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Subject: How much effort do you put into playing "foreign" games? rss

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Reiji Kobayashi
Japan
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By "foreign", I am talking about games in a language at least one of the players isn't fluent in.

My gaming group - or rather, the people who come to the monthly meetup - is made entirely of Japanese people. We still play lots of games that the Japanese version hasn't come out in. Usually they bring a translated copy of the rules. Sometimes they even have summaries for each player. I'm not sure where they get them from, though BGG and Google Translate have been mentioned. I tend to take the lazy route, bringing games with simple rules I can explain on the spot and no text on the components.

So, how much effort do you put into playing those kind of games?
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J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
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It has been as high as 4 games out of 5 that I owned or played. Not a problem.
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Moray Johnson
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Wien
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I think the most effort I went to was making my own translation of San Guo Sha: Complete Edition with the help of rules summaries, explanations on various blogs and google translate.

Ended up making my own paste ups to put into the sleeved cards.
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Greg
United States
Seattle
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My group also has many native Japanese speakers. Honestly, I usually just avoid games with a lot of text heavy cards that are kept in a hand hidden from the table, like Agricola for example. I can't explain/translate every card and I don't feel like pasting up the whole game. Although in the past, I have just printed out a reference sheet with all the translations on it that they can refer to during the game.
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Joe Huber

Westborough
Massachusetts
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Laissez K wrote:
So, how much effort do you put into playing those kind of games?


Somewhat less often than I used to, due to the increased number of English editions of European games, but I don't have zero concern about buying a game in a foreign language if a translation is available, and little concern even without translation so long at the language uses the Latin alphabet. I will admit to being more cautious about buying, for example, a Japanese game with no translation - but that doesn't mean that it would necessarily stop me.

But - when I got in to the hobby, there _weren't_ English edition and if you were going to play the games you had to deal with it. While the groups I most often game with still have no issue, I've seen other groups - generally with more folks to join the hobby after English editions could be taken for granted - be less forgiving of a non-native game.

In general, there are enough native choices as to deal with any mixed group; there are simply some games that will be off the table.
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Athena Ex
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Laissez K wrote:
By "foreign", I am talking about games in a language at least one of the players isn't fluent in.

Language dependency is one of the reasons I have turned to solo gaming. Even though I enjoy playing 2p games with my boyfriend, his knowledge of English is not good enough to allow him to play text-heavy games. (Not that I am a great language connoisseur, but I can manage). So I arrange my purchases accordingly: I can play e.g. Twilight Struggle or Sekigahara with him, and if I decide that I want to try Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, it will be a game for my eyes only.
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Julien K
Japan
Kyoto
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I'd say that at least half of my games are a foreign edition, with more in recent years. I tend though to chose games where I do not need to do much efforts to make them playable. I hate paste-ups. May be because I regularly play in three different languages, so it's hard for me to make a game playable in a single language.
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EGG Head
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Games with lots and of important text probably wouldn’t buy or play unless English paste ups were available.
I purchase games that require minimal translation if I’m interested in them. Like Joe says we are a far cry from when the hobby first started and you had crib sheets for the very game and there were few language independent games. In the mean time thank you google translate but it still needs more help

Edit:I still have several Japanese games that need translations so if any one can help....
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Michael Lowrey
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Charlotte
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I have to agree with Joe said here — it’s so much better than it was 20 years ago (yes, I’m showing my age.) There was a time when many Euro (mainly German then) games didn’t have an English edition. At best, there was was some sort of bad English translation of the rules which often got things very wrong. I speak German, so I often was asked to translate rules on the fly at cons. Telling people they've been playing a game wrong for the past year isn’t fun…

Today, there’s much less of a need to go that extreme. There are more games out there and they have been properly translated into more languages.

How far would I go today? Translating something properly is time consuming. I’d only do it for a game I thought was outstanding, that I knew my game group would love, and for which I thought there was little to no chance that a version in my language was coming out ever. And I wouldn’t even try for text-heavy games.

I still fear that too many people who try this are doing it wrong. Google Translate is OK but far from perfect…
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Curt Carpenter
United States
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I used to say no problem, but as a Euro gamer I'm spoiled with more than enough games, so I find there are very few games that look so much better than what's available domestically that it's worth me importing them. Of course it depends on what style games you like, and what's available where you live.

That being said, I generally dislike games with text, regardless of language. I find game designs are just cleaner without it.
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Hilko Drude
Germany
Goettingen
Lower Saxony
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Language dependent games are always a problem when you play with groups of different language abilities (as I often do, my gamer circles are rather international - most of them do know German, but you can never be sure that everybody understands info exactly the same way). So I avoid them.
When it comes to reasonably long rules, I would look for someone who knows the original language (and I am studying Spanish at the moment to improve my ability to read rules). Those generally are no problem.
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Trevor Taylor
United Kingdom
FARINGDON
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i won't go so far as to paste-up or build reference sheets from games that are in a foreign language. But if the game is language independent, I'll happily print off a set of rules for it (and perhaps cheat sheets if the ones in the box need translation).. I don't want to end up with a crappy looking game
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Harry Wagstaff
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I regularly play with a group of French people who are all more or less fluent in English (I only speak/read very basic French). Although most of the games we play are in English, we also have a couple of French games, including some which are more text heavy (including Abyss) and some which require no reading at all during gameplay (Karuba). In general, I'm happy to learn the rules to such games, but I probably wouldn't want to play anything super text heavy (for example, we've just played Mansions of Madness and I definitely wouldn't want to play that in French).
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Rich Shipley
United States
Baltimore
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In the mid 90s, we played the "German games" coming out and they usually required some translations. Settlers just had a few language dependent parts, El Grande had all the cards, but the pictures were pretty good once you got how they worked. I bought the English cards when RGG offered them.

I probably only have a handful of non-English edition games left, and any language dependent components on them have been pasted up.
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