Good localization: mission impossible

    Good afternoon, reader! We, the All Correct Localization company , have been engaged in software localization since 2006, and games since 2008, and during this time we managed to get into the twenty largest translation companies in Eastern Europe. On the pages of our blog we will share our experience with you. We think it will prove useful to many ambitious developers of software and games.

    Want to know a recipe for disgusting localization? To directly to any gate? Without the slightest hope of success? Then listen!

    Once, a test task from the customer came to our company. It was necessary to translate chatbot questions from English into Russian, and most importantly - come up with answers to them! Of course, the answers should have been intriguing, witty, but not offensive, in general, such that the user had a desire to continue the conversation with the electronic interlocutor.

    Naturally, the entire editorial team was delighted! Truly creative assignments come across to us infrequently. The translator did her best. She remembered everything: Bulgakov’s “I’m sitting, repairing the stove”, and “Fresh breath makes understanding easier”, and even the Higgs boson.

    When we received a positive review, developing into an order, our happiness was unlimited. The project had every chance to take its place of honor in the business cases of the company, but ...

    But this day has come. We were sent texts to work. Doubts crept in already at the stage of reading the multi-page style guide sent by the customer. Almost nothing was possible on it. The user should communicate extremely correctly, a step to the left or right of the customer’s instructions was punishable by execution. The wings of our muse were thoroughly cut.

    But when we opened the texts themselves, we realized that they were still flowers! And now, attention, the promised recipe for disgusting localization.
    1. Let the Koreans write a list of possible questions to the chatbot.
    2. Have the Koreans translate it into English.
    3. The same Koreans (!!!) instruct to translate it into Russian.
    4. And finally, instruct them to come up with answers in English that correspond, in their opinion, to the current realities of Russia.
    5. Send all this porridge from English and Russian to Russians along with the form in which they should write down each sneeze and coordinate with the customer. Of course, you need to enter everything in English.

    Do you think that the question has been translated incorrectly? Keep in shape!

    Do you think the proposed answer does not correspond to the question? Keep in shape!

    There is a question, but there is no answer to it? Or is there an answer, but what is not clear? Well, in general, you already understood ...

    Given that Koreans worked on both English and Russian issues, the first two cases met literally every other time. As a result, the team spent twice as much time filling out the form than the translation itself. At the same time, we were not the ones working on the project, and, apparently, not all other participants treated this procedure with due attention. Or maybe they came across better quality fragments, I don’t know ... As a result, the customer sincerely wondered why everyone had already handed over the work, and we are still filling out the forms.

    Here are some examples of Koreans:
    Original"Translation "
    You're still here, right?Will you go?
    How about if we fuck?Are you kidding me?
    I beg your forgiveness.What?
    I understand, don't worry about it.Calmly, Masha, I'm Dubrovsky!
    Areyouafairy?Do you belong to homosexuals?

    It is noteworthy that the answer to the last question was supposed to be: I'm not a mythical creature (I am not a mythical creature). Know, homosexuality is a myth!

    The rest of the illustrations for fairies and homo ... homosexuals were ruthlessly rejected by censorship.

    Since the English versions of the answers were given to us, all that was needed was to translate them! Essentially, there was no talk about any creative. On the contrary, if you suddenly want to offer your answer, and not translate the existing one, you should justify in the comments why you thought so!

    Only sometimes it was possible to joke more or less successfully within the framework of the proposed answer.
    XXX is an efficient email system.XXX is an effective mail system.I've heard it really delivers.They say she really delivers.

    Separate attention deserves the very selection of questions. For some reason, a rather considerable part of it is occupied by topics of sexual orientation and sex in general. And sex with the umm ... device itself, that is, a chat bot.

    Are you a traditional sexual orientation? How do you have sex? Do you do cybersex? Want to have sex with me? Do you like to caress yourself? Well and further in the same vein.

    I don’t know who will begin to ask all this from his own phone, let alone offer it! But for such cases I would have provided for an automatic call "03".

    But at Kutrappali and Siri everything was clean and innocent ...

    A number of issues were also devoted to such acute topics as the relationship between peoples. For example, in the original, i.e. in the Korean version of the chatbot, it was about relations between Korea and Japan. For those who do not know: the echoes of Japanese colonization are still given in pain in the souls of many Koreans. Accordingly, in the Russian version, the Koreans decided to replace South Korea with Russia in their issues, and Japan with Germany. The result is the following:

    I think that the Japanese government should formally apologize to comfort women.

    Germany must apologize to Russian women.

    I think that there needs to be a formal apology from Japan to Korea.

    The Germans have not yet atoned for their fault with the Russians.

    and etc.

    I do not presume to say how much this topic is relevant in this vein at the moment in Russia, but the Russians certainly have many no less provocative and sensitive issues regarding the national question. Relations with the Chechen Republic, the problem of migrant workers and so on. If one wants to make a list of such questions, it should be much wider and more diverse.

    What is noteworthy, some of the questions about culture have remained non-localized, i.e. they still featured in the Japanese:
    I'm not sure about Japanese politicians.Politicians in Japan are some kind of weirdo.
    I prefer not to play Japanese games.Japanese shit games.

    (an excellent translation of the last sentence, isn’t it?)

    If a Russian user may well have an opinion about Japanese games (which is quite consistent with the translation proposed by the Koreans), then we are very little familiar with Japanese politicians in our country. And they are not very interested in the average Russian.

    So what do I want to say with all of this? And here's what:

    If you are going to enter a foreign market with your product, which, moreover, is highly creative and requires localization taking into account national and cultural characteristics, be courageous, tear off your favorite brainchild from tittieshearts and give it to professionals. Professionals in the country of localization! Sometimes the desire to control everything and take control can do a disservice.

    All this can be very briefly illustrated with this comic:


    Posted by Epoha3004

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