Translation Updates: Roblox Translate, Thai & Turkish, and more!

Hi everyone!

On behalf of the Translation team, I would like to share a few exciting updates to our translation products! To preface everything, we’d like to share numbers and results based on Roblox’s data:

  1. Over 50% of Roblox’s users speak languages other than English. :earth_africa: :earth_asia: :earth_americas:
  2. Translation can increase your engagement and retention, especially for new players! This means that with translation, players will play your experience for longer periods of time and are also more likely to return.
  3. Even though automatic translation accuracy is currently lower than manual translation, we have seen the same increases in engagement and retention! This means that the player experience is better with automatic translation vs no translation.
  4. Translation coverage is important: experiences that have over 80% of their strings translated will see the most effect.

Now, onto the product releases!

Roblox Translate

First of all, I’d like to announce the launch of Roblox Translate, our in-house machine translation solution! We heard all the complaints about the quality of machine translation in the past, and we wanted to make improvements. We wanted something that we could customize and something that could best integrate with Roblox workflows, so we built our own! And we’re so pleased to share that for Roblox experiences, Roblox Translate is more accurate than other machine translation solutions like AWS or Google Translate!

Of course, there is still a long way to go, but we are committed to innovating and investing in Roblox Translate. We invite our translator community to continue to share feedback so we can make Roblox better for our international users.

Thai & Turkish Support for Automatic Translation

Secondly, we would like to share that Roblox Translate now supports Thai and Turkish, in addition to the eleven languages we currently support (Chinese - simplified, Chinese - traditional, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish).

For experiences that have not opted out of Automatic Translation, you don’t need to do anything – Thai and Turkish will be automatically enabled for your experience!

For experiences that have opted out of Automatic Translation but would like to opt back in for Thai or Turkish, follow the steps below:

  1. Add Thai or Turkish as a supported language in your Localization settings on the website.
  2. Under the ‘Supported Languages’ section, turn on auto-translation for Thai or Turkish.

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And for experiences that would like to opt-out, you can always turn off Automatic Translation in your Localization settings on the website as well (see screenshot above). We do strongly recommend keeping Automatic Translation on, as the higher translation coverage you have, the better playtime and retention metrics you’ll see for your experience.

As always, we welcome Thai and Turkish translators to share any mistranslations or feedback with us so we can improve our translation support.

Automatic Translation Available for More Experiences

Lastly, we will be opening up Automatic Translation to more experiences! Last year, only the top 1k experiences had access. Earlier this year, we started expanding to the top 10k experiences. Now, we want to democratize access even more! The next milestone is to grant Automatic Translation access to the top 50k experiences.

For more details about Automatic Translation, please read our Docs Site article here!

We do recognize that Automatic Translation is not the solution for all experiences. Many experiences will still prefer to rely on manual translations, and we are fully supportive of that workflow! Our translator community is an integral part of internationalizing Roblox, and we will continue to make improvements to all our translator tools. But even for experiences that have a translator team, Automatic Translation can be a stop-gap to maintain overall translation coverage, before being reviewed or replaced by translators.

For devs looking to hire translators, we recommend checking out the Talent Hub and making a job listing. For translators looking for work, we recommend making a profile on the Talent Hub so devs can find you! :slight_smile:

Any Feedback?

Whew, that was a long read – thanks for making it through! If you have any questions, feedback, or concerns, please feel free to comment below!

Edited to add – we’re looking into forming a Roblox Translator community. If you’re interested, please DM me or comment below. To all our translators, all your feedback is super valuable, and we’d love to be in more regular communication with you! :slight_smile:

Best,
Caelestene and the Translation team

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This topic was automatically opened after 10 minutes.

How do you intend to respond to the feedback from translations on the quality of automatic translations and the bugs associated with overriding translations in some places, based on many reports from the DevForums.

Strong focus should be on ensuring best quality experience for current experiences, rather than expanding a system with some major bugs in place.

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So this is why I saw Thai language automatically translated. As a former Translator I think striving for accurate Native translations are worth to players who don’t speak Secondary Languages like English than machine translation; which can translate to bad meanings and even have bad words and confusing players.

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Very unoptimistic about this change as most other translators on the site are. As much as work towards enabling other communities to thrive is amazing, you guys always seem to neglect those who work hard to fill in the blanks that you leave out.

I appreciate you mentioning that manual localization is better, however it would’ve been great to see you guys push manual translators.

I very much hope that this is the case. I’ve seen some horrendous localization in the past using your solution and if the accuracy is being fixed now, then at least most users won’t suffer trying to play their favorite games.

You claim to “democratize” the feature but how about letting people opt out of it? I know many experiences that have been forced into automatic translations as part of being a top experience and it resulted in their games being essentially killed off because automated translations were that bad. When literally begging the team to opt out of this, the team would give a “oops guess you’ll have to deal with that” response.

While there’s so much cool things that you guys do, you end up neglecting a huge part of the localization portion of the site that gets more and more fed up with how things are handled here. There are bugs on the translator portal that have been persisting for years. We deal with so much spam coming from users who simply don’t understand what a button does with no way of combating it. PLEASE divert some of your resources to make sure that manual localization on the site isn’t this much of a chore.

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I’m commenting as a Turkish translator, the main basis of this update is fine but some words are translated really nonsense. When this is the case, I think the translators have to get involved, but we can understand the basics of the experiences.

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Every case I’ve experienced, putting the original text through Google Translate gives a more accurate result. I almost wish there was an option to just use Google Translate instead.

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It’s great that you added this new feature. Though as most people know, translation does rely on context. This is why translators doing this manually is 10x more accurate. Good job though I guess.

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That strongly depends on the language. I can very much confirm that Google Translate is still very much terrible for English <-> Polish translations.

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Automatic translation can be turned off by the developer.

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This is very cool! However, knowing how specifically you’ve determined your system is more accurate would make it more appealing to use. What benchmarks are you using to compare it to services like AWS or Google Translate? How does the accuracy vary across genres or experiences that have more text/conversation than average (like story games)? How does it vary across languages? Other details regarding how it was made would also be interesting to know. Was it trained on top of a pre-existing language model or was it built from scratch?

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Yes but Roblox does an automatic enrollment for experiences that are past a certain threshold that you can’t disable for 30 days as part of their “automatic localization beta”.

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There is lots of players that speak Arabic so why not add it?

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That’s an awesome update! But one thing we can all agree with is that we can’t trust the System 100% - Alot of words and sentences just like alot of people are replying with are always being translated to something non-sense. At those cases an actual Person would be needed to manage the translations for their games. Perhaps, Could we maybe get an answer about how are translations processed and managed by using this? It would help us alot on understanding about how it works and on how we could (maybe) help trying making it more accurate by giving more feedback and suggestions.

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I used to have the mentality that “human vs machine translators” was an eternal rivalry, but instead of fighting against machine translations - why not work with them? It is clear that Roblox is going to continue pushing this feature, and if the statistics say that player retention rates improve even with automatic translations, then the statistics don’t lie, and that is just more incentive for this to be pushed. We + the Roblox translation team knows that machine translations are not going to be as accurate as human translations. Phrases can have literal, as well as implied meanings by means of context, culture, etc. This is where human translators come in. And not just the basic “verb vs noun”, developers should be able to intervene in those cases. The more feedback Roblox collects, the more trust automatic translations can build. Has it been considered to perhaps host group sessions or surveys to collect feedback? (Preferably the former)

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I think everyone can agree that supporting translators is extremely important. What do you propose Roblox do to better support and push manual translators? Why does it need to be a constant battle between automated vs manual translations?

Automated translations are invaluable to the vast majority of games. Most cannot afford to commission translations for one language, let alone dozens. This is a significant step in making Roblox more accessible to wider audiences and allows developers to incrementally add manual translations to their experience.

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Great update, delighted to see that Roblox actually cares about its translation community.

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^^^^

The only reason a lot of translators get expensive is because of the hassle that Roblox makes it to work on translations in the first place. I fully believe that prices would go down if the portal wouldn’t be such a buggy mess in the first place.

I believe that Roblox can do a good job with automation but as a professional I cannot recommend knowing full well that there are better solutions out there at many different price points that can be catered per individual case.

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I really hope this actually causes roblox to support more languages on the website itself. For example: I have some friends that actually suffer with learning english but are fluent in polish and they play roblox which is kinda troublesome for them.

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This is great, but as is right now, translation can be nearly irreversibly broken for a game by previously misconfigured automatic string capture - is there any chance that there will ever be a way to remove all previous machine translation/captured strings at once from a game at once?

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