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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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I originally posted this over in General Gaming, but it seems there's an abundance of good games in English for this to be a problem on the other side of the Pacific. So . . .



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 getting those kind of games played?
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Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
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When I lived in Sapporo I played games in Japanese, or stuck to simple games without much English text.

Now I live in Osaka I have a large enough gaming community that finding people who are fluent in English is not a problem, so I usually don't make any effort to support one language or the other. I still have a few language-independent games around for house-guests and the like, but since I tend to prefer text-heavy games I mostly play in English.
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Robert Bracey
United Kingdom
London
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Laissez K wrote:

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 getting those kind of games played?


This used to be standard in the English speaking world from about 94 to 99 because most German games did not come with translations. First time I played a version of Catan it was with photocopied sheets giving translations of the text on cards in English. However, since about 2000 the English market has been large enough that it is rare that a game does not come with English rules.
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Cardboard Hustle
United States
Sharonville
Ohio
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I have played some games in German and some games in French, neither are languages I know. The google translate app is typically all I need to get by, if the iconography or images are good that helps a lot. I would probably not attempt any games that didn't use a "Latin Alphabet" as my devices aren't set up to input those characters and I wouldn't even be able to say the words phonetically.

But in all honestly, there are so many games in English, more than I could ever play, that a Japanese language game would have to be legendary for me to go to the effort. And if the game is legendary, it will have been translated into English, or at least a latin alphabet language.
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Jean Claude Lebraud
France
Toulouse
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For me, a lot of effort as we mainly play games in french. So I translate the rules, obviously, and cards or other components when necessary.
This means I have to choose carefuly the games I translate to be sure they match our expectations.
Each time I give back the translated files to the owner of the game.
I never did it the other way (translate a french game to english).
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
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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.

If the game components are language-independent, then no problem. It's normally easy to find a translation of the rules, and it's normally only a minor inconvenience to print them out instead of using the supplied foreign language rulebook. (Hopefully the rules don't depend heavily on color since my printer is black and white...)

If the game components are language-dependent and require me to know a foreign language to play the game even after I know the rules, then I will usually not want to play it.
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Yannis
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If I am interested in the game I do not mind investing the time translating the rules by myself in order to play it. Thats usually the case for Japanese wargames made from K2 Publishing.
I attend a few of the Japanese wargaming groups in Tokyo and play these games regularly. Its actually funny that in many cases I will play an English wargame using Japanese terms all through the game. lol

Other than that, we have our own board game group here in Tokyo that meets every Sunday:
https://www.meetup.com/JIGG-Tokyo/

Although we play mostly in English, we do play Japanese games that people pick up at game market. In addition we have a surge of Japanese members lately and a lot of games are played directly in Japanese.
You are welcome to join us anytime!
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Jordan Draper
United States
Salt Lake City
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tsondaboy wrote:
If I am interested in the game I do not mind investing the time translating the rules by myself in order to play it. Thats usually the case for Japanese wargames made from K2 Publishing.
I attend a few of the Japanese wargaming groups in Tokyo and play these games regularly. Its actually funny that in many cases I will play an English wargame using Japanese terms all through the game. lol

Other than that, we have our own board game group here in Tokyo that meets every Sunday:
https://www.meetup.com/JIGG-Tokyo/

Although we play mostly in English, we do play Japanese games that people pick up at game market. In addition we have a surge of Japanese members lately and a lot of games are played directly in Japanese.
You are welcome to join us anytime!


Hi Yannis, I'm moving back to Tokyo at the end of this month and will definitely be looking for a game group. I'll check out your Meetup page! Do you usually meet at the same location or could I 'host' a game day at a coffee shop for example?

I'm also looking to make giant versions of my Tokyo Series (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jordandraper/tokyo-seri...) games on Kickstarter right now and play them at Ueno park, maybe you could help me get a group together to play them there?

Thanks!
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Yannis
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Hi Jordan, you are most welcome to join us anytime. We have several locations around Tokyo we hold events so check our meetup page for details. When you are back and have settled in, mail me and will fill you in with details regarding hosing an game day for us.

If you come to one of our game days you should be able to find a few people interested in playing at the park.
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Jordan Draper
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Will do Yannis, I should be settled in after the first week of February. Looking forward to it!
 
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