Tales from The Trenches Archive

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The one testing job I had was at a multinational company working on a ported Japanese game featuring their star characters. It was a dream project to be on because not only was the game incredibly fun but there were enough varied tasks that if one thing became monotonous, you could always work on something else. The development team in Japan promptly responded to our bugs and always replied with courtesy and respect, even for the most trivial of issues. However, because this was a port, the game had to be completely translated. And I wish I could say that the in house translators were as nice as the developers.

By the time I got to the project only a few menus and other miscellaneous features were still in translation. Anything that was stylized graphical text had to be made by hand. This unfortunately included the message that was displayed when the player beat the game. When we got the build that translated it, I found to my dismay that the “Thanks for playing!” message had been erroneously translated to “Done.”

Naturally I was aghast. I knew enough Japanese to know that this was not even remotely correct, and upon confirming that it was not a placeholder, filed it as a bug. My supervisor told me that he wasn’t going to accept it because the translators wouldn’t even read it. He told me if I felt strongly enough about it I should talk to them directly. Big mistake.

Apparently being a translator meant that you were above the common rank and file and as such, could not be questioned in the slightest. I’m still not sure how they managed to fit their egos into their cubicles. To point out their mistakes was a sin.

Luckily, I told enough people on the project about the “Done.” that someone in upper management caught wind of it and they were forced to re-translate it to a much more appropriate “The End.” It wasn’t much, but I feel like it was my major contribution to the gaming populous.