Games developers get translation plug-in for Unity

Transfluent charges 6 to 18 cents per word for translations farmed out to its 20,000-strong network

Games developers using Unity Technologies' cross-platform tools can now access a translation plug-in in beta that could expand their products' geographical reach.

Helsinki-based Transfluent offers a service for apps, social networking sites and websites that distributes translation work to a network of about 20,000 people who together can translate content into 80 languages. The company already has tools for translating iOS and Android apps, but is now extending those to the Unity environment.

"We noticed that a lot of our clients had started using Unity, so we decided to build a plug-in for it, which can be used to translate all Unity apps," said Jani Penttinen, founder and CEO of Transfluent.

A video demo of the plug-in shows how users can pick and search for strings they want to translate, select the language they want to translate to, and then send it off for translation.

App development tools are increasingly being linked with translation capabilities, as the growing popularity of smartphones around the world creates new markets for apps. Earlier this year Google also launched a professional translation service as part of its developer console.

"If you look at successful developers, like Supercell, they are all putting out their games in multiple languages, and you can see apps reaching top-tens all over the world. That shows if an app is popular in one country it is easy to make it a success in other countries, as well," Penttinen said.

Transfluent charges a per-word rate for translation, with the cost dependent on the quality level the developer chooses. The basic price for professional translations is US$0.18 per word, and the cost for the same translation done by a student is $0.06 per word. The time it takes for a translation to be done depends on the amount of content involved and the language pair, according to Penttinen. Short texts can be returned within minutes while a larger project can take a few hours, he said.

The Unity plug-in is in beta testing, and developers who want to join the program can sign up on Transfluent's website. The company will demonstrate the service at Unity's Unite user conference, which takes place next week in Vancouver. On Wednesday, Unity's website stated that there were still a few tickets left to the event.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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