The current heyday of the mass consumption and global circulation of video games, along with its unquestionable cultural impact, has attracted the interest of a growing number of translation scholars. The specific nature of the medium and the sui generis industry-driven context determine a new area of specialisation, which remains to date largely unexplored in its descriptive-analytical aspects. The investigation of translation behaviour, as advocated by descriptive translation studies (DTS), tends to be hindered by binding factors such as the non-standardisation of industrial practices, the textually evasive nature of the medium and the restricted access to primary materials. Drawing on the concept of “constrained translation” (Titford, 1982: 113), the present contribution aims to highlight significant constraints and recurrent translation patterns in the approach to the onscreen text (OST). These findings derive from a comparative pilot study conducted on a relatively large database of video game translation projects, in mainly the English-Italian and English-French language pairs, in the specific case of outsourced localisations. For methodological and procedural purposes, the translation analysis of the assets needs to be separated (manual, dialogues, and onscreen text described in this paper) and systematised according to relevant analytical categories, either borrowed from traditional DTS or motivated by specific localisation constraints. The final results, beyond highlighting regularities and possibilities, shed light on the difficulties and impossibilities determined by the current management of translation processes in game localisation.

Translating the Onscreen Text Blindfolded: Possibilities and Impossibilities

TARQUINI, GIANNA
2014

Abstract

The current heyday of the mass consumption and global circulation of video games, along with its unquestionable cultural impact, has attracted the interest of a growing number of translation scholars. The specific nature of the medium and the sui generis industry-driven context determine a new area of specialisation, which remains to date largely unexplored in its descriptive-analytical aspects. The investigation of translation behaviour, as advocated by descriptive translation studies (DTS), tends to be hindered by binding factors such as the non-standardisation of industrial practices, the textually evasive nature of the medium and the restricted access to primary materials. Drawing on the concept of “constrained translation” (Titford, 1982: 113), the present contribution aims to highlight significant constraints and recurrent translation patterns in the approach to the onscreen text (OST). These findings derive from a comparative pilot study conducted on a relatively large database of video game translation projects, in mainly the English-Italian and English-French language pairs, in the specific case of outsourced localisations. For methodological and procedural purposes, the translation analysis of the assets needs to be separated (manual, dialogues, and onscreen text described in this paper) and systematised according to relevant analytical categories, either borrowed from traditional DTS or motivated by specific localisation constraints. The final results, beyond highlighting regularities and possibilities, shed light on the difficulties and impossibilities determined by the current management of translation processes in game localisation.
2014
Fun for All: Translation and Accessibility Practices in Video Games
149
174
Tarquini Gianna
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/307340
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