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Tag Archives: Localization

Machine Translation Master Course Newsletter – Issue 4

Machine Translation Master Course Newsletter – Issue 4

Machine Translation Master Class Newsletter – Issue 4

 

Recently, Alex Bernet, Manager of Master Class Programming at The Localization Institute interviewed me as the instructor for MTMC. In the interview, I talked about a holistic approach to examining machine translation, human purposes as well as the relationship between CAT and MT. Here I will further elaborate these points. 

 

Intentionality – what distinguishes between humans and machines

 

Imagine yourself alone in a room following a computer program for responding to Chinese characters slipped under the door. You understand nothing of Chinese, and yet, by following the program for manipulating symbols and numerals just as a computer does, you send appropriate strings of Chinese characters back out under the door, and this leads those outside to mistakenly suppose there is a Chinese speaker in the room. This is the famous “Chinese Room Argument” experiment proposed by John Searle in 1980. The person in this experiment is simply an instantiation of a computer program. 

But it does not have intentionality. Such intentionality (as computers appear to have) is solely in the minds of those who program them and those who use them, those who send in the input and those who interpret the output. A computer and its programs are unintentional in nature. That is not their weakness; that is exactly the reason why we use them. They are applicable and potentially useful for any particular person who is willing to and able to bring them to life through the construction of intentionality in his mind. In this perspective, computers and their programs are, no matter whether they are a “learning machine” or not, just tools for human beings – no more, no less. 

 

From CAT to MT – expansion of the technological landscape 

 

The language industry never stops its efforts in using technologies to improve the productivity and efficiency of translation. In the past few decades, it has made great strides in leveraging machine power in a localization workflow. To begin with, computer assisted translation (CAT) tools are used to separate translatable content from formatting, segment and prepare the content in a manner that helps human translators focus on the actual translation. CAT leads to a great success of the accumulation of more relevant language data. And with exponential growth in computing power, the industry starts to revisit the possibility of machine translation and seek the feasibility to ask machines to do more, aiming not only to assist humans to translate, but to translate. 

Any technology can be viewed from two angles: that from a developer’s point of view and that from a user’s. From a developer’s angle, CAT aims to assist human translators whereas MT to train machines for better accuracy and fluency. From a user’s perspective, however, both CAT and MT are used to help humans realize their goals.  

 

A holistic view: MT as part of the human translation process 

MT and CAT are not two separate states. Rather, they are a natural continuation of human’s efforts to use technology. The rise of MT is also a manifestation of the success of CAT tools.  

Likewise, machine translation and human translation are not mutually exclusive. From a user’s perspective, both humans and machines are needed in each phase of a translation process, including the analysis of the source text, parsing of the information, terminology management, the actual language conversion, reviewing and quality evaluation, and publishing. At each phase of the localization process, MT and its relevant technologies can provide insights for humans to draw on. 

The revolution is under way already. The key to meet potential challenges during this journey is to empower users –  translators, project managers, clients and other stakeholders of the localization process – with the most relevant knowledge, skills and best practices so that they can communicate their intentions to machines. By taking a holistic approach to examining machine translation and focusing on the principles behind MT as well as its deployment in various business scenarios, we are getting to the root of the problem.  

 

Takeaways:

  1. Intentionality as computers appear to have is solely in the minds of those who program them and those who use them.
  2. Computers and their programs are essentially tools for human beings.
  3. MT and CAT are not two separate states. 

 

If you want to know more about machine translation, sign up for our next Machine Translation Master Class.

 

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About the Author

Dr. Peng Wang has been teaching, researching and practicing localization in three continents. She is the convener for EDUinLOC, a part-time professor for the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa and a freelance conference interpreter with the Translation Bureau of the Canadian government. Before that, she was a CAT Tools Coordinator at the Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translation at the University of Maryland. She has chaired the automation/AI track for LocWorldWide conferences since 2020. Her current research interests include human learning vs. machine learning, machine translation risk management, terminology and multilingual data analysis.

Dr. Wang began conducting corpus-based translation studies at the University of Liverpool and later she worked in the Corpus Research Lab at the Northern Arizona University. She has a rich experience of teaching multilingual classes, with students aged from 18 to over 70, in over 10 language combinations, coming from UAE, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, Morocco, Colombia, Mexico, and Haiti, to name just a few. She is an expert in approaching technology in the context of culture and humanities.

 

Connect with Dr. Peng Wang:

Connect with Dr. Peng Wang on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pengjanewang/.

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Copyright © 2021 The Localization Institute. All rights reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright notice or references to The Localization Institute, without the permission of the copyright owners. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an “AS IS” basis and THE LOCALIZATION INSTITUTE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Cultural Issues in Video Games Localization: Balancing Expectations Between the General Public and Core Gamers

Cultural Issues in Video Games Localization: Balancing Expectations Between the General Public and Core Gamers

Cultural Issues in Video Games Localization: Balancing Expectations Between the General Public and Core Gamers

Originally published August 1 2016

This is a paper presented by a graduate of the Global Digital Marketing and Localization Certification (GDMLC) program. This paper presents the work being produced by students of The Localization Institute’s Global Digital Marketing and Localization program. The contents of this paper are presented to create discussion in the global marketing industry on this topic; the contents of this paper are not to be considered an adopted standard of any kind. This does not represent the official position of the Brand2Global Conference, The Localization Institute, or the author’s organization.

Note to readers – We have chosen to keep the identity as “anonymous” only due to the highly polarized climate in the gaming localization world. While this student’s paper is a small commentary, many other’s in the industry have been targeted for expressing their own views on localizing games.

 


Abstract
Game localization now plays a big part in the industry’s total revenue stream. Yet, the process of altering game elements to appeal to a global market is sometimes qualified of ‘censorship’ by some vocal strong groups of fans (core gamers) who can now spot the difference from the source language via the instant access to international digital media. Core gamers feel their expectations are being denied for business reasons and their critics can cause a possible impact on sales or brand image. This paper discusses first the common cultural issues encountered in game localization, followed by a selection of cases that triggered players’ uproar. Finally, this paper explores several ways to find the right balance between the different levels of expectations and how to anticipate them.

Introduction
Localization is defined by Singh (2011: 124) as “the process of adapting products and services (websites, manuals and software applications) to the linguistic, cultural, technical, functional, and other locale-specific requirements of the target market”. For video games, there is a general practice Mangiron (2006) describes as making sure the players can experience and enjoy the game as if it were initially created in their own language. Many aspects need to be taken into account to provide this illusion, such as providing different box packagings or altering game elements that were not present in the original product but gives a local feel to the players. Japanese names for instance may be changed into Western names.   ea-sports-ufc-khabib-nurmagomedov

Edwards (2012) defines two types of audiences: the intended (regular game players and/or familiar with the context) and the unintended (little familiarity or no exposure to games). She recommends companies to create content that are compatible with the expectations of those two groups to appeal them. One of those expectations is to anticipate the cultural sensitivity that may offend consumers from different locales, such as: politics, history, faith, mentality, behavior, geography, status, lifestyle, or recent world events. Recently for instance, the publisher Electronic Arts apologized for an oversight in their game EA Sports UFC 2 (2016) in which it gave the non-fictional practicing Muslim fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov a Christian victory celebration gesture, which disappointed Muslim players and the fighter himself.

Yet cultural content that may be removed in certain locales to attract a wider audience and maximize the ROI can also trigger core gamers’ uproar and some of them accuse companies of censorship as the game delivered may not be seen as complete and therefore not faithful to the original product.

Cultural gap between Japanese games connoisseurs and the general public   fire emblem fates

The latest example is Nintendo’s title Fire Emblem Fates (2016) which sparked a great controversy as several removals were made for its US release, such as a minigame where the player can rub allies’ faces in his/her private quarters to strengthen relationships. Another cut-off is a storyline where a character drugs a homosexual female character and convinces her to change her sexual orientation. There were also several lines of dialogues where two characters discuss about their shared love for pickles that got erased and replaced by ellipses.

In this day and age of the internet, masses of fans can now rally globally to express their concerns over the localization process in social media and address directly their feelings to the publishers involved. To some core gamers, Consalvo remarks they perceive games as an artistic form and no textual or visual elements should be altered to preserve the intent of the author (2015: p.143). They often believe that those changes are made solely for business reasons or generating more money. In the present case they used the Twitter hashtag #Torrentialdownpour to complain about the decision-making process and created several online petitions to stop further removals in future games. Orselli, the editor-in-chief of Niche Gamer claims: “I’m of the volition that we should celebrate other cultures and let media from such cultures exist as is, and not have it be altered or sugar-coated for foreign audiences. It’s a catch-22 when trying to appeal for people who may not appreciate things alien to their culture goes and alienates the people who enjoy experiencing other cultures.” (Kotaku, 2015).

Those conflicts can be regular, as Jenkins highlights “fan and corporate interests are never perfectly aligned” (2008, para 15). It seems natural Nintendo wanted to avoid negative media attention by erasing what may be perceived as a “gay conversion therapy” or implicit sexual connotations. Regarding certain dialogues, Nintendo might have assessed they would not be as funny for a Western audience.

As said earlier, game localization generally requires erasing any foreign cultural element to make sure players would experience the same enjoyment as the original audience. This practice is inevitable in terms of money and immersion as Bernal-Merino (2007) explains:

“[What we must] take into account is the cultural context the game is taking for granted. We can assume that hardcore gamers around the globe share a small degree of background knowledge, but that doesn’t apply to most players. The place we grow up in, the customs and lifestyle of the country we live in, can be dramatically different from one player to another. Concepts like ‘funny,’ ‘acceptable,’ ‘honorable’ and so forth – the very way people interact – depend on long established traditions particular to each country or territory. […] Apart from the obvious legal implications, these issues can influence greatly the number of sales in a particular country.”

On the contrary, Consalvo thinks the popularity of those games are precisely due to the foreign cultural elements present: “while most companies attempt through localization to erase the ‘cultural odor’ of their products, more recent hardcore Western fans seem intent on preserving as much of the local Japanese ‘flavor’ as possible. Thus leaving some of the ‘Japanese-ness’ in the game might be as much of a draw as the game’s skillful use of language.” (2015: 129). O’Hagan (2013: 174) also precises games which have plenty of foreign cultural elements can also be popular internationally as long as the narrative and gameplay are entertaining.

To appease core gamers, Orselli states: “I think if more publishers would at least talk about the changes they make and why they made them. People would be a LOT more understanding, at the very least. Instead we mostly get quiet edits/changes/removal of content, and most people avoid talking about it.” (Kotaku, 2015)

Law and Technical issues  game rating systems

Some severe reactions may be due to a lack of knowledge of the industry: players may not be aware of standards and regulations regarding the age-rating system specific to every region that might forbid a release or restrict the audience. O’Hagan and Mangiron (2013: 207) specify Japanese regulations are not as strict regarding contents related to nudity, alcohol or sexuality, which means they would generally be banned for the underage audience internationally when those elements are not toned down.

Localization is also a big investment and the industry is tied to tight deadlines that may not give enough time or funds to provide creative translations. Besides, translating Japanese characters is a challenge: the author Kiyama (1999: 18) says ‘Puns and regional dialects are the bane of all translators of Japanese. […] they revolve around words that sound the same yet have different meanings. These are usually impossible to translate, especially when linked with a visual element.’

Additionally, translations might not be as accurate as the source language because of space restrictions: Latin alphabet appears bigger on screen compared to Japanese characters in text boxes, which would lead to higher development costs to adjust the layout.

Finding the right balance

This paper showed how game localization can create conflicts with some consumers who feel their expectations are not met when adapting a foreign game. It is difficult to accommodate core gamers who view games as an art and the general public who may not be familiar with a particular foreign culture.

Backlash can be anticipated if game developers engage early with localization experts so that they can identify potentially sensitive regional content that game developers may not be aware of. Furthermore, this would also limit literal or uncreative translations that can negatively affect the gaming experience as it might pull the player out of immersion.

Obviously it does not sound ideal if the player needs to search for a particular cultural term frequently during their game experience. However this may also initiate a learning process for different cultures. Perhaps an option could be for game developers to add a feature that would allow people to have an instant access to the definitions for foreign terms. This way, players who do not wish to constantly research for definitions could still see what it is and other players could have it turned off and not break the immersion. Another way to explore would be to have the possibility to implement alternative textual content that would display foreign cultural names.

This would involve more investment; however this could be a further step in game localization and globalization as a whole. Moreover this would improve the brand image of game companies, without turning off any audience. Instead of erasing elements deemed as “alien”, keeping them may break down cultural barriers over time.

 

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About the Author

This student is a localization professional with over five years of experience in different renowned video game companies. All views are his/her own and not of any of employers.

Note to readers – We have chosen to keep the identity as “anonymous” only due to the highly polarized climate in the gaming localization world. While this student’s paper is a small commentary, many other’s in the industry have been targeted for expressing their own views on localizing games. 

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Disclaimer
Copyright © 2021 The Localization Institute. All rights reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright notice or references to The Localization Institute, without the permission of the copyright owners. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an “AS IS” basis and THE LOCALIZATION INSTITUTE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

References

Bernal-Merino, M. (2007). Localization and the Cultural Concept of Play. Available at: http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/454/localization_and_the_cultural_.php

Consalvo, M. (2015). Atari to Zelda. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Critchley, M. (2016). EA Sports apologise for Muslim UFC fighter’s ‘sign of the cross’ celebration. [online] The Independent. Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/mma/ea-sports-issue-apology-to-khabib-nurmagomedov-over-sign-of-the-cross-gesture-in-ufc-video-game-a6948391.html

Edwards, K. (2012). The Top 5 Cultural Issues in Games. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeORLimDppM

Jenkins, H. (2008). The Moral Economy of Web 2.0 (Part Three). [online] Henryjenkins.org. Available at: http://henryjenkins.org/2008/03/the_moral_economy_of_web_20_pa_2.html

Kiyama, H. and Schodt, F. (1999). The four immigrants manga. Berkeley, Calif.: Stone Bridge Press.

Klepek, P. (2015). From Japan, With Changes: The Endless Debate Over Video Game ‘Censorship’ [online] Kotaku.com. Available at: http://kotaku.com/from-japan-with-changes-the-endless-debate-over-video-1747960323

Klepek, P. (2016). The Fight Over The Best Way to Translate Fire Emblem Fates. [online] Kotaku.com. Available at: http://kotaku.com/the-fight-over-the-best-way-to-translate-fire-emblem-fa-1761106038

Mangiron, C. and M. O’Hagan. (2006). Game Localisation: Unleashing Imagination with ‘Restricted’ Translation. The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: 10-21. www.jostrans.org/issue06/art_ohagan.php

Mangiron, C. and M. O’Hagan. (2013). Game Localization: Translating for the global digital entertainment industry. Amsterdam and Philadelphia. PA: John Benjamins.

Singh, N. (2012). Localization strategies for global e-business. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Press ‘Start’ to… Eat a Whopper? Interactive Digital Media and its Implementation in Global Advertising

Press ‘Start’ to… Eat a Whopper? Interactive Digital Media and its Implementation in Global Advertising

Press ‘Start’ to… Eat a Whopper? Interactive Digital Media and its Implementation in Global Advertising

Originally published October 13, 2020

This is a paper presented by Suzette St. Pierre, a graduate of the Global Digital Marketing and Localization Certification (GDMLC) program. This paper presents the work being produced by students of The Localization Institute’s Global Digital Marketing and Localization program. The contents of this paper are presented to create discussion in the global marketing industry on this topic; the contents of this paper are not to be considered an adopted standard of any kind. This does not represent the official position of the Brand2Global Conference, The Localization Institute, or the author’s organization.


 

Introduction

Advertisements are always the gateway from target user-to-product, otherwise how would it be possible to introduce said products (and services) to the public? From ancient civilizations and their use of papyrus for wall postings up to current PPC ads and cookie-enabled targeted advertising; the methods of advertisement have traversed through history and continually progress through a developing digital world. Digital advancements, such as an interactive element, have been incorporated into areas including social media, news outlets, and health which currently support quizzes and hashtags, apps with personal topic choice, and fashion-forward clever tech. Entertainment such as Netflix has joined the world by introducing interactive movies; and now it is time to propel forward and implement major co-brand collaboration with businesses such as McDonald’s, Coke, musicians, film industries, etc, into current leading global online multiplayer games. This will push for a more personal, localized and interactive digital marketing experience to users on an international scale.

The effect of interactive digital media

“ By its very nature, interactive content engages participants in an activity: answering questions, making choices, exploring scenarios. It’s a great way to capture attention right from the start. Individuals have to think and respond; they can’t just snooze through it. 

– Scott Brinker (Copyblogger 2017)

The future of marketing lies in interactive digital media. According to the Content Marketing Institute in their publication The Symphony of Connected Interactive Content Marketing, “87% [of content marketers] agree that interactive content grabs the attention of the reader more effectively than static content” (Rose 2017, 8), and it continuously grows every year as the demand from tech-savvy generations require more personalized, relatable subject matter. The report further explores the most effective type of content marketing versus other manners in 2017, recognizing at 77% that interactive games culminated as the best interactive content during the consumer awareness/discovery stage.

(Rose 2017, Fig 7, 10)

 

 

This is not the first time games and advertising have aligned successfully however. During the 90s and early 2000s the business trend for “advergames” was high (Bump 2019). These campaigns were immensely effective, allowing Crispin Porter & Bogusky to win a Clio award (Parpis 2007) as recognition for creative content marketing in relation to the Burger King franchise. Through their game, Sneak King, players were able to become the brand mascot, the King, and hand-deliver Burger King menu items to characters in-game. This allowed the targeted audience to become acquainted with the Burger King menu and increase overall sales during a six-week period with the launch of the game (Duffy 2007).

The crossover of advert and game in current contexts

So what is the integration of advergames as an interactive digital marketing skill in the current global context? Are they still used to market brand products, or has it fizzled out? Well, it wasn’t until the trend of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games shifted from a PC-oriented and strategy-based game (eg. World of Warcraft), to being developed into cross-platform, battle-esque MMOs that has allowed marketers to benefit on the global scale.

Take for example Splatoon, doing a major promotional venture in 2017 with McDonald’s Japan (Splatoon’s home market), allowing players to choose between team McNuggets or Fries (Bump 2019). The event ended with players receiving a virtual t-shirt for their chosen team that their character could later wear (Inkipedia 2017). This kind of marketing shows us how brands can capture the trend of online social gaming, but it still has room for growth. Although McDonald’s Japan gained traction with Splatoon players, it is no comparison to the Wendy’s marketing team who leveraged a situation out of one of Fortnite’s battle events: Team Burger vs Team Pizza 2018. Wendy’s promotes a “fresh never frozen” patty policy, and when the brand became aware that Fortnite’s Team Burger were required to collect meat and store them in freezers around the map during the event, Wendy’s joined the game and created such a marketing stunt uproar they were recognized with awards from both the Clio Awards and the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (Bump 2019), as well as tweets of recognition from competitors such as Arby’s and KFC (adforum 2019).  It included a multitude of players following Wendy’s example of destroying meat freezers around the game map, and an increase of Wendy’s mentions across social media platforms by 119% (adforum 2019).

It’s all about the message!

How is this applicable to digitally advertising on a global scale? Well it is important to first acknowledge that the public consumer wants to follow interesting content, whether that be an internet influencer or marketers themselves. Entertainment is key, and the above mentioned examples are evidence that the video-game market is booming and recognized by many, with the potential to be tapped into. That isn’t to say that marketers aren’t already considering brand-inspired generated content currently. The difference however is attributed to brand awareness, understanding, and retention, rather than marketers focusing solely on promotion of their product. This is why Sneak King and Wendy’s both received Clio Awards for their innovative marketing by integrating product image and message in an engaging way with consumers (Burger King’s menu familiarity, and Wendy’s brand message, respectively). A more modern example of this would be KFC and its marketing team, asking its agencies to “Bring us opportunities that aren’t mainstream yet” (Entis 2019) and led to the production of I Love You, Colonel Sanders: A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator (Steam 2019). The game advertises KFC products through a current trend of the niche-gamer scene: dating simulation, allowing players to interact and immerse themselves in corny punchlines and saucy situations via romantic ventures with Colonel Sanders. Reported back was a 20% increase in brand index among customers, and 25% with gamers by market-research company YouGov, which KFC partnered with to follow up on consumer critique after the campaign launched (Entis 2019).

So what’s trending?

Now the emergence of a new trend has appeared due to compulsory home seclusion in 2020: Digital Concerts. It is the latest trend that will revolutionize the interactive digital advertising market yet. From April 23rd-25th, 2020, Fortnite collaborated with infamous singer Travis Scott to host a 10 minute digital concert featuring songs from his albums. The concert mapped out how globally recognized Fortnite was, stating later that “27.7 million unique players in-game participated live 45.8 million times across the five events to create a truly Astronomical experience” (FortniteGame 2020). It was later released that by May 2020 the game held 350 million worldwide players.

 

 

(Gough 2020)

If brands want to continue playing…

The significance in focusing on the Travis Scott Digital Concert is to express how game mechanics in the modern day are continuing to be pushed and able to provide a simultaneous yet personalized experience to players across the globe. The free concert gave players the ability to attend with personal avatars and experience new temporary functions of the game such as flipping the entire map upside down, and ultra-fast running skills alongside other attendees (GameSpot 2020). This imprinted into minds the correlation of “cool, new graphics” to the Travis Scott Digital Concert itself, and is exactly where digital marketing is heading to today. Leaving a brand message or concept behind so that interested consumers can recall a distinctive moment and be more enticed towards the specific product or service is the future of advertising.

To add, these digital mechanics allow global recognition and localization to be possible. Players worldwide attended the event, providing a space for homogeneous ideals (such as enjoying Scott’s concert) on a global level. Fans could also purchase a skin of Scott so as to commemorate and remember the occasion. As such, I believe it is applicable to put this into a digital marketing context which would allow consumers to personally experience global products. Take as a hypothetical example, Nissin Cup Noodle, and if the dedication of their japanese anime commercials (adforum 2016) were translated into the MMO platform as a brief intro mini-game before accessing the gaming network. This would work best as an optional process, giving players the choice to skip the mini-game altogether, or play through a five-minute city-destroying scenario and receive a choice of applicable in-game MMO currency, an avatar accessory, or a QR-code screen coupon to be photographed and redeemed in-store for local Nissin Cup products. Overall, it would be available across platforms supporting MMOs and let the targeted consumer play through a mini-game with their in-game avatar, therefore establishing a personal connection and cementing an international online network-based economy, whilst being easily localizable due to digital product and service status.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the core insights to keep in mind are the accessibilities to create interactive, personal, meaningful messages on a globally attainable level in the digital market. Marketers continue with product placement and promotions, but only those who manage the progression into high concept commercials and translate it into MMO game format will be emergingly successful. It is fundamental that managers keep in mind that digital advertising is transforming with new trends and platforms that appear during the course of technological advancement. This is to say that brand awareness, understanding and retention must be met with all new standards to keep from disappearing in the business world. Make sure your product is not a forced promotion but a player-uniting factor to the game; the brand message, ultimately, must relate and embed itself in the user’s mind.

 

 

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Suzette is a graduate of the Global Digital Marketing and Localization Certification program. For more information and to enroll in this program, please click here.

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If you are interested in learning more about Game Localization  please click here.

rsz_image005-200x253

About the Author

Suzette St. Pierre is an up-coming localization and translation professional, currently studying in the Language and Intercultural Relations program at Ryerson. With a passion for cultures and fantastical digital worlds, her future career in game translation and localization will allow her to create connections from international game to gamer on a personal level. Currently focused in Spanish, French, and English language, Suzette keeps an eye out for quality of translation as well as the intended meanings of words. To her, keeping the core meaning is everything to expand cultures and create contexts that worldwide players will enjoy.

Connect with Suzette:

Connect with Suzette on LinkedIn

Email: suzettestpierre[at]gmail.com

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Copyright © 2021 The Localization Institute. All rights reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright notice or references to The Localization Institute, without the permission of the copyright owners. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an “AS IS” basis and THE LOCALIZATION INSTITUTE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

References:

  1. Copyblogger. 2015. “Why Interactive Content May Be the Most Exciting Marketing Tactic of 2015.” Last modified March 4. https://copyblogger.com/interactive-content/
  2. Rose, Robert. “The Symphony of Connected Interactive Content Marketing.” Content Marketing Institute April (2017). Accessed May 23, 2020. https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/IonInteractive_Symphony_Final.pdf
  3. Parpis, Eleftheria. “Product Pitch.” Adweek. May 21, 2007. http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/product-pitch-89056/
  4. Duffy, Jill. “MI6 Keynote: ‘King’ of Burgers Reigns In-Game Ads.”Gamasutra. May 9, 2007. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/104810/MI6_Keynote_King_of_Burgers_Reigns_InGame_Ads.php
  5. Inkipedia. 2017. “Fries vs. McNuggets” Last modfied May 30, 2020. https://splatoonwiki.org/wiki/Fries_vs._McNuggets
  6. Bump, Pamela. “The Video Game Industry Is Growing: Here Are 4 Ways Brands Are Reaching Gamers.”Hubspot. October 21, 2019. Last modified November 19.https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/video-game-marketing
  7. adforum. 2019. “Wendy’s – ‘Keeping fortnite fresh’” Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.adforum.com/creative-work/ad/player/34596161/keeping-fortnite-fresh/wendys
  8. Entis, Laura. “Why KFC decided to get into the dating game.” PR Week. December 18, 2019. https://www.prweek.com/article/1669262/why-kfc-decided-dating-game
  9. Steam. 2019. “I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simultator.” Last modified September 25. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1121910/I_Love_You_Colonel_Sanders_A_Finger_Lickin_Good_Dating_Simulator/
  10. FortniteGame. Twitter post. April 27, 2020. 1:00 p.m. https://twitter.com/FortniteGame/status/1254817584676929537
  11. Gough, Christina. “Number of registered users of Fortnite worldwide from August 2017 to May 2020.” Statista. May 11, 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/746230/fortnite-players/
  12. GameSpot. “FULL Travis Scott X Fortnite Astronomical Concert Event.” YouTube video, 10:03. April 27, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-gpVqMd7wE
  13. adforum. 2016. “Nissin Cup Noodles – ‘The Originator’” Accessed July 24, 2020. https://www.adforum.com/creative-work/ad/player/34544927/the-originator/nissin-cup-noodles
Machine Translation Master Course Newsletter – Issue 3

Machine Translation Master Course Newsletter – Issue 3

Machine Translation Master Class Newsletter – Issue 3

 

As the Instructor for the Machine Translation Master Class from The Localization  Institute, I am very happy to continue to share with you my ideas about the relationship  between humans and machines. In this issue, we will focus on the role of humans in an  MT deployment process, in which there are three key players, namely, project  managers, linguists, and MT suppliers. 

Project managers: how good can you leverage machine power?  

As we grow our company, we are also growing our linguistic assets such as terminology  and translation memory. When our language data have increased greatly in quantity  and quality, it is very natural that we are thinking of more ways to leverage our  resources, and of course, one of the best ways is to apply them to a machine translation  system. As a result, we are bringing a new player into the field, who is so different from  us.  

As the manager of the whole team, it makes much more sense that you have a better  knowledge of this new player and also help other team members understand how to  work with it in the MT deployment process. This is not easy, as machines break the  existing balance of your workflow, including how and what you need to communicate  with your team members, your colleagues in other departments, your clients, your  LSPs, and last but not least, your MT suppliers. It is indeed challenging but interesting  to manage this dynamic situation. To this end, possessing the most relevant knowledge  of machine translation and data management is a must. It helps you make plans to  meet the needs and expectations from both humans and machines.  

Linguists: a “translation system” to be compared with MT systems?  

As a translator, at some point, if you happen to find yourself being evaluated with some  MT systems, don’t panic or feel bitter. Behind machines, there is such a “collective 

wisdom” obtained from millions or billions of language use cases by people. The  amount of data an MT engine can process within a short period of time might be greater  than what a human translator can process in his or her whole life. It is not surprising if  you win or lose this game. This cannot change the fact that each individual is a unique  existence of this world.  

In a more practical sense, it might be a good idea that we start to think about how to  make use of what you are good at and which direction we shall move in. This situation  exists not only in the language industry, but for each and every profession. I envision  there will be a time when personalized MT engines become a feasible option for each  linguist, who will give purposes and meanings to these MT “translators”, guiding them to  better represent human experiences. Humans will be focusing on the coordination and  the leadership role in an MT implementation process. Ultimately it is humans who are  the end-users of technology, be it human-guided tools or machine learning tools.  Machines represent extended intelligence of humans. They are about humans, about  every one of us. That is the reason why we are drawn to them.  

MT suppliers: how good can you meet client needs?  

For an MT supplier, it is not surprising that a client asks you many questions that you  might feel outside of the territory of machine translation, as MT systems integrated  aspects of other language technologies, such as segmenting, terminology, and  translation memory. While these could be exciting new business opportunities, an MT  supplier should be able to understand client needs and decide on your level of  involvement based on your own business priorities and resources, from just offering MT  interface, methodology and technological support, to MT customization, and to offering  the whole package including MT engines, linguists and QA services.  

No matter what, a key foundation is to build trust with your collaborators. For many  people, an MT engine is like a black box and what usually matters to other human  players, including clients, project managers and linguists, is transparency and fairness.  Working in a machine learning environment often means the same resources will be  shared by both humans and machines. MT deployment can be machine oriented or  human oriented. Having a fair and transparent approach will help all stakeholders plan  for both human learning and machine learning.  

Takeaways:  

  1.  Traditional localization workflow will be updated with MT as a new player 
  2.  MT systems help human translators explore their internal language model
  3.  MT suppliers need to build trust with other human players

If you want to know more about machine translation, sign up for our next Machine Translation Master Class.

 

Learn More:

 

Mach-Trans-MC-rz

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Machine Translation Master Class please click here.
Peng-cropped

About the Author

Dr. Peng Wang has been teaching, researching and practicing localization in three continents. She is the convener for EDUinLOC, a part-time professor for the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa and a freelance conference interpreter with the Translation Bureau of the Canadian government. Before that, she was a CAT Tools Coordinator at the Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translation at the University of Maryland. She has chaired the automation/AI track for LocWorldWide conferences since 2020. Her current research interests include human learning vs. machine learning, machine translation risk management, terminology and multilingual data analysis.

Dr. Wang began conducting corpus-based translation studies at the University of Liverpool and later she worked in the Corpus Research Lab at the Northern Arizona University. She has a rich experience of teaching multilingual classes, with students aged from 18 to over 70, in over 10 language combinations, coming from UAE, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, Morocco, Colombia, Mexico, and Haiti, to name just a few. She is an expert in approaching technology in the context of culture and humanities.

 

Connect with Dr. Peng Wang:

Connect with Dr. Peng Wang on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pengjanewang/.

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Copyright © 2021 The Localization Institute. All rights reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright notice or references to The Localization Institute, without the permission of the copyright owners. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an “AS IS” basis and THE LOCALIZATION INSTITUTE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

G11N, I18N, T9N and L10N For Video Games

G11N, I18N, T9N and L10N For Video Games

G11N, I18N, T9N and L10N for Video Games

 

Numbers

 

Wait, what? You didn’t think video game localization would be about numbers? Well, aside from budgeting, (which is actually one of the most fun aspects of the video game localization process for me), you might have come across a few confusing acronyms such as T9N, L10N, I18N, C13N, and G11N. In this article, we will explain each one of them.

 

T9N = Translation

The process of converting text from a source language into a target language.

 

L10N = Localization

The process of adapting a game or software to a specific locale’s language, culture, and legal requirements. It involves modifications to the user-visible components of software such as the user interface, images, documentation, etc.

 

I18N = Internationalization

The process of designing a software application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes.

 

C13N = Culturalization

Content adaptation for different markets to be carried out according to culture-specific elements, such as history, religion, ethnicity, and geopolitics.

 

G11N = Globalization

The broader process to adapt and sell a software product to an international audience. It encompasses the rest of the disciplines, including marketing.

 

Did you get the pattern? The numbers between the two letters represent the number of letters between the first and last letter of each word.

 

Interested in more Insights? Checkout Localization Begins During Pre-Production! and Video Game Localization: More than Creative Translation!

 

If you want to know more about the video game localization process, sign up for our next Game Localization Master Class.

 

Learn More:

 

Game-Loc-MC

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Game Localization Master Class please click here.
0

About the Author

Francesca Sorrentino has been in the video game localization industry since 2010, covering various roles: from marketing intern and translator for online games at Wooga and Bigpoint, to Senior Multilingual Localization Specialist at Electronic Arts managing large, multilingual titles such as FIFA, to Program Manager for the Games department at Alpha CRC.

Having experienced both the client and the service provider side of the industry, Francesca recently decided to become a freelance translator and consultant and is currently working as Conference Manager for Game Global, a conference dedicated to video game localization and QA, which is continuing to give her the chance deepen her knowledge about processes, challenges and best practices in the gaming industry.

Francesca holds a B.A. in Translation and an M.A. in Conference Interpreting, which she obtained in Italy, and has spent the last 10 years living and working first in Germany and now in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.

Connect with Francesca:

Connect with Francesca on LinkedIn

Email: Francesca[at]gameglobal.events

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Copyright © 2021 The Localization Institute. All rights reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright notice or references to The Localization Institute, without the permission of the copyright owners. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an “AS IS” basis and THE LOCALIZATION INSTITUTE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Localization During Video Game Pre-production

Localization During Video Game Pre-production

Localization During Video Game Pre-Production

 

Game creation begins long before the production stage. During a video game development project, pre-production is the initial planning phase that focuses on creating core concepts and writing initial design documents that describe the future game. This pre-production stage influences the overall success of the development cycle and the team spirit, as everyone gets aligned and ready to achieve the best results.

Having been in the video game localization industry for over 10 years, I can tell that localization stakeholders are not always included in the pre-production stage, although their contribution is also very important for the overall success of the game.

So why should localization teams be involved in the pre-production stage?

We won’t deep dive into all the pre-production phases in this article (if you are curious about the steps you can read more in this fascinating article by Room 8 Studio), but there are two critical steps in the video game localization process that should happen during pre-production and all  beginner localizers should be aware of:

Culturalization (C13N)

If you want to take your game to an international audience, it’s important to assess the market in each territory and make sure you make the right creative and content choices. Sometimes your content will need to be adapted to a certain market in order to get more engagement from your players. Several culture-specific elements must be to be taken into account, such as history, religion, ethnicity, and geopolitics.

Internationalization (I18N)

Internationalization is basically everything that engineers (i.e. software, test, and content engineers) can do to enable localization to be done faster, cheaper, and with higher quality. It’s important for video game developers to know which steps they have to take in order for the game code to be able to accommodate more languages, and in many cases it is the localization team who will walk them through the process.

Do you want to learn about why involving the game localization team in the pre-production stage is a good idea? Sign up for the game localization master class, starting on June 14.

 

Interested in more insights? Checkout G11N, I18N, T9N and L10N for Video Games and Video Game Localization: More than Creative Translation!

 

 

 

If you want to know more about the video game localization process, sign up for our next Game Localization Master Class.

 

Learn More:

 

Game-Loc-MC

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Game Localization Master Class please click here.
0

About the Author

Francesca Sorrentino has been in the video game localization industry since 2010, covering various roles: from marketing intern and translator for online games at Wooga and Bigpoint, to Senior Multilingual Localization Specialist at Electronic Arts managing large, multilingual titles such as FIFA, to Program Manager for the Games department at Alpha CRC.

Having experienced both the client and the service provider side of the industry, Francesca recently decided to become a freelance translator and consultant and is currently working as Conference Manager for Game Global, a conference dedicated to video game localization and QA, which is continuing to give her the chance deepen her knowledge about processes, challenges and best practices in the gaming industry.

Francesca holds a B.A. in Translation and an M.A. in Conference Interpreting, which she obtained in Italy, and has spent the last 10 years living and working first in Germany and now in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.

Connect with Francesca:

Connect with Francesca on LinkedIn

Email: Francesca[at]gameglobal.events

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Copyright © 2021 The Localization Institute. All rights reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright notice or references to The Localization Institute, without the permission of the copyright owners. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an “AS IS” basis and THE LOCALIZATION INSTITUTE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

What’s My Language Strategy?

What’s My Language Strategy?

What’s My Language Strategy?

 

World-Flag-Buttons-Globe

 

 

Here’s a question that crops up at various times and places across any company. It is a common denominator whether a company serves one market or many across the globe. Yet how often do corporate leaders actually have a short- and long-term plan that includes a language strategy for both their local and international business?

 

Company A executives may make a quick decision to immediately support 35 languages, simply to match what their competitors offer.

Company B may decide, based on limited market analysis, that it only needs to cover its source market language, and 2-3 other major languages in large regulated markets. Period.

Company C reviews their product and global research data then plans a rollout of language support in 5 key markets. They will then phase in language support, 1 language at a time, in their emerging market space.

 

What a range of scenarios — all with different “strategies”!

 

Are these scenarios really successful in the long term?

 

Add the following influences to these scenarios: over time, language coverage can become even more complicated. Complexity could be based on market conditions, corporate acquisitions, proliferating customer profiles and needs, more complex product offerings, multiple drivers and stakeholders, etc. etc. How does a company streamline, build and sustain a robust language strategy?

 

Does your company struggle with moving to more seamless service for your global customers?

 

Is your role in product management, localization management leadership, marketing or growth management, content, training, support leadership, or are you responsible for field market? The principles of global language strategy are part of your portfolio.

 

For the first time, the Global Language Strategy Master Class provides corporate stakeholders with a comprehensive set of building blocks to establish a sustainable and extensible language support blueprint for international business. The class covers language strategy across a range of enterprises, from emerging companies, to established enterprises, from commercial companies through non-profits.

 

The class examines the corporate business cases, data, and research needed to address appropriate global markets. You’ll receive guidance on integrating customer experience and financial planning. We’ll highlight effective techniques for building your language strategy using software tools and integrations, process best practices, content and media.  Most important, the Global Language Strategy Master Class focuses on how to elevate global strategy, through language, as a core corporate and customer pillar for building and maintaining your overall business or central value proposition.

 

Now you can put to sleep that nagging question, “what’s my language strategy” with tools from the Global Language Strategy Master Class!

 

Learn More:

 

Glob-Lang-Strategy-MC

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Global Language Strategy Master Class please click here.
IMG_0891

About the Author

Melissa Biggs is a localization veteran with over 25 years of experience in management roles targeting localized products for enterprises. Her career focuses on technical content and localization leadership. Her enthusiasm for localization started at Olivetti Corporation in Italy. Melissa then led a technical publications group at Xerox for artificial intelligence products. She switched fields to focus on globalization strategy at Sun Microsystems, managing localization groups, as well as leading corporate initiatives for global products, and international technology strategies. At Oracle, she contributed to Oracle’s translation products and processes. Melissa also managed marketing localization at Informatica, a data integration company.

In addition to deep corporate localization engagements, Melissa is active in industry and non-profit groups. She has served on localization industry-wide groups, including as charter member of GILT Leaders ForumTAUS (Translation Automation User Society) and Localization World. She is on the board of the non-profit Global Lives Project, which teaches global empathy through global film and curriculums, and is a mentor for the international TechWomen program.

 

Connect with Melissa:

Email: Melissaabiggs[at]gmail.com

Connect with Melissa on LinkedIn

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Copyright © 2021 The Localization Institute. All rights reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright notice or references to The Localization Institute, without the permission of the copyright owners. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an “AS IS” basis and THE LOCALIZATION INSTITUTE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Machine Translation Master Course Newsletter – Issue 2

Machine Translation Master Course Newsletter – Issue 2

Machine Translation Master Class Newsletter – Issue 2

As the Instructor for the Machine Translation Master Class from The Localization Institute, I am very happy to continue to share with you my ideas about the relationship between humans and machines. In this issue, we will discuss it from a data management perspective.

Why is data management relevant to me?

 

In 2016, Google said in a statement when it corrected a bug translating “Russia” as “Mordor”, “Google Translate is an automatic translator — it works without the intervention of human translators, using technology instead.” (See here)

 

Indeed Google Translate did not have human translators involved in its translation process. But remember, all natural language data comes from humans in their daily life. You might have heard things like “if you hear it enough, you’ll start to believe it”.  The “illusion of truth” effect also applies to machines. A machine will believe what it has seen after looking for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents. You can, of course, try to fix some problems by manually correcting them. Yet, in many cases, in particular in a neural MT system, it is very difficult for humans to manually hit the quantity and complexity that the hidden layers present and thus some features have to be deleted in order to avoid potentially catastrophic mistakes. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense if we can control the quality and quantity of data before feeding it to a machine. Data management is one of the most effective ways to control MT related risks.

 

Why is some data more relevant than others?

Relevance, first and foremost, is based on the comparison. In a localization process, this comparison often happens between your data and the source text. You can compare them from different perspectives. A translator, for example, usually judges the relevance of their reference materials by searching for concepts, words or knowledge about these words that are similar to those appearing in the source text. If a 100-page document did not include any of these, most probably this translator will give up reading. Humans can make such decisions in a split second. Yet it is a daunting task for machines to simulate this process. So typically an MT engine would diligently scan the whole database and analyze the pattern. If a big percentage of data is irrelevant, it is a waste of computing power and you could not achieve your goal. Of course, in the machine world, language data is processed in a different way. For example, neural MT uses embeddings to capture word meaning whereas statistical MT uses n-gram to process corpora. So we cannot judge data relevance only from a human’s perspective. Yet this analogy helps you get a rough picture based on your intuition.

Who is involved in the process of managing MT-driven data?

While IT professionals can communicate your ideas to machines, it is translators, linguists, project managers, and content managers, who can really make sense out of the data from a human perspective. With effective communication that is based on relevant technological knowledge, you will be able to generate a “collective” insight from your team, other teams outside your department, clients, end-users, and last but not least, your machine. This insight will navigate your attention to meet your needs.

Finally, it is important to point out that there are many more aspects regarding data management in an MT deployment process. For example, data quantity, data generated in an interactive MT or an MTPE (Machine Translation Post Editing) process, and data format. It is definitely an intriguing topic we can further explore.

 

Takeaways:

 

  1. Data management is one of the most effective ways to control MT related risks
  2. Data relevance is key to train an MT engine
  3. Communication helps the team make sense out of the data

 

If you want to know more about machine translation, sign up for our next Machine Translation Master Class.

 

Learn More:

 

Mach-Trans-MC-rz

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Machine Translation Master Class please click here.
Peng-cropped

About the Author

Dr. Peng Wang has been teaching, researching and practicing localization in three continents. She is the convener for EDUinLOC, a part-time professor for the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa and a freelance conference interpreter with the Translation Bureau of the Canadian government. Before that, she was a CAT Tools Coordinator at the Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translation at the University of Maryland. She has chaired the automation/AI track for LocWorldWide conferences since 2020. Her current research interests include human learning vs. machine learning, machine translation risk management, terminology and multilingual data analysis.

Dr. Wang began conducting corpus-based translation studies at the University of Liverpool and later she worked in the Corpus Research Lab at the Northern Arizona University. She has a rich experience of teaching multilingual classes, with students aged from 18 to over 70, in over 10 language combinations, coming from UAE, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, Morocco, Colombia, Mexico, and Haiti, to name just a few. She is an expert in approaching technology in the context of culture and humanities.

 

Connect with Dr. Peng Wang:

Connect with Dr. Peng Wang on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pengjanewang/.

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Copyright © 2021 The Localization Institute. All rights reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright notice or references to The Localization Institute, without the permission of the copyright owners. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an “AS IS” basis and THE LOCALIZATION INSTITUTE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Machine Translation Master Course Newsletter – Issue 1

Machine Translation Master Course Newsletter – Issue 1

Machine Translation Master Course Newsletter – Issue 1

As the Instructor for the new Machine Translation Master Class from The Localization Institute, I’ve been passionate about the relationship between humans and machines for many years. Since 2004 when I completed my PhD thesis entitled Harry Potter and its Chinese Translation using corpus linguistic methodology and translation theories, I have constantly been reflecting on how we can convert our thoughts to machine readable representations and make use of machine power. Machine Translation, in particular, Neural Machine Translation, is definitely a fascinating manifestation of human intelligence in machines. Having said that, I would rather say I am a researcher and practitioner on cultures and humanities in the name of machine learning and artificial intelligence, as I consider such models as neural networks are significant attempts to demonstrate or simulate human intelligence whereas my ultimate goal is to work with you to explore what’s deep in our mind and what our common humanity is. After all, machine is part of human, demonstrating the representable and decipherable part of all of us. On the other hand, all the unexpected aspects that machines are not capable of can be considered risks, which will eventually be taken care of by humans. That’s also the reason why we focus on risk management in this Machine Translation Master Course.

How can I manage the risks related to Machine Translation?

All risk management considerations are built on knowledge and experience. To successfully manage MT-related risks, first and foremost, you have to possess basic knowledge about machine translation so that every decision you are going to make is well balanced between your intuition based on your past experience in the industry and sufficient (not necessarily all) knowledge about machine translation and machine learning. This Machine Translation Master Course covers some of this basic knowledge, for example, some fundamental classifications associated with Machine Translation risk management, including:

  • Two basic types of MT-related risks
  • Two basic types of MT-related technology
  • Two primary purposes of using technology

1. How do I classify the risks related to Machine Translation?

There are two types of risks when we implement machine translation systems: intrinsic and extrinsic ones. In order to control extrinsic risks, you have to possess a good knowledge of what relevant intrinsic factors are. Thus it is important for us to understand the basic inner workings of machine translation as well as its supporting technology. In this Machine Translation Master Course, we mainly focus on the architectural designs of three types of MT systems, namely, rule-based MT, statistical MT and neural MT, as well as relevant CAT tools that are directly useful for various Machine Translation deployment solutions.

2. How do I classify the technology related to Machine Translation?

Fundamentally speaking, there are two types of technology: tool-based technology and intelligent technology. Like why we use bicycles, we use tool-based technological tools to help us improve productivity.  Under these circumstances, human intelligence is the key to success. In terms of intelligent technology, on the other hand, humans are more in a position to monitor and correct machine generated results, which in turn supports machine learning and improves artificial intelligence. Does Machine Translation belong to tool-based or intelligent technology? It depends on such factors as how you deploy Machine Translation systems, the relationship between human & machine, and your purpose of using it.

3. Why do we use technology?

Technology can serve both humans and machines. In essence, our ultimate goal is always to have machines serve us better. Yet nowadays we can see more human-machine interaction (HMI) activities have aimed to train machines more than human beings. This poses new opportunities and challenges for us. Do you know that convincing evidence in cognitive science, computer science and learning theories indicates that human brains learn better than any machine… at least for now? So rather than resisting change, it makes more sense for us to empower ourselves to better prepare for the machine-human revolution. After all, it is all up to each one of you!

 

If you want to know more about machine translation, sign up for our next Machine Translation Master Class.

 

Learn More:

 

Mach-Trans-MC-rz

 

If you are interested in learning more about the Machine Translation Master Class please click here.
Peng-cropped

About the Author

Dr. Peng Wang is a part-time professor for the School of Translation and Interpretation at the University of Ottawa and a freelance conference interpreter with the Translation Bureau of the Canadian government. Before that, she was a CAT Tools Coordinator at the Graduate Studies in Interpreting and Translation at the University of Maryland. She was the coach and curator for the automation track for LocWorldWide42. Her current research interests include cognitive interpreting/translation studies and AI, risk management of NMT implementation, terminology and multilingual data analysis.

Dr. Wang began conducting corpus-based translation studies at the University of Liverpool and later she worked in the corpus linguistic program at Northern Arizona University. She has a rich experience of teaching multilingual classes, with students aging from 22 to 75, in over 10 language combinations, coming from UAE, China, Italy, Spain, Germany, Morocco, Colombia, Mexico, and Haiti, to name just a few. She is an expert in approaching technology in the context of culture and common core humanity.

 

Connect with Dr. Peng Wang:

Connect with Dr. Peng Wang on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pengjanewang/.

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Copyright © 2021 The Localization Institute. All rights reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published, and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this section are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, including by removing the copyright notice or references to The Localization Institute, without the permission of the copyright owners. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an “AS IS” basis and THE LOCALIZATION INSTITUTE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY OWNERSHIP RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Video Game Localization: More than Creative Translation

Video Game Localization: More than Creative Translation

Video Game Localization: More than Creative Translation

 

Video Games

 

 

The video game industry saw its biggest year to date in 2020, with an estimated market value of 159.3Bn and an expected 7.7% annual growth rate by 2023 according to Newzoo’s figures. Suffice to say, localization is becoming increasingly relevant, not only for game developers and publishers but for gaming and language enthusiasts around the world.

In the last few years we have watched as new university courses, online webinars, and industry events, such as Game Global, have heightened their focus on video game localization. As a consequence, video game localization is getting more standardized and even those who are not familiar with game development and localization are starting to see that there is a lot more to localizing games than a bunch of geeks translating their favorite game into their native language.

While it’s true that video game localization entails a lot of translation of the creative text, a true expert knows that there are several other critical elements. Below our Game Localization Master Class teacher, Francesca Sorrentino has drawn up the top five things to keep in mind as a localization expert when approaching video game localization.

Video game localization is a process and each phase is important

Usually, those who approach video game localization come from a linguistic background and are primarily focused on translation, suffering together with the linguists who translate their favorite games and are at the forefront of a never-ending battle for quality. The truth is, translation is only part of the localization process. Depending on your position within your localization team or the broader game development team, it might not be your first priority.

Pre-production is key

In order for the localization process to be successful, it needs to be thoroughly planned and diligently budgeted. Have you ever heard of internationalization (I18n) and culturalization? They are the bread and butter of any localization manager who works closely with the game team. Preparing the game code for localization and analyzing the markets you want to localize for are only a few of the steps involved in the pre-production phase.

To QA or… to QA? There is no question!

Quality Assurance (QA) is one of the most important phases of the localization process and should never be skipped. During QA, testers get the chance not only to play the game (one of the biggest perks of being in this industry!) but to see the localized text and audio in context and help deliver the best quality of the product.

Know thy (desk) neighbor

As in any other process or business relationship, communication should never be neglected. No matter where you are in the video game localization chain, it is important to be aware of what is happening around you: knowing what your colleagues in the product team or marketing department do will give you more context to better understand the game and the purpose of your job, saving you from a lot of unnecessary (and frustrating) emails with needed last-minute changes.

Technology is here to help

No, machine translation (MT) won’t be the end of the translator species! It must be embraced as part of a suite of productivity tools to make our lives easier and improve quality across the board. Localization technology is constantly evolving, with more gaming companies adopting the latest content management systems (CMS), translation management systems (TMS), and project management tools.

 

Interested in more Insights? Checkout Localization Begins During Pre-Production! and G11N, I18N, T9N and L10N for Video Games!

 

If you want to know more about the video game localization process, sign up for our next Game Localization Master Class.

 

Learn More:

 

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If you are interested in learning more about the Game Localization Master Class please click here.
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About the Author

Francesca Sorrentino has been in the video game localization industry since 2010, covering various roles: from marketing intern and translator for online games at Wooga and Bigpoint, to Senior Multilingual Localization Specialist at Electronic Arts managing large, multilingual titles such as FIFA, to Program Manager for the Games department at Alpha CRC.

Having experienced both the client and the service provider side of the industry, Francesca recently decided to become a freelance translator and consultant and is currently working as Conference Manager for Game Global, a conference dedicated to video game localization and QA, which is continuing to give her the chance deepen her knowledge about processes, challenges and best practices in the gaming industry.

Francesca holds a B.A. in Translation and an M.A. in Conference Interpreting, which she obtained in Italy, and has spent the last 10 years living and working first in Germany and now in beautiful Barcelona, Spain.

Connect with Francesca:

Connect with Francesca on LinkedIn

Email: Francesca[at]gameglobal.events

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