One of the crucial stages of video game localization is linguistic game testing, which is the first step in putting a gaming product on the market. It is a phase of work where quality assurance is done to assess the effectiveness of the in-game texts (and more) and how much of it suits a specific target audience from a cultural, linguistic, and contextual point of view.
Games are tested for various needs by game testing companies, including the precision with which game rules are applied, user interface compliance, and others. A close translation is not always the same as the accurate one, as in many literary works. Precise translation requires knowledge of a particular game’s background, vocabulary, and particulars. A game testing service ensures your game runs flawlessly on all widely used desktop and mobile platforms.
As a game’s text is constantly included in the user interface, confirming that the translation adheres to the specifications during linguistic testing is crucial. Modifying a term to be displayed more effectively and informatively is frequently required.
It may still be essential to change this literary content to make it intelligible for the target audience and underline a crucial aspect of a description or a dialogue that was not previously obvious after translating it and adapting it to the game interface.
What is linguistic testing used for?
A linguistic tester is the title of the expert who handles this process. He is responsible for ” testing” the new product to ensure all text components are correctly translated. This phase often follows the localization procedure.
Linguistic testing is a critical phase that shouldn’t be undervalued because it significantly impacts a game’s success. You run the risk of losing clients and jeopardizing future income if you release a video game that has been poorly translated.
As a result, the linguistic tester must look into and fix all kinds of mistakes and problems that could be present in a game.
Typical mistakes to look for are:
– typos, grammatical errors, missing letters, wrong verb tenses, and inappropriate semantic constructs;
– bugs, which frequently take the form of software errors that have unforeseen effects on the gameplay, including linguistic aspects;
– any in-game text, menus, external descriptions, user manuals, etc., may contain translation problems.
Linguistic vs. Functional Testing
As for bugs, the linguistic tester can report those technical problems if they relate to the game’s language, difficulties with reading subtitles, the placement of words on the screen, or any other element involving the written and dubbed portions of the game.
The “traditional” flaws, on the other hand, are more characteristic of software development and are typically identified and reported by the game tester, a profession centered on implementing the UX experience and quality assurance of the gameplay.
There are two types of testing-related jobs: linguistic and functional. The professionals participating in these processes are numerous, and they frequently collaborate so that one testing phase follows another or is carried out simultaneously.
- As we previously stated, the game tester and the linguistic tester are the two professional positions involved in this procedure. Three essential steps make up the entire procedure in the video game industry:
Functional testing: the game tester must make sure that no bug compromises the game at this point. Otherwise, the development team responsible for fixing the issues must be notified. After the faults have been fixed, the tester runs a “regressing test” test to ensure that the product still functions correctly after the changes have been made. Matrix testing is unquestionably one of the most challenging tasks (especially regarding time). For instance, if ten characters must engage in combat with one another in a fighting game, the tester must try every possible combination to rule out any technical flaw.
- Testing of translations: At this second stage, the linguistic tester must confirm the precision and sufficiency of the translation, checking it for grammatical correctness and cultural appropriateness as well as the visual component.
- A game must pass compliance testing to be sold on the market. This involves adhering to the rules and terminology of the manufacturing businesses.
Competencies of a language tester
A thorough understanding of the target language is one of the essential qualities a linguistic tester must possess ( is often a native speaker of that language).
Also, since English is frequently the original language of most game titles, it is imperative to have a thorough understanding of the language.
Then, this individual must possess technical expertise and be proficient with the most widely used IT products (moreover, they must have a deep interest in video games).
Finally, other helpful characteristics might include a propensity for teamwork (since he must maintain constant communication with the development team and the functional game tester), patience, and attention to detail, given that the game will need to be accurately checked several times to ensure a product that is suitable for the market.
Why is language testing so crucial?
Game localization testing is a crucial stage before a project is launched. A poorly translated product can profoundly influence sales and brand reputation, especially in games and applications. Translation problems in the user interface or web page can have effects beyond the minor inconvenience. This frequently results in the application going offline for a while, affecting sales and profitability. Also, launching a product with inadequately localized content will cost you more time and money because you will need to spend more time and effort on the project.
The last step before releasing your product is linguistic testing. After the functionality and language quality have been finalized, you may be sure your translated product will be flawlessly localized for all target markets.
In summary, linguistic testing is a crucial step in the game localization process. A linguistic tester’s role is to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of the translation, checking for grammatical correctness, cultural relevance, and visual components. A poorly translated product can negatively impact a game’s sales and reputation. Therefore, investing time and effort in linguistic testing is essential to ensure a product is accurately localized for all target markets. Doing so can minimize the risk of losing clients, jeopardizing future income, and incurring additional costs to fix translation problems after the product’s release.