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Thread: Localization: blessing or curse?
09-06-2011, 03:45 PM #1
Localization: blessing or curse?
I read this post in "the things you'll never understand thread" and felt compelled to try to make this guy understand why localization is not that bad as an idea/industry. This post is a specific answer to this guy but I'm making it a thread because I'd like to know what do you RPSers think about game localization since English is the mother tongue for most of you and I guess some of you could think as he does:
So, why localization and dubbing still exist, when everybody seems to be ranting over them?
When a developer/publisher wants some product to be translated/dubbed/localized, what it wants is to broaden marken opportunities in other countries. Let's face it: at least 51% of the people who purchase these "media" products (and you know it is actually a higher figure) don't do it so they can enjoy the background, accents and entonation of the original. They just want to enjoy a series, film, game or book. And they have the right to do so.
While you can rant about bad translations/localizations/dubbings (and 90% times you'll be right), you don't have to be pretentious about that. You can show off your English (which due to globalization is -or was- the most popular language between the developed countries) and defend your anti-translation position but, can you speak French, German, Italian, Raetho-romance, Spanish and Portuguese?
I guess you can't. Then, I guess you'll either a) learn all of the languages you need to read/watch/play all the world's media or b) only read and play media whose original version is in a language you can understand. Both positions would be so preposterous that I guess I don't even need to go further with this point.
From a linguistic perspective, I can assure you that no dubbing and translation at all would also cause your mother tongue to degenerate severely. This has happened in my region with our local language (Catalan) which is both a) spoken by fewer people b) not spoken properly, mixing Catalan with Spanish words and grammar structures, etc.
And btw, I really wonder why do you think localization keeps cultures apart. Have you ever stopped to think that -thank god- not all of the culture in the world has its original version in English? That's exactly where the globalization is leading us: to think that the American culture (and British, to a lesser extent) is the most important culture. I can't see how translation keeps cultures apart, but the very opposite of that: it lets us know other cultures.
I encourage playing, reading and watching movies/series in their original version as long as we understand them, just as I encourage the learning of foreign languages but ffs, let's not be that close-minded to think that the most important media are in English.
ps: I intend to work as a translator and I am quite Eurosceptic, so this could be not objective at all.
Last edited by Úscar.; 09-06-2011 at 04:15 PM.