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Four reasons why you should let an expert handle your Greek gaming translations

One of the most complex language combinations in the online gaming localization business is English to Greek and we are going to discuss just four of the reasons in this article.

1) When you translate from English to Greek, the Greek words are 40% longer

This can be problematic for casino games translations where the space allocated for text is limited. As a result, a client will often ask for short versions of terms, but even short versions might not do. In such cases further compromises need to be made, as in the case described below. A client once asked for the translation of the word ‘Info’, in Greek ‘Πληροφορίες’, and then came back to us explaining that the word should not exceed 8 characters.

Consequently, the official short version ‘Πληρ/ρίες’ was also too long by 1 letter. The compromise that we agreed on was to use ‘Πληρ/ίες’ instead, which although not officially correct, would be understandable by the website visitor.

2) It is ‘OK’ to use English terms sometimes

Fortunately, what we described above is not always the case, and occasionally it is quite common and perfectly acceptable to use English terms, such as ‘OK’, instead of the Greek ‘Εντάξει’. Online gamblers are familiar with online gaming environments and accustomed up to a certain extent to the gambling terminology in English. Although there are local terms for all the traditional offline gambling games and their rules, since the boom of the online gambling many new games, ways of gaming and trends emerged. The Greek offline card game ’21’ has been replaced online by a similar one, Blackjack. Before the apparition of online Poker, Greeks used to play the traditional ‘Πόκα’ (pronounced Poka) which nevertheless was not as popular as Poker is today.

The offline classic slot machines gamblers have now discovered the great variety and possibilities of innovative online video slots. All these changes in traditional gaming during the last decade, due to technological advancements, have brought in new terms, more complicated games and new game variants. Plus, they have resulted in a number of English terms that do not have a Greek equivalent. A ‘Scatter’ symbol for instance will either remain ‘Scatter’ or it will be a simple representation of the English word with Greek letters ‘Σκάτερ’.

3) Greek language = a highly descriptive language

The Greek language is extremely descriptive, and in several cases a single word doesn’t suffice to translate a gambling term. This happens frequently with new terms that have only existed for a couple of years such as ‘Live Casino’. We are working on online environments and we do not have the liberty of space that literature translators and writers enjoy.

If the English word is well known among the audience, then that is preferred for online gambling websites, and professionals and players tend to stick to it. The most proper way to translate ‘Live Casino’ from a linguistic perspective would be descriptive in nature ‘Καζίνο σε απευθείας σύνδεση’ but from a usability perspective this is not optimal. The best bet in this case is to use a combination of English and Greek and coin the now well-known term ‘Live Καζίνο’.

4) Translations must be handled with care when uploaded to websites, software and games

In many instances, Content Managers replace automatically phrases and words written with small letters to caps (ie through Word), and do not specify in advance to the Greek translator whether the target text is going to be used in ‘CAPS’ or ‘small’ letters. That is because they assume that this works fine for every language.

Well, that’s probably true, for every other European language apart from Greek. ‘Slot machines’, which would have been translated as ‘Κουλοχέρηδες’, would turn into ‘ΚΟΥΛΟΧΕΡΉΔΕΣ’ and result in a spelling error, since the correct version being ‘ΚΟΥΛΟΧΕΡΗΔΕΣ’. That happens because a tonal system is used when writing in small letters but not when writing in caps. This practice should be avoided at all times.

Furthermore, for certain online gaming CMS platforms, an obstacle for the gambling translation process that we have experienced is that 1 Greek letter inserted in the backend system is equivalent to 4 Latin ones. Thus, the length restrictions here are even greater. A trick we have found to be able to fit in more letters is by shifting to the English keyboard wherever the English and Greek letters look visibly the same (A, B, E, N, M, K, O etc).

Work with a Greek Language expert

iGaming companies rely on good content to attract customers and engage them to keep on gambling; the better the content, the better the experience, the higher the spendings. Yet despite the crisis, the Greeks remain big gamblers with a particular interest in Sports betting and Casino games. A Greek Language expert, specialized in Online Gaming, is highly recommended if you target this market.

Let us take the liberty and compare the iGaming companies and Translation agencies with doctors and patients. If you suffer from shortsightedness you will turn to an Ophthalmologist; neither to your family doctor nor a Dermatologist. You work with gambling and you have a need for niche content. Why would you trust your content needs to a generic translation agency that does not know well enough the industry? All-in Translations only employs iGaming language translation specialists, with extensive knowledge and a true passion for gaming.

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