[These pages concern interesting correspondence between our translators and project managers at KENAX, mostly concerning the famous Jade Dynasty translation project.]

German English Game Translation Terms


It is hard, in German, to employ the politically correct gender terms without rendering the translation text somewhat clunky and sacrificing atmosphere if the gender is not known.

The tailor can be found in Sunstream City.

Ihr findet den Schneider/die Schneiderin in der Stadt Sonnenstrom.

We are working on compiling a list of characters (NPCs) with gender information (or hopefully will receive one from the client), as it is often impossible to tell from the English source text™s vocational terms or even names. In these cases, the male form is advised (conscious of the lack of political correctness here). If possible, you could also check in-game or ask a lead translator. Be aware that you should try to deduct the gender from the given text, but where it is impossible, translators cannot be blamed for the unavoidable translation errors resulting from it.


Unlike in English, German compound words cannot be formed by simply putting nouns together in a sentence (Example: Athan attack). For this translation, many new compounds will have to be formed. While merging them to one word (Fire Giant – Feuerriese) may look nicer, it is not always a clean solution (e.g.: Athan attack “ Athanerangriff). Therefore, English compounds should generally be translated into hyphenated German terms (Athaner-Angriff) for the sake of consistency. Exceptions from this rule are not capital offences, but we are aiming for consistency and this rule should make that easier.

There seems to be a problem with the Transit software for the hyphens: Entered hyphens disappear when closing and reopening a file (rendering Athaner-Angriff as AthanerAngriff). In some cases, the hyphens entered in a confirmed segment (ALT-INS) can not be deleted afterwards without removing the tag protection. This problem is being worked on. A preliminary solution could be to enter œu^ instead of the hyphen. This can later be substituted (by the proofreader) against the hyphens on exporting to Excel.

English Terms:

Names that cannot meaningfully be translated (Shaw Danon, Bilu, Jadeon, Kunlun) will remain as in the original. English proper names and names such as Skysong, Royal City, Celestial Guard, Skyblade) should be translated (with some creativity). Also, atmosphere and style benefit from translating terms like Celepenalty (for example: Himmelstrafe).

Names/terms of skills and game proceedings (e.g. Skill: Accuracy) must be translated. For these, though, consistency is most important, because vital functions in the game may depend on consistent names for certain actions.

In some (technical) cases, it may be advisable to leave the English original (e.g. Critstrike), as it does not seem to be intended for in-game text or belongs to the command language of the games software, so atmosphere may not be an issue here. Please consult the lead translator in these cases, though.

I guess this issue could have come up earlier and I assume the numbering format would be normal as per France and Germany. Will ask the customer and open to your feedback.

For example:

I just need a quick heads up regarding numbers:

“2.2” becomes “2,2”, correct?

(period vs. comma)

I’ve already created a Transit macro to handle this automatically, so I would suggest leave it as is and I’ll get the proofreader to deal with it.


I am project manager of KENAX company as a lead translator you have to have these guidelines forwarded t me from . You can upload guidelines with your additions and comments for other translators to read and follow.


I want to experiment with these high repetitions, so tell me how it goes. Ideally you should proofread each segment once completed, so that you do not end up proofreading the existing pretranslations/repetitions if starting from the beginning later.

Another possibility is to not ALT INS a segment that you just translated but rather jump to the next Untranslated segment with the ctrl+plus (keypad) shortcut, or make a macro for that (Options Record Macro). Once in the new Untranslated segment you press ALT ENTER to show any fuzzies, if they exist. Then, once completed your document, you can ALT INS your way through the document, proofreading your own translation and skipping over the 100% matches.

When I assign you your file(s) the first/far left number is Pretranslated words and the last/far right yellow number is the file’s total, to give you an idea of the percentage of fuzzy matches. Make sure this is working so that you do not translate segments unnecessarily.

Any red marked terms just ignore as I’ll have those automatically translated later.

Once you begin copy/paste some samples into an email and send it to me so that I can forward it to the proofreader to make sure you are following the guidelines properly.

Also, it is taxing my computer too much and soon I hope to buy a stronger one, but in the meantime, tell me if you are able to Edit Insert All Terms from Dictionary (when your language pair file is open). This should help you, especially once I import all the Proper Names translations into the glossary.

Make sure to write in formal. I believe it called for neutral in French, or lean towards male when not sure? Please send some samples (copy/paste into an email) so that I can forward to the proofreader and make sure you are correctly on track.

The customer also wrote:

“We (French, German, me) talked it over and did some research and came up with the following: for the in game text, where people are referring to you (the player) or when you refer to them (the characters in game), we use formal genderless verbs. This requires a little more work, but shouldn’t be too much extra work. We actually went and looked how World of Warcraft handles this in French and German, and that’s what they do. Please let me know your thoughts on this.”

You can also go to View Display/Hide Attributes and choose either Short or Full tags as sometimes there may be a sex symbol for a tool or weapon and it may help you with language gender issues. We are just starting the sentences so it is important that you all translate according to the same style. Any suggestions concerning this would be appreciated.




Please read over’s comments and I think it should be added in an edited way to your guidelines.

Please let me know when you are done, and keep up the GOOD work!

– It seems that most translators seem to have problems with

translating “chicken wings” or “golden roasted wing”. Some

left it in English and some tried to translate it. First of all I

think we should translate “chicken wings” because the genre of the

video game seems to be fantasy so the language shouldn´t be too

modern. We do say “Chicken Wings” in German but it´s a modern

phenomenon to borrow English words. The language should be a little

bit more old-fashioned (medieval). Hope you know what I mean. 🙂 But

that’s just my suggestion…

Second of all I don´t think it´s important whether you translate

it as “H¤hnchenfl¼gel” (chicken wings) or

“H¤hnchenschlegel” (drumstick) unless it´s important for the

storyline. I think it would even be enough to say “H¤hnchen”

without specifying the bodypart that is prepared.

– “sowohl zart wie knusprig” – I learned that “sowohl…wie..” is

wrong and “sowohl…als auch” correct but most translation samples

used the “wie”-version so I am honestly not quite sure. As far as I

know the “wie”-version is only used in dialect and the

“als”-version is officially correct.

Since I am not experienced in translating video games I did a little

research on the internet and found an interesting PDF file


(it´s in German). It gives important information on what to consider

when translating video games. Maybe it is helpful for other German

translators who don´t have experience in that field (like myself).

The most important information is that we should consider the length

of our translations. If the source text is for example 100 characters

then we can’t submit a text of 200 characters because it will have to

be cut. That’s something I haven’t thought about. It is of course

important that the translation sounds well but it also has to be



B. Global variable reached requisite level$1

Global variable$1

Global variable increasing, man!

Global variable 2 reached 30.

I assume these terms will occur regularly in the text as they appear

to be

some kind of status information or update and a consistent translation


vital. I left them untranslated.

Your comment on this will be appreciated or you can add rule on this to your guidelines document.

Thanks a lot.


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