Early days of a game translator

I was born in 1991 and I spent most of my childhood reading a lot, writing a lot, and playing videogames. Luckily, I had two older brothers and a sister, so a nifty Super Nintendo Entertainment System was brought to our home in 1997 as a Christmas present (I know, I know, we were slightly behind the current console generation, but it was a blast anyway). Single player games were a cooperative experience back the in day, as we had to share the controller and play in turns. Then we managed to get a PSX, again, as a present in the year 2000. Once again, always behind the current generation, and once again, a total blast. Here you can see a gif of a 9-year-old-me playing Tekken 3 with a professional grip to do proper combos. Actually, we never owned another console until 2007, but I managed to play hundreds of games by borrowing them from friends, playing with them after finishing our homework and even at cybercafés.

Felipe as a child, already a video games fan.

I have always loved video games, but the passion for literature and languages was always there too. I studied English and French in high school, but my native language was something else. As a child and as a teenager, I took part in writing contests, I wrote poetry (I TRIED, OK?), and I was ready to go to college and pursue a career as Spanish philologist.

Education and a decade in game localization

In 2009, I had to choose my Degree and I was thinking about doing English, French or Spanish Philology and Literature. However, in the last moment, I heard about these “Translation Studies” and the idea of becoming a literary translator was suddenly very attractive. I never thought about game localization, I never imagined it existed, I never realized those Spanish words in the menu, in the dialogue, the user interface… everything was translated. Luckily, I discovered game localization during my third year studying this Degree in English Translation and Interpreting. And everything changed.

I completed the Degree in the University of Murcia in 2013 and quickly moved to Barcelona to start with the Masters’ Degree in Tradumática: Translation and New Technologies. There I learned about app, website, software and game localization. I finished my Masters’ Degree in 2014 and completed more video game translation courses. That same year I translated my first video game and now I have been working as a game localization specialist for a decade.

Nowadays I can proudly say that I’ve translated, reviewed or tested nearly 10 million words (I am sorry, I stopped counting at 8 million) in titles like Lost Ark, Elden Ring, Control, Dicey Dungeons, Anthem, Control, Salt and Sanctuary, NBA 2K21, FIFA 19. Do not hesitate to check my portfolio if you want to see word counts and my involvement in all these titles.

Aside from my job as a professional game localizer, sometimes I am hired by the universities where I studied to organize game localization workshops for students. I have also taught as a Lecturer at Autonomous University of Barcelona teaching the Official Masters’ Degree in Audiovisual Translation. I also love to attend to game localization academic conferences and I even presented some papers. You can check all the details here below.

Felipe Mercader & Next Level Localization

Hello! My name is Felipe Mercader Martínez and I am a professional translator and localizer and I work from English and French into Spanish. My job is to translate and localize content so that other people can understand something that has not been created in their language. There are many products or services that need translation or localization; In this way, the public can enjoy and use this product as if it had been specially designed for the end user.

Next Level Localization is the name of my website that I have worked on from start to finish. My specialty is the localization of video games and other types of localization such as app, web pages or software. I also have experience and training in the field of literary, sports, journalistic or electronic commerce translation and in reviewing and testing tasks.

Why dedicate myself to translation and localization

Throughout my life, I have always had two passions: reading and video games. Throughout my childhood and adolescence I read hundreds of books and played hundreds of video games. Little by little, I began to read more complex books and later participated in literary writing contests.

At the same time, I was playing a lot of video games (most of them in English, since the localization to Spanish at that time was scarce), and I had to learn English and translate video games in order to advance and complete them. I can say that 90% of English I learned thanks to video games. When the time came to decide what to do for a living, it was clear to me that I had to find a job that combined both passions.

The 3 keys to Next Level Localization

Quality is the maximum exponent of my services. I promise to offer the results of a translation and localization professional.

Communication is a fundamental part of the freelance translator job. The client will always be in contact with me to clarify any questions, queries or changes that he needs to make in the order. Communication with the client will always be personal and direct.

Once the quality of the service has been demonstrated and there has been a perfect communication with the client, confidence comes. It is a mutual process that must be maintained with the client. Trust is the basis of a profitable agreement for both parties.

Teaching, Lecturing and Workshops:

2023 -> Video game localization workshop, University of Murcia.

2022 -> Video game localization and testing workshop at Unimar. Summer school held in Murcia. Hired by the Translation and Interpreting department, University of Murcia.

Felipe teaching in a video game localization workshop at a summer camp.
Felipe teaching in a video game localization workshop at Universidad de Murcia.

2022 -> Video game localization workshop, University of Murcia.

2020 -> Lecturer at Autonomous University of Barcelona teaching at Official Masters’ Degree in Audiovisual Translation during the academic year 2019/20.

University of Barcelona logo.
Felipe teaching in a public workshop.

2019 -> Video game localization and testing workshop at SeCyT. Science fair held in Murcia. Hired by the Translation and Interpreting department, University of Murcia.

Secyt logo.

2018 -> Presentation on video game translation carrer opportunities to translation students, University of Murcia.

University of Murcia logo.
University of Murcia logo.

2018 -> Video game localization workshop, University of Murcia.

2014-2018 -> Private translation CAT tools’ courses for freelance translators and companies.

Congresses, conferences and academic research:

2019 -> Translator rewriting History: theory and praxis for the translation of historical video games (Dissertation in III International Conference “History and Video Games” held in University of Murcia, co-authored with Ramón Méndez González).

Felipe presenting his paper about video game localization and history at a congress.
Felipe presenting his paper about video game localization at Fun for all V.

2018 ->  Economics and Investment in Game Localization: Impact of Localization on Sales, Mutation of EFIGS due to New-Emerging Markets, and the Spanish Situation. (Fun for All: V International Conference on Video Game Translation and Accessibility – PANEL 1: Game localisation: Industry Perspectives and Models, Autonomous University of Barcelona).

2018 -> The role of the translator and the commitment towards historical fidelity in video games: military components and war weaponry (Dissertation in II International Conference “History and Video Games” held in University of Murcia).

Felipe presenting his paper about video game localization at an international history and video games congress.
Felipe in a translation professionals meet up.

2014 -> Organizing committee for the ProZ.com regional conference held in Barcelona.

2014 ->  How to localize software: management and analysis of the OJS software’s localization process. (Master’s Dissertation in Autonomous University of Barcelona).

Felipe's dissertation in the University of Barcelona.
Felipe's dissertation in the University of Murcia.
2013 -> Form versus content in the Spanish translation of the literary work The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (Degree’s Dissertation in University of Murcia).