How to become a game translator and earn money for it

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Without love for video games, it is impossible to begin learning how to translate games. Although there are many different streams that make up the localization process, such as media platforms localization or advertising campaigns, genuine passion and expertise always provide better results. Gamers may also believe that creating games is equally as enjoyable as playing them. Is this real?

What exactly does it mean to translate video games?

Because translation enables the product to be delivered to more players globally, therefore boosting income, this stage of production is equally as crucial as the others. The major goal is to adapt everything from one language to the other, which entails dealing with pertinent documents and marketing materials in addition to translating dialogs, explanations, and user interfaces.

When operating on such complicated projects, linguists must also deal with the issue of cultural localization. Since every culture is different, you must have a solid foundation in order to accurately depict all regional elements. To make the material intelligible to the intended audience, this component frequently calls for modifying the content. Consequently, rewriting tends to occur in conjunction with translation.

Skills needed to translate games

Despite the fact that the gaming industry is relatively new, the specialist working as a game translator must demonstrate relevant skills and knowledge, as in pharmaceuticals or any other field of translation.


As always, a crucial necessity for the localization process is being fluent in at least two languages. You must speak your mother tongue with ease. It comprises not just linguistic proficiency but also rudimentary cultural understanding.

Games knowledge

Knowing the industry is essential because if someone can’t distinguish between RPG and MMORPG, they don’t share the developer’s enthusiasm and love for gaming. People working on a project become buddies with a similar worldview thanks to a variety of specialized phrases, concepts, jargon, and other characteristics.

Research skills

Modern video games have missions, expansive environments, and material that requires hundreds of hours to fully explore. The localization crew must have extensive background knowledge on diversity, beliefs, events, references, and more. Thorough general knowledge of current events in the historical, social, religious, and cultural realms of the target nations is necessary for successful localization.

Translation tools

You should already be comfortable with Microsoft Office applications and some computer translation technologies, such as Trados, as a translator. Programming language expertise is not necessary.

Team player

Localization is hardly handled by a single person. The translation team’s activity includes project managing, reverse conversion, and ongoing quality monitoring.

How to start working as a freelance game translator?

Since game creation is a relatively young sector and there are no specific structured educational programs, every person’s journey to the profession will be different. Those who want to work in localization might choose one of these routes.

Start developing your viewpoint by securing entry-level employment at a video game production business. You can swiftly get to the position you desire, at which point you can begin negotiating the freelancer’s terms and conditions.

Obtain a degree in translating and start submitting applications for positions being offered by localization firms or game creators themselves.

Starting a game translation project, whether it’s a tiny hobby project or a mod for a major video game, is the perfect response to the question “how to translate the game?” Creating such a portfolio item might be the most challenging, yet most gratifying, method.

Where to hunt for a career localizing video games is still up for debate. In this situation, you want to start with a broad strategy: start browsing national and regional job boards, specialist development portals, forums and communities, and job listings on translation employment boards. Make sure to ask your friends if they have any valuable information because you can acquire relevant offers when you update your own LinkedIn profile or receive an offline reference.

Additionally, a prospective translator should keep in mind how crucial networking is. A shared enthusiasm unites the gaming community. Attend industry events like conferences, gaming festivals, meetings, and others to network with possible employers and clients in the hopes of one day receiving the job offer you’re looking for.

Final thoughts

Working on AAA project localization will undoubtedly be a great experience. This is a long-term commitment to the creation of something as distinctive and intriguing as Marvel movies. Develop your game translation abilities to increase your chances of landing a job like this. All you need is translation expertise, a love of games, and a willingness to improve as a professional to occasionally convert boring translation labor into a translation game. Who said work couldn’t be enjoyable?

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