If you want all the details, here you can find the presentation we did at the Translating Europe Forum, here our presskit, and here a summary of the goals and ethics of the project

But in a nutshell, it’s an online contest for game translators. You download an English game from the locjam.org website, you translate it and a jury of experts picks the best professional and amateur translators in each language (French/German/Italian/Japanese/Portuguese – Europe/Portuguese – Brazil/Russian/Spanish – Europe and Latin America)

The contest itself is online and you can participate from everywhere in the world, but there are also some optional local workshops for those who might be interested

The event is organized by the Localization Group of the IGDA and is completely free and non profit

For more details, keep an eye on the locjam.org website and the official Facebook group of the LocSIG


How do I participate?

Submit your completed translation using the form that will appear on the locjam.org website during the contest (currently scheduled for mid March). No registration is required.

Are teams allowed to join?

Sure, teams are perfectly fine, but be advised that some jurors might invite only one of you in their offices (the team leader?)

Who is forbidden from joining?

Anyone who had access to the translation kit before the start of the contest is automatically forbidden from joining, This means that, except from the jurors and the workshop hosts, everyone else is more than welcome to participate.

I work for one of the jurors, can I still join the contest?

As long as you had no access to the translation kit before it was public, you are free to participate. Remember that entries are rated anonymously and that we get in touch with the winners before making them public, in order to address all uncomfortable situations.

Should I participate as a Pro or as an Amateur?

Pro and amateur designate different levels of formality.

A pro candidate is expected to match the standards and conventions of a professional translation. If you know how to use them, we recommend to apply as a pro. If the world of translation is still pretty new to you, apply as an amateur.

In general, if you match one of the standard levels below, you should apply as a pro

➤ University Degree as a translator
➤ Any other Degree plus a two years of experience (~200.000 words translated or ~800.000 words reviewed) either professionally or as a volunteer
➤ Five years of translation experience (~500.000 words translated or ~2.000.000 words reviewed) either professionally or as a volunteer


Can I participate in multiple languages/categories/with multiple versions?

No, each candidate can submit only one file. Every file sent after that will be automatically deleted. Pick your very best language and do your very best translation, because competition will be fierce.


What format will you use this year?

LocJAM3 features a board-game, so it’s just one Word file (for the manual) and one PowerPoint file (for the board).

We are investigating how to support open document formats, but right now they seem problematic in terms of graphic layout.


How long will this take?

The manual is about 3000 words plus about a hundred words in the game board and cards. Translation and proofing should take about 12 hours for a professional, excluding testing.

Will I have any chance of winning if I join the Pro category?

Of course! If the translation happened all in one day, experience would be very important as it would allow to use time efficiently.

But the contest gives two week to do what amount to little more than one day of work. With a bit of trial and error, everyone will be able to provide a polished translation.

At that point, the competition will not be on making a viable translation (as everyone does that) but on the general feel, style and creativity. So don’t worry!

Why isn’t (language) part of the contest?

I’m afraid no one volunteered for it.

Remember that this contest is organized by a tiny volunteer association: we have some good contacts for the main languages but not for all.

If you know two (ideally three) reputable agencies that can act as a juror for your language, please get in touch and we can work together to add them to future editions.

If you don’t, or a professional localization industry for that language doesn’t exist yet, see if you can find some reputable groups like language universities or game developers associations. We might still manage to create a contest with slightly different rules.

In both cases, your help and support will be indispensable, as we are already punching way above our weight.

Alain is the founder of team GLOC. Want to read more stuff by him? You should probably try this blog’s Best of, which has a few dozen of his best articles ready to read. Or you could head over to IGDA – Localization SIG on Facebook, where he shares new stuff almost every week.

Image Credits: @wumi