Innersloth's Among Us has become the first major title to be officially translated into Irish, following the developer's incorporation of what began as a fan project into the game. The team of Úna-Minh Kavanagh, Brian C. Mac Giolla Mhuire, Cormac Cinnsealach and Mike Drinkwater had been working on a mod that translated the game, before they were approached to make it official.
"I was approached by Callum from Robot Teddy, the consulting firm supporting Innersloth, after I made a statement on Twitter asking for Irish to become an official part of the game," Úna-Minh told the Irish Mirror. "With the enthusiastic support we got from him, our team got set up with NDAs and began work on the translation."
The project took around five months, involved the translation of hundreds of in-game phrases, and is exactly the kind of thing that languages like Gaelige need. Half of my extended family live in Cork and every one of them is bilingual, because they're taught the language at school. The Irish government is currently halfway through its latest 20-year strategy to revitalise the language and boost the number of native speakers, and keeping languages like Gaelige alive is very much a matter of making them part of the contemporary landscape: such as, for example, in hugely successful videogames.
This would not have been possible without the collective team effort and the incredible support we got from @DevRelCallum, Michaël Lelièvre and the @InnerslothDevs - it's a cultural win for a thriving minority language! Tháimse ana-bhaoch :)) pic.twitter.com/2uHxxGWDmdJuly 7, 2021
"The translation of Among Us is the first significant translation ever made in Irish for a very popular game," says Mike Drinkwater. "It is a cultural victory for the Irish community. Games provide an enjoyable way to learn languages. Players have to intake information that they then have to react to and interactivity facilitates faster learning. And games are fun, so it's not a drag.”
"Games have long been a hobby of mine," adds Brian C. Mac Giolla Mhuire, "and I think it is an excellent route to encourage the use of the language–it’d be great to have a variety of games available, but to have a game as accessible and widely played as Among Us available as Gaeilge, now that’s what I’d call a step in the right direction!”
Among Us is playable in Gaelige now.