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Atlus USA talks about localization process

July 26th, 2009, by zalas
Posted in Translation , Tagged: , ,

Atlus USA has posted on their forums a writeup on the localization process involved in their projects, including a rough time estimate for each stage of the process. The writeup doesn’t pertain directly to a visual novel localization process, since visual novels generally have more text and require less testing, and the last parts of the process deal with manufacturing, which is something that does not apply to noncommercial translations. However, the overall process is rather similar, and it might be useful to compare the process adopted by Atlus with the process adopted by visual novel localization companies and fan translators. For example, the “familiarization” stage seems to be missing in some fan translations. In this stage, Atlus’s translators “play the game thoroughly” because “it’s important to know the in-game context of everything when translating, including all dialogue or text found in out-of-the-way side quests or bonus material.” Lastly, it’s interesting to note that Atlus also does not handle the programming that is needed to insert translated text back into the game; the original developers do that. JAST USA applies a similar approach in several games they have released. MangaGamer seems to have some specialized people porting their games to BGI. Of course, fan translators generally tend to handle their own script insertion.


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  1. Zed Says:
    July 27th, 2009 at 12:41 am

    5000 lines of text a day…

    That must be tough.

  2. mw Says:
    August 1st, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    According to Square Enix, their localization programmers did a lot of work during the early days. However, as the attitudes (and knowledge) of the development teams changed, the role became an advisory one.

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