84929 - Game and Software Localization

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

The student has an in-depth knowledge of the strategies, techniques, methods and professional tools used for the localization of videogames, IT products and web contents; s/he is able to apply them in the adaptation of complex digital applications, which include different genres and text types, between English and Italian, in compliance with media accessibility requirements; s/he knows and is able to apply the fundamental techniques for information mining, editing and revision of texts, including an adequate assessment of the linguistic quality of the localized videogame, IT product or web content as a whole.

Course contents

The Software Localization module introduces the concept of localization in software, explaining its distinctive features and potential pitfalls in relation to other forms of translation, in the context of modern technological translation practice.

Subsequently, a diversified set of contents that require translation within software applications (dialogues, interfaces, tutorials, etc.) will be presented, providing specific guidance on how these must be approached. To this end, issues such as variable/placeholder handling, size/visual restrictions, bug identification and prevention, as well as other conventions specific to software localization (which are often absent in other types of translatable material) will be reviewed.


  • Bernal-Merino, M. A. (2017). Translation and Localisation in Video Games: Making Entertainment Software Global. Routledge.
  • Esselink B. (2000). A Practical Guide to Localization. John Benjamins Publishing Co. ISBN 9027219567
  • O'Hagan, M. & Mangiron, C. (2013). Game Localization: Translating for the Global Digital Entertainment Industry. John Benjamins Pub Co.
  • Sánchez Muñoz, P. (2017). Localización de videojuegos. Editorial Síntesis.
  • AA. VV. GNU Gettext Tools, version 0.22 (2023). Native Language Support Library and Tools Edition.
  • AA. VV., Microsoft Italian Style Guide, Redmond, Microsoft Corporation, April 2023.
  • AA.VV. Android localization guide (2023)

Teaching methods

Interactive face-to face sessions will be delivered, applying a combination of theoretical principles and practical examples to illustrate the different concepts extracted from real-world projects. The course will also feature hands-on exercises, where students will be required to translate texts from real-world projects in order to acquire a skill set that will prove extremely useful when entering the language service market.

With regards to the teaching methodology applied to this course, all students must attend online Modules 1 and 2 on Health and Safety.

Assessment methods

The final project involves completing a full localization exercise. The submission of this final project is due one week before the appello (Exam date). Teams made up of two members will develop and complete the project together.

At the appello, students will undergo an oral knowledge test. This assessment method was agreed by students through direct vote (against the alternative written exam that was suggested). Further details can be found in the subject Moodle.

Game and Software Localization belongs to the Translation and Media Accessibility module (together with Audiovisual Translation). The grade obtained in Software Localization will make up for 50% of the final mark, while the remaining 50% will depend on the Game Localization module. These two grades will in turn be averaged by 50% with the Audiovisual Translation component in order to calculate the final grade on the Translation and Media Accessibility integrated module.

Grading Scale

  • 30-30L: Excellent performance. The student possesses excellent localization skills, with a very high level of competence in the different formats. Attention to detail is clearly paid, including formatting, length, clarity, and usability, among other aspects.
  • 27-29: Above average performance. The student makes only minor errors and shows a solid command of the required technical skills and competences. They provide a balanced approach to formatting, length, clarity, and usability.
  • 24–26: Generally sound performance. The student shows a number of shortcomings, indicating a reasonable command of the required skills and competences. They provide good output in at least one or two of the formatting, length, clarity, and usability aspects.
  • 21-23: Adequate performance. The student shows significant shortcomings and only an adequate command of the required skills and competences. They neglect formatting, length, clarity, and usability.
  • 18–20: Subpar performance. The student only meets the minimum level required and shows a minimal command of the required skills and competences.
  • < 18 Fail: The candidate does not meet the required standards and shows a wholly inadequate command of the required skills and competences.

Teaching tools

In order to foster interaction as an essential part of the learning process, students will be able to make use of curated resources and IT tools that will allow them to assimilate modern software localization practices, namely:

  • CAT Generic and localization-specific tools (such as POEdit and Crowdin)
  • Advanced text editing and coding tools
  • Software development platforms (SDKs) where the source material in scope for localization is created and managed.
  • Quality management (QA and testing) tools applied throughout the process and/or at specific stages within the software localization workflow.

Students will also have access to teaching resources, presentations, and learning curriculum provided by the lecturer to complete the learning of each teaching module.

All the above listed tools and materials will be made available via the course's Moodle platform and the University's communication portal.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Carlos La Orden Tovar

See the website of Marco Locatelli