1.1 BackgroundNowadays, video games have grownup to make aworldwide entertainment industry.Their world standing couldn’t have been accomplished withoutlanguage transfer efforts that create games, regardlessof their origin, available to players in their own language and culturalcontexts (O’Hagan, 2007).
Now, not only do children and teenagers playvideo games, but also adults play them in their spare time. Right now youngpeople are one of the biggest group of customers buying video games. Accordingto recent studies, video games are now more popular than television. Twenty years ago, families would sit down together and watch TVshows and series. Millions still watch television every night, but the world ofentertainment has changed.
Video games, like every new medium, have longstruggled to be recognized as a real and true art form worth of study. Despitebeing ignored by the most of the academic world, video games have rapidly grownto be a global phenomenon enjoyed by an increasing variety of people, to theextent that game journalists have begun to question what the term “gamer” evenrefers to. Video games can be found ondedicated video game systems, computers, via internet browsers, smart phonesand tablets, usually only one click away. They are so widespread that a numberof the few video game scholars should now first establish what a video gameeven is before being able to talk about anything referring to them.
Suffice itto say that video games today appear in many shapes and sizes (Bushouse, 2015).Video game translation, then, is not aninsignificant activity. While there has been a gently increasing amount ofresearch into video games in general, video game translation has remainedmostly unrecognized by the translation studies community yet. Within the lastfew years, scholars such as O’Hagan (2007), Mangiron (2004, 2006), andBernal-Merino (2006, 2007, 2009) have eventuallybegun to establish video games as an area for research within translationstudies, but much work remains to be done.
Video game translation is acomplicated process that combines other fields of translation to make a dynamicwhole, including literary and theater translation, audiovisual translation,software translation, and so on. Furthermore, not only does it incorporateaspects from each field, but as a totally new medium, video games present theirown special challenges to translation in the form of interactivity, technology,non-textual and extra-textual elements, audience involvement, and new businesspractices (Bushouse, 2015).More and more is demanded from translators interms of translation of digital software and websites specially thelocalization of video games which is popular today. In Iran, investigation andanalysis of translation and localization process of video games are almost alimited and virgin area while it is of great importance to foreign countries.Because the analysis of localizing process has not accomplished sufficiently inIran, this study endeavors to survey the Persian localized video gameslinguistically and culturally in order to reveal the strategies that translatorshave used in the process translating video games. 1.2 Statement of the Problem While video games existence begun approximately since 1958 in America,there is still a misunderstanding about translating video games amongtranslators in Iran. In other words, to translate video games, all theyprobably need would be a common background knowledge of computer and softwareand related terminology.
Whereas translating video games does not have anythingto do with computer science and the relevant terminology, what the translatorneeds is not computer-related terminology or knowledge at all, on the contrary,she/he needs a full understanding of the subject of the game that is to betranslated. Despite the importance of video gamelocalization, less attention has been paid to this field of study in Iran. Theproblem of the quality of video game localization in Iran is new and notsufficiently analyzed yet. Meanwhile, foreign researchers have contributed tothe analysis of video game localization on a large extent. 1.3 Significance of the StudyThe essential priority of game localization is to preserve thegameplay experience for the target players, keeping the ‘look and feel’ of theoriginal. The duty of the localizer is to produce a version which will permitthe players to experience the game as if it were originally advanced in theirown language and to provide enjoyment equivalent to that felt by the players ofthe original version. In order to accomplish this, it is crucial that thetranslators be acquainted with the game domain.
They need to be aware offrequent building blocks of games, elements like the register and terminology,the sort of humor present in the game, the use of puns, etc. In addition, theyneed to be able to recognize allusions and intertextual references to othergenres of worldwide popular culture, like comics and films (Mangiron & O’Hagan, 2006).The present thesis constitutes a research onthe significance of localization of video games with a story emphasis on howthe localizing process is important in target language and culture and whatelements should be considered by the translators. It is also extremelyimportant that the research conducted hereby, be of practical use to anyoneplanning actual video game localization activities both in professional andacademic situations. 1.4 Purpose of the StudyThis study is an attemptto introduce a comprehensive record of what has been going on in the process oflocalizing video games from English to Persian in Iran.
The researcher is goingto analyze the function of two translation theories i.e. Recker’s theory of Regular Correspondences(Marcinkevi?ien?, 2007) and Skopos theory by Vermeer (Snell-Hornby, 2006) inthe localization of video games from English to Persian and to accomplish thedescriptive research related to localization of three video games.
Therefore,in order to survey the quality of computer games localization in Iran, thisthesis will analyze both textual and non-textual elements of the computer gameslocalization by the use of Recker’s theory of Regular Correspondences (2007)and Skopos theory (2006). 1.5Research Questions1.
What strategies have been adopted by thePersian translators in localizing the original text of the video games based onRecker’s theoy of Regular Correspondences?2. What strategieshave been more frequently adopted by the Persian translators according to Recker’stheory of Regular Correspondences?3. According to Skopos theory, are thetranslation strategy of localized version of the games source-oriented ortarget-oriented? 1.
7. Definition of the Key Terms1.7.
3 Game LocalizationAccording to Mangiron(2009), the term games localization is used as an analogy to softwarelocalization, due to the fact that the translation of the game requires toadapt to the local standards of the target culture and has to be integratedwithin the game software. To be successful globally, it is really significancethat publishers improve their games by considering the term localization, inorder to reduce the amount of reengineering work required for the localizedversions.1.7.2 Localization Scholars who study in thefield of the translation of video games do not just talk about translationitself, while they also link it to the term localization. Although, inassociation with video games, many definitions of the term localization are notcompletely acceptable.
By the way, there are some definitions that do explainthe term properly. As a result, this term could be obviously defined: – Alocalization page on the Android Developers’ Platform affirmed the following inthe context of localization: “Android will run on many devices in many regions.To reach the most users, your application should handle text, audio files,numbers, currency, and graphics in ways appropriate to the locales where yourapplication will be used.” From this,it becomes obvious that localization is a progress that adapts an applicationto a target region. – Bernal-Merino (2014) expresseslocalization to be “the process of adapting a product to each of the importinglocales in terms of their linguistic, technical, cultural and legalrequirements” (63). – Esselink (2000) appliesthe definition that the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) presents.So long as, LISA has since shut down (this happened in 2011), the definitionstands firm: “Localization involves taking a product and making itlinguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/regionand language) where it will be used and sold” (3).
In addition, Esselink saidthat “A well-localized product enables users to interact with a softwareapplication in their native language. They should be able to read all interfacecomponents such as error messages or screen tips in their native language, andenter information with all accented characters using the local keyboard layout”(4). Eventualy, it should bevivid that translation is one of several components in the localizationprogress.
1.7.1 Video GameFor as much as thesubject of this thesis is the translation of video games, an explicitdefinition of the term video game is necessary. Meanwhile, as Bernal-Merino(2014) assigned, this is not as simple to attain as it might seem, since mostexisting definitions are either very extensive and ambiguous, or too limited.In his recent study, Bernal-Merino suggests a definition which he expresses tobe “tighter and more functional” (37). He suggests the following definition ofthe term: A videogame is a multimedia interactive form of entertainment for one or moreindividuals, powered by computer hardware and software, controlled by aperipheral (a control pad, a keyboard, a mouse, a joystick, a game pad, amotion controller, a steering wheel, a video camera, etc.
), and displayed onsome kind of screen (a television set, an LCD or plasma monitor, or a portabledisplay). They can be used as entertainment or as part of a serious educationalor training programme (they are sometimes referred to as ‘edutainment’ or’serious games’), with the advantage that they are fully independent computerapplications offering detailed feedback to players in terms of theirperformance (through sound, animations, videos, or written reports) withregards to the activities for which they have been programmed without anyexternal supervision. Thematically, they can portray any topic, activity, orparallel universe which the human imagination is able to conjure up and,although it is true that video games started as basic action-driven pastimes througharcades, this is no longer the case, and new gameplay has been developed inorder to incorporate complex narratives, as well as cooperative team-playing,strategizing, and so on. (37) This is the most vivid and functional definition of the term videogame that is accessible Bernal-Merino also uses the acronym MIES, or MultimediaInteractive Entertainment Software, as “an accurate term with which to describevideo games” (34).
1.6. Limitations of the StudyAs long as the topic of this thesis is regardingto translation of video games, the researcher need to use some video games thatwere localized in Persian. At first the researcher chose a comprehensive videogame which is famous among Iranian gamers that is called Grand Thief Auto V,but in the fact, it revealed that the project of the translation of this videogame was failed, though only the translation of thefirst chapter of this game is available. In addition, because the researcher isgoing to work on the subtitles of games. There is a limitation in selecting theappropriate games. 1.7.
Organization of the Study Having introduced the subject under study,this chapter has stated the problem addressed, set out the research questionsand variables, and defined the key terms that will recur below. Chapter 2 is the Literature Review, The next stepwill be to review the literature related to the CA, which is the subject ofChapter 2. The focus will be on the practicality of this conception of ELTinside the classroom as well as its overall effectiveness.Chapter 3Chapter 4chapter 5 describes