Beyond Translation: A Thorough Analysis of the Arabic Localisation of The Witcher 3

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This paper provides a thorough evaluation of the Arabic localisation of The Witcher 3, a well-known video game in the Arab world. It analyses three game assets including the User Interface (UI), cinematics and voice-overs. To this end, the researcher collected two multimodal corpora of screenshots and video recordings taken from the actual video game. The data was analysed in two stages. The first stage involved categorizing the content of the two corpora into two main groups: UI and cinematics. The second stage included linguistic, technical, and cultural analysis of the collected screenshots and video recordings. It was revealed that the game was successfully localised from a linguist perspective but failed culturally and technically. Several taboo visuals and themes were kept in the Arabic video game, which violates the norms of the target culture. On a technical level, the UI and the menus in the Arabic version of the game were not designed to accommodate Arabic right-to-left (RTL) UI orientation, which resulted in several layout issues hindering the gaming experience. This study contributes to current research on Arabic video game localisation and provides useful information to video game developers and Arabic localisers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-62
Number of pages17
Journal3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Arabic Videogame localisation
  • The Witcher 3
  • Video game translation
  • Videogame localisation quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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