LocJAM Japan Unofficial FAQ and Notes

This year I had the chance to be closely involved with LocJAM Japan‘s (Japanese to English game localization contest) organization. Anticipating some of the questions and comments that are likely to arise, I decided to put together a quick, unofficial FAQ. I will do my best to update it during the contest, but once again please note that this is a personal initiative and I can’t guarantee all questions will be answered.

Known issue: Under certain circumstances, the text can overflow a bit in the main message window

The frame width is set to a slightly too small value in the .css file of the game. Depending on the text used, it might overflow a bit as on the picture below shared by Thomas Bruckert.

15369016_1204549326299024_3192057755960753697_oSince the issue is on the game side, it is absolutely fine if it happens with your translation. More generally, minor display issues won’t be taken into consideration by the jury. If you are still worried, you may use non-breakable spaces to force a line return – for example, that would be between “big” and “threat” in the example above.

Known issue (typo): “ファイラ” >  “ファイア”

There is a small typo in the list of “じゅもん”: “ファイラ” should read  “ファイア”, as spelled in other parts of the game. The jury has been informed and won’t penalize the brave translators who tried to translate this exotic name.


Known issue: unlocalizable brackets

15304544_10154122201018193_5287771767486086972_oThe Japanese brackets on the screen above can’t be localized – this one is on us, sincere apologies! Technically the issue can be fixed within the .csv file, but it won’t be taken into account by the jury.

The game won’t start when I click on “Preview localized game”

This is a known issue with the first package we shared. To fix it, you can either:


  • Download the latest package on locjam.org
  • Open transrator.csv in Excel and save it as it is

So what is this CSV file? How do I open it?

The translatable file is using the CSV (tab-delimited) format, with UCS-2 Little Endian encoding. It needs to be strictly preserved for the translation to be correctly updated.

You can use spreadsheet software (Excel, OpenOffice Calc, etc.), text editors (I personally recommend Notepad++) or your favorite CAT tool to open and translate it. Specific instructions for Trados/MemoQ, and Excel are available here.

My text isn’t aligned properly, am I going to be penalized for it?

The goal of the tool is to give you a preview of your localized game, rather than to generate a final product. Accordingly, you will not be penalized for cosmetic issues you have no control over, such as text alignment. You should however try to avoid overflows and text encoding issues.

transrator.csv, seriously?

Yes, the translatable file is named “transrator.csv”, not “translator.csv”. This is an innocent mistake from the tool’s developer. He is not an English native speaker (nor a language professional) and unfortunately didn’t have time to fix this small typo. In no way is this meant to make fun of our profession/non-native speakers.

I want to add spaces to my translation but I can only display one at a time

If necessary, you may use HTML entities in your translation (for example, “ ” for a non-breakable space)

What should I do with lines starting with ScenarioName?

Do not edit “ScenarioName    XXXX.ks” lines, or your translation won’t be read properly. If you’re using a CAT tool, it could be a good idea to lock these segments at the beginning of the project

I translated the file, but the old strings are displayed when I run the game

– If the translated strings are not updated after you edited the file:
1. Make sure the file was saved at the right location with the original name and encoding (UCS-2 Little Endian). Also make sure you didn’t add tabulations as plain text (if necessary you can add extra spaces with “ ”)
2. Delete the following:
– “maou/trans.json” file
– “trans/IkinariMaou” folder
Restart the app. Select the project again (maoh/index.html), and the tool should read everything from zero again.

I played the original version of Ikinari Maou and the graphics/text/layout are different

Yes they are. The game was edited in different ways and for different reasons to make it more easily localizable. For LocJAM Japan, the version shared on locjam.org is the only one that matters. But you are very welcome to try the game in its original format and enjoy the better visuals.

Some text is missing from the translatable file/I can’t seem to find a string of the translatable file in the game itself

While we did our best to include only relevant strings without forgetting any, we’re not excluding the possibility  we missed or added some by mistake. Please feel free to report such issues, but don’t worry, the official file shared on the LocJAM website is the only one that counts. You do not need to fix it and we will not edit the official file during the contest.