English to French IT Translator Blog

[LocJAM Japan] How to Translate Ikinari Maou in Trados, MemoQ, Excel, LibreOffice

Ikinari Maou is the game offered for translation for LocJAM Japan, a Japanese to English game localization contest. This article offers pointers to translate its localizable strings in different CAT and non-CAT tools, and may be updated as questions arise. Please also note that this is an unofficial guide, with no guarantees whatsoever.

The localizable file was successfully tested in both SDL Trados Studio and MemoQ. You can create a project as you normally would, with the following settings:

SDL Trados Studio (2014 or later)

To translate in Trados, please use the following options for the .csv file type in your project options:

How to localize Ikinari Maou (LocJAM Japan game) in Trados

MemoQ (tested on version 2015)

When importing the file in MemoQ, please use the following configuration:
Localization of Ikinari Maou in MemoQ

In both cases, your CAT tool should be able to export the .csv file in the right format and encoding, without any further modification.


If you are working with Excel or similar spreadsheet software, you will be able to open/save the .csv file directly, but you may have trouble exporting files in the right format if you add certain characters (quotation marks, etc.). In that case, I would recommend the use of the free code and text editor Notepad++. Once installed, copy the source and target columns from Excel (or similar software), open the original (untranslated) file in Notepad++, select all the text (Ctrl + A) and replace it with the content of your spreadsheet content. Save the file, and everything should work smoothly.

Of course, you can translate directly in Notepad++, but you will most likely find Excel more comfortable to do so.


A member of the IGDA LocSIG Group on Facebook, Anish Krishnamurthy, kindly shared the following settings to open the file in LibreOffice:


Game Localization Link Roundup – October 2016

October was another exciting month in the game localization industry. This time, I’m sharing a few fascinating interviews with industry insiders as well as insightful articles about the localization business.

During the past month, we also made tremendous progress with LocJAM Japan’s preparation. We now have a fully functional tool and an internationalized game ready to be shared with the world. We were lucky to find a game of the perfect size for our needs AND incredibly fun to play. Even if you’re not joining the contest, look forward to playing it, next month in Japanese or in English when the winning entries are announced!
The importance of Localization Quality Assurance

Localizing a Unity Indie Game: The Hidden Costs

Sega, Ubisoft, Deep Silver, Gameforge: What’s New in Game Localization?

We Work With an Army of Translators, Says GameHouse Translation Manager

Interview: Localising DRAGON QUEST VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past
An interview with Oli Chance, who had kindly answered our questions about Ni No Kuni a few years ago

Japanese visual novel Steins;Gate 0 gets EU release date, new trailer – The game’s localization lead discusses the complexity of adapting the story to the west

8 Top Internationalization Changes in iOS 10

Game Localization Link Roundup – September 2016

After a relatively calm summer, September was richer in game localization-related content. Besides the Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse story, which ended with an official apology from Atlus, a few interesting interviews with veterans of the industry popped up, and the trend continued into the first few weeks of October.

We are also preparing to officially announce our plans for LocJAM Japan, so you can expect a busy end of year for the localization community!

Interview: Brian Gray on localizing Gotta Protectors

SMTIV: Faux Pas-calypse – Or how a string accidentally left untranslated can result in apologies from the developer. The issue itself is far from a first, but these things usually get swept under the rug and it was interesting to see a developer officially touch base with the gaming community regarding this

A Look At Untranslated Text In Video Game Localizations – A small compilation written after the above-mentioned story

An Interview With Mastiff: The Passion Behind Localization

Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment – Death By Localization

Video: How Capcom localizes games like Monster Hunter – Based on Andrew Alfonso’s (Capcom) presentation at the GDC 2016. In this video, he explains how Capcom’s localization directors address different challenges with the localization of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate as an example. A very complete presentation and a rare chance to hear the story directly from in-house people.

Why Localization Quality Matters For App Sales

Improve app sales with quality localization services

The importance of localization is now well documented. You can find dozens of case studies out there, with stories of sales increased by a 2 to 3-digit percentage, sometimes simply by localizing app descriptions. This promising reward doesn’t come without effort, though.

Although localization can be a very powerful sales enabler, quality is essential to make the most out of it. Indeed, localization-related issues can ruin your globalization efforts, and even have a negative impact sales for your app’s native language.

Reviews influence downloads

Reviews are a decisive factor when people decide whether to download an app or not. A couple of bad reviews could be enough to cut your download numbers in half, and lack of/unproper localization is one of the most common sources of negative reviews.

Nobody likes an application that looks like it was processed through an automated translation engine. By releasing low quality localized versions of your app, you could cause ratings to dive and lose the trust of potential customers – even in the original language version. In that respect, localization can be a double-edged sword if not handled properly.

ASO: you need the right localized keywords to be found

Working on App Store Optimization (ASO) is one of the most important strategies to improve your sales. So when you try to reach new markets, it makes sense to localize every aspect of your app, from description to keywords, to ensure it shows up in search results – ideally ahead of competitors.

When you do it, it is vital to use the right keywords in each language. If you use low quality localization services or if your provider lacks market knowledge, the odds are high that you will lose out to rival solutions, because you won’t be targeting the right keywords.

You need to work with someone who perfectly understands the target market and is familiar with your industry. A synonym won’t do here, you need the one keyword that most people interested in your app are going to look for.

How to make the most out of localization?

– Hire a professional, specialized translator. The providers you hire shouldn’t just be native speakers of the target language. They need to perfectly understand your product, the market and what users will be expecting. Remember, a “good enough” translation won’t cut it. Only an accurate and perfectly localized product will allow you to truly optimize downloads and purchases. Look for experienced translators who clearly list applications as one of their main specializations. The more targeted the better. Ensure they have a good understanding of app localization challenges and concepts such as ASO, and check their track record.

– Test localized versions. It doesn’t have to be super expensive. Even if you have a good translation for your app, different types of issues can happen during implementation and harm your efforts. Only release your localized app when it is truly ready to achieve better ratings and the improved sales that go with. If you are short on resources or budget, start with just a couple of languages and expand progressively.

Is Localization Testing Necessary And How To Reduce Its Costs

Localization testing - How to reduce costs

Localizing your games for different languages and markets can be an extremely effective way to boost your game sales. Besides reassuring your potential audience, it is an important part of App Store Optimization (ASO) and can help your games get featured on mobile game stores.

Very promising on paper, but localization isn’t free, neither is localization testing. It can be tempting to skip the testing part once you have all the localized assets in your hands. After all, you spent enough time picking up reliable language service providers, so nothing can go that wrong, maybe a few cosmetic issues at most… right?

Proper localization testing IS necessary, no matter what

Compared to the console market, localization requirements for mobile game stores are pretty loose – and that’s a mild way to put it. It may sound like a blessing to developers, but it is a double-edged sword that doesn’t do gamers any good, as they are often left with games that look unfinished or impossible to decipher.

More languages = More sales? True, but only if you get it right. The only thing a bad localization is going to give you is a long string of bad reviews from upset users, potentially dragging down your overall sales – including in the game’s original language. You should strive for quality in every single aspect of your game.

Even if you hire a strong localization team, there are still lots of ways things can go wrong. Lack of context can lead to inaccurate translations that will harm user experience or make you the next Internet meme. Implementation issues, such as text overflows, encoding problems, missing strings and the like will make your app look buggy and unfinished. There will always be something, the same way games always have bugs before functional testing.

It doesn’t matter how much and in how many languages you localize: whatever you do, try to do it right. Any half-hearted effort could ruin an otherwise great game and prevent it from selling as well as it deserves.

Budget limitations are obviously the pain point here. However, you can get most of your localization testing needs covered at a reasonable cost.

How to keep costs down without affecting quality

There are lots of ways you can optimize the QA process and avoid overspending. Here are a few general tips to help you start out:

– You don’t need to do everything at once. If you don’t have the resources to properly localize your app, reduce the number of localized languages or start by translating store descriptions and texts essential to the understanding of the game. Players will be more tolerant toward a solid game written in a foreign language than a game that looks unfinished and buggy. Start with the languages you consider the most important, then add more as sales pick up.

You don’t need to outsource everything. Having garbled characters or overflowing texts in main menus, tutorials, etc., things every player is going to see, is simply unacceptable. Yet, these issues are very easy to detect, even without any knowledge of target languages. There is absolutely no excuse not to do any testing at all.

Your budget may be tight, but you can probably find a couple of hours to do implementation localization testing for your game. Reduce the scope for your external resources and save on QA costs, as your testers will be able to focus on the text itself, rather than spending time reporting issues you could have found yourself. You should also consider pseudo-localization to address some of these issues before any actual translation is implemented.

There are different levels of testing, choose what works best for you. If you really don’t have the budget to do extensive testing, you should at least aim at an acceptable quality standard, something people won’t be complaining about. You ideally want to have a perfectly polished product, but in general players will tolerate a small number of minor issues. At a minimum level, test implementation yourself and ask your translator or another professional to check the game in context (to make sure everything makes sense) and have a final look at spelling/grammar.

It will help to have a well-defined testing plan and cheat codes so testers go through your game quickly. If you manage to optimize that part of the process, you can probably keep testing costs at 30-50% of the translation fee. Once again, you should consider more thorough testing once finances allow, but it should be enough to achieve a decent standard of quality.

Don’t make it more complex than it needs to be. It’s really all about optimizing the process. Translators will be able to fix most issues by editing localizable files themselves. Technical issues aside, you maybe don’t need them to fill a complete report with dozens of fields, screenshots and so on. Again, the key is to have them focused on testing itself.

Game Localization Link Roundup – July-August 2016

The monthly link roundup is back after a short break. To tell the truth, this summer was fairly calm in terms of game localization-related content, and the list will be short this time, despite covering two months. Not to worry though, as September has already given us a lot to read about.

On a different topic, we’re making very interesting progress with our plans for the Japanese LocJAM. Things are starting to come together nicely, and we’ll definitely have a lot to talk about during the next few months.

Japan Localization – An interesting article about localization for the Japanese market, with lots of concrete examples

Modern Military RPG Long Gone Days Requires Interpreters For Some Of Its NPCs

True tales from localization hell – More horror stories from our translator friends

The impact of localization on reviews – A study over 800,000 reviews from games available on the Google Play Store.

Localization on Unity: Adapting the Game Environment – Part 1 – A two-part article from the same blog as above, with practical advice for developers localizing their games in Unity

Where and How to Find the Best French Translation Services/Professional Translators?

First of all, it is important to determine exactly what you are looking for. Do you need professional French translation services, or do you just want to quickly check the meaning of a text you found online?

Automated translation

For machine translation, Google Translate and DeepL are currently the best options. They do a reasonably good job if you want to grasp quickly the meaning of a document.

However, if you want a copy that will help you sell your products or services, you will need the services of a professional.

Where to find and how to choose a professional translator

So, who offers the best French translation services? There’s no simple answer to that question. It depends on many factors. The thing is that no translator can handle all sorts of texts. Specialization is everything.

I’m a French translator myself. I am confident in my ability to provide high-quality English to French translation for technical fields and user-oriented content. Product manual, software documentation, etc. these all are topics I am comfortable with. But if you send me legal or medical content, I will rather introduce you to a colleague. A professional translator specializes and knows the limits of their abilities.

Factors to consider

When you are looking for a French translator, consider the following:

Experience: that’s the obvious one. With experience, translators become more familiar with their specialization fields, develop a strong glossary and avoid mistakes. It also shows commitment to the translation industry. Seasoned translators make reliable and long-term partners
Specialization: your translator should be perfectly comfortable with your field. There’s no point sending a patent translation to a literary translator, regardless of how good they are at translating books. Make sure your provider has a proven track record in your industry
Professionalism: clear and helpful communications, good understanding of your needs are essential qualities of a language professional. After all, we are here to help you communicate with the rest of the world and increase your sales
Rates: be wary of cheap providers. Bad translations can cost much more than the price you pay for them. Look for the professional translator who best matches your needs within your budget

Follow these tips and you should be able to find, if not the best (if there truly is such a thing, which I doubt), at least a good and reliable translator.

Let me help you get the best translation for your products and services

Contact me now for all your French translation needs. I will help you find the best provider for your specific project. I may offer my own services or refer you to a reputable colleague if the project is out of my reach. Work with a trusted professional to make the most out of your internationalization initiatives.

How Much Professional French Translation Services Cost: Rates/Price/Fees Explanation

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If you are new to the professional translation industry, you may not have a very clear idea of what market rates/fees are for English to French translations. And of course, before sending your products or services for professional translation, you will want to have a cost estimate in mind.

Freelance translators are a cost-effective and reliable option

First of all, if you want to get reasonable rates and best value for your money, you will want to work with a freelance translator. This way you will avoid the typically high agency fees: 50-80% of what you pay a translation company goes to various administrative layers rather than to the actual translator.

Having said that, even in the freelance translator pool you will find vastly different price ranges. Avoid cheap providers, as they are usually inexperienced and will end up costing your business more when you realize their work is not usable. Poor translations can also have devastating effects on your image.

What professional French translators charge and what costs to expect

Typically, a professional and specialized translator will charge between $0.1 and $0.2 per word depending on the following factors:

Experience: experienced translators charge more than newcomers. But naturally, seasoned translators tend to offer a better quality of service

Field of expertise: patent translations tend to cost more than, say, software documentation. The more technical and specific your text is, the higher the costs will be

File format: a plain Word file will cost less to translate than a heavily formatted HTML page. Preparing and translating difficult file formats takes time, hence the potential high rates. It is however in your best interest to work with a provider who is comfortable with such files formats

Deadline: if you need your translation urgently, be prepared to pay a premium. Depending on how tight delivery date is, the rate/fee may be bumped up by anywhere between 20 and 200%

Volume and repetitions: Most professional translators charge a minimum project fee ($10-100 depending on the provider). Consider grouping orders when possible. Some might offer a discount for very large projects. You may also be offered a small discount if large chunks of text are repeated through the source documents

See where you stand on all of the above points, and you should get an idea of the price to expect. Then look for providers experienced and familiar with your field. Finally, go for the translator who best aligns with your needs.

Ask for a free quote now

I offer professional translation services at reasonable costs. Get in touch now so we can discuss your needs and pave the way to your success in French markets! If cost is a concern, I offer free advice to help you stay within budget, without any quality compromise.

Are Translation Rates Really Going Down? Reasons to Remain Optimistic

Translations rates: are they really decreasing?

Hardly a day goes by without someone complaining about dwindling translation rates on Proz or a translation group on some social network.

I’ve been in the industry for close to a decade now. Not anywhere near as long as some of my more experienced peers, but enough to say such claims are nothing new. When I started out, people were already complaining about how they kept receiving translation job offers at insulting rates, MT post-editing projects disguised as proofreading tasks and the like. If you spend too much time reading such posts, you may start thinking that, at the pace things go, we will soon have to pay for the right to work.

It’s quite possible there’s a part of truth there. Translation rates may well be decreasing with time. But how significant the phenomenon is, and should you be worried about it? To my knowledge, there are no authoritative studies about translation rate evolution over a significant period.

Still, let’s try to put things into perspective. Although I lack the hard data to back my ideas, I sincerely think translators shouldn’t be too worried about their future.

A perception issue?

When you are in the bad part of the feast and famine cycle, or just getting established, it can be frustrating to receive yet another job offer at $0.01/word (the language pair doesn’t really matter at that point) or some dubious “proofreading” project. These get more annoying with time, once you’ve built up a clientele and got more experienced. No time to waste for bottom feeders.

Worse still, you may get the occasional mass email from one of your regular clients informing you about they won’t be able to pay your current rate anymore or that they have a new ridiculously harsh TM discount grid. Some agencies will put pressure on their translators pretty much by principle. If translators accept their terms, it’s only beneficial to them, if they don’t the agency can always look for new partners. If this can give you any relief, I recently heard about a low-paying agency actually raising the rate they offer to their new translators because they had overused the above technique.

These frustrating moments may lead you into believing the translation world is only made of sharks waiting to bite into your salary. Yet, when I take time to think about it calmly, I don’t feel average rates have been significantly decreasing over the past few years. Clients come and go, and generally it’s just a matter of refreshing your client base, dropping low payers to better welcome more understanding ones. The thing is that you need to keep marketing your services to protect and ideally improve your income, and this holds for any industry.

Also, always remember: YOU set the rates. If you stay calm and courteous, you might be able to negotiate better rates than you’d imagine.

Are you targeting the right clients?

Most of the time, translators complaining about rates are the ones working mostly or exclusively with agencies. In fact, I’ve never seen a translator working only with direct clients complain about rates. And, if you listen to the most talkative ones, those rates pretty much match the ones some translators claim they used to charge “when translators were treated as professionals.” If you feel agencies are giving an unfair treatment, it’s maybe time to spend more efforts chasing direct clients. Easier said than done, of course, but no reward comes without hard work.

Not that I think there’s anything wrong with agencies in general. Some will reject the very idea of working through middlemen, but I like the stability and predictability agencies offer. There are lots of bad ones out there, but the good ones are plenty enough to keep me busier than needed. Thanks to them, I never get to the point of starvation during slow times. Once again, it’s all about picking the right partners.

I’ve had good success with boutique agencies, those that are mostly focused on one specialization field or language pair. They tend to offer better rates as their end clients are generally looking for quality rather than low prices. Some larger agencies will also accept very reasonable rates if you know how to deal with them. It’s often a mix of being specialized, putting your negotiation skills to use and talking to the right PM. It can be well worth the effort.

“Rates used to be higher, period.” What about your income?

I can’t tell whether rates are lower now than they were 10 years ago, but I have no doubt they were much higher 30 years ago. And I suppose agencies weren’t putting quite that much pressure on us to offer TM or MT-related discounts 10 years ago. Yet, it doesn’t necessarily mean translators are making less money now than they used to. Computers got much faster, the Internet became an incredible source knowledge if you know the right places, and in general there are many aspects of the translation workflow we can automate. Even if you focus on the last 5-10 years, CAT and productivity tools got a whole lot better. If rates ever went down, a smart use of the tools available should allow you to make up for it. Lifelong learning at work.

These technological improvements may be less relevant for the most creative specialization fields, but they also seem to be the ones that tend to resist the best to rate decreases.

In the end, per-word rates are just one of the many variables that determine how much you earn at the end of the month.

Back to my own case, I’ve seen my income grow steadily since I’ve become a translator, and there is no sign that this is going to stop anytime soon. Average rates may have been going down, but mine haven’t. Remember, the market is large and growing, and there are plenty of amazing clients out there. It’s only up to you to go find them.

And now, with machine translation…

One of my main specializations (IT, especially when it comes to documentation) also happens to be one the least creative ones (all things being relative). Understand one the easiest to translate for trained MT engines on paper. However, current MT engines are at a loss once you stray away even just a little bit from the patterns they’re trained for. The technology still has serious limitations, and I’m not the one saying it. Sure, the quality of machine translation has been improving over time, but it’s simply not there yet, even for relatively straightforward language pairs and fields.

I have covered this topic in length already, so I won’t expand too much here. Long story short: MT is improving and it is useful for a lot of things, but if you want to publish a professional text, just ask a human translator.

Once science hacks the human brain, maybe… but then we’ll probably have even more important things to worry about.

Closing words

If you are worried about your future as a translator, stop right now. You can still make a very healthy living from your job. Stay calm, ignore insulting requests, cherish your good clients, always be on the lookout for new ones, and polish your skills. Things will just work out naturally if you stay focused.

Game Localization Link Roundup – June 2016

After a calmer month of May, June once again saw a large number of articles about video game localization. Interviews, case studies, essays, resources and more, enjoy this new selection!

This month, at IGDA’s LocSIG, we were also excited to announce both the results of LocJAM3 and the first spin-off of the contest: LocJAM Japan! Japanese to English translators will finally have their own competition. Things are already looking very good, with an interesting platform to work on (Tyrano Builder), a full-fledged localization tool that allows for live preview of localized texts, and a great pool of games to choose from.

Look forward to more information about the official contest dates, upcoming workshops and more!

(Almost) Made in Brazil: Going Mobile & Embracing Fully-Localized Code for Each New Territory

Interview with Zero Time Dilemma Translator, Andy Chiang

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Developers On Adapting To The West And Its Localization

Game Localization Bibliography

Ace Attorney’s Creators Talk the New Title and Localization

Image: “Here’s how much text was in a game I localized back in the day with a small army of others… It was Dragon Quest VII.”

Fun fact: Capcom had to find a clever way to hide the number 7 both inside “Biohazard” and its western title “Resident Evil”

The Exciting Ups And Painful Downs Of Game Localization

XSEED Localization General Blog #1

Video Game Translators Are on Your Side, So Stop Hating on Them