Even though I regularly write news, previews, specials, guides and columns for German readers about Guild Wars 2, I have to make a confession today: I’ve actually been playing GW2 with English voice overs for ten years – both in terms of the soundtrack and the texts . On the one hand, there is simply the need to experience stories in their original language (this has also long been the case for books, series and films). On the other hand, Arenanet’s MMORPG also makes it easy for me: The German version of Guild Wars 2 is just grits, sorry. I also reveal why exactly I advise against it.
Guild Wars 2 and the translation: Death Days and Crowing Cranes
I’m not quite sure if the problem has always been that bad, but since the release of End of Dragons at the latest, I’ve realized that no player should actually trust the translation. Just a few spontaneous examples so you know what I mean:
- Cranes are originally called “Crane”. This word can be translated into German as crane or crane. Guess what, feathered, walks through the site and doesn’t lift bags of cement onto scaffolding. That’s right, the birds are called “crane” in the German version.
- If you want to look up Chapter 14 of the End of Dragons story in the hero chronicle again, you might be puzzled: A character supposedly needs a moment to process another person’s “tag”? No joke: Here DEATH was confused with DAY – accordingly, death should actually stand here. This reveals the English version.
- A recent example also has me rolling my eyes: The “Mistlock Sanctuary Key (2 weeks)” only lasts for a limited time, as the name suggests. Stupid only if then they Description of temporary item claims that the item allows “permanent access”. In the English version, of course, it says “temporary”, which is very easy to translate as temporary. You can currently get the actually practical item for free as a customer of Amazon Prime – just follow the link and you can try out the VIP zone!
Not every translation error is terrible
I don’t want to pick on the many wrong gender designations, after all, German is really more complicated than English in this respect. And puns that only work in English, that’s also a construction site in its own right, but it’s really whining at a high level –“Final ammunition” for engineers can be translated in the original as both the last round and the last cartridge, i.e. the “final round”. But who will get one Overview of such translation errors will be amazed when he sees the large list on the GW2 wiki. It even happens sometimes that a part of the dialogue was not translated at all.
The damn elite specs in German
I also ate especially the translations for the elite specializations of each class. The developers have often chosen crisp and cool terms for the original names, such as Vindicator, Willbender, Mechanist. My heart bleeds because it becomes “law seeker”, “perverter of will” and “mech driver”. Examples where I really think to myself: Did you really have to translate that? And especially with such a long word? Why not Avenger, Mindbender, and just Mechanist?
I understand even better that the English word “Mirage” for the Mesmer spec becomes Illusionist in German – Fata Morgana, Luftspiegelung and Mirage are common translations but would hardly work as an elite spec. Ditto for the awkward term inciter for “firebrand” guards. It’s simply about scholars shaking up the status quo with their writings. The translation fits accordingly.
Ultimately, I am most concerned with the previously mentioned misstatements that are not due to difficult translations. I don’t feel like cranes, deadly days, and permanent access that’s actually temporary. Have you also seen examples in the game that are not just clumsy translations, but 100% incorrect statements? Write us in the comments!