When you’re translating online casino games for multiple languages, there are always instances where you have to make the decision: to translate or not to translate.
In most cases, there’s no fixed answer to this question. Instead, you have to weigh up a number of factors and come to the best decision for each specific market.
So today we’re going to look at a few common examples where casino translation might not be needed.
Don’t translate universal terms
Not long ago, we ran an article looking at some of the hardest words to translate for casino game publishers. Free spins, monkey, wild, double down and scatter were the five universal terms we chose for that article – all of which you’ll generally leave untranslated.
These words have become universal terms in casino gaming, simply because there’s no direct gaming translation for them. This can be quite common for casino and betting games but you’ll need to be sure your market research is spot on to make the right call in these instances.
Truly universal terms are one thing but you’ll also find many terms have translations in certain languages, but not others. There are also cases where some languages borrow words from others. Take Mexican Spanish, for example, which borrows a lot of English words from over the US border while Spanish in Spain adopts very few words from English at all.
When words are simply too long
Rule one of designing game interfaces for multilingual audiences is leaving enough space for words of different lengths. English is known for being one of the more space-efficient languages for written words and this means interfaces are often broken by larger pieces of text in another language.
This is why it’s important for your designers to create interfaces and game elements with gaming translation in mind. Buttons should be big enough to house text in other languages or you’ll be paying up for additional design work later on.
Of course, there’s a limit to how much space you can leave for specific design elements – especially on mobile. You don’t want half the screen taken up by jumbo buttons for the sake of a few translated words. Sometimes you simply have to choose another word or forget about casino translation altogether.
Is translation enough to begin with?
For most games, casino translation will cover most or all of your language needs – but it’s not always enough. There’s more to your game than the game itself, after all, and your marketing material can be particularly tricky to translate.
Once you start creating ads or slogans to promote your game, you’ll probably need transcreation services to help you get the same kind of reaction from audiences of different language backgrounds.
You’ll also find most games need some kind of video game localisation to help improve the translation process and deal with visual elements and other areas that need adaptation. So don’t think of casino translation as the only step in making your game accessible to multilingual audiences – it’s one of many steps.
As we say, there are no set guidelines for choosing when to leave certain words untranslated. Each case will be unique and the ultimate answer depends on your target audience – so never underestimate the importance of audience research and understanding.
- Posted by Tom Robinson
- On 31st January 2017
- 1 Comments