This time around, we’ll hear from senior editor Alexey Medov and translation editor Tatiana Bogdanova on what happens to a project when it passes into our editors’ capable hands. We’ll start with Alexey.
Hi everyone! My name is Alexey, and I have a philology degree, 10 years of translation and editing experience, a black belt in Google-fu, and thousands of hours logged in games on every platform imaginable. All of these things are invaluable for my work in localization.
It seems absurd, but there’s a highly subjective opinion floating around that translation editing is a simple process—if not in content, then in form. It’s actually a set of incredibly complex tasks that all need to be solved, sometimes quite quickly. To make it easier to follow, I divided the process into steps:
Step 0. Choosing the right editor for a project
After looking over a text submitted for translation, the manager needs to find the right translator for the job. They often consult with editors on this, as the editors review every text, and so know each translator’s specific style, area of expertise, or familiarity with certain game genres and their mechanics better than anyone else.
Step 1. Collecting preliminary information
During the first step, the translators might ask questions or request additional information about the plot and characters or, for example, pictures of items, to make sure their translation is as accurate as possible. These questions go to the editors in charge of the project first, and then, if there’s still not enough information, any remaining questions are passed on to the client. We sometimes go through this step more than once, depending on the volume and complexity of the project and how many references (and how detailed) the client initially sent along with the project.
Step 2. Research
During the next step, the translation falls into the hands of the editors. Now it’s time for us to seek out every last scrap of information we can find about the game universe, digging up ancient forum threads from fans of previous installments or poring over specialized encyclopedias to better understand the use of HEAT warheads, the rules of rugby, or the right time to ease the genoa jib when sailing by the wind. As part of this step, we also consult with experts and handle questions that the translators and client might still have.
Step 3. Editing and the final text
And so, after all this, the editor finally begins what the uninitiated think of as the editing process: correcting errors and performing automatic checks. Once this is finished, the text can be considered final.
I am in charge of all these steps on each project, and do my best to make sure the whole process is seamless and professional.
The life of a Chinese project editor
My name is Tatiana, and I’m a translation editor at Inlingo. We have five editors on staff, and yes, we are those same people who turn boys into girls. Or boys and girls into gender-neutral entities. But this is not the main focus of what I do. Primarily, I check translations for accuracy (do they match the original?), spelling and style, adherence to the client’s requirements (work statement and requests), and consistent terminology.
For example, the Chinese projects that I work on often suffer from the author mixing up their pronouns. Or terms. Or the plot. It’s understandable: tight deadlines, crunches (re-working, applying edits), and huge text volumes. The same idea might be expressed using different Chinese characters.
During the course of the project, we set up a chat with the translators so we can discuss and clarify terms before they start to get confusing. An Inlingo editor also serves as a proofreader. So the spell-checking falls on our shoulders. But one round of spellcheck is never enough: we have to catch every single typo that spellcheck software might let slip through. We provide the project with a beautiful, finalized text.
Additionally, we check the Chinese to Russian translations, hunt for any useful references or clues we can find, live on grammar reference sites, and sleep on dictionaries instead of pillows. When people ask us what our favorite thing to do in life is, we humbly answer: Quality Assurance.
If we’ve piqued your interest in working with us, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org — we’re always glad to hear from you. Alternatively, you can send us a message on any of our social network pages. We can’t wait to see your exciting new projects and help you make them accessible to everyone.