geeky projects

How Much Does a Board Game Translation Cost?
Sep 13, 2023

What’s up, my geeky friend?

Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we?!

It’s probably fairly obvious, but the question I get asked the most is how much it costs to have a board game localized professionally.

There’s a short answer, and a long one.

The Short Answer

If you came here for instant gratification, then alright, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.

For most medium weight Euro games, you’re looking at around €500 to €900 per language.

This is a ball-park figure, because the cost is heavily dependent on the amount of words and the amount of language(s) you want to localize your game in.

The Slightly Longer Answer

Translation and localization are complex concepts, and the skills required to be a good translator are often severely underestimated. Especially in the board gaming industry, where margins can be quite small, translations sometimes are still treated as a liability rather than an investment.

For transparency’s sake, I wanted to give you a quick breakdown of the costs involved, and where your money actually goes to.

1. Translation:

The translator obviously receives the biggest slice of the pie. That makes sense, because they put in the largest amount of work. I think this part is probably self-explanatory.

2. Proofreading:

At The Geeky Pen, your rulebook always goes through the hands of a separate proofreader, who compares the original (what we call the ‘source text’) to the translation (the ‘target text’).

Sentence by sentence, they check for typos and missing words, and they make sure there is a consistent use of terminology. As a rule of thumb, the proofreader earns about 40-50% of what the translator makes.

3. Project Management:

The project manager first prepares your source files, so they can be loaded into the team’s professional translation software, like Trados or MemoQ. They strip the text from your PDF files and transfer it to a more easily editable Google Docs format. The PDF files serve as visual support for the translators.

The PM also coordinates the various translation teams, making sure everyone adheres to their deadlines. They also act as a liaison: if the teams run into any questions or issues, the PM gathers them all and forwards them to the publisher.

Invest in Your Peace of Mind

When you work with us, you’re not just paying for a translation.

You’re tapping into the decades of combined experience our translation teams have gathered. Into the years we’ve spent familiarizing ourselves with specialized translation software, reading literature, studying the nuances of regional differences, and obtaining a linguistic degree.

Last but not least, our teams have collectively localized hundreds of board games. They are knowledgeable about the jargon required to make your rulebook engaging and interesting for your players to read.

Our clients invest in us, and we invest in them as we gather more experience. It’s a two-way street that inevitably leads to valuable and stable long-term partnerships.

Perhaps the most important takeaway is this.

When you’re handing over your entire project, you need a partner you can trust. A partner that sticks to their word, delivers the highest quality, and respects your deadlines.

At The Geeky Pen, what you’re really doing is investing in your peace of mind.

Interested in working with us?

At The Geeky Pen, you can expect the following:

  • Translation by a professional freelance translator with a linguistic degree
  • Proofreading by a separate proofreader, also with a linguistic degree
  • Full Project Management in as many as 20 languages
  • Final PDF Checks
  • Optional DTP (desktop publishing) services

Send us your rulebook, and receive your free quote within 48 hours!

    jo lefebure board game transalator
    Jo Lefebure

    Jo is the founder and CEO of The Geeky Pen. Aside from board games, he enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with his family. His favorite game is Detective: City of Angels.

    written by
    Jo Lefebure
    Jo is the founder and CEO of The Geeky Pen. Aside from board games, he enjoys playing the guitar and spending time with his family. His favorite game is Detective: City of Angels.