On this page you will find information (scroll down) about:
- the Italian language and the challenges of iGaming localisation.
- the Italian gaming market, particularly regulation/legality of online gaming.
The Italian language and the
challenges of gaming localisation
Gaming localization involves more than simply getting the language correct and translating from English into Italian can certainly turn out to be a “gamble” unless enough context is provided. There are also some important considerations to keep in mind when translating into Italian.
Although the answer to this question would generally depend on the client’s specific requirements and vary to a certain degree on a project by project basis, there are some cases where it may not be so straightforward and thus become more of a “grey area”. While the majority of poker terms are generally left in English as they have become widely used and recognised by players familiar with the jargon in use (see flop, turn, as well as most game names and variations), other times the use of more grammatically correct Italian terms is certainly preferable. See for example, the translation of the verb to fold, which can be rendered with “passare il gioco” or “abbandonare la mano”, though many would argue that the anglicised term “foldare” is also correct!
As a rule of thumb, Italian requires about 15% more space that English from a game design perspective
This issue is also relevant to Italian slot machine translations, where many terms are often left in English (see Scatter or Wild, though its Italian counterparts “simbolo Sparso” and “Jolly” are also acceptable alternatives). Game modes and bonus rounds are often even trickier. Whether they are translated or not, will very much depend on the client’s specific requirement. Game titles are also open to the same debate as to whether or not Italian game name localization should be implemented.
As a rule of thumb, Italian requires about 15% more space that English from a game design perspective. This introduces massive implications. Dropdown lists, menus and other textual elements will require the necessary space to grow or shrink to enable them to be displayed correctly. Other considerations include getting formats correct with dates, numbers, currencies, weights and measures.
Whilst the UK is technically metric, ‘miles’ and ‘pounds’ are still widely used and understood, just like in the US. But when localizing in Italian then unit conversion would be necessary, therefore meters, kilograms and euros must be used. It is also important to pay attention to subtler nuances: typically the currency symbol follows the digit instead of preceding it; in addition, numbers should also be localized in the appropriate format by paying attention to decimal places etc. For instance, 5,123.5 become 5.123,5 in Italian.
The plural “voi” will be suitable for most general or descriptive texts (casino reviews, press releases, etc) where multiple readers are addressed at the same time
Finally, it is also important to bear in mind the tone of voice to be used in the translated text. Italian is generally more formal than English and it is therefore key to determine the most appropriate register depending on the target audience to which the text is addressed. In Italian you can address someone informally using the “tu” form or formally using the “Lei” form. Then, there is also the “voi” form (as in plural you), which addresses more than one user/reader.
While Italian slot machine and casino translations in general adopt an informal style with the use of many slang/colloquial expressions (hence the “tu” form will be used), customer service communications typically tend to address users in a more formal tone, thus the use of “Lei” will be more common. The plural “voi” will be suitable for most general or descriptive texts (casino reviews, press releases, etc) where multiple readers are addressed at the same time.
Status and potential of the
Italian gaming market
Online gambling was made legal in Italy in 2007. The government is trying to channel all online betting through dot it domains, and are attempting to block sites based abroad for Italian players, but these attempts have been both unsuccessful, and fought in court as contradictory to EU laws.
Italy has shifted from banning all gambling to differentiating between legal and illegal gambling
2.8 million Italians played online for money in 2012 for a total of $1.2 billion. 4% of Italian Internet users bet/gambled/played lotto online in 2011, while 41% of Internet users made an online purchase in 2013 with a total of $15.2 billion spent on E-commerce. Recent reports state also that Italians spent €726 million in online gaming during 2014, with casino games being the most popular choice.
Italy has shifted from banning all gambling to differentiating between legal and illegal gambling, and during the last years Italy has been a pioneer with its handling of online gaming legislation. The laws are quite complicated, but a website called Viaden has made a detailed overview of the online gaming license situation in Italy, as well as in many other countries. We recommend that you take a look!
However, should you decide to translate your content into Italian, you are in the right place. The team at All-In Translations include some of the most talented Italian casino translators in the industry, and you can read more about our recommendations for Italian translation and localisation here.