On the Lack of Translator Credits in Video Game Localization

Video game translation is a complex and often underappreciated process that involves adapting dialogue, menu text, and in-game instructions from one language to another, while also taking into account cultural differences, technical limitations, and stylistic preferences. Despite its importance, video game translators are often denied the recognition they deserve, with their names frequently omitted from the game credits.

There are several reasons for this lack of credit. One of the main reasons is a simple lack of consideration for the translators, who are often seen as mere contractors or service providers, rather than creative contributors to the game. Many video game developers view translation as a necessary expense, rather than a valuable asset, and therefore do not prioritize giving credit to the translators.

Another reason for the lack of credit for video game translators is the involvement of translation agencies, which often act as intermediaries between the developers and the translators. Some of these agencies refuse to share the names of their translators, citing concerns over confidentiality, intellectual property, or competition. As a result, the translators remain anonymous, even though they have made a significant contribution to the game.

This lack of credit not only undermines the credibility and prestige of the translators, but it also has broader implications for the video game industry as a whole. By neglecting to recognize the hard work and creativity of video game translators, the industry risks losing talented individuals, who may choose to pursue careers in other fields where their skills are better appreciated and rewarded.

Furthermore, video game translation is a challenging and highly specialized field, requiring a deep understanding of both the source language and the target language, as well as the cultural context and the technical constraints of the game. By denying credit to the translators, the industry fails to acknowledge the value and importance of this expertise, and reinforces the stereotype that translation is a low-skilled, low-paid job.

In conclusion, the lack of credit for video game translators is a serious issue that needs to be addressed by the industry. By giving credit where it’s due, the industry can demonstrate its appreciation for the hard work and creativity of translators, and promote a more inclusive and respectful workplace for all video game professionals. Developers, publishers, and translation agencies alike have a responsibility to ensure that translators receive the recognition they deserve, both in the game credits and in the broader industry.