D&D Translations Are Coming To A Country Near You!
  • D&D Translations Are Coming To A Country Near You!


    People in non-English-speaking countries have been asking for translations of D&D 5th Edition into their languages for ages. Up until now, WotC has been mainly silent on the matter. However, today, they are announcing a partnership with Gale Force Nine (which produces many of the official accessories such as spell cards and DM screens) to being translations into French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese, with more to follow. The full announcement from WotC is below.




    Dungeons & Dragons has some of the best fans in the world, and because of you, 2016 was one of the biggest years ever for the brand. Enormous thanks to our players and supporters. You’re awesome!

    Today, we’re announcing an exciting step in making sure other D&D fans around the world can enjoy fifth edition as well. Wizards of the Coast has partnered with Gale Force Nine to localize Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition tabletop RPG content into multiple languages. They will start with the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Monster Manual, and the D&D Starter Set, as well as accessories created by Gale Force Nine (such as spell cards and Dungeon Master’s screens). The first translations will be French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese, with more to follow.

    We want fans to know that we’ve heard you asking for translations for a long time, and recognize that in previous editions there have been many different translations for the core books. So why has it changed this time around?

    Our approach for this edition has been different from the beginning—starting with the playtest, then moving on to our focused approach to published content, and providing the OGL for fifth edition while also supporting an online community to share created content in the DMs Guild. It’s because of our philosophical changes that our approach to translations has also been different. We decided that simply getting the books out in local languages wasn’t good enough. We also wanted to make sure that the quality, consistency, care, and community support that have made fifth edition so popular in English also exists for other languages. We have been working closely with Gale Force Nine since the launch of the edition, so we know they understand our commitment to quality and consistency.

    With this partnership, Gale Force Nine will be responsible for translations of physical products and for overseeing the production and local market partnerships necessary to support the hobby. By working with language experts, printers and D&D fans in each country, we are confident in their understanding of the unique issues facing each market.

    While we haven’t announced exact details for each market, the general plan is that products for these initial languages will be available sometime this summer on a staggered roll-out occurring over three months. Additional translations of other supplements or future campaign books will follow the English releases as closely as possible, but may vary by market or language. While this announcement doesn’t include all of the languages that we’ve translated into in the past, we know Gale Force Nine is dedicated to meeting market needs and supporting our fans.

    Q: Why have you chosen Gale Force Nine instead of working directly in each country?

    A: Partnering with just one licensee on the program ensures a more consistent roll-out across all other languages as well as a dedicated team in the U.K. working closely with translation teams and European printers.

    Q: Will translated products be for sale at my friendly local game store?

    A: The distribution varies by country, but for the most part your local hobby shop and book channel stores should have access to Dungeons & Dragons products at prices comparable to current U.S. and U.K. products published directly by Wizards of the Coast.

    Q: How do people in each market find out more?

    A: As part of this release, we will be directing people in each of the markets to our local distribution partners and their websites to find out more. This information will also be on the Gale Force Nine site.
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. Remathilis's Avatar
      Remathilis -
      If @Morrus didn't know already.
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      Another step towards world domination.

      But yes, also very late in coming.
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      Good to see. It seems very late in the process for the translations, but partnering with GF9 to do local coordination seems like a good idea and can problem get them better support / service than if WotC took on the task themselves.
    1. Olaf the Stout -
      Sweet, I'll be picking up the Aussie translation when it comes out!
    1. Lanliss's Avatar
      Lanliss -
      I wonder if this also includes the conversion to metric that people have been asking for over on DnDB forums.
    1. UngeheuerLich's Avatar
      UngeheuerLich -
      Endlich!
      Finally german translations. And I really appreciate the attempt to ensure quality. Before 3rd edition we used to have mostly german books which were of good quality. 3rd and 4th editions were quite terrible so I went with english all the way. Now that I play with children or casual players that have not so much experience with common english roleplaying jargon, I eagerly awaited that translations and crossed my dingers for such kind of support.
    1. LordPwnington's Avatar
      LordPwnington -
      Sweet! I plan to go to Japan some time next year and wanted to take the hobby with me, but I don't relish the idea of teaching an entire group English (I'll have enough to deal with just teaching myself Japanese). I remember seeing a Japanese Basic Rules PDF floating around a while ago, but a full-out PHB will be way better.
    1. ChapolimX's Avatar
      ChapolimX -
      I wonder if this also includes the conversion to metric that people have been asking for over on DnDB forums.
      I hope they don't. The game was not designed that way. Some imperial measures are bound to game balance elements. The solution I would rather see is keep the imperial measures for reference and uniformity. To make the game more aproachable they can provide aproximate conversion values, tables, tools, etc...
    1. Lanliss's Avatar
      Lanliss -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChapolimX View Post
      I hope they don't. The game was not designed that way. Some imperial measures are bound to game balance elements. The solution I would rather see is keep the imperial measures for reference and uniformity. To make the game more aproachable they can provide aproximate conversion values, tables, tools, etc...
      I don't understand the issue. If 2.7 meters is exactly the same as 5 feet*, why would it destroy balance to have something listed as meters instead? If something would "Increase by X number of feet", you would be able to say exactly the same in metric as "Increase by Y number of meters".

      *Just throwing random numbers, don't actually know the exact conversion.
    1. zaratan's Avatar
      zaratan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChapolimX View Post
      I hope they don't. The game was not designed that way. Some imperial measures are bound to game balance elements. The solution I would rather see is keep the imperial measures for reference and uniformity. To make the game more aproachable they can provide aproximate conversion values, tables, tools, etc...
      Why not use both, as Onix Path did in Storyteller 20 Years?
    1. darjr's Avatar
      darjr -
      There are fan translations out there that wouldn't have been before. I hope they take full advantage of the fan work.
    1. werecorpse's Avatar
      werecorpse -
      10ft is 3m.
      apply multiplier as necessary.
      done
    1. Tranquilis's Avatar
      Tranquilis -
      Say what!? When did 5e release? What century are we living in? Is there a high-level management position vacant at WotC/Hasbro I could just walk into?

      I apologize to the non-English speaking world on behalf of this bewildered English speaker.
    1. ChapolimX's Avatar
      ChapolimX -
      5 feet is almost precisely 1,5 meters, a conversion very easy to do on the fly. Divide for 10 and multiply by 3. For instance 30 feet is 9 meters.

      The problem I think I have is not really about game balance, so I take that back.

      The point is: measure conversions usually bring some issues that most of the time are dealed with rounding some numbers and I like too see the original to decide by myself if the approximation is worth or not in the circumstance.

      I'm not thinking only about feets and meters, but all measures that are used in the game and sometimes don't translate easily. There are rules like encumbrance and jump that rely on certain unities of measurement that when converted end with weird fractured numbers.

      For instance, if you use encumbrance rules you rely on the weight of the itens that are usually given a round number in pounds or a simple fraction like 1/2. If you want to make it easy for someone who are thinking in the ISU you end with numbers like 453,592 grams for 1 pound. You could round to 500 or half Kilogram, and decide that's good enough, but I'm not sure.

      There is also the miles, which convert to approximately 1,6 km, gallons aprox. 3.7 liters, etc...

      Perhaps I'm thinking about this because I had some issues with some conversions from Mutants & Masterminds 2e, but that game tend to deal with very big numbers where precision issues can make a diference. Anyway, it might be just a personal taste and perhaps I'm crazy, but I like to look at the numbers "as intended". I'd even manage to do a rationalization that if you're portraying a medieval world, it doesn't make sense to talk in very "scientific" measure unities, but that's just crazy, I know.

      So sorry, if my previous comment sounded harsh, but I still prefer conversions as an extra. By the way, Onyx Path did a good job on the V20 book where they kept the Imperial Measures, but offered a approximate ISU conversions side by side.

      PS. I having a problem with the reply feature. When I try to compose my comment in the box it doesn't accept empty spaces. That's why I'm not properly quoting comments.
    1. Lanliss's Avatar
      Lanliss -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChapolimX View Post
      5 feet is almost precisely 1,5 meters, a conversion very easy to do on the fly. Divide for 10 and multiply by 3. For instance 30 feet is 9 meters.

      The problem I think I have is not really about game balance, so I take that back.

      The point is: measure conversions usually bring some issues that most of the time are dealed with rounding some numbers and I like too see the original to decide by myself if the approximation is worth or not in the circumstance.

      I'm not thinking only about feets and meters, but all measures that are used in the game and sometimes don't translate easily. There are rules like encumbrance and jump that rely on certain unities of measurement that when converted end with weird fractured numbers.

      For instance, if you use encumbrance rules you rely on the weight of the itens that are usually given a round number in pounds or a simple fraction like 1/2. If you want to make it easy for someone who are thinking in the ISU you end with numbers like 453,592 grams for 1 pound. You could round to 500 or half Kilogram, and decide that's good enough, but I'm not sure.

      There is also the miles, which convert to approximately 1,6 km, gallons aprox. 3.7 liters, etc...

      Perhaps I'm thinking about this because I had some issues with some conversions from Mutants & Masterminds 2e, but that game tend to deal with very big numbers where precision issues can make a diference. Anyway, it might be just a personal taste and perhaps I'm crazy, but I like to look at the numbers "as intended". I'd even manage to do a rationalization that if you're portraying a medieval world, it doesn't make sense to talk in very "scientific" measure unities, but that's just crazy, I know.

      So sorry, if my previous comment sounded harsh, but I still prefer conversions as an extra. By the way, Onyx Path did a good job on the V20 book where they kept the Imperial Measures, but offered a approximate ISU conversions side by side.

      PS. I having a problem with the reply feature. When I try to compose my comment in the box it doesn't accept empty spaces. That's why I'm not properly quoting comments.
      Over on the D&DB forums, someone suggested simply changing any mention of "Feet" to meters. So a characters speed is 30 "Meters", they can jump a number of "Meters" equal to their strength score, and spells have a range of 60 "meters". Everything gets a lot bigger, but it is a simple enough conversion to make. Either that or make every square a meter, which actually goes in the opposite direction, but accomplishes pretty much the same goal of putting everything on a single measurement. The point is, as the poster on the other forums put it, that the unit is irrelevant. It could just as easily be "Units", "Cubits", or "Kumquats", so long as it is all kept constant.

      PS, you could just mention the posters you are quoting, using @ followed by their name.
    1. ChapolimX's Avatar
      ChapolimX -
      Over on the D&DB forums, someone suggested simply changing any mention of "Feet" to meters. So a characters speed is 30 "Meters", they can jump a number of "Meters" equal to their strength score, and spells have a range of 60 "meters". Everything gets a lot bigger, but it is a simple enough conversion to make. Either that or make every square a meter, which actually goes in the opposite direction, but accomplishes pretty much the same goal of putting everything on a single measurement. The point is, as the poster on the other forums put it, that the unit is irrelevant. It could just as easily be "Units", "Cubits", or "Kumquats", so long as it is all kept constant.
      @Lanliss

      Well, that's a worse idea than I thought. I would not like if they do anything like this.

      If that's the point I can't even understand why people care about this.

      I mean, if you don't care about the precise representation of units in terms of imaginary distance, weight or volume, why care about the then? They're just words after all. Can't you just do this on the fly? If the book says 2 pounds you pretend it said 2 Kilograms. That's fine if it suits your style. But why mess with the words in the book? Leave than be for those who want to deal with the extra hassle...
    1. jedijon's Avatar
      jedijon -
      Press release! And we answer some questions which...we asked ourselves.

      Why GF9?

      Well kids, let's pretend we asked ourselves why would we outsource to TONS of other outlets? That'd be kuh-razee, that's why!

      Oh, you wanted to know why outsource at all? Well, we don't know and we're not telling!

      Me; 'hey thanks WOTC!'
    1. Lanliss's Avatar
      Lanliss -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChapolimX View Post
      @Lanliss

      Well, that's a worse idea than I tought. I would not like if they do anything like this.

      If that's the point I can't even understand why people care about this.

      I mean, if you don't care about the precise representation of units in terms of imaginary distance, weight or volume, why care about the units? They're just words after all. Can't you just do it on the fly? If the book says 2 pounds, you pretend it said 2 Kilograms. That's fine if it suits your style. But why mess with the words in the book? Leave than be for those who want to deal with the extra hassle...
      it assists in tactical terms. Playing ToTM, someone familiar with the metric system will hear "3 meters" and have a general estimate of how far away that is, as opposed to needing an equation to tell them that "10 feet away" means "3 meters".

      On the other option, it assists in the same way, but with grid rather than ToTM. Seeing a grid, and knowing each square is 1 meter, so an enemy is 3 meters away from you, helps put a more solid picture in your head than "3 units", which is essentially all "feet" would mean to someone who uses metric.

      Lastly, if they are already messing with literally every other word in the book to translate it, I don't see why they cannot go for the extra effort of using a calculator to convert all mentions of the imperial measurement system to metric.
    1. ChapolimX's Avatar
      ChapolimX -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lanliss View Post
      it assists in tactical terms. Playing ToTM, someone familiar with the metric system will hear "3 meters" and have a general estimate of how far away that is, as opposed to needing an equation to tell them that "10 feet away" means "3 meters".
      That's not what I understood from your last post. I though you suggested to convert 10 feet into 10 meters. That way you're altering the perception about the reality of the game world. For instance, I doesn't make sense to say a medium humanoid dominates 5 meters of space in combat. So, I can't stand behind this. If you want to do that, you can easily change the words on the fly and that won't mess with any rules, like encumbrance, movement, travel, jump, etc...

      Now if you want more clarity, in order to help yours players envision the battlefield for instance, but still have some precision in the conversions, you can't say everything is just a unit after all! Here we come to my previous comment, you have to deal with weird broken numbers, rounded numbers, approximations, etc... And that's fine too. But in this way you have to face you're dealing with a balance between precision and easy of play. That balance is already built into the system and its imperial units. In order to convert this you may have to deal with some compromises in one aspect or the other.

      Quote Originally Posted by Lanliss View Post
      Lastly, if they are already messing with literally every other word in the book to translate it, I don't see why they cannot go for the extra effort of using a calculator to convert all mentions of the imperial measurement system to metric.
      Because there are other units in the game like ounces, gallons, pinch, miles, pounds, and the conversions are not straightforward game-wise. That said, I'm not against the translations including conversion tables or values as I said. I just like to have the original reference in front of me.
    1. Lanliss's Avatar
      Lanliss -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChapolimX View Post
      That's not what I understood from your last post. I though you suggested to convert 10 feet into 10 meters. That way you're altering the perception about the reality of the game world. For instance, I doesn't make sense to say a medium humanoid dominates 5 meters of space in combat. So, I can't stand behind this. If you want to do that, you can easily change the words on the fly and that won't mess with any rules, like encumbrance, movement, travel, jump, etc...

      Now if you want more clarity, in order to help yours players envision the battlefield for instance, but still have some precision in the conversions, you can't say everything is just a unit after all! Here we come to my previous comment, you have to deal with weird broken numbers, rounded numbers, approximations, etc... And that's fine too. But in this way you have to face you're dealing with a balance between precision and easy of play. That balance is already built into the system and its imperial units. In order to convert this you may have to deal with some compromises in one aspect or the other.



      Because there are other units in the game like ounces, gallons, pinch, miles, pounds, and the conversions are not straightforward game-wise. That said, I'm not against the translations including conversion tables or values as I said. I just like to have the original reference in front of me.
      For that part I was just repeating what a different person had said for an easy way to convert things, without all of the math. I can agree that the best way to handle it would be to have both, but I assume that would increase page count somewhat, and possibly make things somewhat confusing. They would either need a single page full of conversions that all mentions of a measurement could point to, or follow every measurement with a parenthetical like "Your speed is 30 feet(9 meters)". It almost makes it understandable that they have not done such a conversion yet.
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