Due to the isolating nature of translation work, it can sometimes be difficult to find colleagues to talk to, especially during a pandemic. Novice and veterans alike can benefit from expanding their network, so here’s a list of some of the most active translation communities on various social networks.
Note that some of those communities are invite-only, which means you’ll need to contact the administrator(s) in order to request access. The list below is divided by platform, and while some of those communities don’t cater exclusively to the games industry, most have a category dedicated to game localization.
Do you want to contribute to this list? Feel free to reach out: me[at]luciledanilov.com
Originally created as a text/VOIP gaming-oriented communication tool, Discord evolved into a “global” platform that now hosts thousands of different communities, from knitting to language learning, and of course translation. Since 2020, it has become one of the main hubs for translators across many different fields.
|This server promotes a healthy, supportive community for language professionals and students alike.
Server link: https://discord.gg/p5xB75ChZr
|IGDA (Localization SIG)
|The mission of the IGDA is to support and empower game developers around the world to have fulfilling and sustainable careers. The Localization SIG wants to help set international game industry standards for everybody working in and with video game localization.
Server link: https://discord.gg/CC3qjaeqFs
|HonYaks is a video game localization community for professionals and artisans, especially those working from/to Japanese. You must file an application in order to join.
|[EN] The Discord server for French-speaking translators is a virtual space where professionals in the translation industry (translation, interpreting, subtitling, localization…) can chat on a daily basis, cowork face-to-face, find support and advice for their business, and meet colleagues.
[FR] La communauté Discord des traducteurs francophones est un espace d’échanges où les professionnels des métiers de la traduction (traduction, interprétatation, sous-titrage, localisation) peuvent discuter au quotidien, coworker face caméra, trouver du soutien et des conseils pour pérenniser leur activité, et rencontrer des collègues.
Application form: Link
|Ukrainian localization / Українська локалізація (UA)
The biggest Ukrainian game localization community for newbies and professionals, as well as anyone who has an interest in Ukrainian game localization. We teach, mentor, help, and talk… not only about localizations.
Server link: https://discord.gg/weJZTNqS8v
As far as professional networks are concerned, few platforms are as efficient as LinkedIn. Despite being plagued with a lot of con artists and other “gurus”, this is probably the best place to meet other translators. However, even if LinkedIn has a Groups feature, people usually prefer sharing updates on their personal page using hashtags on their Timelines and/or Newsletters.
The two notable game localization groups on LinkedIn are:
Much like LinkedIn, Twitter works around hashtags and individual profiles rather than groups, and despite the inherent character limits of the platform, it’s the social network of choice for many prominent translators in the games localization (and overall pop culture) space. You can find awesome people tweeting under the hashtags #gameloc, #AmTranslating and (my personal favorite) #TranslatorsInTheCredits. Go follow them!
Following the recent happenings with Twitter, gameloc industry veteran Alain Dellepiane also founded Localization Café over on Mastodon:
Being one of the oldest “modern” social networks, Facebook has hosted countless translation communities over the years. Unfortunately, some of those communities were abandoned by their owners and are now a breeding ground for scammers. The pages listed below are the ones I can personally vouch for, but I’d be happy to expand them with your suggestions.
Click on the name of the group to get redirected.
|Indie Game Localization
|As the name suggests, this community offers a space for indie developers to offer translations jobs for their games. It is not heavily moderated.
|Indie Game Translation Exchange
|Like the Indie Game Localization group, this community is primarily aimed at indie game developers. It’s also less populated, but you might find a couple of interesting discussions.
|TTNS (Things Translators Never Say)
|This community is to share tongue-in-cheek ideas about things translators would never ever say, for instance when clients send ridiculous inquiries.
|The League of Extraordinary Translators
|Welcome! We are an open Facebook group for professional translators and interpreters. We are a base for the soldiers in the trenches, not generals planning tactics from a distant war room.
We are named as such because we are not slaves to the industry, but professional translators who take exceptional pride in our work. We are not just special, we are extraordinary!
|ProZ Translators & Interpreters
|This group is provided as a professional resource for those who work with language or who offer language services. It is not exclusive to ProZ members, but you do need to fill out an application.
Last but not least, the Reddit community /r/TranslationStudies hosts over 15,000 subscribers, and while it’s not necessarily the best place for seasoned professionals (it suffers from a lack of moderation which means the front page is often flooded with the same “How do I become a translator?” questions), it’s still worth checking every once in a while. Plus, most of us spend a decent amount of time on Reddit daily, so might as well subscribe!
The harsh reality of today’s market means that being a good (or even a great) translator is not enough to survive – You need to build a network, and joining a community is the best way to do just that.
The introverts among you might find it a bit intimidating, but I guarantee you that the act of lurking alone is already a great step forward. And who knows, you might even make new friends! I know I did 🙂