POStudios Forum

Tech Support => Gabriel Knight - 20th Anniversary Tech Support => Topic started by: Rincewind81 on October 15, 2014, 04:13:54 PM

Title: German Translation
Post by: Rincewind81 on October 15, 2014, 04:13:54 PM

I preordered the game from and was happy to play the game today. I played it with german subtitles and texts and the translation is just awful and bad.

Just a few examples from the first minutes with the game, still in the Store:
The first conversation with Grace:
In the german version Grace tells Gabriel, that he can pick up the pictures from Mosley at a train(!) station. The english term "station" means clearly police station from the context, the german translation is "Bahnhof", which means train station.
Gabriel is mixing the german informal "Du" with the formal "Sie" (both means you) in conversations with the same person.
Translation of proper names - the "French Quarter" is "French Quarter" in german, too- - the term "Franzosenviertel" in the game is just an example for a terrible translation of proper names.

In the book store:
- A book is called "Das Lyrik" instead of "Die Lyrik", this is the wrong artice

- they used SchlŁsselbund (bunch of keys) instead of SchlŁsselanhšnger (key chain) for Gabriels promotion items

In the Newspaper are some really strange and imprecise terms and errors, I will state just one. The german translations uses "hŲheren" (higher) instead of "hŲren" (hear) in the newspaper

There are spelling errors, too.
"Siel" instead of "Spiel" (Game) for example
"Graces' Lebenslauf" not "Grace's Lebenslauf" - CV which is used in the german translation is not common.

Who did this and can you please check and correct the german translation???

And just a general thing. I really don't like the idea to "localize" the game in the background graphics. The game setting is New Orleans, so it is a Police Station and not a "Polizeistation", etc. So, please offer an option just to use german subtitles, not german textures.   
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Lienju on October 15, 2014, 04:57:33 PM
The french translation is also 100% lame...
I guess they only teach english at their school, thinking it's the only language in the world...Stupid a*******.
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Mosley on October 16, 2014, 10:28:05 AM
I Think "Franzosenviertel" for French Quarter is OK, you can find this translation anywhere else. The Map says "Franzosenquartier" which is rubbish since that would refer to a french barrack. The translation of the spoken text works for me (though i noticed quite a number of glitches there). But the German text inside the pictures sucks.
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Mosley on October 16, 2014, 11:08:39 AM
I've got one more: To write the correct message on the tomb of Marie Laveau i peeked in the help system. There i learned that i had to write "DJ bring Sekey Madoule heute Abend". Fine, but the text had to be in English (is there a help to understand the help anywhere)
The original GK1 had the more cryptic but translated message to be written: "DJ gehe im Treffen heute Abend bringe Seke Madule" (autsch). I remembered that and misspelled "Seke Madule" instead "Sekey Madoule", the help system has got me back on the track in spite of the translation subject.
Anyway, I've had a lot of fun again.
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: SteMue on October 16, 2014, 12:28:57 PM
I wonder if all german translations were done by the same person.

The voice over subtitles appears to be mostly ok. Even if a lot of sarcasm, innuendos got lost in the translation.

But other translations are often quite bad. Words that don't fit to the place/situation, spelling and even grammar mistakes. To me it seems these translations weren't done by a native speaker.

If someone wants to improve the german localization he can do this easily though.
You can open the assets files with a Unity assets editor and export/import texture-/text-files.
I was able to patch the german version of the bookshelf closeup view (changed "Das Lyrik" to "Lyrik").
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Mosley on October 17, 2014, 11:44:30 PM
Where is the assets file located? I will try it out. on Steam i learned that there will possibly be an update for the translations. I wonder wether they fix the "Du"/"Sie" mistakes too. I hope, they get an native speaker on it.
By the way: Gerde sounds like native German this time!
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Scripper on October 18, 2014, 12:19:57 PM
Please! Can someone correct all the german translation mistakes in the game and put a file or patch online?! There are translation and grammar mistakes in almost EVERY dialog of the game, even the comic! :(   It's horrible!! What about quality assurance? There is none!
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Tarhau on October 18, 2014, 09:29:31 PM
Agreed! This is probably the worst translation work I ever saw in a computer game! The dialog translations are a bit better, but still full of mistakes. I really hope that there will be an update with a new translation!
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: SteMue on October 19, 2014, 03:44:31 AM
Where is the assets file located? I will try it out.
You can find alle the assets files in the subfolder "GK1_Data" of the installation folder of the game. If you use the version from GOG or the POS online ship you've chosen the installation folder during the installation process. If you use Steam it's in the subfolder "\SteamApps\common\Gabriel Knight 20th Anniversary" of your Steam installation folder.

The assets file that seems to contain most of the localized assets (text & textures) in the file "resources.assets". Its the biggest assets file.

I was able to open the assets files with the tool "Grim's Unity Asset Editor" (Link ( With the default texture plugin the tool crashes as soon as you select a texture. I had to exchange the "texture.dll" in the subfolder "\Plugins\Default" of the tool installation folder for the "texture.dll" of the subfolder "\Texture Plugins\NODX". The texture preview still doesn't work, but you can select and export/import textures without any problems.

If you open a big assets file like the one mentioned above it can take up to a minute until the tool has opened the file. So be patient - even if it looks like the tool hangs.

The "resources.assets" often contains 5 versions of an asset with the same name (but different index numbers) for the different languages. To search for a specific asset the easiest way is to click first at the tab "Name" (for alphabetical sort) and then at the tab "Type" (for type sort). Then you get a list that is sorted by the asset type and within an asset type by alphabet.

For example for the closeup view of the bookshelf in the bookstore scroll through the textures and search for an asset file name that sounds like that. If you have found something export one of the 5 versions (rightclick on the asset and choose export - Screenshot ( and open it with a photo editing tool that can open and save .dds textures. I'm using the free tool (Link ( for this. Since the textures are flipped horizontally you have to flip that back to be sure. If you have found the right asset, export the versions one by one to find the german version (note down its index number). Then you can edit the texture and import it into the asset again (rightclick on the asset and choose export). You have to be sure that the new .dds version you're creating is using the same .dds options and is also flipped horizontally. The easiest way is to open the original .dds file with, do all the editing with it and just save the file again.

With text in text boxes and in the interface it's easier. They're all stored in an asset named "dictionary". The german one the one with the index 3455. You can either export it, edit it with a text editor that supports xml tags and UTF-8 and import it again. Or edit the text in the preview window of "Grim's Unity Asset Editor" (Screenshot ( I suggest the former since that way you don't have trouble with the german special characters (?ŁšŲ).

After you've done all the changes you wanted to do you have to save the big assets resource file again (File -> Save as) and overwrite the original file. Of course you should have create a backup copy by then. ;)

Please! Can someone correct all the german translation mistakes in the game and put a file or patch online?!
Surely someone can do this (see the way I just described)...
So how about you? ;)

Since in the thread about the french translation someone from POS already said they will look into the translations I would at least wait until it's clear if the translations will be updated or not...
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Scripper on October 19, 2014, 04:06:33 AM
I'm not good in handling editors and plugins. I could translate it, if it would be in a .txt document or something else..
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Mosley on October 19, 2014, 04:30:23 AM
Well, it would be fun to do the translation but - yes, abwarten und Tee trinken is what I will do.
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: SteMue on October 19, 2014, 05:48:58 AM
I agree! Itís a lot of work to get a good localization.
Itís not like you get all the text in a simple text file, translate or improve/correct all the lines and then youíll have a perfect localization.

How translations should be done in an optimal world:
(from my experience as lead tester - optimal world means with no time limit, with unlimited budget and good native speaking translator and localization testers available)

For the part of the game you want to translate (could be everything from a chapter up to the whole game) youíve achieved text-freeze. That means for this part all the text relevant content is in and is basically working (logically not necessarily technically). This also means the puzzles because without them you donít know if additional hints are needed.

A) Translation
The translator gets the localization kit. This lockit should be structured in a way, so that for every line some info is provided. The type (comment, conversation line, interface), speaking character, mood, conversation partner, current relation to the conversation partner. These info are very important for the translator and later on for the voice recordings. The lockit is upated during the whole localization process so that itís up to date when the voice recording starts.

b) Proofreading
After the translation the translated content is checked for spelling, grammar, wording and continuity aspects either by a different translator or a speciliazed localization tester. This is done with the lockit.

c) Ingame testing
Finally the translated part of the game is checked ingame for textual and technical localization aspects by localization testers. Do the translations really fit in the context? Are there missing translations or switched lines (technical problems during the implementation of the updated lockit)? The lockit is also used to make sure that all lines are checked ingame. After a complete round the lockit is updated and implemented again and a new round of ingame testing starts. This happens until all is fine.

In the real world you have milestone plans, other budget restrictions and sometimes good native speaking translator/localization testers arenít available. Or you suddenly encounter limits in the way the lockit has been build.

Typical examples:
1) Itís not clear from the lockit to which conversation a certain line belongs (added at the end of a list) or what the relationship between the conversation partners is. The translator is in trouble then. He can only guess. This way you easily get some continuity problems (e.g. Du/Sie, mood). Iím sure youíve seen a lot of games with voice over that seems to be missing moods. Itís not always the actor doing a bad job. Problems with the lockit like described can also be a reason for it. Since if the actor donít know the correct mood and/or relationship of the conversation partners itís the safest way to be neutral.

2) You donít have the budget or time to do a lot ingame testing. This way you get conversation lines that donít really fit in the context. Or object/topics descriptions that don't make sense since there are often nouns that can stand for different objects/topics in the original language. And the translator can sometimes only guess what it means in the game. And sometimes he guesses wrong.

From what Iíve seen so far I guess that at least not much ingame testing have been done. And I think the easiest way to improve the translation is to do just that.  Do ingame testing, note done the original translation and the improved translation for each faulty line. And then update the dictionary asset file and the respective texture files.

But before we fans start doing this I think we should wait and see what POS is up to. :)
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: MarkoH01 on October 19, 2014, 11:06:14 AM
I don't have bought the game (and I won't) but this is a matter of principle so I am writing here:
It does not matter how difficult a localization is. The game is advertized with German subtitles and not with pseudo German subtitles. If a company cannot afford a usuable translation they should not advertize the game this way. There is always the possibility to add different languages later by fans if they REALLY cannot afford a decent translation. Long story short: just sell what you can offer and nothing in between.

But I would really wait a few days and see if they are fixing the translation before complaining ar even wanting a refund.
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Scripper on October 19, 2014, 12:22:39 PM
To make it clear: Definitly there IS a german translation. You can read and understand it most of the time. But there are so many mistakes in spelling, grammar and context that you have to say that there hasn't been a quality assurance. Most of the translation (not only the german one!) seemed to have been done in a hurry, without any testing by a native speaker..

By the way, I can not understand why they have not simply followed the old translation made by Sierra. If I remember correctly it had been done with more caution..
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Mosley on October 19, 2014, 12:28:06 PM
I would have bought it even in English only version. But, yes. It had been announced with German subtitles so there have to be a mainly correct translation.
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: TeKila on October 19, 2014, 02:04:51 PM
Ingame the translation errors may be some kind of funny, but disturbing.
I'm done with day 4 and read the comic...

It's nothing but horrible. Sometimes I must read the whole page 2 times to know what's ment in one speech box.
Google translator at it's finest.
If somebody will give me the english original and the given german translation I would translate this way better in about  one week labortime.
I've read the post of SteMue and will try my very best as soon as possibly. Next few weeks I'm busy with a professionell training, but when it's done in mid November I will try it and upload it. Maybe some of you will reread my work when it's done.
Is the possibility given to retranslate the comic too?

Greetings from Germany.

By the way, I'm playing the game in English but my wife needs the translation.
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Rincewind81 on October 19, 2014, 07:51:19 PM
I wonder if all german translations were done by the same person.

The voice over subtitles appears to be mostly ok. Even if a lot of sarcasm, innuendos got lost in the translation.

But other translations are often quite bad. Words that don't fit to the place/situation, spelling and even grammar mistakes. To me it seems these translations weren't done by a native speaker.

No, this is definitely not the work of a native speaker. The translator, for example, obviously never heard about of compound words, which is really annoying in the German subtitles and this is typical for a native English speaker with limited skills in German. 

And I have to agree with MarkoH01. This game was advertised with German subtitles and this subtitles are just rubbish. Germany is an important market if you want to sell point and click adventure games and this topic has the most replies in this subforum but nobody from the developers seems to care... And even if they only realize that they should give the job to a different person for the next game but I still hope for an official patch...   

Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Mosley on October 19, 2014, 11:12:55 PM
Well, as far as I can see, there are some changes in progress. The well known phrase "What can you tell me about voodoo?" is now translated like: "Ich mŲchte etwas Łber Voodoo erfahren" which is the best possible solution since the game uses the same phrase (and presumably pick out the same translated sentence) for every character.
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: SteMue on November 04, 2014, 04:04:11 PM
I thought about a way that is easier than having to edit the Unity asset files yourself but also doesn't require to upload edited assets files (big, most of the content copyrighted). I stumbled about xdelta and it seems that you can create relatively small fan-pachtes using Inno setup and xdelta in combination.

I've created a kind of fan-patch attempt: Link (
It only changes the closeup view of the bookcase in the bookstore ('Das Lyrik' -> 'Lyrik') and the daily newspaper articles in the bookstore. Just to show that it can be done.

The fan-patch attempt should work with GoG version I don't know if it also works with the current Steam & POS store version. But it checks the version of the file before it starts patching (MD5 check). So it shouldn't be possible to damage an installed version. You can also deinstall it from the control/programs and features section and get the original version back without reinstalling the whole game.

Would be nice to hear if it works for you even if only the two mentioned parts were changed.
Sadly I don't have the time to improve a lot more parts. But if someone wants to do it, I can implement the changes and make a fan patch.

A small thing. The text that is not shown in dialogue boxes (like the e.g. newspaper) is part of textures. So if you want to update them you first have to reconstruct the background without text and then paste the updated/new text (you have to find out which font has been used to do this). So it's a bit of work but if someone wants to do it, I can extract the respective textures.

Now one and a half month after my posting about the possibility of a german translation fan patch (with an example that updates a few parts) no one made a comment or even tried the example patch. Seems to me that the existing translation is not as bad as everyone here claimed it to be. At least not bad enough to motivate someone to actually invest the time to improve the translation.
Title: Re: German Translation
Post by: Scripper on November 05, 2016, 11:34:07 AM
Back after 2 years. Embarrassing, that there hadn't been any sign of a fix to the very bad german translation ever.

@SteMue: Many thanks for your efforts, but: There hadn' t been a comment, because everyone dealt with it and nobody is playing it anymore. And a fix has to be packed into the normal steam-version patch, not a hidden fan patch. Otherwise, it can't be, that the fans have to do the bugfix! It's the job of the developers! Kind of strange, that there hadn't been some native german speakers around the Studio to ask.. As a german teacher I would not recommend this game for my children to play, because of this mess. Maybe even for future products of this company..