I've been going through steam discovery queues tonight... I know sounds crazy but during the last sale I've seen a few interesting titles and wanted to continue a bit, see if there's anything else that would interest me... and I've noticed something that, well, surprised me a bit, because I've always been told something like that will never happen.

Number of games on Steam that have "English not supported" is apparently rising.

We're not talking about just very complex story-heavy Chinese role-play/historical multi-genre AA titles... Even small puzzles that don't really need much translating are being published with no English support.

As someone who played a lot of Chinese cartridges for NES back in 1996, it's really hard to know what mode you're choosing, let alone to use settings window in a language you don't know. And the irony of what I said is not lost to me, as English is NOT my native language.

But somehow I always found English to be "the language of PC games", and I've heard multiple times in the past you can't even release the game on Steam if it doesn't have English... I mean it's a US company after all... but apparently you can, and people/companies do. And they sell.

And some of them look really good, like fresh and different, but I can't grasp what's happening in those screenshots (imagine a manager, or a roleplay game where you have no idea what an entire sheet is saying), so buying them is not a smart idea at the moment.

So yeah, what was my point?

More and more Chinese games that have no English support. Some look good/interesting. How can we play them with no English translation? Anyone else noticed this?

8 months ago

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This is going to be a more common issue as the most common language used on steam is simplified Chinese.

https://www.pcgamer.com/chinese-is-now-steams-most-popular-language-according-to-its-hardware-survey/

8 months ago
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climbing a significant 14.4 percent in the last month.

Umm, what?

8 months ago
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That's an insane increase. If that happens again next month and the following months the English population on Steam will be quickly overrun by Chinese bots.

8 months ago
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Based on those stats, there will be no English-speaking users on Steam by the end of the year :D
Where shall we run to...

8 months ago
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We shall have to seek out a new digital distribution platform.

Or learn Chinese. Praise Gaben xiānshēng!

8 months ago
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epic ?

8 months ago
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The steam surveys only survey a sample of the users every month. This has led to blatantly weird things, such as the percentage of Win 10 users climbing significantly one month and falling by a similar percentage the next.
I suspect something similar went on, and they sampled a cross-section of users that mainly speak Chinese.

Simplified Chinese is now the language of choice for 37.8 percent of Steam users who participated in the survey

8 months ago
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Ugh, I hate "statistics" like this. Thank you for sharing this.

8 months ago
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The question is, do they mean percent (which wouldn't be all too much) or percent points (which indeed would be insane).

8 months ago
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Asian internet cafe PCs were able to fill out the survey multiple times, creating duplicate entries and skewing the results.

Maybe its this as this is what caused a large spike previously when they tried to get similar data in the past. Maybe the Chinese players are jumping on the bandwagon and playing PUBG uncensored on steam. Either way it seems an extreme spike in just one month.

8 months ago
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All that are able to speak/write/read chinese can play them without a problem.
If they sell enough that way... ok.

No buy from me because i can't read a word in chinese ;o)

8 months ago
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If you feel interested someday, GuJian3 would be one good choice to get started! It has English language support and the translation is pretty impressive.

8 months ago
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it might sound cruel, but that's what you get for diversity support. at some point minority is not a minority anymore and then you become the minority. will the new majority care about the diversity and inclusion? it's not up to you to decide anymore. ni hao.

8 months ago
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This has nothing to do with diversity/inclusion

It's like the movie industry - while Hollywood made everything in English, there were great movies being made all over the world. Some got worldwide releases, others didn't. Some got translations, others didn't.
Likewise, books have been written in every language, and they don't all get translated.

English speakers are very fortunate that the majority of media is in English, or gets translated to English. Now 'we' get to experience what it's like for the 4/5ths of the world that doesn't speak English.

8 months ago
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Precisely.

8 months ago
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Inb4 Tencent buys out majority shares in Valve :P

8 months ago
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Valve doesn't have shares, I think the main reason is to avoid agressive takeovers. If you want an example of a company that's constantly battling for it's independence you have Ubisoft, the original owners already lost control over the sister company Gameloft.

8 months ago
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Sit down dude, I was only trying to make a joke.

8 months ago
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Sorry.

8 months ago
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It's ok mate. Also, I appreciate, and it's nice to know, there are companies trying to hold their own against foreign takeover.

8 months ago
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I'm pretty sure it has. Though they are not publicly traded.

8 months ago
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What I meant to say, I'm not exactly good with the terminology.

8 months ago
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you are right. Valve is a corporation. All corporations are owned by shareholders, who hold shares.
Valve is a privately held corporation so the shares are not available on the stock market, and there are probably restrictions on the sale of shares, but it is entirely possible for someone or some company to buy shares in Valve.

8 months ago
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They don't have shares because the company is privately-owned and not a publicly-traded company like Activision or Ubisoft. They sell equity privately (I think). Gearbox and Game Freak are two other privately-owned companies I can think of if I'm remembering correctly.

8 months ago
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that's wrong. Valve is a corporation. All corporations are owned by shareholders, who hold shares.
Valve is a privately held corporation so the shares are not available on the stock market, and there are probably restrictions on the sale of shares, but it is entirely possible for someone or some company to buy shares in Valve.

8 months ago
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I meant shares like you would in publicly-traded companies.

8 months ago
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theyre the same thing. Corporations issue shares. Some are publicly traded, most are not. But it’s the same thing.

Equity means share ownership.

8 months ago
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I meant...you know what? I could further explain what I meant but my initial comment was a throwaway one anyway and this is one level too deep for something I really don't see the effort continuing.

8 months ago
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yes, they do. Valve is a corporation. All corporations are owned by shareholders, who hold shares.
Valve is a privately held corporation so the shares are not available on the stock market, and there are probably restrictions on the sale of shares, but it is entirely possible for someone or some company to buy shares in Valve.

8 months ago
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All Corporations do not sell or distribute shares. All Corporations CAN sell or distribute shares, but not all DO. Or HAVE to.

Let me introduce you to the concept of a non-stock Corporation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-stock_corporation

8 months ago
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I should know better too. I always forget that non-profits are technically also corporations

LLCs are also non-stock corporations. I've just been trained to think of them as completely separate

8 months ago
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It's a confusing thing, a but of a legal jumble. My company, that I was sole-owner of, and that was not a non-profit (though we had a separate non-profit "division" of), was a non-stock corp. Incorporation just gave us certain legal and tax benefits for a small business, that being an LLC didn't give us. No stock ever issued, for-profit, working with many non-profits as clients. It was a bit mind boggling.

8 months ago
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I was going to +💙 for this comment, but it appears you already are on my whitelist. :3

8 months ago
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View attached image.
8 months ago
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Exactly!

Now 'we' get to experience what it's like for the 4/5ths of the world that doesn't speak English.

Or, to be precise, now we get access to a wealth of non-English speaking games that we previously had no (convenient) access to. It may suck if there's a cool game that doesn't support your language, but it's not any worse than not having access to that game in the first place. :)

8 months ago
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Nothing to do with diversity support and everything to do with what country will be driving the global economy next. It's just an easy way for Chinese game publishers to reach their own customer base via a platform that already has a large Chinese speaking presence. Why reinvent the wheel when a ready made global marketplace is available.

8 months ago
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Wait, what? What does allowing non-English games on Steam have to do with diversity and minorities, you becoming a minority, or a "new majority" not caring about diversity and inclusion?

Non-English games have always existed, you just didn't have convenient access to them. Now you do. If you want to get some non-English games, you can now do so easily through Steam. If you don't, that's fine, just carry on as before. The Steam storefront is big enough for both, and English games aren't going anywhere.

8 months ago
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That's what you get for diversity support. At some point, minority is not a minority anymore and then you become the minority. Will the new majority care about the diversity and inclusion?

Agreed.

8 months ago
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Well, billions of potential Chinese customers. We're all about to become history on Steam.
When any brand is confronted to the choice of keeping non Chinese customers or making their Chinese customers happy, they'll always pick China.
Yeah it's kinda sad and also... Chinese devs can translate their games. They just choose not to.

8 months ago
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but that goes two ways - plenty of developers don't translate their games to Chinese, either.

8 months ago
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True but a lot more Chinese people are fluent in English than anybody else is fluent in Chinese.

8 months ago
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I don't think so. There are 10 million english speakers in china. there are 50 million chinese speakers outside of china.
the total number of English speakers in the world is roughly 1.12 billion, and the total number of Mandarin speakers in the world is roughly 1.10 billion thanks google

8 months ago*
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But not everyone of those who speak Chinese play games (or even own a computer). Same also goes for English. Number of speakers/population gives certain max limit to the number of possible users but a more interesting number would the number of gamers fluent in certain language.

8 months ago
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I have no idea, but, Chiba is already the largest gaming market in the world

8 months ago
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You make it sound like it's one or the other. I don't see how allowing non-English games on Steam effects the existing Steam games in any way.

Yeah it's kinda sad and also... Chinese devs can translate their games. They just choose not to.

I can totally understand Chinese devs not translating their games if they think there's no audience for their game outside of China. But now that those games are available on an international platform, international users can express interest in the game and ask for translations, and the devs can see that there is a market and decide to spend the money on a translation.

I mean, it's not like they can just flip the Translate switch and instantly have their game translated but chose not to do so - translations cost time and money. The games that just run their text through Google Translate come out terrible - I've played a few, and it was an awful experience such that I stopped reading the text entirely.

Sometimes even professional translations end up disappointing, and studios have to re-do them which incurs additional cost. And that's to say nothing about having to re-do all the UI/UX elements to match the translated text, and hoping that the translation doesn't introduce bugs (due to sloppy coding, but it's surprising how often overworked coders will take shortcuts and make assumptions, and how not planning on translation from the beginning can introduce issues later on). Translation is often a significant undertaking.

8 months ago
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You're absolutely right. It was an oversimplification. And even in China, there are many languages to consider. So it's not simple even for the devs.

8 months ago
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Gonna go ahead and say it's better for games to come out on the west without english support than to not come out here at all. Look at how many Japan exclusive games we had throughout history. A lot of times fantastic games or sequels to massively successful series here (or both). At least this way it's a little easier for fan translations to happen.

8 months ago
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But somehow I always found English to be "the language of PC games"

That's just your personal bias speaking.

8 months ago
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besides, 4 out of every 5 humans don't speak English.

8 months ago
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And how many gamers don't speak English?

8 months ago
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Well, not all of us are privileged to live in a countries that get games translated to their language.

8 months ago
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But I don't expect them to be translated to my language, because I understand there's a large market of Chinese gamers out there.

8 months ago
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I don't "expect" them to be, I'm sad they aren't because they seem interesting. There's a difference. One that once upon a time led to "all your base are belong to us" meme.

8 months ago
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I never said you expected anything. I said I don't. There's a difference.
(To clarify -- point being, I'm perfectly fine with games being released only in a language other than English. Steam is a world market, and while it may be based in an English-speaking country, I don't see why developers should feel obligated to cater to English speakers.)

8 months ago*
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I'm fine with it too, I'm just... you know... looking for something fresh, I'm sort of sick of all the stale all the same games we see all the time, year after year. Thought maybe some fresh air would be available and then realized none of them is playable without some Chinese.

8 months ago
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I get what you're saying, but if the games are that good and become something English speakers want to play en masse, I'm sure they (the English speakers) will suggest politely (as opposed to less constructive ways to go about it, i.e. demanding or review bombing) that the developers stand to sell enough copies to make English translation worthwhile.

I'm probably being a bit overly optimistic with that last bit, given how some people react, but it never hurts to ask. On another note, perhaps this will help separate the wheat from the chaff, in that it's quite possible that only the more popular games - I was going to say "better games", but that's not always the case - will get translations.

8 months ago
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I don't know if you could call that a bias, I'd say "personal experience" rather than "personal bias"

8 months ago
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Exactly - personally I have met only handful of people who couldnt speak English. And most people around understand it at the the basic communication level or are learning it.. I have traveled around Europe for work, for school, for vacations and I have met many different people with different education levels, different roles in society and even with that - non English speakers are rarity.

I suppose when you take nationalities that have their own language used internationally and you get everything translated to your language, it muddies these statistics up.. And as you know there is the saying "There are big lies, there are small lies and statistics lay somewhere in between". You should compare continents or regions - but looking globally and judging use of language for the whole world at the same time really proves very little. There needs to be some reference points and comparisons to get the full picture.

As for languages - not being a native English speaker I understand the power of learning languages and as a matter of fact I started studying Chinese (and Russian is on my todo list as well, I know it a bit as I live near Russia, but still)
But I think this is just momentary. It will stabilize after a moment but English will still remain the main language

8 months ago
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There is another factor in all this.
You mentioned Russian and Chinese. The USSR and now Russia, as well as China are two countries that do not need to rely on other countries for everything. So they are less likely to need other languages. Another example of such could be Japan (to an extent).
I have family in Russia and Ukraine and traveled there a bit. There is a large percentage of people who speak exclusively Russian, because there simply is no need to speak anything else. But if you go somewhere like the middle east for instance you'll find that everyone speaks English or French to some extent, those countries have more ties to the west and have a need for those languages in their educational system.

8 months ago
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Around Europe non-english speakers are rare, but you're also not likely to encounter them. People who work in certain professions are a lot more likely to speak english, and people who live in cities visited by travelers are more likely to speak english.
For example, I highly doubt you're going to a farm and talking to the locals there.

8 months ago
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In my country it's kind of understood that English is a "new Latin", language of science and advanced medicine and business in 20th century, probably early 21st too. Until 1990s schools thought kids Russian and German, but since then it's 80% English and 20% French, mostly as a 2nd foreign language. Only in the last few years there's optional Mandarin as a pilot program, intended to spread slowly as there's much interest but not enough teachers and well, system is slow to react.

Result is that almost anyone 15-45 speaks some English today, be they a farmer or a lawyer. I have students ~13 year old who go around and order coffee and translate in stores for recent migrants from middle east. Also virtually no-one speaks Japanese or Chinese yet. I know a guy who graduated in Japanese and switched careers to 3D modeling in order to eat. This market doesn't need it. At the same time, he could have earned a lot somewhere else.

Honestly, I would like that my potential kids one day learn English and Mandarin, not French. Nothing against France, would like to visit and all, but that's just where the world is heading.

8 months ago
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yeah, the world is constantly changing. In Rome, scholars would learn greek. In the middle ages, it was mostly latin. In the late 19th century, English and French were the most important languages - and French was considered more refined.
Nowadays, outside of France and west Africa, there's not much use for it. In the 1980's in America some people insisted on teaching their kids Japanese, which turned out to be wholly unnecessary.

Right now, after English, I'd say the next two most important languages to learn are Spanish and Arabic. The thing is, there are more than enough people in China who speak English, whereas in the Arabic world English isn't anywhere near as common. Same in South America. But really, English is usually enough.

BUT, that's speaking generally. What is far more important is your specific circumstances For example, my great grand mother in eastern europe a hundred years ago made sure her children spoke German, Russian, and Hungarian, as those countries were the most likely to invade. Switzerland's main languages are French, German, and Italian, because those are the (much larger) neighboring countries. I remember one company I applied for a job with a few years back desperately needed someone who also spoke Mongolian, because that's where they were opening up an office.

8 months ago
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I have traveled around Europe for work, for school, for vacations and I have met many different people with different education levels, different roles in society and even with that - non English speakers are rarity.

Hard to believe to be honest. I guess you were lucky :) What level are speaking anyway? Back in the day I used to watch anime with subs and passively learnt a couple dozen of words. I think most people are the same — they recognize some English words (because of the exposure) and don't really speak it (apart from very basic stuff).

Then there's the problem of practice — use it or lose it. I've studied both English and German at school (although German only a couple of years), but I haven't used German since, so I forgot almost everything. Now I only remember the basic stuff :) Most people don't need English, hence they forget most of the stuff they've learnt in school.

8 months ago
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I was referring to anyone who understands some basics - time, locations etc..
A lot of people who obviously dont talk fluently and have to think to form a sentence, but in my book that counts as speaking it

On vacation trailing Tatra mountains we met several older people who really wanted to chat but only new little of English. But while walking together they did form questions and sentences we understood. Maybe that doesnt really count as being able to speak the language (I certainly dont say I can speak Russian when I can only phrase some basics), but the fact remains - we can communicate in English - even if broken English.

Of course there have been young and old people who cant say a word in English. But my experience has been lucky
As for languages - when we met some Polish students on the same trip to mountains they explained to us that they dont have English in their school, so they only know it from as much as they learn it themselves.

Practice part - totally agree. You have to use the language to be able to speak it. When I lived in city where there where more Russians, I understood it better and could even say a thing or two. Now I havent lived there for some 4 years - I cant remember a thing, only some basic words and even those with difficulty

8 months ago
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That sounds more like it :)

A little tip for anyone learning languages — focus on verbs, they are more important than nouns. (You don't even have to use the correct form, the natives will understand you.) It's much easier to use a correct verb and point to an object, than to use a correct noun and gesture a verb.

8 months ago
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That's not really personal bias. English is the de facto language of international business, and thus the language of international PC games, and non-PC games, and movies, and books, etc...

It doesn't mean that everything has to be translated into English, and some things can enjoy great local success without being translated, but in general most media gets a great boost from being translated into English and that's the first language to translate to. Some indie video game studios in non-English speaking countries even make their games initially in English to allow for a wider initial reception.

8 months ago
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I know a guy who released a game on Steam in English, later had it translated to several internationally used languages, but never translated it to his own language because... every gamer in his country uses English and native language is not even used on android or windows (desktop level), even if official translations are offered since early 2000. But also Steam doesn't support the language so it's kind of pointless.

8 months ago
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There are 30 million Chinese Steam users right now, of 90 million active Steam accounts. That's 1/3 of all active accounts.
There are 15 million Chinese PUBG players alone. That's 1/6 of all active accounts.
Hell, Valve saw a large enough market (600 million gamers in China) to release a Chinese version of Steam (though it's not well-received -edit: due to government interference with PC game sales).

This "shock" (for lack of a better word) at their being Chinese-only games on Steam is a bias, a western bias.

8 months ago
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Even worse is when you get a company like Koei Tecmo that releases their old strategy games on Steam, but it's the Japanese only versions when English versions have always existed too. Because FU gaijin? I really have no idea.

8 months ago
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They probably don't even have rights to those versions. This goes other way too... Some Japanese games published to outside Japan don't have Japanese anymore or can't be sold there...

8 months ago
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8 months ago
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For now...

8 months ago
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8 months ago
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English, especially American, is very easy to learn and use. Both verbal and written form.

Well, that's a bit... different for various people / language speakers. There's a lot of languages that have simpler logic than English, and for native speakers of certain language groups it's really hard to learn English at all, specially if they live in their native country and study it as a foreign language in school.

It does help - at least it did to me - being immersed into internet, movies, music, radio... but not everyone and everywhere can do that.

8 months ago
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8 months ago
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You have to see the bright side: These are simply more and more games you do not have to worry about or waste another thought on, just because you don't have to concern yourself with the possibility of playing them. In this case, the FOMO pitfall (Fear Of Missing Out) is easily avoided, and I think that's something really nice :)

8 months ago
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Sure it's an inconvenience but it's just Chinese devs/publishers aiming for a Chinese speaking market, if they see the demand for a translation and it's economically viable they'll probably get it done and patch it in.
I wouldn't worry too much, western games will continue to support English most of the time and there has always been games that never get translated and only get released on their native language, except back in the day they just didn't bother to release internationaly and now they do so because it's easier.

8 months ago
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Games that will never have problems with review bombing because they are not translated into English ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

8 months ago
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As long as they're not in crappy bundles or giveaways, anyway. Review bombing doesn't have to be limited to English ;)

8 months ago
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Yes, we could do that, but it's not nice.

8 months ago
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I was arguing that review bombing wasn't limited to English, I wasn't arguing that we should ;)

8 months ago
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Are there any Chinese language only games that are of interest? I've seem mostly some adventure game/visual novel stuff.

8 months ago
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I've seen a few that look like they'd warrant a further examination up close. But it's hard to do that or even know for sure, when there's no English.

8 months ago
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On Android, Google Translate has a function to translate from images.

Why isn't there an app that takes the desktop image of the PC environment, converts it, and redraws it?┐(´Θ`)┌

There is an application that specifies the range and translates it like Capture2Text.
If you have something to do automatically and in real time, you'll have less trouble with the language of the game.

I want to think so. (In reality, the displayed language is often funny.)

Well, anyway, a game that only has Chinese?
If you do not need to operate in real time, you can play to some extent by translating in Capture2Text.

8 months ago
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8 months ago
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Thank you! I was looking for something like this :3

8 months ago
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Lol. From historical perspective that's how cultural influence is working. Money create influence. In 18 century you had to learn French to be in a cultural context. Then English because of Great Britain, then English because of USA, English was lucky to be on top twice, you see. And now the time has come for Chinese. You can't do anything about it.

8 months ago
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I agree, but it doesn't have to be global phenomena. It can be localized in certain regions throughout history, same languages can be "important" in diferent areas at the same time... but with video games, I guess, it was always English, Japanese and Chinese (in the 1990s through pirate scene), no matter if we knew it or not.

8 months ago
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8 months ago
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Valve want the moneys, so they don't care. And the Chinese market is huge, so lots of potential money to come for valve to come in the future.

8 months ago
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Oh noes, what am I going to do /s

8 months ago
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Probably Chinese indie devs just starting to notice how easy it is to freely publish and sell a game on Steam, away from the watchful eyes of CCP. Or Valve working with local partner to translate Steamworks documentations to Simplified Chinese.

As for lack of English texts, translation costs money/time/manpower, and proper English localization can be expensive, especially for indie devs. I suggest you to politely contact them or make a thread in the discussion board and ask for English version.

8 months ago
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So you're suggesting an organized review-bombing action where 1000 of us leave a negative review saying "no english yet"? Interesting!

8 months ago
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There always were a lot of local games, so I can't say that there is more. You were just unaware of those games, because they were never sold on international platforms. Actually, Now more games than ever are translated to multiple languages, including English of course. Situation tends to get better.
But what really bothers me, that there are more and more games we can't play because they are VR-only. And those VR sets are damn expensive.

8 months ago
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I don't think about them. Out of sight, out of mind.

Also, Monkey's paw. You wished for proper English localization but you got Engrish / Chinglish instead :(

8 months ago
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Back in the day, not a lot of people, outside of English-speaking countries, spoke English very well or at all.

You can either petition the devs of those games you find interesting, or learn Chinese.

8 months ago*
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Yes, but which Chinese? It's not one language, I've been told.

8 months ago
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In oral, they are completely same. When comes to writing,the Simplified Chinese is like a 'Lite' version of the Traditional Chinese ,but just in character pattern. Other element, meaning, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammer——are all the same.
For example, simplified word [户] in traditional chinese is [戶] , [爱] → [愛] , [报]→[報] similar but more complicated.
For native chinese speakers, most of them who are taught only simplified version can read Traditional Chinese texts by nature, but may have some difficulty in writting.
For foreigners, unfortunately, both of them is REALLY hard to learn.

8 months ago
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oh noes! how am i supposed to play my hentai puzzle games without proper english instructions?

View attached image.
8 months ago
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Wouldn't that be... Japanese?

8 months ago
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I think he's making the argument that it's non-english.

8 months ago
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maybe i'm wrong but i think the japanese put more effort into their games than this. ;)

8 months ago
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Right, the word hentai is a Japanese word though ;)

8 months ago
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Well, you can always request a translation in the game's page, if the developers/publishers deem it profitable, like if there's a lot of interest from Western gamers, there's always chance to see a translation in the future. Also, fan translations do exist, I always check https://www.romhacking.net/translations/ for new releases.

8 months ago
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It's not "more and more games we can't play because they don't support English" and instead is "I'm discovering that there are more and more games out there that don't support English." It's not like these games had English support but suddenly lost them to prevent you from playing them, these are games that never had English and thus you were never able to play, you just didn't know they existed.

As far as how to play them? Tell the devs you'd like to play the game, and ask them to translate them. With enough interest, they may deem it profitable enough to do so.

Or you can hope for a fan translation.

Or you can start a fan translation group yourself, and start translating games, and maybe turn that into a business where you then offer your services as a translation studio to foreign developers. :)

8 months ago
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its a big market, many users to please
https://store.steampowered.com/stats/content/
the same way English ruled once

8 months ago
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