How is the jargon in Shadowrun translated in other languages?
July 26, 2013 2:42 PM   Subscribe

Kind of curious about this. I know Shadowrun does/did well in Germany, and has/had at least a nominal presence in Japan. One of the (for good or ill) characteristics of the setting is the jargon and street slang. How are these translated into other languages? What are some examples?
posted by curious nu to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question, and I don't know specifically about Shadowrun, but many games (movies, etc.) aren't translated per se, they're localized. One well done example I can think of is Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, which started life as Gyakuten Saiban in Japan; both the text and some of the imagery have been changed for European/ N.American audiences (e.g. the "objection" screen). Someone fluent in both the original language and the language the game is being converted to will translate/ localize slang into similar slang in the other language.
posted by Laura in Canada at 7:41 AM on July 27, 2013

Response by poster: No, I'm not talking about "how are things, in general, translated or localized" but specific questions about this specific thing. For instance, "chummer" is a common word in the game for a friend. That's an easy word for an English-speaker to figure out, based as it is off of "chum". What's the German equivalent? Did the writing team take a German word for "friend" and add a familiar suffix, or what? Et cetera.
posted by curious nu at 8:22 AM on July 27, 2013

Best answer: Unfortunately I don't have a copy of the Finnish edition, so I can't check, but from what I remember the translation was quite awkward. I think the local library has a copy so I might get you some examples. Oh and yeah they tried forming words using a similar technique as originally used but usually failed.
posted by Authorized User at 2:07 PM on July 27, 2013

Oh and you might be interested in reading articles about translating neologisms. There really are many interesting techniques in doing it and it's a conundrum that is widespread outside of gaming as wll.
posted by Authorized User at 8:41 AM on July 29, 2013

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