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Kizmiaz

Localization

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Localization

Full disclosure: The localization sucks big time.

I don't know what you used to translate the Genesis DLC but it's an utter mess.  This includes French Russian German and many more.

Single words are ok but when it comes to entire sentences or short phrases the translations are lacking grammar and worst of all: Sense.

But the main complaint about the localization is that for the last four years volunteers translated ARK, the main game and all DLC that got released so far excluding Genesis and you simply ditched and ignored them.

Using Google or whatever to translate Genesis is a slab in the face. Considering that there was no communication between you, Wildcard, and the volunteers on Crowdin  for a year at least this move isn't too surprising although the outcome is disgraceful.

A fully translated DLC at release, that's what you claimed to deliver. What you actually delivered is a pile of localization crap barely anyone can make head or tail from.

No one is perfect and neither are the teams that translated so far. There might be people who are not happy how dinos got named in their localization or how single strings or items got translated. But you can't do right for everyone.

This move to localize using a machine translation was just wrong and shines a light on the DLC that ain't too bright.

You, Wildcard, didn't care too much about the people translating. You barely ever explained your strings when there were questions from several countries about what you mean by this or that string or phrase. We discussed issues cross-language on Crowdin and agreed. We even corrected your typos or grammatical incorrectness here and there. You set us deadlines that we made although you didn't. Yet you didn't care.

And you barely ever did thank the teams on Crowdin for translating. Yes, at some point in time you graciously rewarded a few translators but the rest had to go without even a Thank You and that is the majority. The credit string in the main screen got removed some time ago and the Crowdin project got mentioned in the Community Crunch one time over all these years as far as I know.

One more time you prove that communication dwells in the basement of your skill set.

Thank you Wildcard but no thanks

Kizmiaz
backed by the managers and proofreaders of the Crowdin Project for ARK - Survival Evolved

Edited by Kizmiaz
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Hello everyone, polish translator here. I really wanted to speak out about this for quite a while now so I'll take my chances now.
There will be no tl;dr.

I can confirm that polish translation for Genesis has been butchered by Google Translate as well and it seems to be the case for every language in the game. There is no doubt that using machine mass-translation is indeed a slab in the face for people involved in translation.

However, (this is a very unpopular opinion among translators) I still wouldn't mind it. If it would be JUST about machine translation of DLC on release it would still be a slab in the face but I would understand. I get it. Wildcard promised to have fully translated DLC on release so they HAD TO have it translated, otherwise Wildcard could be sued for literally scamming people as an untranslated game would mean that their product description was simply a lie. Can machine translation be considered as an actual translation? Probably not, and if I wouldn't be familiar with the English language I would feel scammed over it anyway. Wildcard could have just let us translate the entire DLC before the release and we would do it. But again, I get it. They were probably afraid that it might spoil some story details before release. They could have just cut off story-sensitive parts and let us translate the rest but that would be extra work on their part and they had to postpone the release a few times already. I GET IT. I can see and understand the reasons behind this decision. I WANT TO BELIEVE that this was just a one-time unfortunate accident. But I can't. Because it's not an unfortunate accident. It's Wildcard ignorance.

It's not an issue of Genesis being machine translated. It's an issue of Wildcard not communicating. The last message we got from ANY WildCard employee was over a year ago. And it's not like they were talking to us before that. I've used the search feature on our Discord to find out how many times Wildcard reached out to us:

2020 - Nothing at all
2019 - One time in January (!) mostly because of Atlas (!!) translation
2018 - Nothing at all
2017 - Nothing at all
2016 - One time in March, one time in April
I really hope I missed something...

We have tried to reach out to Wildcard many times, even over twitter which seems to be their most active communication platform - nothing. We are just being ignored. In fact, it feels as if Wildcard employees were specifically told not to talk to us. You could expect that SOMEONE would respond to us by now, even with something as simple as "Sorry, that's not my field, I can't help you". But no. Nothing. And it's not just one or two people, there are more people involved in the project who tried to reach out and failed.

We have no clue when and if any of our translations will ever be implemented into the game. At the point of Genesis release, we were already a few months (if not an entire year or more) behind the last translation update. And even now after the release of Genesis, they still used the translation that is already a few weeks/months old (we haven't figured out exactly, but clearly it's not the newest one we had 2 days before release). This makes people step away from translation because they simply don't believe it will even be ever released. And when Wildcard actually updates the translation we have no clue about it. It's just a 100% random occurrence for us. It would help a lot if they could at least tell us an approximate date on which they want to pull the new version.

There are still missing translations that were not resolved, the same as misspelled source strings that need to be fixed. Fonts for some languages (including Polish) are just a disaster. And if we have any questions or issues - too bad, we either figure it out ourselves or just move on. 

As someone from within the project I can tell that Wildcard has AMAZING people at their disposal and threats them like... air, I guess. 

  • Sometimes translators spend even HOURS on a single string as they need to research it in order to provide a most accurate translation, especially with scientific terminology that shows up sometimes. It's always as simple as opening a dictionary and switching A to B;
  • For quite a lot of time translators were not credited for their work (not even in community crunch EDIT: Apperantly they did mention translation team once at some point in the past) and when they finally got some space to put credits in, it has been later deleted. Yet they were still investing their time working on the project out of pure love for the game and some of them keep it up to this day;
  • At some point in the past all Crowdin strings were reset (?) and people who suggested certain strings were no longer credited on Crowdin as authors of those strings. This affected me as well. And we were cool with it, we just kept translating;
  • I've seen some players think that translators receive DLCs from Wildcard for free so they can translate it. It's not true. All translators buy DLCs just like everyone else before they are able to actually translate it. And everyone is fine with it. Also on a side note, we don't get any priority queue for tickets either, we are on the same level as every other player, I don't know where some people get those ideas from; (EDIT: It turns out those rumors are not as baseless as I expected. One of the translators claims that Wildcard in fact supplied some translators with DLCs. However, those are ancient days that go all the way back to days of scorched earth pre-release and only a few received it)
  • When we have no clue about the context of given string (IDs provided as context are not always clear enough) we literally need to hop into the game and find out what could it be (unless someone else had similar dilemma, then you will most likely find a note left by another translator with information about context). It's double hard considering we also see some strings that are not used in the game or their purpose is simply unknown;
  • We often need to think very hard about the right approach to our translations as the current multi-language implementation in ARK is just simply bad. It's not possible to provide a 100% correct translation within one static string. For example, when we are supposed to translate "Your XXX died" to the Polish language it's impossible to correctly translate it within just single string like that, because "died" will be translated as either "umarł", "umarła" or "umarło" depending on the gender of the subject. And yet, translators come out with really smart ideas to make translations that would work even regardless of those issues (like for example above, switching literal translation from the word "umarł" to "nie żyje" which is genderless;

Dear Wildcard, game localization is not easy and at this point, you just make it harder with your approach to us. You have amazing people who want to improve your game for you, for free. Help us help you. Reach out to us. Speak to us. Please.

Edited by Tiritto
Facts update

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I'm missing the Time when Ark was not a big Game like it is now, because at the beginning with the Translation stuff we had a Contact at Wildcard and when there was a problem or something we got an answer every time, and they really cared about the Localizations. And i must say it really was fun to work on that Localization, because it started with only 2 people i was one of these two, and now there are so many good and nice People who are working on the Translations, and i'm glad that i met them. But at some Point the contact to Wildcard slowly died, and I really have no clue why that happened. I often said i going to quit that Translation Stuff because of the missing contact, but when i see how Wildcard handles the stuff now and ignore the other Translators, I can't ignore that so easy. Localization in a Game is a really important thing, because it makes the Game Accessible for more and more Players around the World. And that is a fact that Wildcard should not Ignore, but they do now. I have enough Friends who are not good at English and that, was Years ago my intention to translate the Game in German to make ARK playable for more People. And what now happened with Genesis is a punch in the Face for everyone who has worked on the Translations for Years now, and for the Players of Ark.

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This is valid feedback and something we're looking to get corrected as soon as possible.  We apologize and appreciate all the work that translators do through CrowdIn.  We were trying to get this ready in advance and sadly missed the boat due to a bug with the import of the localization information.

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