How to Complete a Test Task and Start Translating Games | Allcorrect Games

How to Complete a Test Task and Start Translating Games

We recently wrote an article about the purpose of test tasks. Today we want to tell you how to successfully complete one of these tasks and become a game translator.

What a game translator needs to know (and know how to do)

Test tasks for game translators differ significantly from the tasks that you receive when you apply to translate economic, legal, or even literary texts. The test isn’t just a way to check if you know the language (although it does check that) and can translate wordplay. It’s also a way for companies to see if you have a specific set of skills.

Working with tags

One of the most important factors is whether you know how to work with tags and variables that are inserted into the text. If you’ve never encountered this phenomenon before, it’s time to face your “fear.” The ability to properly work with tags and variables helps avoid errors in agreement. It’s much nicer to get a quest from an NPC to “Bring 3 green magic stones” and not “Bring 3 {color} magic stones.” Let alone “Bring 3 {color} magic {item}.” Tags and variables are truly important in localization, so you’re expected to know how to work with them.

Glossary and style guide

Check if a glossary and style guide have been included with the test task. Often, employers want to see if the translator follows the rules set out in the style guide, checks the glossary, and translates terms consistently (which makes the potential work easier for all project participants). If the glossary contains the term “New World,” it should remain that way throughout the text and not turn into “New Kingdom” or “New Universe” anywhere.

Translator’s comments

Do your translation decisions need comments? If yes, how many? The answer is simple: all things in moderation. Leaving comments on a test task is fine for the difficult sections, or if you want to suggest other translation options, explain your decision, or ask for clarification. There’s no need to leave comments with theoretical rationale for every single translation decision.

DON’T: “This translation decision is warranted by the presence in the target language of thematic shifting due to the topic-comment structure…”
DO: “I chose a gender-neutral option here since the full context and gender of the character aren’t clear.”

Only explain the choices that you think are unclear/unusual or that need clarification from the client.

Cultural adaptation

Adapt any cultural references in a way that makes players from other countries think the game text was originally written in their native language. Obviously, this requires caution. The phrase “Shall we take Cheez-Its?” shouldn’t lose all meaning after translation and become “Let’s grab some Wagon Wheels!”

Working with limits

Always remember that your translation must be readable, coherent, and fit into the string limits. Otherwise, when it’s uploaded to the game, the translation will look totally different from how you expected.

Time management

Let’s move from translation skills to soft skills. Among other things, the test task is a way to check your punctuality. Remember, though—a job done fast isn’t always a job done well. It’s best to devote several hours (or even days) to make sure you don’t have to race through the task. At Allcorrect, we usually give applicants more than enough time—two to three days—even though the task itself isn’t particularly long (our in-house translators spend about two hours on it). This means a linguist can complete it easily, check their work, and make sure no mistakes were made due to haste. What’s more, we realize that many linguists have other work on their plates, so we suggest you make enough room in your schedule to finish everything.

Proper QA checks

Before submitting the test, make sure you check for typos and mistakes. If you’re submitting the test task in English, use Word or Google Docs. LanguageTool and Grammarly are popular and reliable options among spell-check apps and plugins. For test tasks in Japanese or Chinese, it’s a slightly different story. Currently, there are almost no spell-check plugins or apps, but like all linguists who work with these languages, we have faith that there will be someday! Set your completed task aside for a few hours (or days) and come back to it later. This will let you look at it with fresh eyes.

Remember soft skills

Completing a test task demonstrates both your linguistic abilities and what kind of employee you are—responsible or irresponsible. So, we’ll end with a few ethical questions.

An offer you can refuse

There’s nothing bad or embarrassing about not being able to complete the test task. It would be nice, though, if you let HR know you’re not ready for it just yet. Maybe you’ll decide to try again later, and can avoid being remembered as “that unreliable person.”

Honesty is the best policy

Many creators of test tasks complain that after a brief amount of time, their tasks (and answers to them) can leak online. What do you do if you find the answers to the test task? Consider this:

  • The answers might be wrong.
  • On a real project, you have to do the work yourself (no pre-made answers).
  • Secrets are never long-lived. (The company can find the answers online, too, and see that you copied them.)

Ready to check your abilities? Fill out the form, and our recruiters will send you a test task!


Allcorrect is a game content studio that helps game developers free their time from routine processes to focus on key tasks. Our expertise includes professional game localizations, creating juicy 2D and 3D graphics, localization testing, believable voice-overs, and narrative design.


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