1.1 Background

Nowadays, video games have grownup to make a
worldwide entertainment industry.
Their world standing couldn’t have been accomplished without
language transfer efforts that create games, regardless
of their origin, available to players in their own language and cultural
contexts (O’Hagan, 2007). Now, not only do children and teenagers play
video games, but also adults play them in their spare time. Right now young
people are one of the biggest group of customers buying video games. According
to recent studies, video games are now more popular than television. Twenty years ago, families would sit down together and watch TV
shows and series. Millions still watch television every night, but the world of
entertainment has changed.

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Video games, like every new medium, have long
struggled to be recognized as a real and true art form worth of study. Despite
being ignored by the most of the academic world, video games have rapidly grown
to be a global phenomenon enjoyed by an increasing variety of people, to the
extent that game journalists have begun to question what the term “gamer” even
refers to.  Video games can be found on
dedicated video game systems, computers, via internet browsers, smart phones
and tablets, usually only one click away. They are so widespread that a number
of the few video game scholars should now first establish what a video game
even is before being able to talk about anything referring to them. Suffice it
to say that video games today appear in many shapes and sizes (Bushouse,
2015).

Video game translation, then, is not an
insignificant activity. While there has been a gently increasing amount of
research into video games in general, video game translation has remained
mostly unrecognized by the translation studies community yet. Within the last
few years, scholars such as O’Hagan (2007), Mangiron (2004, 2006), and
Bernal-Merino (2006, 2007, 2009) have eventually
begun to establish video games as an area for research within translation
studies, but much work remains to be done. Video game translation is a
complicated process that combines other fields of translation to make a dynamic
whole, including literary and theater translation, audiovisual translation,
software translation, and so on. Furthermore, not only does it incorporate
aspects from each field, but as a totally new medium, video games present their
own special challenges to translation in the form of interactivity, technology,
non-textual and extra-textual elements, audience involvement, and new business
practices (Bushouse, 2015).

More and more is demanded from translators in
terms of translation of digital software and websites specially the
localization of video games which is popular today. In Iran, investigation and
analysis of translation and localization process of video games are almost a
limited and virgin area while it is of great importance to foreign countries.
Because the analysis of localizing process has not accomplished sufficiently in
Iran, this study endeavors to survey the Persian localized video games
linguistically and culturally in order to reveal the strategies that translators
have 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 among
translators in Iran. In other words, to translate video games, all they
probably need would be a common background knowledge of computer and software
and related terminology. Whereas translating video games does not have anything
to do with computer science and the relevant terminology, what the translator
needs 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 be
translated.

Despite the importance of video game
localization, less attention has been paid to this field of study in Iran. The
problem of the quality of video game localization in Iran is new and not
sufficiently analyzed yet. Meanwhile, foreign researchers have contributed to
the analysis of video game localization on a large extent.

 

1.3 Significance of the Study

The essential priority of game localization is to preserve the
gameplay experience for the target players, keeping the ‘look and feel’ of the
original. The duty of the localizer is to produce a version which will permit
the players to experience the game as if it were originally advanced in their
own language and to provide enjoyment equivalent to that felt by the players of
the original version. In order to accomplish this, it is crucial that the
translators be acquainted with the game domain. They need to be aware of
frequent 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, they
need to be able to recognize allusions and intertextual references to other
genres of worldwide popular culture, like comics and films (Mangiron
& O’Hagan, 2006).

The present thesis constitutes a research on
the significance of localization of video games with a story emphasis on how
the localizing process is important in target language and culture and what
elements should be considered by the translators. It is also extremely
important that the research conducted hereby, be of practical use to anyone
planning actual video game localization activities both in professional and
academic situations.

 

1.4 Purpose of the Study

This study is an attempt
to introduce a comprehensive record of what has been going on in the process of
localizing video games from English to Persian in Iran. The researcher is going
to 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) in
the localization of video games from English to Persian and to accomplish the
descriptive research related to localization of three video games. Therefore,
in order to survey the quality of computer games localization in Iran, this
thesis will analyze both textual and non-textual elements of the computer games
localization by the use of Recker’s theory of Regular Correspondences (2007)
and Skopos theory (2006).

 

1.5
Research Questions

1. What strategies have been adopted by the
Persian translators in localizing the original text of the video games based on
Recker’s theoy of Regular Correspondences?

2. What strategies
have been more frequently adopted by the Persian translators according to Recker’s
theory of Regular Correspondences?

3. According to Skopos theory, are the
translation strategy of localized version of the games source-oriented or
target-oriented?

 

1.7. Definition of the Key Terms

1.7.3 Game Localization

According to Mangiron
(2009), the term games localization is used as an analogy to software
localization, due to the fact that the translation of the game requires to
adapt to the local standards of the target culture and has to be integrated
within the game software. To be successful globally, it is really significance
that publishers improve their games by considering the term localization, in
order to reduce the amount of reengineering work required for the localized
versions.

1.7.2 Localization

Scholars who study in the
field of the translation of video games do not just talk about translation
itself, while they also link it to the term localization. Although, in
association with video games, many definitions of the term localization are not
completely acceptable. By the way, there are some definitions that do explain
the term properly. As a result, this term could be obviously defined:

– A
localization page on the Android Developers’ Platform affirmed the following in
the 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 your
application will be used.”   From this,
it becomes obvious that localization is a progress that adapts an application
to a target region.

 – Bernal-Merino (2014) expresses
localization to be “the process of adapting a product to each of the importing
locales in terms of their linguistic, technical, cultural and legal
requirements” (63).

– Esselink (2000) applies
the definition that the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) presents.
So long as, LISA has since shut down (this happened in 2011), the definition
stands firm: “Localization involves taking a product and making it
linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/region
and language) where it will be used and sold” (3). In addition, Esselink said
that “A well-localized product enables users to interact with a software
application in their native language. They should be able to read all interface
components such as error messages or screen tips in their native language, and
enter information with all accented characters using the local keyboard layout”
(4).

Eventualy, it should be
vivid that translation is one of several components in the localization
progress. 

 

1.7.1 Video Game

For as much as the
subject of this thesis is the translation of video games, an explicit
definition 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 most
existing definitions are either very extensive and ambiguous, or too limited.
In his recent study, Bernal-Merino suggests a definition which he expresses to
be “tighter and more functional” (37). He suggests the following definition of
the term:

  A video
game is a multimedia interactive form of entertainment for one or more
individuals, powered by computer hardware and software, controlled by a
peripheral (a control pad, a keyboard, a mouse, a joystick, a game pad, a
motion controller, a steering wheel, a video camera, etc.), and displayed on
some kind of screen (a television set, an LCD or plasma monitor, or a portable
display). They can be used as entertainment or as part of a serious educational
or training programme (they are sometimes referred to as ‘edutainment’ or
‘serious games’), with the advantage that they are fully independent computer
applications offering detailed feedback to players in terms of their
performance (through sound, animations, videos, or written reports) with
regards to the activities for which they have been programmed without any
external supervision. Thematically, they can portray any topic, activity, or
parallel universe which the human imagination is able to conjure up and,
although it is true that video games started as basic action-driven pastimes through
arcades, this is no longer the case, and new gameplay has been developed in
order 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 video
game that is accessible Bernal-Merino also uses the acronym MIES, or Multimedia
Interactive Entertainment Software, as “an accurate term with which to describe
video games” (34).

 

1.6. Limitations of the Study

As long as the topic of this thesis is regarding
to translation of video games, the researcher need to use some video games that
were localized in Persian. At first the researcher chose a comprehensive video
game 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 video
game was failed, though only the translation of the
first chapter of this game is available. In addition, because the researcher is
going to work on the subtitles of games. There is a limitation in selecting the
appropriate games.

 

1.7. Organization of the Study

   
  Having introduced the subject under study,
this chapter has stated the problem addressed, set out the research questions
and variables, and defined the key terms that will recur below. 

Chapter 2 is the Literature Review, The next step
will be to review the literature related to the CA, which is the subject of
Chapter 2. The focus will be on the practicality of this conception of ELT
inside the classroom as well as its overall effectiveness.

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

chapter 5 describes