A few hours ago we posted some info about the Turkish version of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition. Some of our fans contacted us, saying that they would love to help us localize the game. As we’ve written before, we are open to initiatives like this. To give you more details on this process we contacted Gökhan Halil Düzgün from www.oyunceviri.com and asked him about his work on The Witcher 2. So if you want to see The Witcher in your own language, follow his steps and contact us. We really appreciate your contribution!
Enjoy this short interview:
1. How did you come up with an idea with localizing The Witcher?
First of all I’m Gökhan Halil Düzgün, a great RPG fan. I have played nearly every RPGs that were released for the PC, including the first Ultima, Wizardry or M&M games. I have been watching the progress of the The Witcher 1 since CD Projekt RED bought the Aurora Engine from Bioware. I was watching the videos, reading the interviews and knew that this would be a great game. As you know I wasn’t wrong. I immediately became a Witcher fan and were waiting for the next game. By that time I had begun to translate games for a hobby and definitely want to show the Turkish audience how great the story of the witcher is. I want them to understand the great story, characters of the game and to see their choices’ consequences in the game. Language is a great barrier for RPGs and without knowing what’s going on in the background it quickly becomes an action game with meaningless combat.
2. How many people worked on the game and how much time did it take to finish it?
We have 10 people on the team. All of my team members came from www.oyunceviri.com, our platform dedicated only to translating games. It took us 6 months to translate the game completely with the additional Enhanced Edition content. Of course we could translate it in a shorter time, but we have other jobs, school, etc. Also one of the reasons it took 6 months was that I made a heavy proof-reading every one of the sentence in the translation. I didn’t want it to be a rushed project, I wanted a quality translation that could match up the high quality of the game. And I think as a team we achieved this goal, as I’m sure Turkish audience will agree with me once the EE version is released.
3. Did you have any experience with localizing games?
I began translating games in 2010 with Dragon Age Origins. I was the project leader of this translation, very ambitious project, as you know how text heavy this game is (over 700.000 words). It took us 1 year to translate it. I’ve encountered lots of problems, people joined the team but left at some point without translating much. My second project was Risen. It’s a one man translation project and took me 6 months to translate it fully. By that time I met with the great www.oyunceviri.com family and saw dedicated people like me. My team members also are experienced with translating games. They have worked in the translation projects of Oblivion, Batman Arkham Asylum, Mass Effect 2, Borderlands, Half Life 2, Sanitarium, Star Wars KOTOR and many others.
4. How did CD Projekt RED help you with the Turkish version of The Witcher 2?
They helped a lot. First I contacted with Marcin Iwinski and he leaded me to Mikolaj Szwed and the localization department. One of the things I feel about communicating with the CD Projket RED’s team is that they’re more than gamers that they’re businessman. They’re passionate about their games. They provided us all the necessary documents, detailed walkthroughs with detailed script files. Even a person who didn’t play the game, can understand the dialogues with reading these documents. Sometimes other firms do not provide such documents to professional localization teams, so the quality of translation can drop because of that. For this I’m grateful to CD Projekt RED.
5. What was the most difficult part in the localization process?
Most difficult part was finding Turkish terms for the original ones, like Witcher, Blue Stripes. In some terms we made serious brainstorming on our forums. As you know two synonymous terms in real world can have different meaning in an RPG. Sometimes you’re not satisfied with the translation of the a term, and you need to change that in the middle of the project and sometimes it needs serious backtracking.
6. What is the word for “witcher” in your translation?
Turkish translation of the “witcher “ is “efsunger”. We made heavy brainstorming about translation of witcher word. “Witcher” is an English word, but isn’t used much in the literature. So we have to use a word which has the same meaning in Turkish, but also must be unique. We browsed some old Turkish dictionaries for the term. So we decided in “Efsunger”, “Efsunger” means “man who makes mystic magic” in the old Turkish language.