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Dragon Oath Official Developer Blog

Developers of ChangYou's Dragon Oath, the F2P True Martial Arts MMORPG, write about Dragon Oath and the gaming industry. We'll also bring you insights about MMORPGs made in China and published in the West. Share your thoughts with us!

Author: changyou

Dragon Or Guy In A Hat?: The Challenges of Localization

Posted by changyou Tuesday April 27 2010 at 4:17PM
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Leaping Dragon, one of the popular bosses from Dragon Oath, is not a dragon. He is, instead, a warrior with a burning red aura and a wide-brimmed hat. In Chinese, his honorary title of "dragon" shows his fierceness and courage. In English, it just confuses players who are expecting to fight a large fire-breathing lizard.

Leaping Dragon = A Guy in a Hat <---- "Leaping Dragon"

In our next major update, which will be released near the beginning of June, his name will be changed to Raging Demon. This localization change retains the original sense of ferocity and animalistic aggression, while being more relatable to English speakers. This is only one of many localization changes planned for the June update.

A lot of free-to-play MMORPGs have their roots in foreign countries such as China, and are then localized for a Western audience. Many of these MMORPGs have the same basic structure, so good localization - including fluent English text, well-written quests, and an effort to understand the Western cultural mindset - can make all the difference. If you have limited resources for revision, good localization is your best bet to stand out from the crowd.

Dragon Oath has not always been a model of good localization. In fact, some of our early fans were English speakers who were entertained by the very flawed, often silly "Chinglish" of the game's text. I collected the screenshots our production team has been hoarding, which they were thinking of sending to one of those humorous "Engrish" sites. Instead, I've included a couple here for your amusement.

System Message in Chinglish

This System Message has been translated into actual English, but this screenshot remains as a fond memory. Oh, Sohu Fox, you mean well... but your intentions are definitely better than your vocabulary.

Then there's this little gem. In case anyone is wondering, the Flower Fairy is a wedding attendant, not a pixie. It remains to be seen whether Flower Fairy will be part of the next wave of localization changes. I actually think her broken English is sort of charming, but maybe I'm just giving her a break because she's cute.


In the future, we will continue our efforts to improve the translation and localization of Dragon Oath. We have dozens of changes planned already to quest dialogue, pet names, and much more. But in tribute to the old days, feel free to post a link to your favorite bit of Dragon Oath Chinglish. As they stand, they may not be shining examples of how to Westernize a game - but damn, they're funny.


- Lucy Song,

Community Manager

Coldrain_13 writes:

hahahahahahahhahaha, at least you guys can poke fun of your mistakes. I think that might've been better English than what I could produce when stoned.


*tips hat to the guys and ladies of DO*

Tue Apr 27 2010 5:13PM Report
Mystik86 writes:

You guys should probably take a look at how terrible your game is as well. Next please.

Wed Apr 28 2010 9:48PM Report writes:
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