Over the last couple years, we have been working hard on a full suite of tools geared towards automatically sourcing and translating content in addition to existing manual translations. We have undertaken these efforts not only to make localization support extremely easy for our developer community, but also to help further Roblox’s international vision towards reaching & unifying audiences around the world!
So, to that end, in the coming week, we will be launching automatic translation support for games across the platform as a default experience. This means that, on a rolling basis, we will be enabling translation support for games in 8 languages on behalf of our developers.
Automatic Translation Test Results: Playtime Improvements
In order to validate that enabling translation support by default was the right move for our community, we ran a platform-wide test to see the impact that automatic translations have on our games. We tested on hundreds of games across multiple languages and, after several months of rigorous testing, we saw a positive impact on both engagement and retention, especially for new players!
We are extremely happy with these results and will begin rolling this out to games. It is a huge step forward in our Roblox vision of creating a global platform that unifies audiences around the world with content that will resonate with players that come from different language backgrounds and demographics!
What languages are we enabling?
- We will be moving forward with enabling automatic translations for Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Italian and Russian.
- At the end of this test, we did not have enough data in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese or Indonesian to move forward yet so we are still testing.
- Stay tuned for more updates on these languages and others in the future!
How will I know if this has been enabled in my game?
- When this is enabled for your game, we will be turning on the following:
- Automatic Text Capture setting to ON
- Use Translated Content setting to ON
- Adding all 8 languages (if not added already) and Automatic Translation setting to ON for everyone
- Automatic Translation quota will begin to be used
What content will be automatically translated?
- We will only be translating in-game string content.
Will this impact any of my manually added translations?
- No! Automatic translations will always be additive so we will never override any human translations that you have in place and will only translate any untranslated entries.
How does this impact translators?
Translators are, and will always be, a valuable part of our Roblox ecosystem. Their ability to provide contextual translations often yields higher quality results than an automated system. That being said, we know that not every developer has the luxury of outsourcing and paying translators for their services. To that end, we want to provide built-in product functionality so all developers can reach global players. If you are a developer that has the ability to hire a translator for your game, we encourage you to continue to do so. We previously built features specifically for human translator workflows (Web Translator Portal, translator contribution reports, etc) and will continue to keep them in mind as we develop our translation services going forward.
Our team is working hard to continue to push the needle on translation technology. We are currently focused on initiatives to improve translation quality and optimize our automatic scraping processes. Additionally, we want to continuously add more languages to support across the platform and expand that support beyond games to other forms of content.
We would like to thank all of you for joining us in these efforts and are looking forward to sharing more on this front in the future!