How We Overcame Mobile Game Localization Challenges for Arabic | Laoret

Unity 3D is a cross-platform game engine supporting development and localization on over 25 platforms across various industries. What makes Unity 3D so popular as a platform for developers and companies looking to translate and localize their games, are its ready-made Localization components.

In theory, these components would minimize extensive coding and make the process run a lot more smoothly from a Mobile Games developer’s as well as a Language Service Provider’s (LSP) perspective.

But of course, Arabic is a Right-To-Left (RTL) language. And even though the demand for Arabic Translation Services has increased significantly, some tools, platforms, and applications still need some time to catch up.

So, we were set the task of localizing a Unity 3D developed game into Arabic. Here is the process we followed, the challenges we faced, and the solutions we provided.

Who We Selected

Once a project had been approved, went go through the process of putting together a team of linguists and engineers specialized in localization games specifically developed in 3D Unity and made sure they were:

  • Native in the target language and highly experienced in offering Arabic Translation Services.
  • Residing in the region the client wanted to target.
  • Knowledgeable in how to connect to the culture and respect cultural sensitivities.
  • Able to utilize the appropriate tools including a Translation (CAT)-tool and Translation Management System (TMS) that best fits the project’s needs.
  • Capable of developing workarounds and technical solutions to possible issues and errors.

The Challenges

The challenges we faced during this project, were specifically tied to the technical aspects of the localization stage. Because while Unity 3D offers an Arab Support plugin, Right-To-Left (RTL) languages are still not supported very well. As a result, the localization errors related to this project were the following:

  • Dynamic line breaks weren’t handled very efficiently and when not resolved, would the localization process down significantly.
  • Since, as we stressed before, RTL languages aren’t optimally supported yet in 3D Unity, the text lines were displayed in the reserve order based on the script of a Left-to-Right (LTR)-Language
  • This also meant that the lines were aligned to the left rather than the right.

The Solution

We always like to stress with our clients that localization is a mindset they need to uphold even during the game development phase. Similarly, the most effective workaround, in this case, is actually performed by the development team itself.

For this reason, our engineers were able to adjust the plugin’s coding and streamline the translation process for Arabic and in effect, trained the Plugin to overcome the RTL-language challenges it was not yet configured to resolve automatically.

Long story short, make sure to select a Language Service Provider (LSP) equipped to provide professional translations in your target language, but also possess the technical expertise to deliver a high-quality product in the most efficient manner possible!

Curious to learn more about Unity 3D? Check out our blog on the best localization practices for Unity 3D.

Are you facing the same issues when localizing Mobile games into Arabic? We can help! , we remain available 24/7.

Originally published at on October 8, 2020.

Laoret is a language service provider, uniquely poised to serve and connect clients to virtually every corner of the translation and localization world.