Gaming and Apps Translation Services

Gaming and Apps Translation Services

Get everyone all over the globe playing your games faster than ever!

Gamers expect a version of the video game they are playing to offer them the same interface and game experience as the original version, regardless of what part of the world they hail from. Failure to accurately localize a game and app will surely be an annoying experience for the user, and inevitably lead to the game’s demise in your target market.

Take your games and apps to a global level!

At Technovate Translations, we take the hassles out of translating and localizing your games and apps. With technology changing the face of the app and gaming world, we have taken measures to develop the most advanced and innovative translation platform.

Different countries and cultures have unique ways of expressing themselves, even if it’s in the same language. At Technovate Translations, we make sure that cultural sensitivity is carefully adhered to along with linguistic coherence. Not only do we translate and localize your apps and games, we also make use of graphics, symbols and references that are culturally relevant to your target audience.

Our gaming and apps translation services include various aspects of a game or app, including:

  • Menus
  • Help screen messages
  • System messages
  • On-screen text
  • Online dialogue
  • Subtitles
  • Instruction manuals
  • Promotional and marketing material
  • Text graphic editing
  • Marketing game blogs
  • Banners & newsletters

Gaming Localization (Video Games)

Gaming and Apps Translation Services

What's the difference?

Localization involves the change of cultural elements (idioms, slangs and even images). It’s a deeper process that requires a high level of cultural knowledge of both source and target languages as well as their respective cultures.

What we need to know?

  • Videogame rating categories:

    These rating categories can give us some clues about the game’s tone, target audience, and writing/speaking style.

  • Target audience:

    The translation of the content must be localized to a specific region/locale/culture. Just to name a few examples:

  • en-US: American English
  • en-GB: British English
  • es-LA (also known as es-419): Latin American Spanish
  • es-MX: Mexican Spanish*
  • es-ES: Castilian Spanish (Spain)
  • pt-BR: Brazilian Portuguese
  • pt-PT: Iberian Portuguese
  • *Mexican Spanish is the standard for Latin America. Most of the games distributed in the Latin American Market are translations (and even dubbing) into Mexican Spanish).

  • Types of videogame localization:

    Basic localization: involves the translation of descriptions, keywords (items, characters, etc.), and screenshots.
    Partial localization: involves the translation of in-game text and subtitles.
    Full localization: Everything is translated, including audio files.


  1. Be aware of the cultural aspects of the source language: This includes history, beliefs, ethnicity, idioms and slangs from both source and target languages. The videogame translator must have a very deep understanding of these cultural differences. To see this graphically, please the example below taken from The Legend of Zelda:

    The Star and Crescent symbol was removed in the subsequent releases due to religious controversies in the Middle East.

    These differences are not only seen graphically, but also in the written context: Idioms, Set Phrases, and Slangs. A videogame translator must have the tools to overcome these difficulties:

    Example of play on words.

     Example of idioms.

  2. Be creative: Videogame translators need to possess a high level of creativity. Videogame always have contents such as dialogues, names, items, and power-ups, that sometimes need to get renamed in order to sound natural in the target language. This requires a certain level of creativity and knowledge in transcreation. Unless otherwise specified, the translator has certain freedom in translation. The following image shows an example of transcreation:

    This is an example taken from the Pokémon game, in the English text we can read the attack OCTAZOOKA, composed by the word “Octa”, which makes reference to the word “Octopus”, and “Zooka”, which makes reference to a “Bazooka”. In the Spanish translation, this attack was renamed to PULPOCAÑÓN, where we have the word “Pulpo” (Octopus in English) and the word “Cañón” (Canon in English), which makes reference to their hyperonym: A weapon.

  3. Get into the game: It is desirable for the translator to become familiar with the game before its localization process. Ideally, the translator should play the game he/she is going to translate in order get acquainted with the content, genre or gameplay; however, due to time constraints and the naturality of the industry, this is not always the case. There’s a high probability that the game being translated is not available in the market yet, so is up to the client to provide as much context as possible in order to provide an accurate translation/localization.

  4. Learn how to tell which text is translatable and which one is not: It is possible that in-game dialogues contain some placeholders (variables, tags, names, items, power-ups, etc.). So, it is important for the translator to know how to identify the content that needs to be translated and the content that needs to remain untouched. There are occasions when the translator has to deal with some coding. The example below shows code text (in red) and the translatable text (in black).

  5. A game is a story: It is important to know that, at this modern era, every videogame has its own story. This involves the capacity of storytelling, creativity, that sometimes is required in the literary translation.

  6. Questions are the most powerful weapon in your localization journey: Query forms are widely used in videogame localization. More often than not, translators are given a text file without visual reference for context, so there is a good chance that he/she doesn’t know what is being translated.


Character limits: Subtitle, speech bubble, menu or messages? If the game contains dialogues, it is important to tell if that text is a subtitle or an on-screen dialogue, both of these have a specific character limit, so it is important to watch out for that.

Codes and placeholders: A videogame is a software and, as such, its creation involves programming. HTML codes are found in these types of texts very often, so the translator must know where to locate these codes or “tags”. Most of these tags are for line breaks, bold type, numbers (variables), names of characters/items, etc.

Tag misplacement can lead to the following issue:


Legends of Localization:
Is a website dedicated to the analysis, comparison and trivia of videogame localization.
Free Indie L10n:
This website contains several articles on the localization market.

With over 200+ languages spoken by our translators, and direct experience in the world of gaming and apps, Technovate Translations is the clear choice for your gaming and apps translation services.

Contact us 24/7 throughout all time zones via telephone, email or live chat. Get a free quote today!