I used to be very much opposed to playing translated games for a language I speak fluently. My reasoning was that mistakes are always made and that it will be so much more difficult to play a game with badly translated rules. Same reason I’ll not read a book in German that was originally written in English. But these days I hardly find any issue with the translation itself and while I read books on my own, I play (used to at least) games with friends who aren’t all quite so comfortable with English.
And yet there are other reasons to stick with the English specifically. Because the internet. For games like Spirit Island where I want to look up the living rules I am glad I switched over to English…
Then it takes some time for translated versions to arrive. Someone has to license the game usually and then it has to be translated. Like Pax Pamir 2 took an extra year. Brass Birmingham more than that. Expansions sometimes don’t get released (looking at you Race for the Galaxy German Edition) or take a lot longer and when faced with something like the Marauder Expansion for Root I have to grind my teeth and accept the fact that languages don’t mix and very few games are worth buying twice just to get an expansion a bit quicker.
But sometimes it’s quite handy that I live in a place for which games get translated. Because some games sell out quickly, don’t get reprinted or were Kickstarters in the first place without retail plans. And while I am impatient, waiting for the translation gives me time to see the reviews to come in and accumulate since over-enthusiastic previews don’t really tell you much about the staying power of a game.
Often, the translation allows me to get my hands on games that appear to be hard to get. I don’t think Awkward Guests got a retail release or did it? Is Calico available outside the Pledgemanagers?
There is yet another caveat. Calico gets released by Ravensburger. I hear that the original has really nice materials but Ravensburger is usually really on the cheap side with the materials–even Alea which releases their “better” games gets a lot of complaints “re: component quality”–and I am a little apprehensive what the game will be like.
Many translations come from the same printing as the English versions (Root, Pax Pamir and Spirit Island appear to be absolutely identical to their non-translated siblings). But some don’t…
But as games get translated locally or at least imported en grosse, I can get them without all the KS hassle from local shops…
Anybody else here play games in translation? What’s your experience with translated games?
How do the native English-speakers fare with translated games from all over the world? How many games do you even have to wait for or is everything immediately translated to English these days?