How to make game localization faster?
It’s common to see gamers complaining how slow the game releasing in different regions, some even taking months. Even if game localization takes much less time than it used to, there are still cases of long delays between local releases.
Speaking of the game translation, even an experienced translator won’t be able to handle much more than 3,000 words a day. In some cases, a single translator would need a few years to translate a large RPG on adventure game! Though splitting the work between translators is an obvious solution to reduce that time, it also creates issues that are time-consuming in themselves: language translators have different writing styles, so consistency issues may arise, making the proofreading and linguistic testing process longer. Also, testing takes a lot of time: to see the translated strings in context, even with an automated script, translators will need to sit in front of a screen for hours and hours.
There is still something we can do to make the whole progress faster. First of all, developers can get their games ready for new markets in a reasonable time. But for text-rich games, there aren’t too many workarounds, especially if you decide to localize the game after its initial release. Then, the key to release a game worldwide at the same time is organization is: prepare the game texts during the design stage and get the localization team on board as early as possible. Linguistic testing should then be undergone at the same time as functional `testing.
While currently the problem is that localization is overlooked by most developers: in general, texts are prepared in the late stages of developments, when it’s already too late. The best way to go about this is to educate developers about game localization and have them plan localization as early as possible.