Providing affordable literature-quality Spanish localizations for independent developers
What we Offer
We perform Spanish andPortuguese (Brazil)* localizations for smaller studios and indie devs based on our expertise in literary studies and translation, prioritizing the game’s narrative goals and artistic traits.
We now also provide professional revisions of community translations for a reduced cost.
*see note on our method page
Axolotl Translation Services – All rights reserved
Who we are
We are a lot of things, but first and foremost, we are gamers. We cut our teeth on Pokémon and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as kids and have kept playing since. We’re currently playing games Griefhelm, Inmost and UnderMine and are excited for games like Windbound, Kingdoms of the Dump, and Gods and Monsters.
But, to paraphrase Walt Whitman, we contain multitudes. In addition to gaming, we love to read. We have a PhD in hispanic literary studies and have extensively studied books, poems, plays, essays, and everything in between (including video games) that has been produced throughout the Spanish-speaking world. We bring all of the academic skills we’ve leveled up to Axolotl Translation Services.
Our translation skills come from literary translation.This is how we’re different. We understand how art operates and expertly understand literary conventions and storytelling. We combine this with our expert localization skills and offer your game the same unique experience in Spanish.
Our Philosophy (Why we picked the axolotl)
Few animals get a reaction like the axolotl. Native to Mexico, it has a strange, science-fiction charm, endearing to some and the stuff of nightmares to others. The axolotl embodies transformation and adaptation, a perfect fit for a translation company’s mascot.
The Axolotl and Video Games
Given our background in hispanic literary studies, we thought of the short story from famed Argentine author Julio Cortázar, Axolotl, when we chose our company’s name. In the piece, a man visits the Le Jardin des Plantes in Paris to spend hours watching axolotl. He is so immersed in the animal to the point of (spoilers) possibly switching bodies with it. We know that video games aim to immerse players in the game’s world and we see that reflected in Cortázar’s story as well as in our translation philosophy. As life-long readers and gamers, we blend our love for immersion in literature and video games in translation.
The Axolotl and Localization
When the Spanish colonizers arrived, they did not have a word in their native language for axolotl and adopted the Nahuatl name. In localization, direct equivalents can be elusive. Our team at Axolotl Translation Services is equipped to handle difficult localization scenarios with accuracy and tact and we use the word axolotl as a reminder of the nuances of language. With our background in literary translations, we approach complicated and culturally sensitive texts ready to convey the original artistic meaning of the source text.
How we do it
Our method for translating videogames is thorough, reliable, and quick to provide the best quality localization. Video games, in their structure and narrative, are art forms and deserve that level of attention when localized. So here’s how we do it:
Our team performs an initial draft using one of the best CATs (Computer Assisted Translators) on the market. No, this is not Google Translate.
We revise the CAT translation and comb out obvious errors and mark selections or phrases that require more in depth research.
We pair your video game with a literary text written and published in Spanish of a similar genre.
We perform a localization QA revision in order to polish the localization.
We send you a QA Survey (Quality Assurance Survey).
We perform another revision of the game based on your input.
Repeat steps 5 – 6 until you are satisfied.
It’s a lot to get done, but we’re speedy. Our experience has been our guide and we make deadlines.
What is a CAT?
A computer assisted translator is software complements translation work. It does not supplement it (like Google Translation). It comes with all the necessary tools for the translator’s work belt: a dictionary, a guide to idioms, spellcheck, and help with reoccurring phrases.
What is a QA Survey?
The Quality Assurance Survey is a text that discusses why we made certain translations the way that we did or questions about the video game that would influence how we were to localize a certain colloquialism, phrase, joke, etc. We send you the QA Survey in order to initiate a conversation about the game and to ensure that we localize the meaning exactly how you want it whenever we run into trickier language.
Why pair it with a literary text?
We have a few reasons for this. Firstly, this is one easy way maintain the historical, cultural, and genre-specific phrasing of your video game in the target language. We want your game to have the same artistic impact in Spanish as it does in English. Secondly, this is how we’ve always translated. in literary translation as well as translations for other professions. It’s common practice in literary translation to double check with a similar literary piece written in the target language.
What’s the deal with Portuguese (BR) localizations?
We do offer Portuguese (BR) localizations, but we may not be able to perform localizations to the standard we hold on in-depth narrative based games. These localizations will be considered on an individual basis.
What about a professional proofread of community translations?
This is another service we offer. Maybe you’ve got an excellent, multilingual community willing to help with localizations. We respect that, but we also understand that you want your game to have the best localizations available. We offer this less expensive service to simply proofread the localizations your community has made.
What are your rates?
Rates vary depending on the project. Generally it comes down to a formula based on word count + hours spent on the localization.
It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this localization with you.
Whenever we are available for new projects, there’s a bit we’d like to know in order to figure out how we can accommodate your needs. First, please tell us about your game. We’d love to know:
What inspired your game?
What makes you the most enthusiastic about your game?
What is the narrative?
What do you want your players to get out of the game?
How many words are there?
If you’re interested in a professional proofread of a community translation, please send us an email directly via the form below. These are charged at a lower rate than a full translation.
Ask us any question you’d like as well. We can discuss rates, potential discounts, and any aspect of our method and services.