China is the world’s most populous country. Thousand of people in China play video games. The worth of the Chinese gaming market is 265.9 billion yuan ($39 billion) in 2022. Therefore this market possesses ample opportunities for game developers that want to release their games in China.
Whether it is China or Russia, you can tap into any gaming country, if you provide the game in the language that avid gamers understand. Therefore, to crack the lucrative China market, you need to go for video game translation services. Translating a video game for a foreign audience can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to language and cultural differences.
Why is Translating a Game for China so Difficult?
China’s gaming market is hard to crack. Therefore, you need to consider some factors. Some of these factors are suitable for the Chinese market while others can accommodate Asian languages and mega gaming translation projects.
- Language Similarity: The Chinese language is not similar to English at all. Therefore, if you want to translate the game from English to Chinese then you will find Chinese one of the most difficult languages to translate the game into.
- Multiple Dialects: People in China speak the Chinese language in different dialects such as Mandarin and Cantonese.
- Cultural Difference: The thinking of Chinese people is different from the West.
- Chinese Text: The Chinese language contains over 13,000 fonts that are difficult to handle.
- Text Contraction: You will be surprised to know that Chinese translation takes less space than the English language.
- Sentence Length: In the Chinese language, spoken sentences are shorter as compared to English. Therefore, it can impact the sequence of the dialogues in video games.
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Another important factor to consider when translating video games for the Chinese market is language games. You need to check your target market language first. In China, people speak the Chinese language in different dialects. Therefore, you must know which language game to go for.
The Chinese language is very different from English and other Western languages. Therefore, it sometimes becomes challenging to translate certain words and phrases in Chinese that have multiple meanings in English. Thus translators need to have a deep understanding of the Chinese language so that they can translate the video game effectively.
The gaming market in China is very culturally sensitive. Successful gaming revolved around Chinese stories, poetry, and myths. One of the successful games in China was with the theme Dou Dizhu. It is translated as “Fighting the Landlord. This game is about the Chinese struggle with class culture.
The important thing to note is that games must be acceptable to China’s government. Games related to the military, political, and defamation of any character are forbidden in China. In addition, designers must avoid images related to blood, drugs, and gambling. The Chinese government banned games containing such material.
If it is any shooting game then designers can include green or black colors despite red. Another difficult part is changing the name of the game with papular Chinese games.
The purpose of game translation is that more and more people download the game. People can download the games more if they understand the payment methods. In Western culture, people use credit cards and payment platforms like PayPal for buying games from app stores. But in China, these payment methods are not used. Therefore companies that tried to follow them face a loss.
People in China use Mobile payment platforms like TenPay, UnionPay, and AliPay. Moreover, Chinese people use scanning which is done through fingerprint instead of typing credit card numbers. If you want your game to be accepted in China then you must add a QR code.
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Hiring a Professional Translation Company
One of the most important things to consider when translating a video game for the Chinese market is finding a reliable and experienced chinese translation services company. These services specialize in translating content from one language to another, including video games.
A good translation company has a team of professional translators. They are fluent in both the source and target language. In addition, they are familiar with the Chinese gaming culture, which is critical for translating video games that appeal to Chinese gamers.
A lot of hard work is done in the development of the game. All this hard work can go in vain if you don’t hire a professional translation company. They assign a native translator to your gaming translation project. Therefore these translators not only translate the content of the game but also include images and designs that resonate with Chinese culture.
Penetrating China, which is the biggest gaming country in the world is not an easy task. However, if you know the difficulties in translating the game for the Chinese market and know the language game, culture, and payment modes and then hire a professional translation agency then you can tap easily into the Chinese market. Translation of the game if done accurately, provides a pleasant playing experience to avid gamers.