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February 24, 2020
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Revealed: The Most Demanded Languages For Game Localization (H1 2019)

by Dolly Dai on 07/17/19 11:05:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
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This post was originally published in the LocalizeDirect blog

LocalizeDirect H1 2019 localization data revealed 10 the most popular languages in game localization. Most frequently, game developers translated games into German, European French, European Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Simplified and Traditional ChineseJapanese, and Korean.

These 10 languages accounted for over 80% of the overall word count, from a pool of 44 languages. Proofreading and LQA services were excluded from the report.

Game Localization Languages For H1 2019

The pie chart illustrates the distribution of the most popular languages for game localization at LocalizeDirect in terms of the word count. In total, the data pool includes 44 languages.

Due to gamers high purchasing power, commonly, FIGS (French, Italian, German, Spanish)were integral to game localization, accounting for around 40-45% of the total word count. However, this list is now supplemented with Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese, and Russian that creates an increased potential reach of more than 1.2 billion people.

Traditional and Simplified Chinese had an almost equal share and together accounted for more than 10%, covering the markets of China, Hong Kong, and Chinese-speaking gamers in Malaysia and Singapore.

Swedish, Polish, Turkish, Dutch, Latin American Spanish, Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), European Portuguese, Danish, Norwegian, and Arabic altogether supplied 15% of the translation pool.

There is an ever-growing demand on “uncommon” languages, with Turkish, Malay, and Hindi becoming the fastest-growing languages in the past three years, followed by Thai and Polish.


10 Fastest Growing Languages In Game Localization

The chart displays the 10 fastest growing languages in the LocalizeDirect localization portfolio in three years, from 2016 to 2018. Taiwanese Chinese (zhTW) is not included as it was only added to our language pool in 2018.


Emerging markets with a high number of gamers are extremely attractive for developers and publishers whose games employed the F2P model. Not to mention gaming platforms like Steam where over 70% of players speak English, Simplified Chinese or Russian.

More about trends in-game localization can be found in LocalizeDirect’s 2018 research.

So did you support all these 10 languages?  Anything interesting I forgot to mention? 

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