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Students make the first move in translating board game instructions

Medical Pharmaceutical Translations • Feb 14, 2020 12:00:00 AM

Updated: Feb 15, 2020

Some translation jobs are fun - and also surprisingly complicated. This was the case for a project proposed by Washington State-based nonprofit Tri-City Area Gaming (TAG) . TAG wanted to translate board game instructions into several foreign languages spoken in the local community, so that more people could participate in the games.

Because board game instructions can be elaborate or just confusingly worded, the organization realized they needed to create simplified versions in English before attempting to translate them into other languages. They had a great idea: calling upon students at Washington State University for help.

The project has given students an opportunity to help their community, sometimes in a very personal way (one interviewee shares that his parents are Spanish-speakers). And it’s also taught them something about quality translation: it can involve several steps.

But it wasn’t all work and no play. As you might imagine, one of the perks of simplifying board game instructions is that you have to test them out to see if they really are easy to follow!

Read on to learn more about TAG’s board game instructions project.

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