Choose a job you love,
and you will never have to work
a day in your life.
One of my earliest memories of the impact that understanding a foreign language can have on successful communication was a situation that I found myself in as a child. I had just moved from my home country Germany to South Africa with my family, and as a treat, we were spending a short vacation in a seaside hotel. Walking into our hotel room, I encountered the maid who was making our beds. "How are you?" she asked me kindly. As the only English question I knew up to that point was "How old are you?,“ I answered somewhat shakily "I'm seven," then, realizing that I had answered the wrong question, blushed and ran out of the room, completely mortified. I promised myself that I would learn English so well that I would never again find myself in such an embarrassing situation.
So after I had finished school (once in the USA as an exchange student and once two years after that in Germany), I decided to study the English language in the form of American and English Literature. When not happily devouring one book after another for my studies and my personal enjoyment, I spent my time playing video games—a passion which was kindled by the Sega Master System’s Alex Kidd when I was only eleven years old. However, combining the two passions, the one for the English language and the one for video games, did not occur to me until years later, when I found myself living in Ireland and working within the video gaming industry as a Customer Service Representative. Through a combination of circumstances, I was offered a chance to apply for a job as a video game localization translator. Thrilled by this exciting opportunity to combine both of my passions, I applied for the job and soon got it.
The many years spent playing video games (as well as bumping into cringe-worthy local adaptations now and then) combined with years in the industry have given me valuable insight into what works in terms of localization and what does not. While being a gamer has taught me the terminology and tone of different game genres and the lingo of their respective players, my work as a localization translator has made me keenly aware of the technical aspects of localization, like length restrictions, finding the context of a phrase within string IDs, working with code, tags, placeholders, etc.
All of the technical aspects just mentioned also come into play when translating websites and mobile apps, which are the other two areas of expertise I am specialized in. I am familiar with adapting websites and marketing texts to suit a specific target audience, as well as with localizing SEO keywords for products and apps.
My studies in literature contribute to my translations in that they are very fluent, and I very much enjoy the challenge of finding the right tone for every project I work on. I especially love localizing the odd pun, joke or poem that might be included in any text that I am presented with.
Needless to say, I still spend a lot of my free time reading books and playing video games, but I can confidently say that the days of misunderstandings due to my lack of knowledge of the English language are far behind me.
Freelance localization translator
Since starting my own freelance business, I have worked on many different types of text for numerous localization projects. You can find more information on my past and ongoing projects in my portfolio.
Before I went into business as a freelance localization translator, I held a variety of jobs over the years. I am only listing the ones here that directly benefited my knowledge about gaming and video game localization.
Big Fish Games Ireland Ltd.
February 2012–December 2013
Blizzard Entertainment Ireland Ltd.
Customer Service Representative
October 2010–January 2012
University of Hamburg, Germany
Bachelor of Arts
Grade: A (1.0)
I majored in American Studies at the University of Hamburg, with English Studies and Educational Studies as minor subjects. My main focus lay on American and English literature, as well as Adult Education.
University of Cambridge, UK
Certificate of Proficiency in English
(license number 956DE0078024)
According to the University of Cambridge, "Proficiency (CPE) is our highest-level qualification—proof that you can speak like a native."
SDL Trados Studio for Translators
As SDL Trados Studio is my preferred CAT tool, I have taken the three examinations available to translators.
"Kit is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable. I hope that we get to work together again soon."
SVP of Projects, Green Man Gaming
"I had the distinct pleasure to work with Kit as part of our localization and translation efforts for several years. As a translator, she possesses unique skills and has the rare talent to craft near flawless translations that flow. She is a pure joy to work with."
Senior Localization Manager, Big Fish Games, Inc.
"Kit is a well-organized, reliable and talented translator. She is always open to take on new challenges and tackles them very well. She predominantly translates English into German for Gameforge but is also open to doing reviews of German texts which have been translated from Korean. All the translations she does for us are done within memoQ. She has good knowledge of memoQ and uses all the advantages it provides."
Head of Games Localization at Gameforge 4D GmbH
"I worked with Kit in the same company for almost two years and can only recommend her to anyone who is looking for engaging, culturally appropriate, and creative translations and a speedy service. Kit never compromises quality for quantity but is very capable of producing high-quality translations within a short amount of time. Kit helped me brainstorm new copy for a variety of texts ranging from product descriptions to website terminology and software translations. She always knows what the customer wants and will consider this in her translation. Kit also worked as my backup as a community manager for the company’s German Facebook page and did a fantastic job interacting with the customers. I can only recommend Kit as a highly skilled translator who loves what she is doing, and as a very capable copywriter, editor and proofreader."
Senior Copywriter, Big Fish Games Ireland Ltd.
"Kit is not only talented and creative in her translations, but also remarkably efficient, professional and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend her for her amazing translations and always reliable service."
Localization Project Coordinator, Big Fish Games Ireland Ltd.
"Kit proved herself as a diligent and responsible translator. She is also very easy-going and a good mixer. I cannot recommend her enough as an experienced professional and a great personality easy to work with. Thanks for your services! We look forward to working with you again."
Project Manager, Big Way Games
“I had the pleasure of working with Kit when we were both localization translators at Big Fish Games where she was consistently praised for the quality of her translations. This is in addition to her expansive knowledge of games and of the gaming terminology, her expertise in dealing with the tricky parts of localization, her technical skills and her dedication to delivering perfect work – always on time. This makes Kit the perfect translator for any localization project, from games to apps, to website localization. Kit always strives to leave no stone unturned, to use the perfect word and to improve as a translator by constantly learning new things. She has the very inquisitive mind that all good translators need. Most importantly, her lovely personality is bound to ensure that anyone working with her will have great fun. I can't recommend her highly enough.“
Freelance Localization Translator