Are you up to the challenge?

Another day, another translation dillema. In the last entry, we discussed participles and exclamations. The struggle was exhausting but in the end we are getting closer and closer to finishing the translation. But what are we going to talk about today? In this entry, we will ponder on everything what is directly related to achievements. So, are you up to the challenge?


There are far more phrases than the last time, so we won’t dwelve into details that much. To begin with, I’ll give you a few translating hints, after which we will have a look at some more problematic strings.

 

Translation is not only about a text but also about its form. Besides choosing the right words and stylistic devices, one must use an appropriate grammar structure. Verbless sentence, imperative, impersonal verbs; our choice of the form depends from given context, what we want to express and our intentions. Everything should be in harmony: if we want to translate challenges as orders, all of challenges must be translated in such way. You need to keep chosen form.

At the same time, we cannot forget about aesthetics, that is a correct punctuation (although, sometimes it can be ommited) or cardinal letters. Sentences Like this one Are Very annoying to read As they Do not Look very Well. Let’s just keep it clean and people will surely appreciate our work.

openAChest = “Open a Chest”;
perfectAccuracy = “Perfect Accuracy”;
meleeKill = “Melee Kill”;
findAmmo = “Find Ammo”;
findCorks = “Find Corks”;
findWeapon = “Find a Weapon”;
dashFrequently = “Dash Frequently”;
useAnItem = “Use an Item”;
quickComplete = “Quick Complete”;
survive1HP = “Survive on 1 HP”;
exploreTight = “Explore Tight Spaces”;
buyAnItem = “Buy an Item”;
useALight = “Use a Light”;
useNoTorches = “Use No Torches”;
openEmptyChest = “Open an Empty Chest”;
useAllTorches = “Use All Torches”;
takeAllCorks = “Take All Corks”;
pickUpWeapons = “Pick up Weapons”;
levelUp = “Level Up”;
reflectABullet = “Reflect a Bullet”;
killMidDash = “Kill Mid-Dash”;
slayLightStealer = “Slay a Light Stealer”;
noHealthLost = “No Health Lost”;
killFarEnemy = “Kill Far Enemies”;
killABoss = “Kill a Boss”;
findBandages = “Find Bandages”;
quickCompletion = “Quick Completion”;
dealFireDamage = “Deal Fire Damage”;
dealToxicDamage = “Deal Toxic Damage”;
dodgeProject = “Dodge a Projectile”;
completeTheGame = “Complete the Game”;
runOutOfAmmo = “Run out of Ammo”;

Now let’s go back to the main topic of this entry, i.e. translation. The table above contains various Challenges that completed will award you with point rewards. As I mentioned in the beginning, we’re going to focus just on certain examples.


perfectAccuracy = “Perfect Accuracy”;

All of my problems I had with this string was because I decided to use an imperative form. Creating a command of such phrase is quite difficult, therefore I was stuck for a while, thinking of such bad ideas as “Celuj Perfekcyjnie” (ang. “Aim Ideally“). And then I saw the light… Just bunch of reverse logic, pinch of abstract thinking and voila! “Nie spudłuj” (ang. “Do not miss“). It has more or less the same sens of original sentence and it sounds natural, so mission accomplished!


 dashFrequently = “Dash Frequently”;

Almost each character has got an ability to run short distances, that is “dash” in short. Once upgraded, it can even protect you from deadly bullets! I decided to translate it as “Sprint“, since that fitted the term perfectly. Unfortunately, I started having problems with it when I started working on these Achievements. In Polish, where inflection is far more advance than in English, it’s quite difficult to describe this term properly. “Biegaj nieprzerwanie” (ang. “Sprint nonstop“) looks rather awkward, and yet there is another problem with this “nieprzerwanie”. What does “Frequently” mean here? You need to sprint without a break for a minute, two minutes, a quarter? Run until you finish a level? Or maybe you just need to run from one side of a map to another? I definitely need to settle this down before I finish the translation.


quickComplete = “Quick Complete”;

and

quickCompletion = “Quick Completion”;

Just a quick glance and it becomes quite obvious that one phrase refers to finishing a level, while the second is about completing the game. However, a question is raised: which one is which? Both are referring to an act of completion, so what should we do? There is no explanation in the game whatsoever. Moreover, once again, what does “quick” mean? Complete a level in half a minute, a minute, two minutes? Finish the game in 5 minutes, a quarter, half an hour? I believe there will be LOTS of testing…


pickUpWeapons = “Pick up Weapons”;

Yes, no context or explanation what’s what is today’s problem. As you can read, we need to “Pick up Weapons”. But what weapons… Do they want us to loot all chests and pick up each weapon found there? Or is it more like: complete the game with picking each possible gun? I’d rather not translate it in a way that people are confused as I am now.


levelUp = “Level Up”;

And the last example for today, that I cannot still translate properly. As you might figure it out, it’s nothing else but gaining a level, a rank. My problem with the phrase is that putting it into an imperative form seems impossible. “Zdobądź kolejny poziom doświadczenia” (ang. lit. “Achieve new level of experience“) is definitely too long, while “Zdobądź kolejny poziom” (ang. lit. “Achieve new level“) tells nothing about what level one needs to achieve. “Awansuj” (ang. “Get promoted“) reminds me of an office job or something like that, no, just drop it. “Zdobądź doświadczenie” (ang. “Get some experience“) is very cryptic as well. Perhaps “Zwiększ swój poziom” (ang. “Increase your level“)? I don’t know, apparently I’ll have to think about this some longer.

 


We are slowly moving towards completing the translation project. Vintage Year hasn’t got that much text and I see no point in describing each detail possible. I presume there will be about two or three entries regarding Vintage year, after which… Well, hard to say. I do have some concepts of future entries but I do not promise anything. You all need to prepare and wait. I can assure you it will be worth it!

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2 thoughts on “Are you up to the challenge?

  1. Thanks for these posts, they are interesting. (I got here from the SG discussion btw :D)

    I used to contribute to a MMORPG’s Hungarian translation many years ago, but that’s my only game translation experience. Usually I just translate articles and comics, but it would be quite interesting to get into game translation again.

    Is this Vintage Year translation a paid project or are you volunteering?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the message! I’m glad you enjoyed my entries 🙂

      And no, Vintage Year is a volunteering project. As I haven’t got much experience, for now I’m just lookin for some indie devs willing to have their game translated into Polish. The only thing I can recommend to you is browsing Steam page and looking for titles with multiple language support. Wish you all best with getting back to video games translating! 🙂

      Like

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