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D&D 5E WotC Takes Control of D&D Translations

WotC has just announced that it is taking direct control of French, Italian, German, and Spanish versions of its D&D books (which previously were licensed to third parties).

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They’ll also be looking for new printers outside the US and China, and pricing books more equally in non-US markets.

Localised social media accounts are being launched as well as localised pages on the D&D website.

The first products will be the Essentials Kit in September, along with the three core rulebooks.

The initial focus will be Europe and Latin America.

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

It is not about the number of non-English speakers but the number of non-English-speaker players who are willing to spend money. It happens with the online videogames.
 

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MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
It is not about the number of non-English speakers but the number of non-English-speaker players who are willing to spend money. It happens with the online videogames.
And by Latin America they likely mean Argentina and Brazil. The only two countries with a big enough player base in the region.
 

Now I have got a new question, and not totally off-topic.

WotC is going to publish their books into another languanges.... and what about the game-live shows for no-English speakers? And the producers could suggest to use a new-brand setting, something like Exandria by Critical Role. Maybe WotC could start a new contest about new settings, like that winned by Eberron, but by Asian creators.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Now I have got a new question, and not totally off-topic.

WotC is going to publish their books into another languanges.... and what about the game-live shows for no-English speakers? And the producers could suggest to use a new-brand setting, something like Exandria by Critical Role. Maybe WotC could start a new contest about new settings, like that winned by Eberron, but by Asian creators.
Critical Role isn't by design, it was a happy coincidence. As for making game-live shows in other languages, feel free to start your own?
 

But WotC is producing game-live shows. Why not in another languages? But maybe these markets could have got different tastes. For example the Spanish fandom would rather some touchs of comedy, but without falling in the parody. Italian publishers have showed a special style. (Have you seen their crownfunded projects?). Frenchs could use their own popular folklore as source of inspiration, for example. Germans could add some more Grimm touch. Japanese market could have special peculiarities (for example former or aspirant idols roleplaying "maho-shojo"(magical girls). In China the screen would show a virtual scenery/tabletop most of the time. (Maybe I am wrong).

Not only the game-shows. New channels in youtube for the different languages, for example tutorials videos.
 


overgeeked

B/X Known World
IMHO when we think of "New edition of D&D" we should start thinking more along the lines of the a model Chaosium followed for CoC with their 1st to 6th editions: More of a gradual update and cleanup once the errata of a particular edition got to be too much for the player base, and not a wholesale system redesign that has been the WOTC norm until now.
The differences between Call of Cthulhu 1E-6E and 7E are wildly overblown. They’re not even as drastic as the differences between D&D 3.0 to 3.5. You multiply your stats by 5 as the baseline. That’s the main difference.
 
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Uta-napishti

Explorer
The game has to put it simply a different customer base as D&D. In Germany D&D has often the reputation as the gonzo beer and pretzel game that you play when you take a break from more deep and detailed TDE campaigns.
I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just noting you're advancing the same "but these products are so different" argument that every entrenched product makes vs simpler to use competitor. Note sure if pretzels keep you from telling a rich, detailed story -- probably depends on the amount of the beer that you drink with them :p
 

Mirtek

Hero
This seems highly positive for D&D, I mean we've had a lot of good news lately but a corporation deciding to take areas outside the English speaking world seriously is pretty much always a good sign for the relevant product. Also make it a lot easier to roll out a 6E if they don't have to ship it all from the US/China just sayin.
I am more reserved. Last time WotC did this they ended up killing all translated D&D for several years.
 

Mirtek

Hero
Posters from/in Germany, do you think this will pose a significant challenge to Das Schwarze Auge, or is that too entrenched as the fantasy RPG of choice to make a difference?
If I had to bet I would put my money on DSA. It's way too entrechned since decades. Somehow it just resonates with some primal german way of thinking I guess. I must say if I didn't hate the rules so badly, many of it's setting things (which are almost like an antithesis to what's usually asked for from a setting here on this board for example) do indeed appeal to me too.
 

Mirtek

Hero
Yes, and you heard that right, Ulisses Spiele, publisher of DSA, had been the translator for D&D books in Germany, talk about business incentives at cross purposes!
The ironic thing here is that DSA was created by the guy who was charged with the very fist german translation of D&D back in the 80s. And yes, there are way too many "similiarities" in certain aspects of both comes to be mere coincidences. Then DSA become the big fish in the small pond and D&D never got past it in Germany
 

Zehnseiter

Villager
I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just noting you're advancing the same "but these products are so different" argument that every entrenched product makes vs simpler to use competitor. Note sure if pretzels keep you from telling a rich, detailed story -- probably depends on the amount of the beer that you drink with them :p
I probably played more D&D over the years then I played TDE. But still TDE has that siren song despite me having problems with a lot of it rules.
I skipped the whole last edition of TDE (4E) and instead played D&D 3E and 4E. As soon as D&D 5e came out and I fund it disappointing I was immediately back to well buying tons of TDE 5E books. I needed to feel at home I guess....

Its such a decades long love/hate relationship with that game. D&D can't really replace that. An I suspect a lot of Germans will feel something similar.

Just look at how much D&D 5e products depends and thrives on what the other edition before build. Most of its those are in the end just remakes of famous adventures and settings. TDE has that "home advantage" going on in spades as well.

And good luck with penetrating the RPG parallel culture that this game has going on. Even TDE isn't able to manage this....:ROFLMAO:
 
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mhd

Explorer
Its such a decades long love/hate relationship with that game. D&D can't really replace that. An I suspect a lot of Germans will feel something similar.

My experience pretty much mirrors yours. I became disenchanted with TDE around that time -- I had GURPS, so the 4th edition seemed badly designed and veered from the zero-to-hero assumption of my formative years, and the background went Dark Lord all of a sudden. And this coincided with 3E coming out, and thus me finally finding a D&D I liked.
But it still manages to pull me in. Mostly because it's sufficently different from most other games.

And good luck with penetrating the RPG parallel culture that this game has going on. Even TDE isn't able to manage this....:ROFLMAO:
Oh boy, yeah. I knew very few people who played this, but almost all of them played it exclusively. Even more so than the hardcore TDE followers. But the Russian Dolls nest further, if you've ever met a "Magira" player, who consider Midgard to be new-fangled splitters.

The ironic thing here is that DSA was created by the guy who was charged with the very fist german translation of D&D back in the 80s. And yes, there are way too many "similiarities" in certain aspects of both comes to be mere coincidences.
Wasn't the translation of Tunnels & Trolls ("Schwerer & Dämonen") done before that? Where there are a lot more direct parallels to TDE, 1st edition (armor as DR, weird spell names, increasing attributes each level etc.).

But yeah, the RPG scene was tiny back then, and translators were rare -- the Fanpro people participated in quite a lot, and did layout for a few others (e.g. the German edition of HârnMaster).

Since 3E came out, one or two persons in my group tended to have the German PHB, maybe some other book, too. But I personally mostly bought the the originals: They came out earlier, they came out at all, there was nothing lost in translation, and they were cheaper (German book price fixing be damned).

Lately that seems to have changed. As opposed to the 3E people, Ulissess seems to be able to keep up with both 5E and the even more prolific Paizo. I hope that this new turn is a change in name only and that it's still the same people working at the same pace afterwards. Probably not for me personally, but it's good for the hobby.
 

Zehnseiter

Villager
Since 3E came out, one or two persons in my group tended to have the German PHB, maybe some other book, too. But I personally mostly bought the the originals: They came out earlier, they came out at all, there was nothing lost in translation, and they were cheaper (German book price fixing be damned).

Lately that seems to have changed. As opposed to the 3E people, Ulissess seems to be able to keep up with both 5E and the even more prolific Paizo. I hope that this new turn is a change in name only and that it's still the same people working at the same pace afterwards. Probably not for me personally, but it's good for the hobby.

Yes Ulisses kept up with the translations. And that is something that never happened before for D&D in German language.

AD&DII, 3E, 4E all failed there. Often badly. I always needed to buy D&D in English. And so the news that now WotC wants to translate themselves doesn't feel me with a lot of confidence that this comfortable situation remains so.

At the very least I hope that they hire translators that are familiar with D&D in German language or results will be...not nice. We already have some issues with WotC forcing some English names for stuff in the translated books that had German names for decades.
 

We have to remember German languange has got one of the hardest grammatics from Europe. It is not easy to be translated. In the rest of European languanges the plural is adding an S or a special decliantion, but German hasn't a frozen rules about it, at all. And the gramatical cases, like the Latin.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'm not sure about that, at least when you put up things like an Italian language translation against, say, a potential Japanese translation.

For instance, according to Wikipedia, there are approximately 85 million Italian speakers worldwide, whereas the number of people who speak Japanese is estimated to be 128 million. Likewise, there's no question that medieval fantasy is familiar to people in Japan as well if the sheer number of fantasy anime is anything to go by. And while there's some month-to-month volatility, disposable income in Japan is comparable to Italy as well:

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So in that case, a Japanese translation would make just as much sense, if not more, than an Italian translation, and yet the latter has been announced and the former hasn't.

Same alphabet and easier to translate as it's related to Spanish.
 

mhd

Explorer
At the very least I hope that they hire translators that are familiar with D&D in German language or results will be...not nice. We already have some issues with WotC forcing some English names for stuff in the translated books that had German names for decades.
I got someone in my Pathfinder group who helped with the Paizo translations, I think they are "crowd-sourcing" that a bit with a publicly availably glossary for all the background and rules terms.

Honestly, I don't think the quality of the translations are in danger. There are plenty of translators available, and even if they're completely unfamiliar with the topic, there's plenty of prior art to refer to. And it's not unlikely that the same people will do the translation anyway. So I'm not afraid that we'll get a "Torch" => "Taschenlampe" situation.

As long as they keep up with the financial and project management side, i.e. order those translations in the first place.

But as I was out of the loop regarding German D&D terms, what were some of the changes? Don't tell me we don't have "Grabunholde" & "Grottenschrate" anymore ;)
 

Can I say "otaku"? In my zone this words lacks a pejorative term. And we use "friki" as a term for fandboys, altought this word is ethimologically linked with "freak". (And also we say "¡Eres un monstruo!" ( = you are a monster) as a compliment for somebody who is very good in some action.

I guess the Japanese market could be a true gold-mine. If they find the right keys D&D could be very popular in Asian, and the manga could be a fabulous hook to promote the franchise in the Western market, because those are replacing the classic superheroes comics. Of course we could bet WotC has tought about a reboot of Kara-Tur (explained by the events of the Sundering) but Japanese, Korean and Chinese haven't got identical tastes nor points of view. Some line could be wellcome in Japan but not in Korea or China (this has got strict rules about censorship, for example showing corspses and some undead monsters). A bad step and complains about "cultural apropiation". An option could be a setting with a "chop-suey" culture, but this could be too risky and nobody would be happy with the idea. It is like opening restaurants in different places, people from a neighbour will aks some recipes, but others from other city will want other plates.



 

Zehnseiter

Villager
I got someone in my Pathfinder group who helped with the Paizo translations, I think they are "crowd-sourcing" that a bit with a publicly availably glossary for all the background and rules terms.

Honestly, I don't think the quality of the translations are in danger. There are plenty of translators available, and even if they're completely unfamiliar with the topic, there's plenty of prior art to refer to. And it's not unlikely that the same people will do the translation anyway. So I'm not afraid that we'll get a "Torch" => "Taschenlampe" situation.

As long as they keep up with the financial and project management side, i.e. order those translations in the first place.

But as I was out of the loop regarding German D&D terms, what were some of the changes? Don't tell me we don't have "Grabunholde" & "Grottenschrate" anymore ;)

I have not much fear about the rules terms as much of the work is already done there. At first WotC just needs to do reprints. It fear more about them not the keeping pace with translating new english stuff.

Also obvious mistakes like the famous Taschenlampe won't happen. It is more a fear of more "denglish". Stuff like having "Waterdeep" used in the books instead of the old German "Tiefwasser" because WotC thinks that the former is more well known and marketable.

Just look how messed up the titles of the PHB, DMG and MM of the German versions are. The look dumb and moronic because someone at WotC thinks that "Monster Manual" is a more important title for German buyers then "Monsterhandbuch"

This bock is the "D&D Monsterhandbuch" A perfectly fine German title for the book. Instead we got that Frankenstein like "D&D Monster Manual - Monsterhandbuch Deutsche Ausgabe"

Am very sure that Ulisses didn't choose that word salad. After all I don't see it at their Pathfinder I + II translations. Instead I suspect there is some strange WotC corporate branding involved.
 
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