I'm part of the small but thriving Swedish indie RPG scene. And I have been thinking about translating games a lot. Recently the question has been raised by others.
On The Jank cast #70
- International gaming where the hosts ask about games from other parts of the world, and there was a double episode on Fear the Boot a while back where the hosts also inquired into gaming in other parts of the world. I think there is an interest in the English speaking community to see games from across the world, but there is a language barrier. "Everyone" speaks English, so games in that language have the potential to reach the whole gaming community. But games in French, German, Swedish or any other language, from other parts of the world are limited to their home markets.
At the same time a few people make an effort to spread games outside their home markets. Like Zombie Cinema and Norwegian Style , or the extraordinary Italian translations that we read about here on SG every once in a while. Or even the rumored fan translation of the Swedish RPG Mutant into English.
On the Swedish RPG community Rollspel.nu there is a discussion in progress about translating games (Translated by Google
). Different views on the matter are raised, some focusing on the effort and expense of translating games well. Pro translators don't come cheap, and if you translate yourself you'll get poor results, even if you are "good at writing English".
Now to my question:Did you ever play a game that was obviously translated (by an amateur)?
If you have that game that was written/translated by a foreigner, but one couldn't tell by looking at the text, I'm not interested in hearing about that. But if you have read/played a game that was obviously translated by an amateur, or written by someone not having the language as his/her first language, tell me about it!
Was it an obstacle for understanding the game?
Was it an obstacle for enjoying the game?
Did it lower your experienced "value for the money" factor?
On a side note, I did the translation of While the world ends
myself, and some SG:ers volunteered and did a round of proof reading for free. At that level the effort was acceptable on my part. But I haven't heard from anyone who bought it regarding their experience.
Is that level "good enough" when it comes to small indie games?