enjoy playing them without some suit writing you a check, looking over your shoulder and telling you what to do.

    And I believe that this new-found freedom gives us a chance to finally translate the games we like — and do it properly.

    There is one simple reason why so many game localizations suck. Publishers don't care. They don't know better and they just can't be bothered.

    For publishers, localization is a "market thing". It's just another checkbox on the list of things to be done if you want to market to a certain geography. Legal/patent research? — Check. Regulatory compliance? — Check. Localization? — Check.

    This is why a translator gets a "localization kit" (which is just another name for an Excel spreadsheet with all the text strings from the game) and pathetically little time to do the job. Something doesn't make sense? Text strings in the Excel file are in random order? You don't understand some idiomatic expression despite googling hard for it? Tough luck pal, because you're on your own. You want to see how all those disembodied strings look in the actual game? You'll see them after it hits the shelves.

    Those who understand Russian can follow the links I posted earlier in this topic to catch a few glimpses of how The Witcher was localized into Russian. Basically, the translators had a couple of Excel spreadsheets and 8 months to process more than a megabyte of text. They did… OK, but not too well. And it was The Witcher, a game based on a popular, well-established fictional universe with several officially translated bestselling books.

    I hoped Wasteland 2 would be a welcome departure from the "checkbox approach" to localization. I hoped that with the creative people back at the helm, localization will be what it should be — a way to create a faithful reproduction of your world for the people that don't speak your language — or just don't know it well enough to enjoy all the fine details.

    And this is where my "clone Avellone" argument applies once again.

    If you think you can crowdsource a faithful reproduction of Avellone's or Stackpole's writing in other languages, then it logically follows that you could have just crowdsourced the original writing. But that would be absurd, right? Ergo, the idea of crowdsourcing the localization is absurd.

    No, seriously.
     
  5. Sam Ecorners

    Sam Ecorners Vault Senior Citizen
    Orderite

    Jan 23, 2007
    Once again, have you seen any notabenoid translations?
     
  6. Maxxim

    Maxxim First time out of the vault

    34
    Apr 2, 2003
    No. Why?
     
  7. Sam Ecorners

    Sam Ecorners Vault Senior Citizen
    Orderite

    Jan 23, 2007
    Because, apparently, they're very good. Notabenoid allows users to post their translation of some text, sentence by sentence, and lets other users to vote for best version. It's not perfect, but pretty interesting as an idea. Check it out: http://notabenoid.com
     
  8. Kyuu

    Kyuu Insert Awesome Title Here

    Jul 19, 2007
    While having a good localization team with (practically) unlimited time to translate and 24-hour access to the writing staff for clarification on issues would be ideal, it's not realistic. When you're dealing with publishers, they don't want to spend the money. With Wasteland 2, it seems to me like that'd consume an inordinate amount of the budget, especially given how text-heavy Wasteland 2 is likely to be.

    Fan-sourcing might be the only realistic way to do it.
     
  9. Maxxim

    Maxxim First time out of the vault

    34
    Apr 2, 2003
    Sam Ecorners, pointing your finger in the general direction of the solution you propose is not the way to have a constructive argument. You think Wasteland 2 needs translation by committee? Cool. Build your case for Notabenoid and defend it.

    Or, if you're feeling particularly lazy, mount an attack on my case and make me defend it. But know that eventually I may ask you to present and defend your own alternative solution.

    Kyuu, you are wrong on both counts. Nowhere did I assert that my solution (which I haven't even described properly yet) will require «unlimited time to translate and 24-hour access to the writing staff».

    And the problem with publishers is not about money. The problem is that publishers don't care. Actually, I emphasized it three times: "Publishers don't care. They don't know better and they just can't be bothered." I even went into some more details on why they don't care.
     
  10. Sam Ecorners

    Sam Ecorners Vault Senior Citizen
    Orderite

    Jan 23, 2007
    I really don't care and I'm definitely not getting into an argument over it. I asked for an opinion is a tool I've heard about. I don't know if it works and I don't really care that much to try to find out. I just asked for an opinion.

    Personally, I consume my English media in English and Russian media in Russian, so i give about a quarter of a fuck about quality of w2 localization. I've also tried translating stuff before and it was hard, so I guess I know that, too. And that's about where my personal interest in this topic ends. But yeah, no reason to calm down on my accord, you might still be able to turn this into a heated e-peen argument with someone else.
     
  11. Kyuu

    Kyuu Insert Awesome Title Here

    Jul 19, 2007
    Obviously I was using a bit of hyperbole. But if you have a better idea for doing the localization without spending a ton of money, then by all means spit it out.
    Uh huh, right. So If they could get awesome localization done for free, their apathy towards it would be so great they wouldn't do it?