[MUSAI] Useful Software to Boost Your Game Localization Process, ① In-game Text Localization

2021-08-20

 

 

 

When you think about game localization, you may think ‘isn’t it enough to have a good translation skill or language skill?’. However, in fact, it is also an area that requires the ability to use various tools and software including CAT tools at your command. Now that there are a lot of different software for translation in the market and using a proper tool became an important factor to achieve efficiency. In that sense, we discussed which CAT tool is suitable for game localization in the last article, and many people gave feedback that the information was helpful. (See. Which CAT tool is the Best for the Game Localization? http://blog.musaistudio.com/musai-which-cat-tool-is-the-best-for-the-game-localization)

 

The CAT tools introduced in the last article are mainly used for game localization. However, additional tools are occasionally needed when the number of files to deal with is large and even the structure of text files is complicated due to variables or tags. Therefore, in this article, we will look at ‘auxiliary tools’ that can improve efficiency in addition to the main translation tools. (I would like to inform you that I am out of all relation to the company of the tools introduced below.)

 

Who Needs the Tools?

CAT tools, which are mainly used in localization, are not just tools simply for translation. In the last article, I mentioned that CAT tools have developed tremendously compared to the past. As CAT tools developed, various functions, especially QA functions, were added. If you are a freelance translator, the QA function built into CAT tools will be sufficient to check and verify the translation work assigned to you before delivery to LSP.

 

On the other hand, the ‘auxiliary tool’ can be helpful for a localization manager at game companies or a PM at localization agencies who are working on a localization project with a large number of files, a complex structure, and frequent updates. You don’t have to go into the details right now, but I hope you look through this article at least. As you deal with a diversity of projects, the name of tools introduced in this article may pop up in your mind one day and help you to improve the efficiency of your localization process.     

 

Choose a Proper Tool Depending on Your Purpose!

Now, let’s take a look at the types and purposes of tools.

 

1.Quality Assurance

Localization is a process done by a human being. Therefore, ‘0% of error rate’ is considered impossible. However, each localization team works hard to minimize the error rate and using QA tools is a part of that effort. To be specific, the localization team performs QA in the CAT tools and uses an additional QA tool if it is still insufficient before delivery. A representative QA tool is ‘Xbench’. There are a few other localization QA tools out there, but personally I don’t think there is a tool better than ‘Xbench’ in many ways. (However, it is charged from 3.0.) Like as ‘Example 1’ below, items such as untranslated segments and consistency in both source and target can be checked in the basic section.

[Image 1] The basic QA items of ‘Xbench’ (Source: Musai Studio)

 

Also, as you can see the ‘Example 2’ below, you can check all common error types that can occur in localization work you may think ‘check all these things for real?’.

[Image 2] The QA items in the ‘Content’ section of ‘Xbench’ (Source: Musai Studio)

 

As in the case of ‘Example 3’, if there are special conditions or requirements for each project, it is possible to check after writing the project checklist.

[Image 3] Project Checklist of ‘Xbench’ (Source: Musai Studio)

 

Furthermore, in the case of games, there are things to be careful about during the QA process. In terms of consistency, there are many cases where translations are intentionally different for same source segments, so you should never apply all the result of the QA report as they are. For this reason, it is best to apply the QA results by the lead linguist who fully understands the project. If you are a localization manager at game companies, please make sure that this kind of ‘false-positives’ case that appeared in the QA process should be excluded when you give QA feedback to localization companies to avoid confusion.

 

2. Compare Tool

 

  • Beyond Compare

It is a tool that can compare anything you can think of such as comparison folder by folder or file by file, etc. Localization PMs compare the file or folder structure of the localized files to the source before delivery by using this tool. As for localization engineers, it is used when they check that the translations are entered in the correct location within the text file with maintaining the parts that shouldn’t be modified. It is also possible to print a report after analysis.

[Image 4] The view window of ‘Beyond Compare’ (Source: Musai Studio)

 

  • Apsic Comparator

A free comparison software provided by the company that created ‘Xbench’. It can be an alternative to ‘Beyond Compare’ for those who don’t want to use the paid one.

 

3. File Naming

There are so many tools for file naming so that it is difficult to pinpoint which one is the best. However, I recommend that you try several tools and choose the one that you like because there are many cases necessary to set a naming convention while you are working on a localization project. In my case, I am using ‘Renamer’ and ‘DarkNamer’.

[Image 5] The window of ‘add rule’ in ‘Renamer’ (Source: Musai Studio)

 

4. Screenshot

Likewise, there are tons of tools to create a screenshot and you must know one at least. In the case of localization PMs, it is often necessary to take screenshots when communicate with clients and freelancers by email, to write documents for Lockit, and to record bugs. In my case, I prefer screenshot tools with a hotkey, mainly use ‘Lightshot’. (The hotkeys make your life easier for sure.)

[Image 6] ‘Lightshot’, a screenshot tool with a hotkey (Source: Google search)

 

5. Office Plug-ins

 

  • Excel Add-ins

As you work in the localization industry, you will come across ‘Excel add-ins (XLA)’ many times. It is provided by clients sometimes, and in others, it is developed by a localization company. Moreover, there are cases published add-ins are used as needed. For this reason, it is difficult to recommend which one is the right one or introduce a certain one due to the different ownership is different.

However, if you think ‘it would be great to have such a function when working with Excel’, search the web or ask someone with a lot of localization experience. I’m sure you can find whatever you need.

 

  • TransTools

Office plugin for localization work. As I mentioned earlier, as CAT tools develops, it is used relatively less than before. However, it provides very useful functions for QA and other convenient functions as well. Don’t forget it can be used as a trial for 45 days!

[Image 7] The functions of ‘TransTools’ (Source: www.translatortools.net)

 

We’ve discussed several tools and software helpful for the localization process. Aside from the tools mentioned today, there are many smart tools out there. The preference for each tool can be vary depending on how you feel comfortable with it and even you may already know more tools! I hope you found today’s article useful and will be back with information about useful tools for voiceover in the next article.

 

 

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