Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Great Translation Experiment

The community translation experiment has been running for a few days, and we can already reflect on the experience.

First of all, big thanks to anybody who decided to participate. Over 260 people joined the collective effort so far, and you can imagine that it can boost our confidence in the power and health of the truck simulator fan community when we see so many people trying to actively help.

What we are going through is not only a technical experiment, but to a large extent also a social experiment. We certainly did not expect the massive flow of input from the Turkish fans. We were surprised to see so much difference in activity between neighbor countries, like between our own Czech Republic or Slovakia. We did not expect people to try to "help" and use Google Translate to contaminate the effort with nonsense translations. We did not expect people to start competing translation of the same language if a translation sub-project was already under way. So in a lot of ways, we have learned a lot not only about quirks of the GetLocalization system and user interface, and about regional variety of the fan community, but also about people's behavior in general.

As for various smaller and bigger problems... some things could have been expected, but we really did not anticipate many of the problems. The GetLocalization system has potential to be a great tool, but there are still some teething problems to overcome, and the technical issues influenced the cooperation a lot.

It would be great if there was some support for moderating the translation rather than having it running as complete anarchy. It would also be preferably if we had initially control over which languages are allowed for translation, as in many cases two parallel sub-projects were started and lots of effort was spent twice. It would be useful to be able to send messages to individual translators, to have notice-boards or communication channels for individual languages... The feature wish-list that we communicated to GetLocalization guys is very long. For technical reasons, in the end we had no other choice but to merge the competing same-language sub-projects and rely on the voting system to let the best translations rise to the top. We couldn't just "kill" any of the competing sub-projects to have all the effort in them go to vain, we don't understand the languages enough to be the judges.

We are far from done. Maybe fatigue is already setting in, perhaps many of you were sorry to see the little flame wars between over-competitive translators, but please bear with us. Things are still settling down in many languages, but it's not over. In fact (to a large extent thanks to intelligent discussions among and with you) we'll be throwing in a wave of updated texts soon so some of the terms will have to be re-translated. We also need to come up with a way to visualize the results for you, probably through sets of screenshots in each language, so that you have feedback on problems. In many cases, words or sentences are too long and don't fit into the designated areas, so a lot of polishing is still ahead of us.

We are sure that the team at GetLocalization will continue to improve their system, and we'll use the lessons learned from Trucks & Trailers if we decide to involve the community again in translation of Euro Truck Simulator 2.


  1. Translation is NOT IMPORTANT::BUT PEDESTRIANS in ETS2.....

  2. One would prefer to focus on the gameplay and the map as to übersetzung.That to be a simulator and no foreign language programs, or running out of ideas?

  3. darlykappa(gabriel)May 3, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Real nice work on the gooseneck trailer :D . Great work SCS© .

  4. Langsam vergeht mir die Freude auf ETS2,gehts hier nur noch um übersetzungen?in erster Linie sollten sie die Engine verbessern,die Fussgänger mit rein nehmen in ETS2,CB FUNK,Reale Wetter effekte,usw.es gibt so viel zu verbessern,ich denke die haben keine ideen mehr.Andere Strassentexturen,dieses ganze Übersetzungsgerede ist lächerlich

  5. But it's mostly your own fault SCS!

    If you ask community to help a lot of people want to help you and translate.
    Ofcourse people will compete to each because they want their translation to be used.

    A tip in the (near) future is to let people (everyone) sign up somewere and let them tell their native language.
    Then do a kind of lottery between all those and pick out 2 people from each language and let them translate the project for that specific language.
    This leads in no competitions among and no scam of people using google translate.

    (BTW .. I can't help, when I click on a language the page doesn't load)

  6. c'est normal qui manque les feux derrière la semi-porte conteneur ??
    très belle image ..c'est bien si on peut rouler avec se type de remorque...
    bonjour de la france...

  7. SCS You merged Turkish and Turkish(Turkey) It is a very very big mistake. You should just delete Turkish(Turkey). They use google translate all of translations. Turkish and Turkish(Turkey) same things same language there is no difference at all but they used google translate and there were very very bad translations.

    Sorry for bad english.

  8. Nice work, nice pics, thank you SCS.


  9. the 5th time I say this and I hope SCS READS IT NOW:

    I told you this was going to happen, several people doing the same job etc, I told you several times to contact the admins of your fansites listed here next to me and ask them to make a small competitition and let them decide who the best is, afterwords every community site gets a deadline where they have to send you the translation. So you get rid of kids who fight or people doing the same thing and want their release in the game. In the community sites there are admins and moderators who will monitor over it and can intercept people who argue etc.


  10. @Anonymous:
    "Then do a kind of lottery between all those and pick out 2 people from each language and let them translate the project for that specific language."

    Do a lottery? And what if they pick two blokes who translate the whole stuff with Google by chance? Come on, man...

    @Anonymous #2
    "One would prefer to focus on the gameplay and the map as to übersetzung.That to be a simulator and no foreign language programs, or running out of ideas?"

    Devs focus on gameplay, the community focuses on the translation. What's the problem here? :-)

    Devs: To prevent such an anarchy in case you crowdsource the localization of ETS2 in the future, what if you contacted only those handful number of translators for each language, who ended up being the top translators (i.e. they provided the top-voted solutions)? As for the Hungarian localization, I already have my list of those 5-6 people on whom I could definitely count so far (and also have a blacklist of nicknames).

    Alternatively, when it comes to ETS2, you should appoint community translator team leaders for every language who would organize and overseer the localization process. Considering that ETS2 will (supposedly) contain much more text, it might make sense to systematically distribute the workload among people instead of having everyone translating the same strings over and over again and providing 3-4 solutions for the same string. :)
    So one person would translate the Achievement titles and descriptions, the other one would deal with the e-mails, the third one would translate the menu, and so on... The team leader would constantly review the entries and correct/update them as necessary...

    Beautiful screenshots, by the way!

  11. Sorry for the double post: LOLSmurf has right, the community fan pages would provide an excellent starting point in creating an organized basis for future translations! :)

  12. Janos is right ,but!
    If you not did this project you would not know what to expect from translations, but now you know to only invite the bests and at Hungary Barta János ( also known as JohnBart)is our main corrector! So belive him and let him decide whose ar in our team :)

    And if its not a big request, we dont want to get a free game or money, but at least can we included into Credits ? :) Please :)

  13. I absolutely agree with the guys above - you have such great community, and I appreciate what you tried to accomplish here but honestly this was waaaaay easy to forsee.
    There are portals of trucking communities everywhere, hell you even did make a poll about them which delivers plainly what are the most quality ones. Additionally there are sites now springig up on the base of Trucks&Trailers only - really what is better then to involve the responsible guys from those sites into group of contest to help you. They will always help you, you are SCS Software.

  14. I don´t no if you read this: http://blog.scssoft.com/2011/04/translation-under-full-swing.html?showComment=1304176402028#c8971450800066267672

    In case of portuguese (Portugal) many translations are wrong.

  15. My opinion is that this system is risky if it's run like an anarchy, as you say. It can give good results if it's moderated and there are some editors allowed to discard really wrong translations, or even flag users who send lots of nosense translation. But this would require some kind of proccess to pick these people and, once again, you would get a bunch of people competing for that title.

    In the time I've spend there, I've seen some horrific translations. There are some that you see it's a good try, and doesn't sound bad, but it's not correct at all. Some others sound similar to the original text but maybe don't represent it all. And lots of them are writen without care. For example: First Job, translated as "first job". Or "You did this job before." as "You did this job before" (notice the lack of ending dot "."

    This being said, this needs not only a "vote yes" system, also a "vote no", and also as I said higher level editors who can discard, analyze votings and translations, and decide for themselves which one is really the best, even if it's from another person. But keeping in mind that this is a trucking game, there are lots of teens and that competitive and "mine is better" thing comes up too often, risking the final product quality. I'm sure there would also be people voting negative all translations and writing their own.

    Also, this kind of work needs to be with care, patience and love. You can't just start writing things fast without re-reading the translation once and again, just to go to next one, and next one, and say "hey, I translated 2800 words!". Yeah congratulations. None is worth. This needs serious people wanting to do things right.

    In my case, I rewrote some of the translation, even if they looked almost the same as some existing, with small tweaks that I think made them a bit better. But in some cases I had nothing to add so I simply voted "yes" to the existing one I considered good. Also in some cases I found translation that were better than the idea I had in mind for the string, so also, I voted "yes". And of course, in those cases where I had no idea what to write, I just didn't translated anything. No need to fill the system with strings with the only purpose of competing.

    Another thing that is needed is clarification on some strings. For example: "Open" could mean that a shop is open, or could be a button that opens something. In some language that word changes.

    Also, be careful when merging duplicate languages. South-america spanish, and Spain's spanish is not the same. If you want to have only one Spanish language, fin, but then it should be the "official" one, this is from Spain. In this case you should make sure that all translators know this, or else people from Argentina, Mexico, etc. will translate it using the words they use.

  16. Just make the Euro Truck Simulator 2 in ENGLISH.

  17. @SCS: I see your point. Translation is important if you want to address the many!
    The problem with this particular site is the lack of direct communication and the absolute randomness of strings to be translated. I lost more time clicking "next" than actually translating.
    And, as far as I could tell, you MUST have a single native speaker to choose. If I were you I'd turn to an educated person, who's level of literacy can be trusted. The bulk of the work can be done by the community, but it cannot remain like that.
    For my language I found many bad translations from a grammar point of view but, also, regarding to the context. Some things can be said in a way or other, according to what they really stand for. A level name, for example, must be stated as a a story title, while an achievement must sound like a prize. Your misfortune, if I can call it so, is that most of your fans and blog visitors appear to be teenagers or even younger. They, usually take everything very enthusiastic, but they are not quite the best orators, they lack the experience of protocolary addressing, they tend to take everything "mot-a-mot" and just dump it, they don't bother with the length of the sentence, overlooking the fact that it should fit a given space etc. That does not rule older contributors out. The level of literacy (at least in my country) is dropping fast, so there are many amongst them not knowing their own language, too.
    Maybe find some (university or college) language teachers in your area, to give the final OK...
    They shouldn't be as expensive as a translation firm, especially since the bulk of the work is already done by the community.
    @Janos: on what base will SCS appoint team leaders? Their CVs? Their number of blog views?
    @Lolsmurf: this would only move the whole problem to the fansites, with no guarantee that good translation will pass the egos of site admins or moderators (usually 13-14 years old).
    More than that it seems to me like a restriction of access, since I would forced to become a member of such a community, to be able to participate.
    @Anonymous: a lottery sounds really ... not smart, don't you think? And it's nobody's fault, especially not SCS. They were and are very aware of what's happening here, I'm sure. This is an experiment. If you need someone to blame, it could be the crowd-sourced site, lacking necessary tools to put some order and harmony in the effort of their members. The only thing I find insufficient is the explanation for each string, but I tend to believe that, even with extensive explanation, most of the contributors would still have ignored the purpose and placement of the strings.

  18. The people who say that translation is stupid are truly very dumb. (Like the second post from anonymous, u only think about pedestrians, maybe u should post by name, fool)For selling numbers and so on it's also very important to think about languages. Some of the people only think about theirself. Keep on the good work SCS, and it's great that u guys put so much effort to listen to the community. Keep it up

  19. About the pics :D
    Nice looking and working shadows. You finally got rid of the painted ones, at least on the ground, if not on the cab. This gives more freedom to modders to place objects in those yards.
    Nice thought with the toilet! You never know, right? :D
    Everything looks "unbelievably" good! Bravo!

  20. I hope Scs read these comments !
    I agree with Janos, Josh, Katixa, ohaha
    But i disagree with DEXTER because if someone from any country can do a perfect job, i don't the point why should he/her not to do it. With a little help from every country SCS must look for the Best translators and let them decide whose allowed in projects!
    Remember If there is a game that you like and particularly if its in your mother language you dont want anything,m but buy it. So SCS can improove the sales, ands its not only good for the SCS Team but also good for everyone, just remember money means better games in future !!!!

  21. Personally, as stated before, I will play the English language version even though I am a Swede. I always do, if given a chance.

    I believe for the languages where you do want a translation (you probably know this best) you need to find a specific individual, or a small "team", that would probably work out better.

    But yes, the GetLocalization sure could use a ton of features to make things more sensible, to start with.

    Live and learn, indeed. (c:

  22. Sorry also agree with Tom
    and in this ...i don't the point... i left out see sorry !

  23. A big lesson indeed. We all learn, don't we?

    This tool may help a bit to review the result is so far: http://www.trucks-and-trailers.com/inspect/current_state.php



  25. delete trkich please we will spen time from morroco ismail

  26. " http://www.trucks-and-trailers.com/inspect/current_state.php "

    About the translation in spanish, is EXCELLENT!

  27. SCS please read my comment on translation home page !
    ITS VERY IMPORTANT !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Here is one of information for the Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian language, no major differences in the language, the words are similar like "Milk -Coatian MLIJEKO,Serbian MLEKO and Bosnian MLEKO or MLIKO OR bla,bla,bla, everything is very similar to whatever that place, will be the same thing

  29. SCS, this is awesome! Serbian translation is PERFECT! I double-checked! ;-)

    SCS = Best. Games. Ever. :-D

  30. Prepare your mailbox for a flood of translations!!!

  31. For me it is a very interesting experience and I enjoy to take part. A small briefing at the beginning would have been good. And, looking back, the communication with the team mates could have been better. Starting the translation a few days ago, I saw some big obstacles, but today, remembering the many helping hands I have to say: By implementing further improvements in GetLocalizing and reorganizing the work/the teams, there should be a good chance to be successful in translating ETS2 by fan-teams.
    Thank you for giving this idea a try.

    Directed to the critics: Please bear in mind how expensive professional translation is.
    What's wrong with the idea to save money in translation when ETS2 benefits?

  32. @Ohaha:
    "Janos: on what base will SCS appoint team leaders? Their CVs? Their number of blog views?"

    A good question on which I wasn't thinking about. Frankly, it'd be best if every language group would be able to find within their forum/community a daring person who has both the necessary linguistic/technical background and the time to undertake such a job. In my case, both of these are present (as I am a gamer, a technical writer IRL, and also know a couple of truckin' buddies to ask in case I stuck with a word), but the question of how to find and pick such people for the rest of the possible languages still remains unanswered...

    Anyway, it is clear that the current "liberal" system of translation cannot be sustained for a larger project (i.e. ETS2) and a thorough organization of the translation process will be necessary to make it work in the future.

    I already have a list of 7-8 guys who did a wonderful job with the Hungarian version - but this is just our work, and I do not know how the other language groups can narrow down their translators to a group of that size...

  33. I am really sorry for the double-post...

    @SCS: Thanks for the link, it _really_ helps me to know which strings are connected - it certainly makes easier to understand some of the entries, as they now have a context!

  34. @Janos:
    my guess is that ETS2 won't be much larger. Think of the gameplay. There won't be missions like in T&T, no need to create a plot and find witty titles... It might be even easier to translate, if it follows ETS v1 structure. All you are left with are the menus, the hints of the tutorial mode, couple of warnings about fuel and rest, plus messages of crashing, speeding and other traffic offences.
    @SCS: I don't know who put the Romanian translation together, but it looks like a 6th grader, or something. Phrasing is poor, punctuation missing or flagrantly mistaken, capitalization follows no rules etc. More than that, the tone is highly colloquial, not very usual in public communication in this country.
    Of course, I am going to send you an improved (in my opinion) version. :D

  35. SPANISH translation is PERFECT!

  36. Amazing screenshots. Keep up the outstanding work SCS Software team.

  37. A single translation might be fine*, but when combine all those strings, the overall translation is very inconsistent.

    --- comment ---
    *) A single translation MIGHT be fine, yes, but is not necessarily. The community might be big, but it's not big enough. This is not Wikipedia. There aren't enough "experts". Languages are not that easy, punctuation, proper grammar, and so on.

  38. @ohaha:

    That's probably true, but: I think that there will be e-mails just like in GTS, and that'd mean A LOT of translating. Only SCS can say whether e-mails from various characters in game will be included in ETS2!


  40. Shut the fu... ah nevermind :(

  41. Yeah, you're right. I don't want to create account at Google services just for posisibility of writing comments on SCS blog, I don't have other usage... but those stupid kids will finally force SCS to close anonymous comments.

  42. In German:
    Salutation always great "Du "!!!!!!!!!!!
    Please change in: German/localization.data_de.ini

    Greetings, Schiene

  43. @Anonymous May 3, 2011 5:36PM

    Now thats why we wont let you translate, cant even spell pedestrian, now bugger off!

  44. @Anonymous May 3, 2001 6:15 PM
    it's not the spelling that worries me, that's, probably, a typing error (c and d close on the keyboard). The poor thing even attempted the use of a comma but that didn't work out, either, since he/she forgot the space after it. The worst thing is that he/she didn't even bother to correct the typing error, before dumping it all, in an act of "bravado", knowing it will annoy the readers. I bet he/she's 12 or 13, at most. And you're right, these people ruin the community efforts.

  45. You should include this type of loading docks !

  46. One little thing you do please SCS: dipped beam, main beam, fog lamps, a separate button up!

  47. For example, now that you put the link to the strings file, in the spanish translation I find several errors. Not only spelling, also formating. And I just took a quick look at it... Some of them require a fix to not sound like written by a translator. In these cases, who do I contact or how do we (users) exactly operate? I could write my proposal in the system but... what if it still doesn't get enough votes? Where or who to say: "hey, this isn't correct!".

    And please don't take this as a complain. I'm just worried because I'm seeing that some of those strings will be released, and even if I will play the english version (as with every game), it bugs me to have badly done translations.

  48. important is the gameplay and game engine, if that is not good, this will be another flop

  49. @Ohaha, Se7en: Yes, I mostly thought about e-mails and SCS's comment who told us a couple of blog entries earlier that ETS2 will contain a LOT more texts. Most of these will probably come from the e-mails and the GTS-like Freight/Company Management screen (provided that the latter will be present in ETS2, which I really do hope will be the case).

  50. Anonymous said...

    In German:
    Salutation always great "Du "!!!!!!!!!!!
    Please change in: German/localization.data_de.ini

    Greetings, Schiene


    No, do not post wrongs here.

    Deutsches Anredepronomen "du" wird gewöhnlich klein geschrieben (es kann als Anrede auch großgeschrieben werden in Briefen, dies ist jedoch nicht notwendig und meines Erachtens eher unpassend). Dies ist übrigens keine Plattform zum Diskutieren einer bestimmten Übersetzung. Danke.

  51. thank you SCS Software

  52. Why? All conversations on multilingual sites, (like this one) are in English. It's the year 2011 now not 1991.

    I'm from sweden, but i often choose english language instead of swedish when it comes to computer/multimedia related stuff.

    And how can you be sure that the language in hand will be done with a proper translation?

    Naa... better to focus 100% on the game instead.

    (ps. If only the germans, italians, french etc.. didn't had dubbed their television-shows as soon it was in a foreign language, there would not been an issue to begin with. ds.)


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