Machine Translation's Bad, m'kay? | EVE Online

Machine Translation's Bad, m'kay?

2009-03-03 - By CCP Caedmon

As some of you will have already noticed, EVE Online moved one step closer to world domination this weekend when both the Russian and Japanese localizations of the game were put on Singularity for public testing.


Since the Russian public testing we held last year, we have been localizing over 700,000 words of both new and changed content that came with Empyrean Age, Quantum Rise and Apocrypha releases. To put this in context: the average console game averages around 100,000 words. So that's a lot of content!

Of course we have also been working on the issues that were reported during the public testing. We have fixed a lot of things, but representing EVE in Russian presents many challenges and we haven't overcome them all yet. Most of these arise because the original CCP warriors who carved the first lines of EVE code into clay tablets all those many years ago wrote that code with the English language in mind. Our translators had to get creative to make the variable rich EVE source-code work for Russian with its multiple plural forms and highly inflected grammar.

For example, here is one of the first sentences you see in the game:

We were accused of using Machine Translation (which, for the record, we never use - hence the title of this dev-blog) to translate this because it was impossible to represent Russian grammar correctly within the constraints of the existing EVE code. We got creative and the sentence is now like this in Russian:

There are still examples out there where the way that EVE works in English makes it difficult for Russian translators, where a certain word or phrase is not "EVE-like" enough, or where the Russian version of a text does not fit within a button in the UI. To help us fix these bugs and produce the best possible version of EVE in Russian, I would urge anyone who is interested to log onto Singularity, test and report bugs (and of course get to see the cool new Apocrypha features before your friends and, more importantly, your enemies). Details on how to get onto Singularity are in the Sticky posts on the Game Development forum and details on how to report a bug are here.

Tl;dr version: Russian is on Singularity. We have been working hard on localizing new content and fixing the issues that were reported during the testing last year. We realize we have not fixed everything yet but public testing will help us to find and fix issues much more quickly than keeping it to ourselves. We would love for you to help us. You can find details here


The current Japanese version of EVE is now available for public testing on Singularity. There are still several areas of the game that have not been localized, but we would love your feedback on those parts that are already in Japanese. We know that there is a highly dedicated community of Japanese players out there who have been with EVE since the early days and we are excited to hear your feedback. Details on how to get onto Singularity are in the Sticky posts on the Game Development forum and details on how to report a bug are here.