Dear Lady’s and Gentlemen,

what would you say about a Community Translation Tool so we could localize the Game to different Languages for the Dev’s?

Im not the best English Speaker / Reader but normally i understand what i read but the Story are very very difficult english too understand.

So localisation for the Game would be just awesome and i know there are already many request’s. And im pretty sure if the Dev release there Text File’s the Community gonna handel it for them !



I would imagine the problem is unless they spoke the language, they wouldn’t be able to check the quality of the localisation. And since the game’s strength is it’s words (fine, fine, I’m biased), it would risk compromising their reputation internationally if they couldn’t match the standard of the original. And implementing it would still take time they don’t have. (As would creating the translation tool.)

They have said they don’t currently plan translations in a similar query on the Steam discussion. That’s not a never, though.
(There were more detailed remarks elsewhere, I’ll edit if I find them.)
edited by babelfishwars on 7/3/2014
edited by babelfishwars on 7/3/2014

Hi, i wanted to say something to the topic here…

  1. of all… [quote=][color=rgb(194, 194, 194)] [/color][color=rgb(194, 194, 194)]the problem is unless they spoke the language, they wouldn’t be able to check the quality of the localisation[/color][/quote]
    ahhh come on REALY ? Those are lame excuses in my opinion. My wife is translator in many languages and she said you can translate mostly all it will become difficult if it goes back to +4000 years like egyptian or Aramaic. But english she was laughing.

  2. A game becomes not better and you wont win a Pulitzer Prize if you write your stories difficult. That prooves nothing. A Company should go difficult in the game by the game itself to be successfull international…not in a difficult way to read and understand the language.

oh please take a renowned translator and a translation team its a work of a week. Or are you selling so little copies that there is no money for that? that would be an answer i would accept. but not the compromising international reputation rubbish.

  1. The English language is so simple one that it would be easy to translate this also into german. There is no language in the world that can make not as exact specified information as you can do in german.

  2. there is even no There is not even a fan translation subtitles which means :

A: there are not enough german players
B: the lyrics are too deep in the programm code so that a textbased edit is not so easly possible. which goes to B2
B2: this would reflect a sloppy programming.

  1. Well if the game comes with a german patch some day no matter if it is fan made or from the dev team i thank you with kiss on the hand.
    Otherwise, I will avoid the company in the future when choosing games.

I think you are being unfair to Babelfish, Zado. To me, her comments seem entirely reasonable. I don’t think translation would be at all a simple matter, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that Failbetter would be concerned about the impact a poor translation would have on their reputation - that seems a pretty obvious concern.

I think - and I am not attempting to put words into the mouths of FBG here, just talking from my own perception - that the way FBG write text means that it works on so many levels that a really good translation would be very difficult indeed. You could render a superficial translation that gave the story fairly easily, but there is much more than that. Failbetter use complex wordplay, and weave allusions and references into their games in such a way that I imagine a translation that conveyed them in any comparable way to the original would not be easy.

I can see why speakers of other languages are frustrated - I would be too - and I can understand that a translation that gives just the essence of the story would be sufficient for them. But I can also see why FBG wouldn’t want to settle for any translation that didn’t mirror the original entirely. A Failbetter game without all the wordplay and literary allusions would have had its heart and soul ripped out.

As a non-native English speaker I as well occasionally find it challenging to keep up with the story without using dictionary or google-translate.

However, as far as I see, the style of writing, usage of all those Victorian-ish magnificent oddities and jargons are most crucial for sustaining the atmosphere of Fallen London. And that is what I love about this place.

That is why I wouldn’t like to see a half-heartedly made translation that would frustrate me way more than occasional need to look something up. And while there may be some point in a partial translation of some starting content for the sake of attracting new players who may be not very well-versed in the language (for example, translating Benefactor story while also presenting him as your compatriot (and giving him a valid reason to care about some just-out-of-Newgate shady character)), full translation seems to be inappropriate (it’s usually english that’s spoken in London) and hardly achievable.

Also, it’s a good reason and means to review and expand your knowledge of the subject.

i don’t speak/read german but if #echobazaar/#fallenlondon/#sunlesssea was translated into common chineses or cantonese, it would be seriously weird.
edited by rebelanarch-82 on 5/18/2015

I’m spanish/english bilingual translation student and honestly i’d love to have the programming knowledge necessary to at least translate sunless sea to spanish for my retired sailor grandfather ;u; (or fallen london for my aunt who loves the athmosphere)
but yeah, there’s so many people i’d like to get into fallen london if it could be translated

Zado, 4000+ years ago is not “Egyptian”. Do refer to it as Ancient Egyptian or Hieroglyphs.
The current language isn’t even “Egyptian”, it’s called Arabic. I know English probably isn’t your first language, but I get touchy at things related to Egypt.

VS (An Egyptian)

Indeed, there is a large difference between a simple translation and the complex and evocative wordplay that Failbetter Games uses. And considering that part of the allure for some is the use of an outdated, archaic form of speech, it truly is quite imperative that any translation be done at a master level, and not by an automated system or college level.

For example, FBG might use “Oh come now, good sir.”, whereas Zado’s post contains “ahhh come on REALY ?”. While the two phrases share the same basic meaning and intent, one could not say they were equal. Much of the atmosphere that makes Fallen London great would be lost, which would not reflect well upon them.

A note to people who seem to have missed it: this suggestion was regarding Sunless Sea, not Fallen London.

That said, Sunless Sea also has a lot of words. It is also a game where a large portion of the pleasure comes from the words and the quality of the writing. A straight translation would not do it justice, it would want a proper localization.

It seems unlikely that Sunless Sea could be translated to another language in only a week, although with a sufficiently large team and sufficiently low standards it’s probably possible. The idea that it could be localized in under a week is laughable.

I would add that WhySoSad and zado are talking about different things. WhySoSad was talking about a community translation tool, which would allow us all to work on translations, while zado was talking about professional translation. Failbetter not being able to check the quality of the translation would definitely be a problem with a community translation. Even with professional translation, the quality varies widely, as anyone who has read badly translated books will be able to tell you, and good quality comes with a price. I doubt there is enough of a market for translations of Sunless Sea to make it worthwhile.

[quote=&quotMany&quot Chin]i don’t speak/read german but if #echobazaar/#fallenlondon/#sunlesssea was translated into common chineses or cantonese, it would be seriously weird.
edited by rebelanarch-82 on 5/18/2015[/quote]

I posted a Chinese review of Sunless Sea once - their impression of Hunter’s Keep and sisters is, &quotOn a island you can dine with three raving cavewoman and die from fright because of horrible table manner&quot.

To this day I still cannot think of the word Parabolan in Chinese term or even guess how it’d be in Chinese at all.

could you link it again? that’s…kinda off…0.0[li]
I suppose something more removed from the actual word might work - there’s got to be a more archaic term for rainbow or something that could encompass both the sense of arcing proximity to this plane of existence along with the reflection bit. Also! a phrase should exist since there is an expat population in London - I don’t think they would’ve chosen to name it for the same aspect as the english did, although in that one storylet Freud does mention it, so maybe German shares the term?
And iirc the Borges short story that seems to have inspired Parabola mentions that this ‘world behind mirrors’ is known from ancient legends from China, so whatever name it has in Chinese probably wouldn’t have the same scientific revolution flavor that ‘Parabola’ has (to me).[/li][li]
edited by fortluna on 5/21/2015