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How do people handle localization?

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by qiveal, Feb 17, 2022.

  1. qiveal

    qiveal

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2022
    Posts:
    276
    I was wondering if you don't want to use the Unity Package how do people handle localization and do most games carry over their fonts into those other languages?
     
  2. TonyLi

    TonyLi

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Posts:
    12,150
    Early. Wise people handle it early. :)

    Many considerations are easy to handle early but will be a headache to accommodate later, such as:
    • Not using string literals in your code
    • Designing your UIs with enough space for verbose languages like German
    • Supporting different fonts for different languages
    • Determining if you need to localize other content such as audio or images
    • Being aware of cultural or political issues. Some content may be prohibited in certain places
    • Budgeting for translation. If you have a low budget, you might want to design for less text
    Game Developer (formerly Gamasutra) has lots of articles with tips on planning for the items above.

    In general, you'll use a spreadsheet or other table of translations. Whenever you need to show text, look up the current translation and show that. Automate the export and import of this spreadsheet. It's not something you want to handle manually, both for speed of iteration and to avoid manual errors.
     
    angrypenguin likes this.
  3. karl_jones

    karl_jones

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    May 5, 2015
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    6,833
    Why don't you want to use the package? :(
     
    hippocoder likes this.
  4. Hannibal_Leo

    Hannibal_Leo

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    Nov 5, 2012
    Posts:
    492
    I just use the package because it's actually awesome. Even made custom dialogue trees that directly write into the localization assets. When I hit "save" in my DT-Editor, it automatically saves into the localization, so I don't have to think about it at all.
    Of course I reused the same for item descriptions and so on. Just one button (combined with a previous selection of the language) and everything works.
     
    karl_jones likes this.
  5. Bonbonita

    Bonbonita

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2022
    Posts:
    3
    I found this thread while researching, so I will insert my opinion here. To future-proof yourself, you’d better use the Unity Localization Package, as it can be messy and hard to manage with time. As for doing translations (localization), you can do it manually with spreadsheets (exporting, sending to translators and adding it to your project) or integrate the Unity localization package with localization software to automate the translation process. I’d recommend going the second way because it’s less time-consuming. Here is an article from Crowdin on integrating the Unity localization package with their software. I hope that helps!
     
  6. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    14,948
    Automated localisation tools for both text and voice are great for getting your localisation pipeline in place, testing your tech, and ideally for facilitating as much as your game's testing as it'll work for. However, you almost certainly don't want to release with that in most cases*.

    Why? Pick a random foreign website, Google Translate it into your language, and read the results. That's the kind of quality you're going to be giving your other-languaged customers.

    Do use it, though, and do keep it in there for as long as you can. It's entirely possible that your script will need minor edits until just before release, and once you've got localisation in play the editing pipeline can be both long and expensive, especially if your game is voiced.

    A couple of other things to keep in mind:
    1. Make sure you opt for a reputable localisation team. Chances are that you can't QA their output yourself, so you have to be able to trust them.

    2. There is a difference between direct translation and culturally aware localisation. In the former the translator just takes your original sentences and writes new sentences with the same literal meaning. For many things that's fine, for other things it's not enough. For example, jokes, puns, or wordplay in one language are unlikely to directly translate into any other language. For these you want a localisation team who will go further and re-write relevant parts to match the intent rather than just the meaning. If you've got a character who tells a lot of jokes, for instance, you want a localisation team who can update or replace them with jokes that'll work for the target audience, and will take the necessary time to work with you to make sure it still works as intended overall.

    Between both of those things, my suggestion is to not select a localisation team based on price. If you're going to this level of effort, get it done right.

    * I've heard of auto tools being a "better than nothing" solution in some cases. I just wouldn't plan for that to be my ultimate solution.
     
    TonyLi likes this.
  7. TonyLi

    TonyLi

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Posts:
    12,150
    If anyone's looking for a professional translation service, I've had good experiences with a company called Alocai. I don't just mention it because the Dialogue System for Unity has an Alocai plugin. They simply seem like a good, experienced group of translators that do things like humor correctly and offer very reasonable prices, I think because they've put good thought into their technical pipeline so they can be efficient there.
     
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