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Fun for All

Translation and Accessibility Practices in Video Games

Carmen Mangiron, Pilar Orero and Minako O'Hagan

Video games have evolved to become a pervasive format which is beyond entertainment, enjoyed by a broad group of people rather than as a niche activity by hardcore gamers. However, to date, academic studies focusing on game localization and accessibility are few and far between, despite the fact that further research in localization and accessibility would be beneficial to all. The different contributions in this pioneering volume address the emerging fields of Game Accessibility and Game Localization from different angles, providing insightful information about these relatively unexplored academic areas with such close tights to the industry. The volume is divided in two sections: the first section includes four contributions on Game Accessibility, dealing with issues such as universally accessible games and guidelines for promoting accessibility. The second section of the book includes nine contributions focussing on different issues affecting game translation and localization, such as case studies, culturalization, fan translation, and terminology management for the game localization industry.
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Video game and Fan translation: A case study of Chrono Trigger: Rafael Müller Galhardi


Video game and Fan translation: A case study of Chrono Trigger



Nowadays, video games are not restricted to a specific context or demographic group but instead involve an entire global entertainment market, in a similar manner to the film industry. Certain video game genres (largely RPGs (Role Playing Games) and strategy games) also rely strongly on textual components. Together, these two factors have generated significant demand for linguistic transference and differing degrees of adaptation to many specific markets – a process also known as localization. However, for many locales, the localization industry has not yet reached its full potential, leaving the door open for amateur attempts at translating games. This article provides a descriptive analysis of the Brazilian fan translations of Square Enix’s Chrono Trigger, which were based on the first official English translation (1995) carried out for Nintendo by Ted Woolsey, as well a comparison of these with another translation developed by Anglophone fans. The attempts at translation by these fans were possibly the motivation for a second official translation for the the port of the game to Nintendo DS (2008), which in turn generated yet another Brazilian fan translation, totaling a final group of six target texts. In order to conduct this research, Mangiron and O’Hagan’s transcreation model (2006) was used in order to analyze topics such as: dialogue additions and omissions; the re-creation of play on words; the renaming of characters and terminology; censored items; the deliberate...

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