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Localized Product Line (aka NISEI Translation 101)

Read about our translation work right here :slight_smile:



There’s nothing wrong with Hielo, though. It’s not a poor translation, it’s how it has always been called in the Spanish translations of Gibson’s novels. It’s not like the English capitalizes it or uses it as an acronym anymore than “laser” is.

The Spanish translation by Edge was actually very good, it only had a mistake (cards that require a run on all thre centrals required a run on one of those centrals) and some phrases that just sound dumb in Spanish no matter how they are translated (Like Beanstalk or Juneburg)

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I agree with ErikTwice.

I also think that the Spanish translation can serve as a good foundation, and I wouldn’t really want that the new translation to disregard the previous coined terms. Nowadays it bothers me a lot that the last cycle wasn’t translated (making a frankenstein collection already, with cards in Spanish and English), and it would be bother me even more to have different translation criteria in the new expansions.

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Thanks both for engaging, and I’ll pass the comments on to our Spanish team :grinning:

Fwiw I think they were planning to keep hielo anyway - but knowing it was used in Gibson translations gives us more grounds to do so!

(That being said, it still seems like quite a lazy translation to me, but once it’s established it’s fine to keep using it)

I don’t actually understand what the alternative is. Take a Spanish word and invent a new backronym for it?

How does the flavour text on Ice Wall play out then?

Since it’s clearly “ice” and not “ICE” in the original source hielo seems fine? (yeah fire me @icecoldjazz)


It’s ICE; you’re fired.


It depends - with translations there’s a spectrum from sticking as close to the source text as possible to localising it as much as possible and coming up with new terms, translating names, etc, and when you start you have to pick your approach, basically.

Needless to say, localising is normally the most challenging approach! I can’t give you an alternative, maybe a very creative Spanish-speaker could, but just imagine that ice wall was not a core set card but came much later, and in the core set there was nothing where ice=frozen water was relevant.

Then the Spanish translator of this hypothetical core set comes up with a cool-sounding idea for ice in Spanish. Then in a later pack they print ice wall. Now you have to get very creative…

It would take some research but I’m sure not all translations of Gibson in all languages use their word for “frozen water”.

PS for anyone interested in this sort of thing more generally, do some digging on google for articles about translating Harry Potter. Some translators got super creative with finding ways to translate, for example, the “Tom Marvolo Riddle” = “I am Lord Voldemort” anagram

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In German, ICE is still “ICE”.

(Of course, the German language in general imports a lot of English terms related to technology, especially if they’re acronyms. Germans are used to this, or expect it when it comes to technology.)

I’ve been quite a fan of the German Vanilla being “08/15” since I had that explained to me. (A lot of German players are too from what I’ve seen).

But then by my understanding the Japanese Red Herrings is just “Smoked Herrings” so you probably can’t always get a clean cultural stand-in.

Thanks for the information, it’s a really fascinating topic to me.

(it’s still ice not ICE though)

From my feeling what would help very much, to have Proxies in local language, e.g. scans of the cards to print. When teaching some one this might be the most helpful thing at the start to get some people on board where language is the barrier.

For Red Herrings in Japanese, how about 替え玉 ? Different, but similar.