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Video Game French Localization Guidelines

Job 10001


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These guidelines are far from being complete and thus, work in progress. This text is not intended to belittle or question your expertise or translation abilities. Please do not view these guidelines as criticism of your work so far, but rather as an attempt to make things easier for all translators involved. If you have any suggestions, remarks, criticism or additions, please feel free to comment.



The game is a fantasy-online-role playing-game, set in a presumably medieval fantasy world with strong Chinese elements. Technology may have advanced far, although there is no electricity, steam/gas-powered motors. Weapons include swords, bows, batons, maces, bills and various Chinese arms but apparently no firearms. Transportation is by foot, by horse or by magic (flying swords and teleporters). Generally, magic and sorcery, as well as magic items, powers, abilities and beings are commonplace. Many animals are intelligent and able to speak.

To match the overall style of the translation to this background, and in order to achieve an atmospherically and stylistically adequate translation, it is probably advisable to translate in formal and old-fashioned style. The language of popular fantasy films (e.g. Lord of the Rings) or that of books such as Michael Ende’s Neverending Story may act as an example. Foreign words (Latin and English) should, where possible, be avoided and old-fashioned or obsolete terms are to be considered quite appropriate. The translator’s grasp and feeling for the language is crucial here. Much can be derived from the style of the English original.

It is difficult to set up general rules for this, apart from advising an antiquated style.




All characters in the game will generally address each other in polite/noble-style formal: “Vous”. This goes for players, between players and towards non-player characters (NPCs).

If the player is being addressed as an individual (“by the game”), modern informal will be used (de préférence tournure impersonnelle ou vouvoiement – You cannot login to this server: Impossible de se connecter à ce serveur).

Distinction between these is not always easy. Specifically, it is sometimes hard to determine, if a text belongs to out-of-game or in-game text. Please try employing formal old style in these cases of doubt (to be on the safe side on style terms).

You will often encounter some text that may refer to “instructions” (e.g. “Find Bilu’s rabbit”). Depending on the context available, it might be difficult to know if these sentences are part of a dialogue (Retrouvez le lapin de Bilu) or mere quest instructions given to the player (Retrouver le lapin de Bilu).  Due to the difficulty determining these cases, it is recommended to use “Vous / forme en –ez” here, too.



Keeping the content as genderless and neutral as possible may sometimes be difficult in French since it might lead to a somewhat awkward translation and sacrifice atmosphere if the gender is not known.

The magician can be found in Skysong.

Vous pourrez trouver le magicien/la magicienne dans Skysong.


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.



Like in English, French compound words can sometimes be formed by simply putting nouns (thus becoming adjectives) together in a sentence (Example: Athan attack ... – ... d’attaque Athan). For this translation, many new compounds will have to be formed. While merging them to one word (Dark Steel Blade – Lame de sombracier) may look nicer, it is not always a clean solution (e.g.: Goldbreak – Brisor).  Therefore, English compounds can sometimes be translated into hyphenated French terms (Brise-or) 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 Brise-or as Briseor).  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 “°°°” 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. Accents may however be inserted where you deem necessary to help with pronunciation (for instance Jadeon -> Jadéon). English proper names and names such as Royal City, Celestial Guard, Skyblade) should be translated (with some creativity). Also, atmosphere and style benefit from translating terms like Celewood (for example: Célébois).

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.

A considerable amount of these terms has already been added in the glossary though so it should spare you some headaches. Should you come across some important term (like Health, Level, NPC, etc.) that has not been added yet, please follow the relevant procedure or contact the lead translator to make sure all translations are consistent.


Punctuation and capital letters


Please make sure to follow the French language rules when translating. Unlike in English, there should be spaces before and after punctuation marks (Here! – Ici !) and words should be capitalized only when necessary (i.e. proper names and after punctuation marks – Modo Herald Shun -> Shun, héraut Modo). Since factions are a key element of the game it might be best to capitalize their names even when used as adjectives (Shun, héraut Modo). You may refer to the game website to find a quick list of these factions. Again, most of them have already been entered in the glossary so it should not be an issue. Also, as explained on the main page, we have decided not to use accents on capital letters, so please make sure to comply with this rule to avoid consistency issues.


Here is a summary to make things clear:


-Be careful not to follow the English pattern:


·       Buy Vitality Charms -> Achetez des charmes de vitalité

(No proper names here so no capital letters in French)


-Remember to capitalize the proper names:


·       Go to the Billows -> Allez au Lagon

(Billows/Lagon is the name of an area here so the rules dictate to capitalize the proper name).


Remember to capitalize the proper names ONLY. Terms inserted from the dictionary/glossary into your file will have a capital letter by default. Make sure to put it back in lower case if necessary.



English: Use a Vitality Charm to open the Silver Case.

Insertion of glossary terms: Use a Charme de vitalité to open the Coffret d’argent

Complete translation: Servez-vous d’un charme de vitalité pour ouvrir le coffret d’argent.


- No accents on capital letters:


·       Soul of the World -> Ame du monde



Useful links:


Official webpage:
Official game forum: 

Wiki entry: 

Character location list:

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