* 理想情况是数据库存在道具（游戏邦注：最好包含统计数据）和NPC截图（+ NPC性别）。
Translation: What’s the point when localizing?
by Volker Morbach
Localization – A freelancer’s point of view:
As a freelance translator who has been working on various published titles for various agencies and publishers in the past, I’d like to share my experience with anyone who is interested in organizing a faster and better localization process.
The ideal scenario is as follows:
* The game has a database which contains every string that needs to be translated in some kind of organized order.
* Ideally this database has a screenshot for items (preferably with stats) and NPCs (+ NPC gender).
* Even more importantly, it should be possible to find out whether the string in question is a button, tooltip, system message, dialog entry, player’s response, quest description, item description, help text, website text, item name, NPC name, monster name or place name.
* During translation it will be very helpful if translators are able to upload and download their translations directly into and from the database.
* Even more helpful will be a centralized communication platform (forum), eliminating the need for forwarding and keeping track of countless emails.
* The main purpose of the database is to be able to locate string X. If the translator knows where the string is used in-game he can come up with the most appropriate solution (as opposed to the solution that is the “safest” choice).
If this database can be exported into a excel file, everything will be fine and translators will be overjoyed to be working with something properly documented and organized for a change.
The majority of poorly translated terms come into existence because the context/big picture was lost. – I have been working on material in the past where dialog entries, system messages and players’ answers were happily presented together, without any indication about who is actually talking to whom. I spent more energy trying to figure out what’s actually going on than actually thinking about what would be fun to read in this situation.
Translators can translate about 12500 words/week, this includes checking, research and filing queries.
The cost can be anywhere from $80-$160/1000 words, depending on the people that are hired, their experience and the material. Although hiring agencies to do the loca will eventually produce acceptable results, it is neither the cheapest nor fastest option. Agencies are basically marketing corporations who may or may not hire the best people for the job.
In theory setting up the database should be enough. All a team of translators needs is a bunch of excel files and some kind of “map” to know where the strings have been taken from. Obviously you will also need somebody to coordinate the team. One of the translators (the best/most experienced one) will be able to do this.
The main difficulty is transforming the material into segemented strings (preferably sentences) to set-up some kind of “library” of all strings that need to be translated. For larger projects a database is mandatory. Otherwise a lot of time and quality will be lost with filing tons of queries and doing many hours of first guessing and then editing where guesses have proved to be wrong.
For smaller projects translation directly in the source material is possible although not very desirable.
Small teams of carefully chosen translators will perform best. Also setting up a forum somewhere and answering all kinds of questions during the start is much better than filtering valuable info through an agent.
This article tries to give a general idea about what would be desirable from a translator’s point of view. Any thoughts, comments and ideas on this subject are welcome.（Source：Gamasutra）