[New Publication] On-Screen Language in Video Games: A Translation Perspective

By Mikołaj Deckert and Krzysztof Hejduk


In this Element, the authors focus on the translational dimension of ‘on-screen language’ (OSL). They analyse a data set covering the Polish localisations of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 and Shadow Warrior 2, from which over 1000 cases of unique and meaningful OSL were extracted, almost exclusively in languages other than Polish. Close to 100 representative examples are examined in this Element to map out a comprehensive typological account of OSL. First, visual-verbal stimuli are categorised by their prominence in the 3D environment. The second typology focuses on the identified OSL functions. A supplementary typological distinction is proposed based on the technical (static vs. dynamic) implementation of OSL. The discussion of findings and implications notably comprises input from an interview that the authors conduced with a lead level developer behind Shadow Warrior 2 to provide a complementary professional perspective on OSL and its translation.


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