Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

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 Gameloc course will introduce the fundamentals of games and l10n, starting from an analysis of the industry itself and then focusing on the actual translation process. The basic elements of game localization (development, audio, text, QA) will be thoroughly analyzed before delving into what makes gameloc different from other translation practices. We will study such peculiarities, with regard to both content and form, using texts taken from real games and localization projects. Some examples of the topics we will tackle during the course:

  • Text types in localization (script, OST, non-game)
  • Technical language (variables and placeholders)
  • Character limitations
  • How to communicate with the client through Q&As
  • Glossaries and instructions
  • CAT tools and key features

The current Italian and international situation with reference to the most wanted job titles in the Gameloc sector will be also discussed in the final part of the course.


Bernal-Merino, M. (2006), "On the Translation of Video Games" (online)

Bernal-Merino, M. (2007) “Localization and the Cultural Concept of Play” (online)

Bernal-Merino, M. (2007) "Challenges in the translation of video games" (online)

Bernal-Merino, M. (2017), Translation and Localisation in Video Games: Making Entertainment Software Global, Routledge; 1st edition

Brown-Hoekstra, Katherine (2017), The Language of Localization, XML Press

Esselink, B. (2000) A Practical Guide to Localization. John Benjamins Publishing Co

Mangiron, C.; O'Hagan, M (2013) Game Localization: Translating for the global digital entertainment industry, John Benjamins Publishing Co

Mangiron, C. (2006) "Video games Localisation: Posing new challenges to the translator" (online)

Mangiron, C.; O'Hagan, M (2007) Game Localisation: Unleashing Imagination with 'Restricted' Translation, The Journal of Specialised Translation, issue 6: 10-21.

Maxwell Chandler, H. (2005), The Game Localization Handbook, Jones & Bartlett Learning - 2nd edition

Teaching methods

Lessons will be run as regular taught classes, including theoretical introductions and practical analysis of texts from recently published video games (both indie and AAA titles). We will carry out, discuss and examine translations during class. We will also simulate other real working situations, such as glossary creation and Q&A management. Whenever possible, CAT will be used as working tools.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend the online Modules 1, 2 on Health and Safety [https://www.unibo.it/en/services-and-opportunities/health-and-assistance/health-and-safety/online-course-on-health-and-safety-in-study-and-internship-areas].

Assessment methods

Students’ knowledge and translation skills will be assessed with a real-time translation of a string export (approx. 500 words) taken from one or more video games. Students will have 2,5 hours to complete the translation. Being texts digital only, computers and Internet connection are needed – use of CAT tools will be discussed beforehand with the students based on availability.

Game and Software localization belongs to the Translation and Media Accessibility module (together with Audiovisual Translation). The grade obtained in Software Localization will count 50%, with the other 50% coming from the Game Localization module. The two grades obtained in the two tests will in turn be averaged by 50% with the Audiovisual Translation component for the final grade of the Translation and Media Accessibility integrated module.

Grading Scale

  • 30-30L: Excellent level. The student possesses excellent localization skills, with a very high level of competence in the different formats. (S)he pays attention to the detail, including formatting, length, clarity, and usability.
  • 27-29: Above average level. The student makes only minor errors, and shows a solid command of the required technical skills and competences. (S)he shows a good compromise in aspects of formatting, length, clarity, and usability.
  • 24–26: Generally sound level. The student shows a number of shortcomings, indicating a reasonable command of the required skills and competences. (S)he takes care of at least one or two of the formatting, length, clarity, and usability aspects.
  • 21-23: Adequate level. The student shows significant shortcomings and only an adequate command of the required skills and competences. (S)he neglects the formatting, length, clarity, and usability aspects.
  • 18–20: Low level. 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 standard and shows a wholly inadequate command of the required skills and competences.

Teaching tools

Example texts from real games and projects (most common formats + MemoQ), exercises, audio / video references.

Office hours

See the website of Luis Alberto Barron Cedeno

See the website of Marco Locatelli