Internationalizing games

Introduction

Sería excelente que el mundo hablara solo un idioma. Unfortunately for us developers, that is not the case. While not generally a big requirement when developing indie or niche games, it is also very common that games going into a more massive market require localization.

Godot offers many tools to make this process more straightforward, so this tutorial is more like a collection of tips and tricks.

Localization is usually done by specific studios hired for the job and, despite the huge amount of software and file formats available for this, the most common way to do localization to this day is still with spreadsheets. The process of creating the spreadsheets and importing them is already covered in the Importing translations tutorial, so this one could be seen more like a follow up to that one.

Configuring the imported translation

The translations can get updated and re-imported when they change, but they still have to be added to the project. This is done in Scene > Project Settings > Localization:

../../../_images/localization_dialog.png

This dialog allows to add or remove translations project-wide.

Localizing resources

It is also possible to instruct Godot to open alternative versions of assets (resources) depending on the current language. For this the “Remaps” tab exists:

../../../_images/localization_remaps.png

Select the resource to be remapped, and the alternatives for each locale.

Converting keys to text

Some controls such as Button, Label, etc. will automatically fetch a translation each time they are set a key instead of a text. For example, if a label is assigned “MAIN_SCREEN_GREETING1” and a key to different languages exists in the translations, this will be automatically converted. This process is done upon load though, so if the project in question has a dialog that allows changing the language in the settings, the scenes (or at least the settings scene) will have to be re-loaded for new text to have effect.

For code, the Object.tr() function can be used. This will just look-up the text into the translations and convert it if found:

level.set_text(tr("LEVEL_5_NAME"))
status.set_text(tr("GAME_STATUS_" + str(status_index)))

Making controls resizable

The same text in different languages can vary greatly in length. For this, make sure to read the tutorial on Size and anchors, as having dynamically adjusted control sizes may help. Container can be very useful, as well as the multiple options in Label for text wrapping.

TranslationServer

Godot has a server for handling the low level translation management called the TranslationServer. Translations can be added or removed during run-time, and the current language be changed too.

Command line

Language can be tested when running Godot from command line. For example, to test a game in french, the following arguments can be supplied:

c:\MyGame> godot -lang fr

Translating the project name

The project name becomes the app name when exporting to different operating systems and platforms. To specify the project name in more than one language, create a new setting application/name in the project settings dialog and append the locale identifier to it. For example:

../../../_images/localized_name.png

As always, If you don’t know the code of a language or zone, check the list.