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Old 04-13-2008, 12:39 PM   #1
AskWhy2008
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Default Localization Affair

Howdy,

The name is Chris and I am currently 18 years old. The plan for life originated as a cartoon animator, but after the realization of not being able to draw, I turned to my other passion in life, video games (hence, why we are all here). I will be entering into college next year for Computer Science with a Minor in Japanese. The plan is to localize titles for Nintendo, a dream I have always had. Currently, I am a News Editor for a Nintendo news website, Zentendo.com. We reach about a quarter of a million hits a month, which in the scheme of things isn't as much as it sounds. I am primarily using Zentendo to build up a portfolio of writing samples as well as get my foot in the door, we hope to be able to head to E3 if not this year, next.

Of course, the problem I have is the whole learning the foreign language part. Japanese is a passion, don't get me wrong, but I have difficult learning a completely new language. It is an especially slow process for myself. I have been in Japanese classes the last year and a half, and my freshman year in high school. I have done decently well, but a recurring theme has been that I cannot learn Japanese permanently until I use it 24 hours a day. As such, as it stands, after my sophomore year in college I hope to sign up for the foreign exchange program. Currently, I am using MIT's free online lectures, which can be found here, to relearn and keep my basic Japanese skills sharp while I continue to reside in good English/Spanish country.

My question is this, am I doing the necessary things for building a portfolio, mastering my trade, and doing all the necessary steps for achieving my dream in life? If not, what can I be doing to do better? I have no background in computers yet, as my current school has been basic in the education it delivers its students, as such I am trying to do as much as I can to prepare.

Thanks kindly for any thoughts.
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:11 AM   #2
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The only part I don't understand is why you are taking a Computer Science course when you want to be a writer or translator.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:11 AM   #3
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So that I can become a localization engineer, the one who deals with the code.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:35 AM   #4
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Then I guess you are on the right track. Honestly, I have never heard of that role before so I don't have any idea how to advise.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:01 AM   #5
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If it helps, this site has a really interesting article about Localization.

Right here.
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:31 PM   #6
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Actually, GameCareerGuide has a really nice feature about localization with a breakdown of each aspect.

Here.

So, by chance are there any people in the industry that work specifically on the localization process that I may contact?
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:22 PM   #7
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Try this a third time to post from a remote place. :P

Do you have anybody that I can contact to find out more information on localization? I have already read the localization article hosted on this site, which was useful, but I am not quite sure where to go from here.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:33 PM   #8
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No, sorry. I am still trying to wrap my head around how you would localise from a code point of view. THe onyl thing I can think of is translating hard coded literal strings.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:38 PM   #9
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I am curious if we have the same idea in mind.

Quote:
Localization engineers. Localization engineers are the only people allowed to access the game engine and manipulate game builds. They are responsible for extracting translatable strings out of the game code and inserting them back again after translation. They normally organize these strings into spreadsheets, which translators use to produce their localized version. Engineers are also responsible for correcting bugs reported by linguistic testers.
Source

The way I figure it, I could be of use with the code itself and the translation progress.
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Old 04-15-2008, 02:39 PM   #10
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I am curious if we have the same idea in mind. Forgive me if I am discussing something out of context.

Quote:
Localization engineers. Localization engineers are the only people allowed to access the game engine and manipulate game builds. They are responsible for extracting translatable strings out of the game code and inserting them back again after translation. They normally organize these strings into spreadsheets, which translators use to produce their localized version. Engineers are also responsible for correcting bugs reported by linguistic testers.
Source

The way I figure it, I could be of use with the code itself and the translation progress.
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