“Desert” Camo in Polish and German (WG EU Fail)

Thanks to Grobmotroiker and Lason for the screenies

Hello everyone,

it’s a really small thing, but it made me giggle, so I hope it will make you smile as well – and everything’s better when smiling :) So, this is a typical example why you don’t use google translator when translating videogame content. We all know the visual camouflage types in World of Tanks – it’s summer, winter and desert. It SHOULD be same for everyone, but it is not.

As you know, two largest communities on EU server are German and Polish one. So, let’s have a look at the Germans.


So, there’s summer, winter and… “to desert”? That’s right, in German, the word is not “desert” (a big strip of sand) – that would be “Wüste”, it’s “to desert” (as in, when a soldier flees his post). Stronk translatink. But the funny part is, it’s actually in Polish as well:


Exactly the same thing! Desert (adj.) in Polish would be “Pustynny” or something, “zdezerteruj” means “(you) desert”. Gosh. I wonder how long this has been there. My bet is “from the start”. *sigh*

64 thoughts on ““Desert” Camo in Polish and German (WG EU Fail)

  1. How much has WGEU to do with actual ingame translations? :)
    (just asking, I don’t know the process…)

      • I know that for most EU languages they use community members, some receive gold, some real money. The translators receive the original texts in English, not in Russian.

      • It’s funny that the desert camo was called “Wüste” for a long time. I noticed it some days ago, too, but i cant tell, how long it was wrong. Fact is that is was right at least once. I bought my last camo in 9.1 and it was correctly called “Wüste” at this time, so I have no clue, why it is wrong now….a joke? :P

    • I had a conversation about this with a fellow clanmate yesterday.
      Some of the Finnish translations are really hard to decipher, I really like to use the English Client.

      Whenever a clanmate starts using the Finnish vocabulary that’s in the game client, I’ve got no fucking idea what they are talking about.

    • WG EU has exactly nothing to do with the ingame translations. We work directly for the translation department in Minsk.

  2. That white camo in the sand dunes of Mexico would grant a good camo :)

    Anyway: we know that we does not deserve anything (we are rotten capitalists). Not even proper spelling.

    • What’s better than smiling? Organising witch hunts and crusades against EFE, of course! And promoting corridors, too. :P

  3. Is that official or community translation? Cause we have community Serbian translation and some of that stuff is really hilarious. Guess they used Google Translate.

  4. Or the translators only got strings like “success”, “water”, “crew”, “desert” in let’s say an excel sheet to translate…
    When a word can be a noun or verb how could they magicly know which one to translate?
    stronk thinging, right? :P

  5. Ok, I just had a really good laugh.
    The whole translation process seems to have problems. I think it was said once here that their translations aren’t done in a spread form (one source language, x target language), but rather in a chain (EN -> GER -> FR -> POL -> etc). That obviously leads to mistakes at one point being continued from the moment they happen to all following languages.
    My other guess is that the translators at least sometimes aren’t given any context of what they are supposed to translate.

  6. “I wonder how long this has been there. My bet is “from the start”. ”

    Nope. It was correct in the previous version, at least in the Polish version.

  7. it got a medium LOL from me, but who cares, until the hungarian version as shit as like the following when use a medpack on the gunner or whatever crew person
    “Lövész megjavítva” – Gunner repaired -.-
    sooo… u know

  8. Their translators suck. In romanian, the medal that you get for damaging at least 5 components/crew members is called “Caftangiu” which is slang… “Bătăuș” fits much better and is actually a normal word.

    • Starting from late beta versions up to 0.9.3 part 1, those translations were my job and, usually, I compared the strings also with russian version (to avoid translating errors when the word in english may be either a noun or verb) and that’s why I use a slang word (in russian is slang also). But relax, from now on you’ll see a lot of improper translations, because now they translate for money, not for proper romanian :)

  9. The same is with Coated Optics in PL, from the very beginning – translations literally means “covered”. Yea, because if you cover your viewport, you see further, lol…

    Also, beware when you accept TC invites, guys – you may spend 10-15mins waiting in reserve in the queue and then battle, because you cannot leave with the new interface, even game restarting won’t help you. Probably their new idea how to kill companies…

  10. At least they did not translate “desert” as cake :) This is what you get when there is one word in English for like 10 different things.

      • Yes, dessert is the final course of a meal…… However, I presume the OP was not ignoring that – just pointing out what they could have done to make the translation even funnier…..

  11. One more thing. I didn’t make a screen shot but I remember that in 9.0 or 9.1 they changed “Play” button translation in launcher for Polish client. They used “odtwarzaj” instead of “graj”. In Polish language “odtwarzaj” can be used only for music or a movie when you want to PLAY it :).

    Imagine you download a game for the first time and you see a fail like that on the very beggining. Epic :)

  12. I think it was in the latest patch 9.3 when they corrected the caption on “Play” button in the game updater. For some patches it used to be translated to polish “Odtwarzaj” which is indeed polish equivalent of “play” but as far as music or films are concerned. You can “odtworzyć” a song or a movie but you can’t “odtworzyć” a game ;P Now it got fixed so there is hope! ;D But seriously, I had thought for a long time that translating is very easy, you just take a sentence and translate it word by word! But then my girlfriend started studying English philology concetrating on translations and, oh my god, I was soooo wrong. Translating is really tough. You have to find equivalents for sayings in the languages you are translating and even in the cultures of countries! It’s really nowhere near to translating word by word. You have to consider the background very thoroughly and what we see in world of tanks is what happens when you don’t. It’s clear that it’s not good translators who do this for WG. It seems to be just random people googling words or random people who happen to know english and the language they translate to but have no clue what they are translating.

    • I think it is completely feasible even for a non-pro if one gets the background info and has a possibility to check a translated lang file how it performs live. But I can imagine that the xml lang file looks more or less like this:



      WG EU prolly outsources translation of the lang files and throws it to whomever they find or know. And gives them only the files. This may be the reason of such nonsense. The translators can do their best, but without the background, it is a fail.

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  14. Ok, the thing with 9.3 got me to wonder now:
    Do they maybe use some sort of internal translation system in the game client itself? You get a word translated, you enter it into the game and it automatically puts the word or sentence in all spots where the (original) word appears? There hasn’t been any use for “desert” except the sandy one, until in 9.3 they talk about desert as in leaving the game early and getting punished – and suddenly the other correct translation of desert gets replaced as well?

  15. In the german localisation the button to send the complete crew to the barracks is labeled “Besatzung entlassen” which equals “disband crew” – quite a difference.

  16. Wish it was in French version as well, “desert” camo would fit there the best.

    *grabs popcorn*

  17. the files that are sent to the translators are in excel or slp format
    neither one of them always have the structure in order of subject.
    It isn’t easy to “guess” what the word means, and whats the context.
    but it is really easy for everyone to laugh at the translations made by the translators, without knowing how it works.
    After the translations is implemented in the game, is easier to understand what the meaning that is intended to be.

    • I guess we’re not laughing at the translators themselves. We laugh at the whole process which is crappy after all. In my opinion there should be someone who reviews translations after they’d been implemented into the client so these kind of mistakes could be avoided. They could also release test client already translated and the community would probably catch it.

        • various mistakes or wrong translations are corrected after the update is live
          but not all are caught in time

        • I do know one thing about the process:
          I provide hilarious results from time to time.
          So i do feel fully qualified to laugh at it.
          mfg eXterminus

  18. Fine, I’ll explain how this happened, even though I do not translate these clients. However, I do know how translating works. So, lets get to work, shall we?

    Lets assume we’re in this situation: http://i.imgur.com/DesWCIl.jpg

    Here we have a bunch of strings (yeah that’s what they’re called) only containing the word “Desert”, one without a capitalisation, the rest with. The strings from 9.2 and before are set to “Complete” and have the correct translation (“Wüste”).

    9.3 added 2 strings which are labeled “Translated” and “Not translated” in this screenshot. The “Translated” string has (you guessed it) just been translated, and it has been translated correctly with “Desertieren”. When the translator finished translating the string and told the program to put it as “Translated”, he got a pop-up message. The program detected a few other strings which have exactly the same content. And with exactly, I do mean exactly. The feature is case-sensitive, as you can see. You can also see it does not list the “Not translated” string. The program translates that one automatically.

    The translator most likely looked at the ‘Original’ and ‘Current translation’ collumns, noticed they differed from his translation and clicked “OK”.

    Should he have done that?


    Did he?


    He forgot to check the ‘Path’ collumn, which clearly showed what should and should not be switched.

    And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we proof-read at least twice. Proof-reading is always done by the translators who have not translated the file. It’s VERY difficult to spot your own mistakes.

    This isn’t translated using Google Translate.

    (FYI Silentstalker, WG translators are forbidden, BY CONTRACT, to use Google Translate)

    It’s translated by humans, who made a human mistake.

    • Oh, I almost forgot.

      WG translators do not work for WG EU. They work directly for WG Minsk. WG EU has absolutely no say in this.

      Also, Silent, your “insider info” from a while back about the translations? Yeah… about that…

      • Maybe there is a difference between the translators working on in-game features (contracted by Minsk) and translators working on articles and stuff posted on the WG-EU website (contracted by Paris)?

    • One point to note is that they probably have Russian as the original language in Sisulizer. English is also provided but not as the original translation but as one language column. That adds many more possible duplicate notifications.

      For example:

      10 strings have same translation in Russian.

      Of these 10 strings, 5 have different translation in English. Maybe because the English translator thought that some other translation fit the placement better. You have translated these 10 strings to your own language from English. So you also have 5 same translation and 5 different.

      When you translate a new string in your translation language (for example German) and press enter, you get a notification of duplicates. You not only get notification of those 5 English strings because Sisulizer uses original translation as the source for duplicate checks. You get notification of all 10 strings.

      This is not the worst thing. When you get the duplicate check window, you can only see those 10 Russian translations which are all the same. You can’t add a column which shows the English translations. Try to figure out from those which are really the duplicates and which are not because you have translated from English and not from Russian and you can not see the English context.

      Going back to Silentstalkers blog post, does Russian language use same translation in that Camo window as Desert camo and in the window that you get when you are trying to desert from battle? If it uses, then it is probably a missclick from the translator when it has tried to notify of duplicates. If you press ok, it replaces all previous translations with you new one. I have used Sisulizer in my work translating Industrial PC softwares and this has been a PIA in the past and present.

      • The file WG sends us has indeed Russian set as the original language. First thing we do is switch Russian to English so Sisulizer sees English as the original translation. I dunno whether these two language groups do the same, but they should.

        The Russian words for “desert” and “(to) desert” are different.
        “desert” -> “Пустынная” and “Пустынный” (“Pustynnaja” and “Pustynnyj”)
        “(to) desert” -> “Бежать” (“Bežat’”)

  19. I already translated few games (internet browser games) from English to French. I translated Tank Inspector to French. So I know “how it works”. This mistakes aren’t surprising. When you translating you have no context except the other tags before and after the tag you have to translate and don’t know where the world will be used (in WoT you have the file name location so you can guess a bit with that). The major problems are for exemple when you translating some tags from English to French is to find the correct gender to use for “it” and very often to guess if the world you have to translate is a verb, a name or an adjective. Sometimes it’s even more complicated. Imagine the word “left”. Is the past of “to leave” or the opposite of right? Or “right”, is it the opposite of left or “the right to do something” or a synonym of “correct”? If you have line 8: right, line 9: left, it’s easy, but it’s not always the case.

    I actually applied to become French Translator for Wargaming. You have to pass a test. All works by internet. They send you a excel sheed with some tags already translated and you have to correct or not some mistakes. They check if you matrenal language skill is good more than you translating skill. The feeling I have about Wargaming in this domain is they are very professional and want professional translator, not community people. There are translators, many it seems. Each provide his version. Then, there are coordinators that compare version, check and correct the final version. So, there is no mistake in the release version. All content have to be translated before the official release and to be 100% correct. And it is, at least in French.
    This mistakes are the proof some EU staff isn’t as professional than French ones.

    • ,,The feeling I have about Wargaming in this domain is they are very professional and want professional translator, not community people.”
      That would be wrong, translators should be active players because they may check in-game their translations and change wrong translations in following patch. A professional translator have no clue if his translation fits the context in game.

  20. There were some sentences about “deserting” to translate – you know, that commissar guy and the punishment system for leavers. I think they took this also in camouflage section (not knowing the context), and it looks like this. In 9.2 desert camouflage in PL version was. “pustynny” as it should be.

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