I used to do link roundups, where I shared interesting articles I’d come across. These were very infrequent and I eventually dropped them altogether. But that doesn’t mean I stopped reading cool stuff related to the localization industry.

I figured I would share the most interesting articles I’ve collected over the last year…which turned into the last three years because it’s been that long since I released a roundup!

Sadly a couple of my favourite articles or blogs by translators were deleted in that time, but hopefully these are still available by the time you get around to reading them.

 

Game Localization

 

As translation technology improves, game localizations are getting worse

A great article on machine and AI translation and how it’s really bad from the perspective of professional translators.

 

The Trials And Tribulations Of Video Game Localization

This is a great, detailed breakdown of the general approach to game localization for someone who isn’t familiar with the practice. It goes over cultural and scheduling limitations, and gives lots of examples and voices from professionals in the industry.

 

Style up your game: All you need to know about Style Guides

An article for developers looking to localize their games, providing tips on what a style guide is, what should be included in it, and who should create and manage them. (Includes a free style guide template!)

 

Localizing Papers, Please (Part 1) / Localizing Papers, Please (Part 2)

A developer sharing his experience having his indie game Papers, Please localized into different languages. It’s really interesting seeing the process from the developers perspective, including a lot of the nitty-gritty back-end stuff and many translators don’t get to see. It’s also fascinating to see a developer talk about how he learned to manage the localization process and how he applied the advice of experienced localization managers into the process.

 

How the greatest Japanese RPGs of the ‘90s came to the West

An interested look at some of the history of old-school localization practices.

 

Why Japanese Games Are Increasingly Releasing at the Same Time Across The Globe

A look from IGN about the shift to simultaneous global releases for video games from Japan. Why and how it’s become more common, and the challenges localization teams face.

 

FFXIV Backstage Investigators (No. 9): Localization Team (Pt. 1)

An interview with just some of the localization staff that worked on Final Fantasy XIV and how they handled the English, German, and French translation.

 

The Localization of The Witcher: Translation obstacles on the path to localization paradise

This is a short look at some of the challenges CD Projekt Red and different languages faced when localizing The Witcher.

 

Interview with Capcom’s Localization Team

An interview with some of the localization staff that worked on Street Fighter 6. This interview mostly looks at an overview of life as a translator at Capcom.

 

Localizing Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

This is a great breakdown of how Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin was translated from Japanese into English! John Wheeler goes over a detailed breakdown work the translation approach, workflow, and challenges the English team faced.

 

Game Translation: Insights from a Freelance Translator

Unlike the above articles, this one focuses on a single, freelance translator—Mariana Pereira. She’s an English/Spanish to European Portuguese translator and talks about how she became a game translator and the unique challenges you face in game translation.

 

Translators in Japan discuss the importance of LQA in video games

An English article that looks at a discussion that happened on Twitter in 2022 among Japanese game translators. The conversation mostly revolved around how important LQA is and how translators will often change text once they can see it in context of the original game.

 

How localization affects game discovery: real data!

A detailed breakdown of some data on how the decision to localize games have impacted their sales. This article is written for game developers and looks at what languages you might want to localize your game into and why.

 

What factors can affect the Localization cost?

All the things that can impact a localization’s cost! This article can probably apply to a lot of things, but I included it here because so much of it can be applied to game localization.

 

5 Most Expensive Game Localization Mistakes

Top five mistakes game developers can make that can potentially balloon their localization costs.

 

Developers anonymous: The normalization and impact of miscrediting in games

Credits in games has been a massive topic in recent years, especially credits for localization staff who help games reach a global audience. This article looks at why some people might be left out of the credits and what people can do to fix it.

 

Talkin’ Loc at GDC 2022

Localization is rarely a topic of discussion at the Game Developers Conference (even though it’s such a massive part of game development!) This person wrote a summary of three of the localization talks she attended, with some of the key points each discussion made.

 

The World of Japanese Game and Media Localization With Katrina Leonoudakis [YouTube]

Interview with Katrina Leonoudakis about the challenges of localizing from Japanese into English.

 

 

Literary Translation

 

Pitch Guide for Translators by Anton Hur

Everything you need to know about how to create a pitch so you can improve the chances of getting to translate a novel you’re passionate about.

 

How to Pitch Publishers [Webinar Recording]

This talk goes over best practices for pitching translation proposals to publishers, including, but not limited to, reader’s reports, sample translations, query letters, and in person communication. It also includes a useful reference document you can download!

 

Now They See Us: On translators’ labor and invisibility

This is a great piece about the recent movement to credit literary translators on the cover of their books, how things have changed, and why it’s still important.

 

What Comes after #NameTheTranslator? Translators and Publishers Reflect on What Still Needs to Change

Similar to the above article, this (very) short article has four translators answer the question, “The #NameTheTranslator campaign has made huge strides in making translators and their work more visible. What do you see as the next priority for the translation community? Where does the most urgent work need to be done?”

 

The Limitless Possibilities of a Literature Beyond Borders: A Conversation with Tawada Yōko

A short and sweet interview that I think is too short. Like they talked for hours but only decided to write down a small part of it. As such they don’t really go in-depth in any of the topics they discuss, but it is an interesting interview with an international Japanese author who knows Japanese and German.

 

Something Solid and Unshakable by Clare Richards

A self-reflective piece by Clare about being an autistic literary translator.

 

How Do You Live? An Interview with Translator Bruno Navasky

Bruno Navasky talks about how he became involved with the translation of the novel How Do You Live? (Which is the novel that inspired Miyazaki’s movie The Boy and the Heron.)

 

Translating Tawada and the Misplaced Mosquito by Margaret Mitsutani

Mitsutani talks about translation approaches and how she handled different challenges that arose in Yoko Tawada’s novels.

 

The Easy Life in Kamusari and Kamusari Tales Told at Night: A Conversation with Translator Juliet Winters Carpenter

Transcript of an interview with Juliet Winters Carpenter about her work translating novels by Shion Miura.

 

This new translation of Beowulf brings the poem to profane, funny, hot-blooded life

A look at Maria Dahvana Headley’s modern translation of Beowulf and why she decided to translate it the way she did—“Bro! Tell me we still know how to talk about kings!”

I’ve never read Beowulf before (not a huge fan of poetry) but this article made me want to read it.

Beowulf cover and the translator interesting articles

 

Kevin Yuan, Manga Translator

Interview with manga translator, Kevin Yuan and how he became a translator, as well as his first manga project.

 

What Translators Mean When We Talk about Reading

This is an interesting article that looks at the practice of reading the source text before translating it. Anton Hur argues that translators read the novels they work on differently, and that the vast majority of translators don’t fully read them before they start working on them.

 

The Peculiar Perils of Literary Translation

This long article looks at a lot of the challenges literary translators face. It discusses multiple translators and translated works from all kinds of languages, as well as the various arguments for and against different translation approaches.

 

Parallel Worlds: Translating Genres [YouTube]

An hour-long interview with literary translators on bringing Japanese genre fiction to the West.

Parallel Worlds Translating Genres talk on youtube interesting articles

 

Cultural equivalence: its effectiveness and complications — Has “white gloves” achieved the equivalent effect of “shiro tabi”? [PDF]

This academic essay is a really interesting look at the practice of cultural equivalence in translation. What do we gain by it and what do we lose?

 

All the Violence It May Carry on its Back: A Conversation about Diversity and Literary Translation

A discussion about translators and the assumption that they are all white middle-class people. “This is a conversation about literary translation that centres the experiences of translators who do not fit within mainstream boundaries and assumptions.”

 

Can a Translation Be Better Than the Original Book?

Rebecca Hussey argues that a translation can be better than the original, but these things are always a lot more complicated than they might appear. She makes a great argument as to why a translation could potentially be better than the original and why that might be.

 

 

Localization and Translation in General

 

Translating Phatic Expressions by Katrina Leonoudakis

This hilarious and informative breakdown is a must-read. It looks at how phatic expressions are used in different languages and effective ways to handle them in translation.

 

Why a “Human Check” is Not the Answer to Machine Translation

Tasia Skoviak discusses the current trend in using machine translation and having professional translators check it for quality. As the title suggests, she argues why this is a bad idea and how it impacts translation quality.

 

Lost in translation? The one-inch truth about Netflix’s subtitle problem

This was a really good discussion from The Guardian about the drama that surrounded the Squid Game translation drama in 2021.

Screenshot of squid game localization articles

 

Where have all the translators gone?

Another article from The Guardian that came out around the time of the Squid Game translation kafuffle. This mostly looks at the working conditions for subtitle translators and the issues with such a low-paying high-stress job.

 

The international guide to gender-inclusive writing

This is a massive article all about how to write with gender-include language in multiple languages.

 

Inclusive language – why are we making it so difficult?

Related to the above article, this short piece looks at how we as translators talk about the importance of inclusive language.

 

10 Red Flags in a Translator [YouTube]

This is mostly advice for people looking to hire translators, but I think it can be really insightful for professional translators too.

 

 

For Aspiring Translators

 

How To Become A Translator

Three literary translators talk about how to get into the literary translation industry, and what to expect from a career in translation.

 

Five great tips for getting started as a literary translator

Pretty much what the title says, five great tips for getting started as a literary translator. I’d say a lot of this advice also applies to aspiring translators in any field.

 

Tips for Beginning Translators

This article is specifically for aspiring literary translators. Brittany Powel paints these tips as things you “should do” but I say take them with a grain of salt.

 

The Emerging Literary Translator Valley of Death

Anton Hur talks about his experience as an aspiring literary translator and the difference between having a translated book and not having one. He gives cold hard truths that it’s not easy making a living out of literary translation.

 

A 19-Minute Guide To Break Into the Video Game Localization Industry

This article by Diego Perez breaks down almost everything you might need to know about becoming a video game translator. The pros and cons of freelance and in-house work, what kinds of education you can pursue, how to get experience, how to find work, etc. He recommends a few resources that I don’t agree with (like UpWork) but it’s a good starters guide.

 

Specialized: Video Game Translation [YouTube]

This 25-minute video is an interview between three successful video game translators, how they got into the industry, and what it’s like.

 

How To Kickstart Your Localization Career: Tips From 6 Hiring Managers [YouTube]

This 11-minute long video has some good advice from localization hiring managers for aspiring video game translators.

 

 

For Experienced Translators

 

How I market to agencies by Corrine Mckay

This is such a great breakdown of how to approach translation agencies and get work from them. The biggest takeaway is that it’s okay to nudge people after an initial e-mail. Sometimes they were just too busy to reply.

 

How to be a great leader at a games company – without going bananas

This article isn’t about localization or translation, but it is a worthwhile read for anyone who’s been in the industry for a while. This interview with No Brake Games’ Sitara Shefta has a lot of great insight into being a good team leader or manager. Even if you’re not a manager, it’s good to read to learn about healthy team dynamics.

 

Want more? Here are my past link roundups.

Literary Translation Link Roundup [Spring 2021]

Game Localization Link Roundup [Spring 2021]

Celebrating Game Localization – Translation Link Roundup [Spring 2020]

Articles for Game Localization Fans – Translation Link Roundup [Winter 2019 Part 1]

Articles for Localizers – Translation Link Roundup [Winter 2019 Part 2]

ゲーム翻訳はすごい:Articles for Japanese Speakers – Translation Link Roundup [Winter 2019 Part 3]

What Makes a Good Translation? – Translation Link Roundup [March & April 2018]

New Goals and Improving Skills – Translation Link Roundup [February 2018]

All The Video Game Localizations – Translation Link Roundup [January 2018]

Translation Link Roundup [December 2017]

 

Interesting Localization Articles from the Last Year (and more)
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