The Gaming AI Tool That Can Translate Japanese On The Fly

Many gamers around the world love to play classic games such as Elder Scrolls, Super Mario and Metal Gear but one thing about older games, like ones made in the 1990s, is that they can lack localisations for each region. As well as that, some games are released exclusively in specific regions, so Japanese exclusives will only be made in Japanese. An example of this is Mother 3 that was released only in Japan after the highly acclaimed Mother 2 (Earthbound) that had a worldwide release. This meant that the fans had to translate the Japanese text if they wanted to know what was going on.

RetroArch is a popular open-source gaming emulator where you can play classic games from consoles like the Gamecube on your PC. The creators have recently announced the new 1.7.8 update that features an AI service that can translate text on the go and makes use of Google's API. It had been added after it had been announced that there could be a similar service using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and Text to Speech.

RetroArch’s AI Translation Service in Action (Source: LibRetro / YouTube)

The AI translation service is enabled by default and has two modes: a speech mode and an image mode. The former scans the text and the recognised text is then translated to speech. The latter replaces the text that is on the screen with a translated version. As you can see from the video, both modes are quite accurate and provide the user with a meaningful translation. This revolutionary feature will be very useful as it enables people to play games that are made only in languages they do not understand.

(Source: RetroArch)

(Source: RetroArch)

As this is a new feature, there are still some errors such as text being translated wrong. However, over time, this tool will eventually improve and in the meantime, gamers will still get to see what those Japanese characters really mean.

Thumbnail Source: Nintendo