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Roblox Localization Tools

Roblox Localization Tools

Sep 27 2018, 5:51 PM PST 10 min

As Roblox continues to expand internationally, more and more developers are seeing non-English speaking communities playing their games. To help you support these players, Roblox offers localization tools conveniently bundled within Roblox Studio. These tools can help you to translate your in-game text to other languages.

Using the Tools

To use the localization tools, follow these steps:

Capture In-Game Text

Normally, you would need to keep a list of all the words and phrases in your game, adding and updating them as your game gets bigger. Fortunately, Roblox offers a text capture tool which can help with localization. Test it out!

  1. In Roblox Studio, select the Plugins tab.
  1. Within the Localization Tools section, click the Text Capture button.
  1. Start playtesting your game within Studio. When you do so, the tool will automatically capture all text appearing in any GUI elements within the game.
  1. Stop playtesting the game and toggle off (stop) the Text Capture tool. This will add any new text strings to a GeneratedLocalizationTable under LocalizationService within the Explorer window.

Export the Data

Once the text is captured, you’ll need to export it. Simply click the Export button to export all tables under LocalizationService as CSV files.

Add Translations

Now you can begin translating the strings to a different language. This tutorial will demo Spanish, one of the most popular non-English languages among Roblox players.

First, locate the saved file (GeneratedLocalizationTable.csv) and open it in an application that supports .csv files, for instance Google Sheets. You’ll see that the sheet contains several columns, including these:

  • Context — The in-game Instance associated with the text. The automatic replacement engine uses this for disambiguation where the same word might be used with different meanings in different places. For example, yard (grass/plants vs. unit of measurement) or screen (computer screen vs. movie screen).
  • Source — The actual text strings captured from within your game.

To add translations for your game, you need to fill in the es-es column (es-es is the locale code for Spanish). Work down the es-es column and type in the Spanish translation for each English text string shown in the Source column. For example, if the English term is “Start,” a good Spanish translation is probably “Iniciar.”

D E F
Source es-es
Start Iniciar
Pause Pausa
Score

Import the New Data

Once your translations are finished (remember, you can modify and improve them later), import them back into Roblox Studio.

  1. Save the updated spreadsheet, making sure you keep the .csv format.
  2. Back in Roblox Studio, click the Import button.
  1. Find and select the updated spreadsheet on your computer and confirm. If everything goes well, you should see a successful confirmation message in the Output window of Studio.

Playtest

Great! Now it’s time to test the game within Studio.

  1. In the Localization Tools section of the Plugins tab, click the Test Language button.
  1. In the Test Language panel, choose Spanish from the drop-down list to force the play mode locale to Spanish.
  2. Start playtesting your game within Studio. Translations within your imported spreadsheet will be used to replace the text that is rendered in your game.
  3. If everything checks out as expected, publish your game to Roblox. Players in Spanish-speaking locales will now see your game just like you did during testing!

Notes / Limitations

There are a few things to be aware of with the Studio localization tools:

  • These tools are meant to make localization easier, but they may not be the best approach for your game. They work best for games with a small amount of text that can be easily scraped in “local” mode. For games with more text or complicated dialog trees, we recommend developing your own custom localization workflow using scripts and LocalizationService APIs.

  • If you want to test your game in a language that is not currently supported by Roblox, add a column to your localization spreadsheet for that language and enter the locale ID into the text input box following (Custom).

  • The Roblox platform currently supports only English, French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, and Spanish for language detection, user account settings, and customer support, but we’re actively working on introducing support for other languages. The methods discussed in this tutorial can be used for almost any language, so don’t let us stop you from getting ahead of the game!

Please see Articles/Localization Support and Troubleshooting for more info and solutions to localization challenges.

Tags:
  • localization
  • language
  • translation
  • international