RetroArch: Machine Translations of Japanese Games

RetroArch now has an artificial intelligence that translates Japanese texts. It is not perfect for long games but it helps in some games.

One of the functionalities that most are given to emulators like RetroArch is to take games that once came to us without translating into Spanish or English, or even that did not come out of Japan or the United States, and put translations into them. Teams of fans are dedicated to creating translations of games, especially JRPGs and text-filled adventures so that more players can play them while being in their language. Even small games are translated to make it more comfortable for some players.

Automatic translation built into the emulator itself

Now ... What if we said that RetroArch, the emulator organizer app can translate Japanese games? That would make many games that do not have fan translation to be understood by many users around the world. That is what has been added in the 1.7.8 update.

Its operation is with an Artificial Intelligence that detects Japanese characters and offers instant translation by superimposing blocks of text with the translation or with a mechanical voice. They showed the operation with the Japanese version of ActRaiser for SNES. The result was one with its flaws but that allowed the story to be understood at the touch of a button.

Due to the fact that the translation is purely automatic and does not understand contexts, sentence structure rules, accents and more elements that a human translator would integrate into the translation, it is not recommended for long and full of text games like Live A Live or a Fire Emblem. It will take a long time to reach translation levels like Magno's Chrono Trigger, but it's nice that RetroArch offers this possibility so that Japanese games can be easily played since not all of them have enough interest from the public to guarantee that a team wants to translate for the love of art. 

Source: Bookcase

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Benjamin Rosa

Madrileño whose publishing career began in 2009. I love investigating curiosities that I later bring to you, readers, in articles. I studied photography, a skill that I use to create humorous photomontages.

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