The World of Japanese Game and Media Localization With Katrina Leonoudakis

SlatorPod #101 - Japanese Game and Media Localization With Katrina Leonoudakis

Katrina Leonoudakis joins SlatorPod to discuss her experience as a Japanese-to-English Localization Specialist in the world of anime, manga, and video games.

Katrina recounts her early years as a freelance translator and her experience breaking into the entertainment and media space. She shares the main cultural and linguistic challenges when localizing a Japanese game to adapt to a Western English-speaking culture.

Katrina talks about how she deals with balancing the needs and preferences of the original scriptwriter, target audience, and client while working on animation or video-game projects. She also reflects on the use of machine translation by indie versus Triple-A game studios and the negative impact of cost-cutting measures on freelancers.

The Pod concludes with Katrina’s views on the highly skilled pool of media translators in film, animation, and gaming, as well as the recent hype around metaverse and virtual reality.

First up, Florian and Esther discuss the language industry news of the week, with SwissPost reversing its decision to block DeepL in the workplace after internal backlash. Meanwhile, in New Zealand, some interpreters who worked for ezispeak prior to the liquidation of its former parent company, are complaining that their invoices have gone unpaid.

Meanwhile, Germany-based LSP t’works Group announced the acquisition of Portugal’s Traductanet to expand into Iberia and South America. And Esther shares key data points from Slator’s newly-launched M&A and Funding Report, which tracked 62 M&A transactions and 18 startup and tech funding rounds in 2021.

Transcript

Florian: Tell us a bit more about your professional background, your route into the game localization industry and how did you learn Japanese and why? 

Katrina: I think, especially for a lot of people my age who learned Japanese, it always goes back to video games or anime or Cartoon Network and getting into Dragon Ball Z. That was all me as a young kid. As a teenager, I got really into anime. I was dressing up, I was going to all the conventions and I wanted to learn Japanese so I could read all the comics and not have to wait for them to come out. I started learning a little bit on my own. When I went to college, I had planned on majoring in psychology, but I was taking all these Japanese classes. I might as well add a Japanese major. I am going to finish early, I might as well study abroad as well. While I was abroad in Japan, I loved it. I love the language. I love the culture. I ended up applying to a master’s program in Translation while I was over there because I was looking at different grad schools and realized that was a lot more interesting to me than trying to go for an MFT or something with my psychology. I ended up doing a break of one year between undergrad and graduate school. I did the JET Programme where I taught English in a village in Japan. Then I came back, did my two years at Kent State University for my master’s in Translation and then I moved back to Los Angeles and started freelancing full-time.

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Florian: When you were in Japan, what city were you in? 

Katrina: I was about three hours west of Tokyo in Yamanashi-ken. I was in a very small village called Doshi-mura. It has about 2000 people. It was awesome. I loved it. It was really good for my immersion and having the experience as an adult. I had to pay my bills. I had to pay my car insurance. It gave me a lot of additional cultural experience that I would not have had as a student, especially being in a Japanese office environment. It gave me a really good background, especially for going into translation. I did that and then I did my two years at Kent and then I freelanced for a bit before I ended up taking a position at Sega. 

Esther: When you started working those first couple of years, what was your experience of being a freelancer at that point? Did you experience any challenges when you eventually broke into gaming localization? What were some of the main adjustments you had to make? 

Katrina: I was really lucky when I went to my freelance career because I had started freelancing the summer between my first and second year of my master’s program. I was told to look for internships or any agencies that I could do a little bit of work for to get experience as I was going for my master’s or as I was completing my thesis. I was reaching out to all these different LSPs looking to specialize in tech or medical and none of them were getting back to me and then I had a friend who asked, why have not you applied for any anime or video game stuff. I just want to have fun, that is my hobby. I do not want to bring that into my professional life but I reached out to a whole bunch of them and Sentai Filmworks reached out to me and were looking to hire freelancers. I was just looking for free work, but I will do it. I have been freelancing for them ever since 2014, 2015, so I was doing a little bit of work for them while also finishing my master’s degree. It worked out for me. I got my first job in the industry that I am now specializing in, so that was really cool. Once I had that on my resume, getting into other loc related stuff was so much easier. I went to the ATA conference and I met a couple people there and they are like, we are an LSP that works with Netflix and we are looking for people to do transcreation for our website and I said, I have done this loc work for this other company and that was all I needed to say. I was on their roster. The more work I got, the more I could put on my resume, which made me better for other clients. It was really a snowballing effect at that point. I did about 90% localization and transcreation for entertainment media for those couple of years I was full-time freelancing. About 10% of that was public health-related journals, studies, and grant proposals. 

Florian: When you do game, but then something completely different, how does the mind adjust between the two? Does it take you out of the flow? How does that work? 

Katrina: I was lucky enough that I never had two of those types of projects due the same day. One day I could be doing public health, really getting myself into my terminology and I would do all of that in memoQ. Being in a different program than Excel or a Memsource was really helpful for my mindset. I would go through those motions with completely different programs and completely different documents open. I would have to get a little bit more into a creative mindset. I always found that the public health and medical stuff used different parts of my brain. It is like I put on different clothes then all of a sudden I have to go. I put my business suit on, I am feeling a little more professional. Going into memoQ to work on my medical stuff was like putting on the business suit. Then opening up my subtitling software, is like I am kicking off my shoes.

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Esther: When you were freelancing full time, can you pin down any key characteristics in terms of the projects that you dealt with? What is the typical job size and turnaround time? 

Katrina: I did some transcreation for an LSP working with Netflix. They gave me a lot of time to work on them, about a week or so. It was a good workload, about 10 to 20 hours. It was good, but there was maybe a month where I would get 100 hours of work from them, and then I would not hear from them for six months. As is typical in freelancing, is that feast or famine. When I was in those famines doing transcreation with Netflix or other media providers, I was lucky enough that the anime streaming companies I worked with were on a seasonal basis. I would be assigned a TV show that was currently airing and then every week, three or four days before it aired on TV they gave me the preliminary video and script. I would produce the subtitles, polish them up, and give it to them two days before. I usually have a 48-hour turnaround depending on the animation company’s production schedule. Earlier in the season, they would  finish episode one four weeks before and then you are getting to episodes 12 or 13 and they are not done. They are like, here is our storyboard, figure it out, we are basically handing it to the TV station as we finish the last frame of animation. It is very interesting and there are definitely a lot of things that can change between storyboard and animation. Sometimes they were a little late getting stuff to us, now our subtitler needs to look through and make sure they did not change the color of something. That definitely happened, a couple of times I had to rework some subtitles. 

Florian: Tell us more about anime streaming. Do they have their own channel or are they selling content to other bigger streamers? 

Katrina: Both. Anybody who is familiar with anime or animated content coming from Japan is probably familiar. The three big players would be Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Sentai Filmworks. Netflix has also been picking up a lot of licenses lately, so they have been taking some shows and streaming them either on a weekly basis or on a four-week delay from Japan. These companies are like your Hulus, your Netflix, but they specialize in a specific type of content. You will pay them four dollars a month and you will get same-day access to the anime as soon as they air on Japanese TV. You can keep up with everything in real-time as if you were living in Japan and just watching on TV.

Florian: Let us talk a bit about the language. Everything is so different. Talk to us a bit more about the cultural components. How creative can you get with these projects and what are some of the key challenges? Just from a cultural perspective from Japanese into English. 

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Katrina: It depends on the medium that you are translating for. For example, with game localization, there is going to be an English dub. None of the Japanese source material is going to be available to the player, so you can get a lot more creative with it. You can adjust the cultural interpretations as you need to. In some cases you can even contact the developer and be like, I want to change this little visual aspect so it works better with our culture. You have a little bit more control over what the player is going to experience as a localizer. However, when you are working with video content, especially animated content, you can do so many fantastical things. You can have crazy stuff popping in and out. You can have almost a music video-esque quality where there are abstract things happening in the background, or they zoom in on an object that really should not exist. There is a lot of really cool stuff you could do with animation but it is on-screen and you cannot change that. When it comes to stuff like cultural references there is nothing much that I can do to change that. Not only that, but when you are subtitling, everybody can hear what they are saying and you have a lot of people, especially young people like Millennials and Gen Z, who are really into Japanese through anime. They are very loud on social media when they hear something and they are like, that is not what the subtitle said, these people do not know what they are doing. We know what we are doing. We did not change it to spite you and your Japanese one-on-one class. You just do not understand the challenges of it. 

Definitely the medium itself presents a lot of restrictions for what you can and cannot localize or can or cannot transcreate. For me, that is part of the fun and the challenge of it. How do I work this so that somebody watching does not get confused? Another issue that we find a lot, especially in Japanese to English is the linguistic differences. First of all, Japanese is a very high context language, so you do not have to put as much contextual clues in the actual words you are speaking because you are supposed to infer it from what is going on around you. For example, in English you might say, “I eat cake”, but all you have to do in Japanese is say “cake eat”. You do not know who is eating or how many cakes are they eating because they do not distinguish between plural or singular. It is really on you to be able to look at the image or infer from who is standing around, who has got the fork in their hand, who is eating the cake, what are they doing and why is this important to the narrative? The grammar structure is different as well. We do subject verb object and they will do subject object verb. Even in a dramatic moment where they want to say, the person who murdered him is that guy. They might go, that guy is… or that guy murdered… You have to really rework those sentences because those dramatic moments where they use certain words cannot be done in English because that is not how our grammar works. You really have to finesse the way that you are explaining things so those dramatic moments hit right and are not spoiled in the subtitles. You have to really work those dramatic drops so that they work in a completely different linguistic system, so it is really fun. 

Esther: You have got the audience or the players who themselves might know a bit of Japanese and be really into the culture so have some kind of opinion about what should happen there. You have got the client who has briefed you on what they want and you have even the original script writer or author who might have some kind of opinion on how the stories should be relayed. Do you have any tips or suggestions for how you personally deal with balancing out the needs and the preferences of those different stakeholder groups?

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Katrina: The target audience for a lot of Japanese animation, especially some of these more niche titles, is very much an audience that knows a little bit of Japanese. They are interested in the culture. You have an audience that is very particular about what they like in translation. There is a history of fan translation of these animated shows that has extended almost 30 years now. A lot of these long time Japanese animation fans have got the wrong idea about what a translation should look like. They expect to see these almost stilted Google Translated translations in the official because they think that is a better translation. Whereas enjoyers of other foreign media, like English to French translation where they have had a much longer history of official translations being widely distributed, may understand a little bit more how it works. You have a lot of misinformed audience members who can be very loud. You have to play around and be like, I am going to leave an honorific, I am going to leave some words in Japanese because I know my target audience will expect those to be in Japanese. Whereas if I was translating for a Disney channel or for wider distribution, like a Ghibli film, I would absolutely nuke all those honorifics. Everything would get rewritten. It would be much more localized for that audience, so that is always really interesting. 

On the gaming end, a lot of Japanese video games used to be niche, but they are really expanding out now. I know there are plenty of new Sega titles that take place in Japan that are very Japanese heavy and are available on Xbox Game Pass. Anyone can have that same immersive fun experience as somebody who was in Japan. That presents its own challenges. Do we want to leave in all those honorifics? Do we want to leave these words in Japanese? If we do, how are we adding an explicitation so that our completely vanilla users who know nothing are going to have that same experience. It is always a big juggle. For me, I feel my balance is more skewed towards the audience. Obviously, if the client is like, you have to do it this way, then I have to do it. I definitely skew towards the audience to the point where sometimes I do have to talk with creators either in animation or on the development side and be like, we need to change this for our audience because of X, Y, and Z. Here is the reasoning. If you have a problem with that, let us talk, but from my professional experience, and also as a member of the culture, I can tell you right now this is not gonna work. There is a lot of communication that goes by. There are social media sites that are created just for Japanese animation and whatnot and they are all very loud about their opinions on what they like in translation. It is a very interesting community to be part of because I grew up in that community and started with a lot of misinformed opinions about how translation should be. Then as soon as I got into translation, I realized that is why we do it this way. It is very interesting transitioning from somebody who had those misinformed opinions to where I am now.

Florian: There is so much audience dependency that you are thinking about. There are these older 30-year anime fans and then there is this new cohort coming in that is playing on the cloud. How does MT help, if anything at all? 

Katrina: My big quote that I always say is, MT is a tool but you have to use the right tool for the right situation. You are not going to use a Jackhammer to pin a painting to the wall but you will use the Jackhammer to break open a bunch of concrete. Depending on what you need to do MT can be great or it could completely wreck it. One example that we have in the game industry is we are seeing a lot of developers deciding localization is not as important so they are going to cut costs, run it through MT, have one guy touch it up and then plug it into the game. Then of course they get a whole bunch of backlash from it. There are a lot of cost-cutting measures being used through MT and unfortunately, a lot of developers are under this opinion that MT is good enough, when really it is not. It is almost an insult to the audience because this is completely unplayable in some languages. How dare you advertise this as having full FIGS support when really you just threw it through Google Translate? That is not FIGS support. FIGS support would be a dedicated French, Italian, German, Spanish translator who knows the game terminology and who knows what the audience for that language expects. Especially with these Triple-A studios, you have got these big cinematic adventures coming out. You cannot throw that into MT and expect to get something good out. 

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That is not to say MT does not have its place as a tool here and there. I would definitely see MT as a use for internal documents or if you have got a budgeting report from your developer you have to pass on super quick. MT is great for that. MT can be good as well as a plugin in a memoQ or Trados because it can add that extra parsing if you are having a really hard time parsing a sentence. Especially in Japanese, you can get these very long sentences and the grammar is so different from ours. You really have to pick it apart piece by piece. It is a high context language, you have to open up the game and see exactly what is going on in the background to see who is doing what. MT can be great as an additional resource to see what MT thinks is going on. It is wrong about most of it, but this part gives me a clue. It is a tool that can be very helpful, but when it comes to localizing game content in any language it is just not advanced enough to be able to interpret not only the context of text in the game environment, but also the needs of the audience and the audience’s cultural expectations. It is definitely not quite there yet, but who knows. If they can build an MT AI that can get to the point where it can look at a game screenshot and understand this is this part of the game where this is happening so this word is referring to this character who is an ice mage who uses this. Again, I think it is way too complex for any time soon for us to pop the game into an MT engine and get a perfectly localized game.

Florian: What are other differences and similarities when you work for indie versus Triple-A?

Katrina: If you have a bigger team, communication can be a little bit more difficult. Typically when you are working with indie devs it is a much smaller team. They are a lot more close-knit in terms of communication which can be good if you flag any issues and need to rework it. The indie developers will have a lot easier time changing that. Versus when you are working with a Triple-A studio. They have got to pass it on to the art director, the art director needs to now talk to the team, the team needs to figure out how they are going to change that. It might take a little bit of time to turn it around, especially if they are working on crunching to get the game out. Another difference we see between indie and Triple-A, and again, this really depends on the studio, is how much value they put on localization. Some indie devs may be very early into the industry and just want to focus on getting the game out, localization would be cool, but it is not something they have any experience in. They do not really know what would be good, so they do not do a lot of quality assurance on their end or they really do not put as much importance on getting localization into the final result. More of my experience working with larger studios has been like, we absolutely want localization and we want to market this to as many countries as possible. Let us get facial capture in every language. Let us get the audio for every language. Of course, we can change this string layout to work better for FIGS languages. That is usually because they have a little bit more experience and they understand how important it is to like their budgetary model or to the success of their game because like any piece of media that you are localizing, a good localization is a profit enhancer. It makes everything better for you on your end but you pay for bad localization and you do not get much back from it or you get a bad localization and then everybody just tanks on your game. There are great indie developers who understand the value of localization and there are Triple-A publishers who are like, they will buy it anyway because it is a Triple-A title, so throw it through whatever, the lowest possible bidder for LSP. We will get it back and they will play it anyways and we will just patch it later if they do not like it. It really depends on the developer you are working with, but it is always an adventure. 

Esther: What about on the agency side, if you are freelancing for a massive multi-language multi-sector language service provider versus some smaller either single language or like super-specialized in your area agency? Do you observe any differences between those types of people as your immediate clients? 

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Katrina: I cannot speak too much for this because I have only done some freelancing and worked with some agencies in-house as well. The more specialized the agency, typically the higher quality you are going to get. If you have an agency that specializes in public health translation, you are going to get translators who are contracted through them that are specialized in public health and do public health all the time so it is going to be a much higher quality translation because you are paying for the skill. Usually, you are paying a little bit more extra for it. Whereas if you are going to one of the, we support 100 languages, we have 10,000 translators, we talk to each of them once a year or once every two years, then the quality you are going to get is much lower I find. Which is unfortunate because especially with something like game translation, it is so highly contextual and creative that you cannot just farm it out to the lowest possible bidder. You really have to find the right group of either in-house people or freelancers or an LSP that can connect you with people who are not only passionate about what they are doing but have the skills and professional competencies to not only be able to translate it but know when to ask questions because frequently when we work with LSPs, they do not get a copy of the game beta. We give them the text and say, if you have questions, talk to us, so we will get hundreds of thousands of questions over the course of game development where it is like, what color shirt is this guy wearing? I would say about 90% of my questions from my Spanish team are: is this female or male? Which makes sense, especially in Japanese as they do not use pronoun markers like that so gender does not pop up. That is another thing they do all the time in Japanese media because they do not say he or she, they play a lot on those assumptions with gender and that is a huge thing. It is not only just the English but in FIGS, it is like, Yamamoto San’s gender is supposed to be a big reveal, but all of our adjectives for Yamamoto San are gendered in Spanish. It is always a really interesting thing to figure out.

Florian: How about confidentiality and security while games are being developed and localized, is that a huge thing?

Katrina: There have been certain game projects where we have had to lock people in rooms if it is a really big game franchise and there is a huge spoiler so no one can know, not even people at your company because we do not want that to leak out. We do have issues, especially with leaks in the game industry, because when you are working with something story oriented or you have got a big franchise coming out, we do not want to drop that before our marketing rep is ready to make that big marketing beat. There are so many moving parts working on it. We have to make sure people do not leave their stuff unattended at home, or do not download stuff on their home computer. Just be really careful who they talk to about this stuff. There is an issue with making sure that we keep stuff locked down. It is not always perfect. We submit something for ratings and someone is like, this game company just submitted a code name for a rating. Now all the fans are jumping on and asking what title is this? Then we have got other issues with an LSP we work with that does not realize that the work that they did for us is not technically out of NDA yet. They go, we worked on the new Star Wars game and one random user who is looking for a job on the LSP sees they are doing a Star Wars game. They screen cap the website, it is all over Twitter and then we wake up and the cat is out of the bag. Dealing with leaks is always a concern. There have only been a couple instances that I know where either somewhere I have worked or where my friends have worked, we were locked in that room for six months to a year because nobody could know what we were doing. It is always interesting but at the same time you cannot wait to get out of here.

Esther: What do you think at the moment about the availability of the talent pool for translators? Are there enough translators specialized in the area to sustain the growth in demand? 

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Katrina: I can only speak for Japanese to English. I am not as familiar with FIGS or Asian languages to English translation. I can say that there is no shortage of translators who are highly skilled at localization, whether it is film media, animated media, or game media. There are lots of us out here. The issue that we are facing is that companies are not willing to pay the additional rates for a skilled translator. They would rather pay the lowest common denominator. We see this a lot both in the games industry and the animation industry because this is one where a lot of translators want to work in it. You have your skilled translators who have been in the industry for 20, 30 years who worked on the original Final Fantasy or have  worked on so many games, but want to be paid this much. A game company might look at someone who is fresh out of college and loves anime and games but their Japanese is not that good but will take minimum wage just to work on a Final Fantasy game. The company might be like, I will pay them the minimum wage and I will have one guy look over the 10 new translations, and then we will put that out. It is really hard for skilled translators to be able to find work because people are not valuing the experience and the skill that we bring. We have seen that all over with Netflix, with other streaming providers where they are going to these LSPs that are paying the lowest common denominator. 

I know there was some controversy when Squid Game came out. There were a couple languages that were highly criticized because the translations did not make any sense. You guys obviously did not do any quality assurance on it. What is going on? Then it came out that the LSP was paying 2 dollars per running minute for episodes, so the translator was literally getting paid like 100 dollars to do an episode of subtitles. Whereas somebody like me or one of my other colleagues might have charged 400 to 500 dollars for the same job. Netflix is like, I will cut my costs because this LSP is going to be asking for way less and we will let them handle it and hopefully it will be good enough. The LSP is like, you will do it for the cheapest, here you go, translate this episode. It is really unfortunate, especially with these highly specialized, highly creative localizations for subtitling or dubbing scripts or video games, it is so important to have somebody who understands not only the target audience, but also the history of the audience. Knowing that the audience has those people who are picking apart your translation or trying to understand the Japanese behind it. As well as current trends in gaming. These are all things that either a machine translation or a very inexperienced translator who is asking for a lower rate would not completely understand. Somebody who has more experience would be like, that is a day one mistake, come on guys. We have no dearth of talent or experienced translators. The biggest issue we are facing right now in our industry is a combination of LSPs that are refusing to say, we have skilled translators and if you pay us a little bit more, we will give you a better job, and media companies that do not value localization as part of their media package.

Florian: I get that the vendors just want to boost their bottom line. I do not get why media companies would not understand that you poured all this money in the original, obviously you are going to localize it and there are 80 million Germans that are going to watch this. 

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Katrina: We see this primarily in Western Anglocentric companies. This goes back both to a great talk by Pablo Romero-Fresco back in ATA 2017, 2018. He is a fantastic guy out of Spain that does amazing research on film and subtitling and translation theory during filmmaking to improve the audience experience with localization. One of the things that we see a lot, especially in these Anglocentric companies, is that so much media, at least that has been popularized in that sphere, was created in English. In the last 50 to 100 years as Western Americans or Canadians or whatnot, we do not have a culture where we grew up watching stuff dubbed, we did not watch stuff that was subtitled. On the contrary, we grew up in a culture where we were making fun of subtitles or the dub. We have a lot of those jokes about terrible Engrish on Chinese menus, the translation is so bad. We almost have this culture of mocking translation, bad translation is hilarious, but we almost do not consume anything translated at all. It has only been recently in the last five to 10 years that we are seeing foreign stuff become more popularized. If you had told me 10 years ago, a Korean drama is gonna be the biggest hit of 2021, I would be like, you are kidding me. You cannot get 300 million Americans to watch Korean drama subtitled, and of course, we had Squid Game. We do not have that culture of expecting to watch 80 to 90% of our media translated as opposed to Japan. They have their own film industry, but a good 50% of the offerings in theaters is content produced in Hollywood with Japanese subtitles or a Japanese dub on it. They grow up watching stuff dubbed and subtitled and because the industries are shaped by that culture for so long, they understand paying translators a little bit more. We are just starting to go through that cultural Renaissance. We are almost xenophobic. Other countries can make stuff as good as we make them, so I think we really need to get over that and go through our own moment with that before we start seeing LSPs and media companies start to value more of the localization or media translation because the impact of like a badly translated medical document is very immediate. You will get the manufacturer coming back and saying, you guys translated this the complete opposite way, you are going to kill people with these medicine instructions, like what the hell is wrong with you? Versus, if you have a really bad machine translation, it is very difficult to gauge the impact of that both on your audience and on your bottom line. It is very much a cultural thing and it is something that, as Anglocentric Americans, we have to work through before we start realizing there is value in good loc.

Florian: Let us talk about metaverse, VR, and localization. Real, not real, perennial future? What are your thoughts on that? 

Katrina: As someone who grew up online, Facebook trying to claim that they have a metaverse is ridiculous to me because I grew up playing RuneScape, I grew up playing MMOs, I played Final Fantasy 14. It is already a metaverse. In Final Fantasy 14 alone you have got whole guilds that will do ballet productions or full productions of Shakespeare just with their characters. We see this going back all the way to EverQuest and stuff from the early 1990s where people are logging in and having these full communities online with their own avatars and whatnot. This is absolutely not a new thing. Facebook is trying to make it seem like it is a new thing, but we have been doing this for 30 years. Obviously, VR is the one new thing that they are bringing. I think with VR, localization is really interesting and it is such a new field that we are really seeing. How do you put subtitles on something you are supposed to experience in VR? Where do you put the subtitles? The person who is playing the game can look around, they can interact with stuff and they are supposed to be hearing something from the person who is talking behind them. How do you create an equivalent experience for that person that is not a dub? Because not everybody wants to play dubbed games. Not only that, but you have players that are hard of hearing or cannot experience a dub so they need to have the subtitles or closed captions. Where are you going to put those in a VR experience? Then, of course, localizing assets for VR. It almost goes one step further. If you want to change the graphic text, the graphic text is not just a flat asset that you are slapping onto a polygon that they will walk past. This is something that they can interact with. They can go all the way around and see what is going on, so there are a lot more moving parts that need to be messed with. 

Florian: Are these assets heavy? Are they files? If you do VR, is there a terabyte file coming across?

Katrina: Definitely not. For example, if I am doing graphic text for a game, they will usually send me an Excel file or something that has all the graphics that have text on them. Translate them and then we send that to our designer and we will design it in your language and then you tell us if it is good or not. What do we need to change? I can say for these assets probably in the localization phase, it would be about the same, but I could see in the QA phase, it being a lot more annoying to work with because your QA testers are going to try and break your VR. I think there is going to be a lot of really interesting localization and QA issues with VR. Specifically pertaining to the metaverse, if Facebook’s big idea is, I want to have this metaverse where people can log in and interact with people, if they want to have interaction between people of different languages, I think that is going to be really difficult until AI is advanced enough to do all the contextual parsing for high context languages, just being able to accurately parse language. I am interested to see what they do with it, but I am not super sold because I have been in a metaverse for 30 years. What are you bringing to the table, Facebook? 

Florian: Where do people find you on Twitter? 

Katrina: My Twitter handle is katrinaltrnsl8r. If you search Katrina Leonoudakis on Twitter, I will pop up. I tweet a lot about the animated manga industry, some video game stuff as well. Anything that I have worked on, I will talk about and I think recently I have been talking a lot about cultural context, equivalent experience, and I am really fascinated by translation theory.