Languages of T9A

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  • Languages of T9A

    With Greek being added to the family of languages covered, what should be our next targets? Portuguese (Brazil)?, Japanese?, Arabic? Have we done any gap analysis to find places with large interests in wargaming and poor uptake of English or other T9A languages?
    Member of North Herts Wargamers

    “As a Rocks player, I find Scissors to be nicely balanced but Paper is overpowered...”
  • this is a very interesting discussion (i'm sure @Ghiznuk and @ForsetisMuse will agree).
    i might have a plan for some spadework in the Japanese direction.
    but it's only a plan, and one among many, so dont take me too seriously :°D

    for real tho - i'd also be interested in knowing if there's an overarching vision / fleshed-out wishlisting on how and where to expand.


  • I'm pretty sure it's mostly up to individual initiatives of player speaking these languages. As T9A doesn't have a budget to hire translators we are more or less bound to wait for someone to be up to the task. Obviously if a specific language community is big enough we could post something to try to search for someone among them up to the task.


    Vulgarsty wrote:

    Have we done any gap analysis to find places with large interests in wargaming and poor uptake of English or other T9A languages?
    A rudimentary way to approach this would be to look at the map and see where players are identified. For example regarding arabic speaking countries it seems like there is no one regularly active on this forum so the community is most probably slim to non-existent (a shame as I'm learning arabic and it would be cool to do so reading the T9A books. No, don't ask, there is no way I have the level to translate...)
  • Yeah, it's really that.

    You can't translate in a language that you don't have players talking in.

    But it's difficult to get players if you don't have a translation for them !

    Also, having rules in a language doesn't mean you have a ready market. Take Africa…… Our rules are available in French and English, right ? But people just play checkers, and that's it. They are against playing a game that they « don't know ». It's really difficult to attract local Ivorian people just into our local board games events. Because then you have to learn how to play a game that you don't know.
    It's the same about video games : they all want to play FIFA or nothing. Every game salon has a PlayStation with FIFA. They don't need other games. Like, at all.
    On the other hand, people here are really competitive at checkers.
    It's a really weird market.

    I'm a bit surprised that noone's been interested in making a Portuguese version so far.
    Japanese, Korean, sure, we'll probably be able to.
    I believe we'll have Turkish before Arabic, too, but who knows.

    But then, when I proposed to translate the rules into Dutch, I was turned down by the Dutch community.
    Saying, « We all speak English, dude ». I said « Surely, you have kids who don't speak English and want to play the game ? », and the answer was « If he's old enough to understand the rules, then it means he already speaks English ».

    I know that we have a Serbian translator, he did the World Map, but then we can't publish, it, because we don't have a Serbian language page nor section.
    Maybe he'd be interested to do more, I don't know.

    We also have a strong scene, in Ukraine, Belarus and Latvia, but all those people seem happy to play either in English or Russian. (I checked the names of the Latvian players and 90% of them are Russian, not Latvian, either they're mercenaries or there is a strong ethnic / cultural divide in that country).

    Russian Translation Coordinator

    Translation-Team FR

    Public Relations

    Linguistic Team

    GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
    First T9A player in West Africa
  • Ghiznuk wrote:

    Also, having rules in a language doesn't mean you have a ready market. Take Africa…… Our rules are available in French and English, right ? But people just play checkers, and that's it. They are against playing a game that they « don't know ». It's really difficult to attract local Ivorian people just into our local board games events. Because then you have to learn how to play a game that you don't know.
    That's an interesting story and I had a similar experience in Egypt. I was there for 3 weeks so obviously I didn't bring my T9A armies. But I met some people in Cairo and they were playing a lot of games (often in cafés in the street). Dominos, backgamon, chess. After playing several games with them I tried to introduce them to a simple card game.
    And there was zero interest at all. I have to admit I was a little baffled, it was all "yeah, maybe latter, we don't have the time for that now". And T9A is way more complex than a 15min card game ^^
    Obviously this is anecdotal evidence and it probably doesn't reflect the entire population. But I would be pleasantly surprised to see a miniature gaming community emerge there (that is unless for some reason I go back there for longer :P )

    Also the main driving factor for a lot of new players is the beauty of the armies. And that can cost a lot which is a big issues in a lot of countries. It's possible to play with tokens or on UB. But it doesn't have the same marketing appeal to get new player hooked...
  • Some early T9A documents were translated in Korean, even one poster. Then the translator was enlisted in the army IIRC. Korean has been dropped before 2.0.
    Portuguese was investigated as well, but failed to start.

    There is no "target" by top management, only benevolence for all languages.

    Social Media Team

    UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • well, my question about having a plan was not made along the coordinates of "can/can't we hire translators".

    it's a matter of (i) creating the layout infrastructure to make translation easy, (ii) boosting the demand by promoting the game in other language zones, (iii) sourcing support in terms of volunteers.

    these are things that can be coordinated at the macro-level by the Project, which already has Layout, PR, UN and HR teams in place. the question is whether these teams are encouraged to work together on this goal, or whether they are prioritising other things (PR on english-speaking social media, HR for internal conflict management and so on).

    of course the lack of volunteers is a problem. but volunteers dont magically pop up on their own - the project has a role in creating the appropriate context to elicit applications. creating this context requires resources. i was asking how many resources are being invested in this direction.


  • OK, I'll give you my current, practical answer :

    Last year we finished French translation (it's never finished for real, but I mean, we finished the BRB and the 16 AB).

    Then I decided that I wanted to do something else, and after my proposal for a Dutch translation was turned down by the community (for the reasons explained hereabove), I decided that we needed a Russian translation, and after one year, I have a functional team, the glossary, the BRB translated, and half the ABs translated.
    This required a lot of work, effort, not least a lot of diplomacy as I was stepping up on the toes of some people who felt that it was their God-given right to be the voice of the Russian community, and didn't need a team (the community was basically without any relay in the project and had organized in a « parallel » way, which is traditional for everything relating to RPG and wargames in Russia since their country is systematically ignored by the major brands, such as GW, despite a thriving market and much love towards fantasy and sci-fi).
    I had to work hard to get accepted by the whole Russian community without knowing anyone of these people (who basically all know each other) and without any official mandate (I was not coordinator of anything, only a yellow tag), but yesterday we were all drinking beer together while discussing the Arcane Compendium.
    But that's just the beginning of the story: as the team is not independent yet, I still have to do most of the work by myself.
    And the most challenging of course is to keep the team running after you finish translating the BRB and the 16 AB, since there are all the supplements, the fluff, the Errata, the monthly and yearly updates, the community news, and so on.
    That is one thing.
    I mean, to gather a few enthusiasts is not the same as building a team.

    Now, at the same time I have to resurrect the Polish team.
    For this, I need to learn some basic Polish. Fortunately, it's very close to Russian. But I've never lived in Poland so I have 0 clue to references to Polish culture (pop culture, historical references, what passes or doesn't pass well in Polish, etc.), so I won't be able to get involved in that translation the same way as I could get in Russian (or French, obviously). The good thing is that most of the work is already done, but the bad thing is that we have completely lost access to those people who were there before, so most of our work is, basically, archeology. Four people decided that they wanted to join during the last two weeks, and already one is inactive.

    Then, there is the Italian team that gave me trouble.
    Fortunately, Grahf is back, so I guess I won't have to worry anymore.

    And Germany also requires attention, as we also kind of have a new team, with a new team leader, Eldan, who is passionate about the fluff but is not a player, so he doesn't translate rules. We have JustFlo helping, which is good, but still, we need to make sure that Eldan can take hold of the team and JustFlo can go back to doing something else. Another good thing is that the German team does not lack layouters, there are actually more German layouters than German translators !

    I have absolutely no control over Chinese and no way I can control it. So far as I know it's all Searingash's personal thing and that's it. Maintaining contact is already good enough. We chat sometimes, he gives me news from China. Also, I understand that he needs to go through all kinds of gymnastics to get access to this website through the Great Firewall of China (compare this with Niedfaru who's been unable to connect at least once over the last several months).

    And now we have Greek.
    Manfread decided to do this work, we are trying to recruit new people. Up until now I still don't know if it's serious or if it's just something that Manfread does because he's bored during the corona crisis. But if we need to start a team, then again, it's all about team-building. And I don't know any Greek. And no, 4 years of Ancient Greek during middle school doesn't count, as it's a different language.

    Meanwhile, Spanish is firmly in the hands of Casas who does an excellent job on his own with his newly recruited people. He gives me regular updates when I ask him about it and I don't need to get more involved, so everything is fine.

    So, right now, we have 5 working and autonomous or semi-autonomous teams : De, Fr, It, Sp, Zh.
    And 3 that require my permanent attention : El, Pl, Ru.


    I wish I didn't have to get involved in Polish, as Russian already takes me a lot of time (not mentioning the translations I do for FR as part of the regular team, and all the PR). But it turned out that team needed to be resurrected. The last available file is the BRB from January 2018, full of text in blue and green, and nothing is Latexed.

    So, right now, I don't want to force myself to start any other team.
    If people want to start a new team because they're passionate about it and there's no way we're gonna stop them, fine.
    But I'm not going to start suddenly going on the hunt for more teams, because I just cannot right now, not until next year when we get all the works done in Russian and I'm sure I can safely put it into someone else's hands.

    And then my dream is to actually get some more free time for the French fluff Wiki, a project that I've started but that I haven't touched since more than a year.

    Full disclosure :P

    Russian Translation Coordinator

    Translation-Team FR

    Public Relations

    Linguistic Team

    GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
    First T9A player in West Africa

    The post was edited 3 times, last by Ghiznuk ().

  • i'm always impressed by the amount of work you do, Ghiz!

    and it kind of confirms that you, as GTC, have in your hands both the strategy and the tactics of translation. for example, you look around, see what's doable, start doing it, look for collaborators, try and set up a subteam, put them on the good path, let them grow into an independent task force, and then you move to the next opportunity, while also trying to keep afloat the other subteams, and maybe doing something else for your core french audience.

    note how the connections you draw to other parts of the project are either backwards (i.e. towards the past, e.g. resurrecting the polish team) or downwards (i.e. as manager, e.g. starting other subteams). the image i get is that you're not part of a larger interconnected scheme where Layout and Translation and HR and PR and UN have a meeting on "how to we grow into more language coverage". which sounds as a completely acceptable state of affairs, given that more pressing challenges (e.g. HR-PR synergies, like finding someone who can help with a proper social media presence) are also not being tackled proactively. i'm not complaining - wanna be clear about that.

    so i guess a fuller answer to @Vulgarsty 's question is - no, there is no gap analysis, nor the intention to run any, due to lack of manpower not only to run the analysis, but also to take action on the insights we would gain from such an analysis. and this state of things will probably not change anytime soon, because even if we did have the manpower to run an analysis and put its results to good use, we'd rather use this manpower to deal with the many more pressing issues we are facing now. gloomily enough, there's neither an infrastructure for maximising the bottomp-up contributions mentioned by Trakritch, nor a top-down plan to put such an infrastructure in place.



    on a way more general note, i'd be immensely curious to know what are the issues that are being worked upon, and how many people are working on each of those. not to criticise, and maybe not even to help, but just to understand. do we have any sort of census, coarse-at-will, of all ongoing tasks? i'd so love to see that. ok, offtopic, sorry.


  • piteglio wrote:

    note how the connections you draw to other parts of the project are either backwards (i.e. towards the past, e.g. resurrecting the polish team) or downwards (i.e. as manager, e.g. starting other subteams). the image i get is that you're not part of a larger interconnected scheme where Layout and Translation and HR and PR and UN have a meeting on "how to we grow into more language coverage". which sounds as a completely acceptable state of affairs, given that more pressing challenges (e.g. HR-PR synergies, like finding someone who can help with a proper social media presence) are also not being tackled proactively. i'm not complaining - wanna be clear about that.
    Well, since I took this role, the translation teams have a referral that gives access to all documents that are going to be published before publishing.

    So right now we are able to publish things in different languages at the same time as they get published in English.

    We did it for the Giants supplement (before I assumed the role, though, so maybe I'm not so needed after all, lol), we did for the ID book, and now some teams managed to get the new Map Pack and the new Advanced Magic supplement published together with English. German had translated the Kibotesh epic on the same day as release, but we couldn't publish because of lack of layouting resources.

    I need more time to get layout together with translation, just didn't have time with all the ID craze and those new supplements, but now that Grahf is back, things will become much easier, too.
    But the idea, as I understand it, though we never discussed it as far as i know, is that every translation team should have one dedicated layouter, and that's it. This is the case for French, German, Spanish, Italian.
    Those translator-layouters are not necessarily part of the layout team, mind, they're just people who do layout for the translated documents, each in their language, so they don't work at the same rythm as the Layout team. Because the Layout team is busy, for example, doing layout for the new ID or the new DE book, while the German, French and Spanish layouters are now busy layouting the DL book, which got published last year, each having started at different dates since every translation team has its own rythm.
    Also, they don't create layout, they just copy-paste our translated texts in the layout that has already been done, adapting here and there to make sure the text fits.
    So their only relation with the Layout team is, once in a while (when translators give signal), to send them a message saying « Hey, hello, do you know where I could get access to this original layout file from two years ago ? »

    For the rest, you know as well as me that PR is non existent, it's just me on FB. Yes, for the English page too, now.
    And UN, never heard of it.

    Russian Translation Coordinator

    Translation-Team FR

    Public Relations

    Linguistic Team

    GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
    First T9A player in West Africa
  • piteglio wrote:

    and it kind of confirms that you, as GTC, have in your hands both the strategy and the tactics of translation.
    This, by the way, sounds really good and makes me blush, huhu. All the more since I'd never thought about it before.

    I wouldn't mind you writing a recommendation letter for me ^^

    Russian Translation Coordinator

    Translation-Team FR

    Public Relations

    Linguistic Team

    GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
    First T9A player in West Africa
  • piteglio wrote:

    i'm always impressed by the amount of work you do, Ghiz
    Actually, @Ghiznuk only mentioned what he does for translation.

    Besides, he does an impressive work on Social Media, in French, English, maybe Russian and Dutch I suspect.

    Additionally, he works in the Background Team.

    Then he promotes T9A in Belgium and Cote d'Ivoire. Not forgetting the development of Homebrew covering many cultures in Africa.

    Finally he engages daily in multiple positive conversations in the forum.

    And he does play.

    Plus what I'm not aware of.

    Social Media Team

    UN Coordinator, aka UNSG

    - druchii.net contribution: The 9th Age - Dread Elves
  • Calisson wrote:

    Besides, he does an impressive work on Social Media, in French, English, maybe Russian and Dutch I suspect.
    Lol, no, not that much, I think you're idealizing me, but keep going, keep going :largegrin:

    Russian Translation Coordinator

    Translation-Team FR

    Public Relations

    Linguistic Team

    GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
    First T9A player in West Africa