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Inuktitut Localization

When we started Pinnguaq we knew we would have to prove ourselves not only to the wider world but to Nunavummiut too.  A tech company in Nunavut? Ha!  Laughable.  This is the same territory that was still exclusively using dial up Internet until 2005. It's also hard to start a new company and to just create greatness. Building blocks need to be placed and the building blocks we decided on were those of localization.

Osmos on iPhone

Osmos is available in Inuktitut for iPad and iPod/iPhone. It took an army of 86 Nunavummiut to translate fully.

Pinnguaq’s first project in 2012 was the localization of the 2010 game of the year “Osmos”.   There were multiple reasons to start here.  

  1. It provided us with initial exposure for the company and our mission by dealing with a well known brand and proving our services were not only valuable but useful for a wider audience.

  2. It gave us the time to shape Pinnguaq, to learn from the partners we worked with and to figure out exactly how we wanted to make the organization work moving forward.

  3. It ensured we were producing a quality product. Why not join forces with those willing to lend us their product and help spread Inuktitut and the message of Pinnguaq through the incredible work of other design teams?

Localization in Inuktitut (and hopefully other Indigenous languages, soon) remains a top priority for us.  We’re constantly reaching out to other developers and pitching our services. There is alot of support through the Nunavut Government and alot of support from Nunavummiut to make this happen. There are also alot of really positive reasons to do this as well.

Kids here play games as much as any other.  Making games available in Inuktitut will start to open the eyes of the kids here that Inuktitut matters and, most importantly, that there is a place for them in the Industry.  Because the industry is listening and cares.

 

Ittle Dew

'Ittle Dew by Swedish based "Ludosity" is the next game we've done in Inuktitut. It is currently being Beta Tested but we should have this working and out in the next few weeks. The game is available on PC, Mac, Linux, iOs, Android, Ouya, Wii U.. pretty much everything.  What exposure for the Inuktitut language!

Why should a developer care about Inuktitut localization?  Given the size of the market, what advantage is it to the developer?

Inuktitut localization does not cost developers anything.  We have the support internally to carry out localization projects and spread the Inuktitut language as far and wide as we can.  We have the experience here as well to ensure that it won’t cause developers headaches.  From a marketing standpoint, an Inuktitut version of your game is unique and rare.  This foray into Indigenous language localization is still new and it turns heads when people hear a game is available in a language like Inuktitut.  It provides eyes and ears on a developers product that otherwise may not have been there.

Ultimately though, the developers we work with the most do it because they truly believe in our mission.  There is a recognition that by making their games available in Inuktitut they're helping to encourage and support the next generation of great game makers.  As Inuktitut speaking children start to see more and more games available in Inuktitut they'll feel a place in the industry and pursue a future here.  It’s an inclusive mission that recognizes the value of Canada’s indigenous languages and places them on equal footing with others.

 

Ittle Dew Text

A look inside he localization document that we use to translate the entire game. Over 800 terms needed to be translated for Ittle Dew. I assure you that in the entire history of Inuktitut past and future, this is the only time the sentence "Turnips Can Hit Crystals" will ever be translated.

Moving forward we’ve decided that even as our own projects move to the forefront of our attention we're going to continue to make localization a priority.  It’s important for all the reasons we’ve listed above and it continues to be a foundation of what defines this company.  Pinnguaq hopes to be in a position in which we can use our abilities and company to help bring Inuktitut to the forefront of the conversation and to prove that Indigenous language and culture in Canada is thriving and beautiful.