Game App in 15 Languages
Some projects require a certain degree of flexibility, not only on the part of the translator and project manager, but also on the part of the client. This pertains to such projects where you need to slightly deviate from your philosophy in order to carry it out. Project manager Jon Ashbourne had to do exactly that with the following project.
Animated Text – Low Number of Characters
Jon received an inquiry from an app developer. The company had developed a game app that had to be translated from Swedish into 15 languages. Players had to solve various tasks in the app using logical thinking. The app contained a lot of animated text with entertaining instructions for solving the tasks.
The difficulty with this project was in one of the client’s conditions: The app had to be displayed the same way on all devices in all languages, which meant the number of characters in the Swedish original could not be exceeded.
Ongoing Agreement Required
Normally, our translations are as close to the source text as possible. In this case, we had to deviate slightly from our philosophy because a sentence in Swedish usually contains ten percent fewer characters than an English or Finnish sentence, for example.
Thus, it’s almost impossible to keep to the number of characters allowed and still reproduce the content exactly. The only way to produce a translation that would display legibly on all devices was to shorten the sections. Jon had to be in permanent contact with the client and the translators in order to agree upon every change.
Translation of Software
The various lengths of sentences in different languages are a perpetual challenge, particularly in translation of software, i.e. click areas or menu bars that cannot exceed a certain length. More than just games require particular care in translation, such as specialized software in, for example, medical fields.
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