Games Go International: New Challenge for LE?

October 12, 2019

Gamers the world over need no longer struggle to master games in a foreign tongue. The International Business Times reports, “AI-Based Emulator Will Translate Previously Untranslated Languages.” While some video games have multiple language options, the most sought-after ones tend to be available in just English, and many leading RPGs are first released in Japanese only. This new emulator taps into Google Translate to solve that problem. Writer Rishbah Jain informs us:

“A new software aims to change this equation. RetroArch emulator 1.7.8 has introduced an artificial intelligence feature which will use machine learning to master translation. It will translate the text used in the game to a language of the user’s choice. The player will get the option to see the text or get it through voice instructions. The former will disturb the gameplay, the latter won’t. It will do this using Google Translate. … The developers claim that the emulator can work with all kinds of arcade and classic consoles. Not only can it be used to translate English to other languages, but also the other way around. ‘You can set the source and target language already. How well it works is up to the translation services being used,’ the company behind the project, LibRetro says in its YouTube video on the emulator. This means that for gamers whose native language is English, they no longer need to go blind into a Japanese game.”

Jain acknowledges that setting up an emulator, which must be done before one begins playing, is a step that many gamers will skip (impatient beings that we are.) For those willing to take the trouble, though, RetroArch has posted instructions here.

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Cynthia Murrell, October 11, 2019

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