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English to French and German Translation Project

January 31, 2010


Project Details

Concerns 800,000 words of a video game, where 3 to 6 more projects of equivalent size are supposed to follow, with potentially a steady pipeline of work in the future.

Below you will see a blue table showing some sample text with approximate word counts for the first, Jade Dynasty translation. Now we are in our second project - Battle of the Immortals.

The text is pleasant and easy, the translators are enjoying the cooperation, but because of the long term nature of the project the budget had to be slim in order that we win this interesting tender. To apply to the project just submit a ticket. You will be explained how to submit a translation sample and the subsequent procedures. Generally it will take us a few weeks to assess the translation samples, whereby you will be approached as soon as yours receives favourable results. If you have not heard back from us you can check back after several weeks and ask for the evaluation.


A brief note about the project. Because it is for a fantasy video game, it is imperative that the character and item etc. names are absolutely consistent - so that the player does not get confused in the game. For this we are using Transit translation memory software, but we may switch softwares in the future. It therefore requires some technical skill to get set up and follow the guidelines properly (you will be provided with the software). But the guidelines must be followed very carefully. Generally once on board though the translators have been saying that the system is simple and pleasant enough, and everything runs like clockwork.


Payment is based on finalised files delivered to the client, and is usually made either by PayPal MassPay or Moneybookers (both at no cost to you). Wire transfer and other means are also possible but you must pay for all the charges, minus 1%. The beginning of each project requires that the glossary be first set up, drawing terms from across the entire project. Then the repeating text is translated before finally creating sections of regular files. Therefore, by the time these last files are proofread, exported, finalised and sent to the customer (for we cannot issue invoices before delivering finalised files), it can take a while after project start. But then the payments are more frequent and generally we have been paying in regular intervals during the projects, which on average take 3 months to complete.

The above Transit link explains how wordcounts are calculated based on the translation memory.


Below is the information which applied for the first project but is now a bit passé. If you will be chosen to take part in these projects you will be given access to the latest project guidelines. Until then you can read further but it is not necessary. Since the first project we have made many changes to how we are managing them.



For full project details refer here, where there is a Table of Contents as well.


Translation Sample

English-to-French-and-German-translation-ghostbustersIf you have already provided a translation sample in the past (through our system – not just sent some sample), please state so, otherwise log in or register through our translation application form. Your sample will be used for future projects as well. Once logged in, click on the Active Tender link, the Bid on Tenders button on the next page, and then the "Video" or "English to French and German Video Games" project (press the View and Bid button once you have selected the correct project).

If you would like to help assess other translation samples fill in your per hour assessment price, otherwise leave that field empty. If you are interested in helping with the assessment process, please send me your CV and a brief description of your qualifications. You may also be asked to help with overall quality control. The assessment will be of the 65 word translation samples.

Before inputting any information, MAKE SURE TO FIRST CHOOSE YOUR LANGUAGE PAIR (either English to French or English to German).

Copy or type in your translation sample into the field at the bottom.

Once completed press the Bid button at the bottom, then re-enter the tender to double check that all your information was saved properly. If not, there is a Troubleshooting explanation at the bottom. Possibly it is because of your browser.


Once you have submitted your bid for this project, if you have not already done so, please go back to the first page after you have logged in and also fill in the Translator Applications form, so that your record will appear in searches of future or other projects. The most important is your language combination(s) and your general price. This will guarantee that your name appears in my language combination searches for other projects. Your price is important so that I know which projects I should or should not approach you with (based on the client's budgetary constraints).

You may also fill in the HR Application if you have other skills you would like to offer.


The rest of this page you may read once your translation sample has been assessed and I have informed you that you have been chosen for the project.



Strategic Plan

On Monday February 1 I am supposed to receive the new, updated files. Hopefully that same day I will have the files ready and we can begin.

Of the 1.4 million words approximately 600,000 words are repetitions from a repetitions file of 90,000 words. This 90,000 words must be translated first before we can start on the remaining 800,000 words. Because they will repeat so often, greater care must be taken for quality. I hope to choose at least ten translators for this phase so as to complete it as soon as possible.

During this period we will also be putting together a glossary of terms. I would like to choose several lead translators who can help with quality control, general consultation and terminology building. This can pay per hour.

For this project I have set up a web forum here in case you would like to communicate with other translators concerning terminology etc. Once registered on the site you will need to give me your username so that I can give you posting access to your respective forum. The lead translators will be asked to watch the forum. Please try to write only in English on the forum so that I can read it too and keep up to date with the project. I may occasionally forward comments to the customer for their input, which is another reason why it should be in English. Please do not exchange contact information. Otherwise, you may address all management related issues directly to me.

For the QA, we also need a "cultural expert": a local native with video game experience to advise on what is and isn't appropriate in video games in their country. If you feel up for this consultation task (some proofreading may be required), please email me about it.



A project of this type and magnitude will certainly require the use of some translation memory software. For this reason I chose Transit, because it is free for the freelancer. You can find abbreviated instructions on the Transit Termstar Help website, but do not download the software shown there as we've had to make alternative arrangements for this project.

I am told that it has a similar interface to Trados. You can change its appearance, as explained on the website, to create a pleasant environment to work in.

Once your translation sample has been assessed and I inform you that you have been chosen for this project, install and test the software, I will send you a short test to make sure you understand everything correctly, and then we can begin.


In the software you press ALT INS to mark a segment as Translated. If you reach a segment that you do not feel confident about translating, you can use your cursor to get to the next segment to leave the segment as Untranslated. This way I can give those difficult segments to someone who feels more confident (there are many strange terms – refer to table below), and the software's statistics will inform me exactly how many words you yourself have translated.


If you are uncertain about something you can mark it with a + character. This character following directly after a word means you are uncertain about the word. If it follows a comma it means you are uncertain of the entire phrase preceding it. If it follows a period then the entire sentence. I like to work this way because I do not want to pressure the translator into making up something or "fudge" a translation. If during quality control your translation is found to be fudged or guessed or simply wrong, it will undergo an entire proofread and you will be charged an appropriate amount. On the other hand, I do not want you to use this + feature too liberally. The files will be later handed to the lead translator who can concentrate on these more difficult parts. You can ALT INS such segments and claim full payment for them. The point is that we must strive for the best quality and work together as a team. You are still expected to try your best, but if after trying your best you are still uncertain, you can use the + character so that the proofreader knows where to focus his/her attention.


The software has a feature through which you can add words to the glossary. Please do not use this feature but rather copy/paste your suggestions into a separate Word file. I will forward this to the lead translator so they can decide whether to adopt it, and add it to the dictionary themselves.




I have agreed with the client that it should pay me every 30 days, and I have demanded that it pays the final balance in smaller chunks BEFORE I hand in the very last file. This guarantees payment and I can do the same for you.

Once chosen for this project I will need to know what payment method you prefer (so I can ask the client to pay a certain percentage to my US PayPal account and a certain percentage to my European bank account). My two preferred methods of payment are either by PayPal to a US PayPal account or Moneybookers if in Europe. Elsewhere we can arrange for something else. But if you prefer payment by bank transfer it will be from a Czech account and you will have to pay for the charges. But you can easily hook up a PayPal or Moneybookers account to your own bank account.


More details concerning Fuzzy Matches and Word Counts.


The Files

If you like you may take a look at the files here (3.5MB).

The below table shows a synopsis of its content. The first column is the file name, and the second column gives a description of its contents or offers some samples. As you can see from the first three files there are a lot of words/phrases which will be rather difficult. If you feel confident with these difficult phrases please email me. The "Not" column refers to new text which needs to be translated in each file, and "Repeated" does not get translated but repeats from the first 90,000 words.


If you have translation memory or some useful machine translation software and think it could benefit this project, please email me your proposal and I can offer you a fair percentage of the savings.


I plan to break down the files into sizes of about 5,000 words. Assuming that about half has already been translated through repetitions, that leaves about 2,500 words, which should be enough for the average translator to complete in one day. You might be assigned two files, such that when you hand in one, you can start on your second, and I would send you a third, so that you always have two files. It is then up to you how much work you want to receive.








Shard Plate, Armor of Sorrow, Brilliant Cassock, Silk Hairband, Hairband of Force, Pyrasteel Boots, Formless Shoes, Wandering Wraith, Moaning Harpy, Monkey Phantasm, Snoutnose Savage, Buzz Pack, Zaaras Spellbinder, Snaggletooth Feline, Breakbeak Pikeman, Twilight Krah, Blood Addict, Infested Pincer





Ring of Aeropulse, Yasho Sentry, Red Essence Bead, Azuren Stone, Sage of Vacuity, Goldstring Veil, Sunstream Guard Anta, Olden Gold Roota, Marriage Candy, Violetphoenix Hairpin





Provision Pack, Episode of Venom Master Coupon, Seven Views of Jadeon, Shan's Glorybeam Tag, Divine Retribution·Water, Vacuous Dragonbone Armor, Skyscrap Armor Recipe





Lord Foxwing Blood, Pet Jade·Water Moon<Luna>





Hawk Claw Boots, Xapheon Lunar Pagoda, Avalanche Ligera





Cometsoul Bow, Fervent Lace Plate, Shadowflash Hat Recipe, Bloodrop Wood, Beaming Chat Charm, Flood Voice, Manbiter Sap





Dropped by enemy personnel by chance in the battlegrounds. Acquired by trading Earthprime Beads.





You are now familiar with the terrain of Crescent Peak. Find the Loot Bag before it gets digested and return it to Stashkeep Santis. I was just discussing things with Issa.





Pali Chel, please come back! That explains why he wasn't affected by its aura. Indeed I will cherish my lover.





I'm proud of you. Tienon buried the Jade Case at his mother's grave after he learned the truth.





You think it will be easy?





 [easy sentences…]





 [easy sentences…]





 [easy sentences…]





 [easy sentences…]





 [Mostly individual easy words, but be careful because lots of strings and special commands etc.]





 [beginning bit (and other parts – be careful how to break up this file) has a lot of menu context stuff. Do that at the end once understand. The rest is easy sentences.





 [about half simple sentences and half simple words ]





 [simple phrases and/or names. About 20% simple sentences]












This and other material may seem like a lot to read, but I find my easiest and smoothest cooperation are with those who have read and familiarized themselves well with all the instructions. It should only take you about 15 minutes to read everything, which should not be a problem considering you will receive ample work for the next 3 to 12 months or more.

My greatest problem is with translators who think that this 15 minutes is too much bother and want to dive straight into the translation. They then ask me individual questions later and which are already answered on these pages. Or they do something wrong and cause large problems later. If you do not familiarize yourself with this project properly and cause problems later as a result, you may be penalized.


Based on feedback from you and the other translators, occasionally I will send out a mass email to everyone working on the project. Again, make sure to read all correspondence. I will try to be sparing with these as well, and only write what I deem is important enough.


Translators who prove too troublesome, time consuming and problematic may be eventually weeded out of this and future projects.


Once you have familiarized yourself with everything, learned the software and translated for a while, I find that most translators are quite happy with the way things are set up. Things should run smoothly and I hope you earn lots of money!


To be approached by regular work in the future, please fill in our online translator application form.

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