25th Sep 2020

Keywords staff spotlight: How a love for languages and games led to a successful career in localization

Celebrated on September 26 each year, the European Day of Languages (EDL) showcases the importance of language learning and protecting linguistic heritage.

To celebrate this year’s ELD, we met with Manuela Ceccoli, Quality & Linguist Lead at Keywords Studios in Barcelona who speaks no less than six European languages (Italian, English, Spanish, German, French and working on her Catalan). Her love for languages and gaming led her to Keywords. So we feel extremely lucky that she Manuela is part of our team.

Here’s what she had to say:

Describe your role within Keywords Localization. What does a typical day involve?

Quality is my thing! I specialise in quality monitoring processes and tools and also support our project managers, helping to evaluate and analyse the quality of their projects.

Fluency in several languages is a huge plus as I regularly review reports and documents in various languages to help elaborate and optimise.

Familiarity with the languages means I can often identify what needs to be improved or expanded upon.

In addition, as part of my role, I also lead on recruitment, onboarding and training for our French, Italian, German and Spanish internal linguists, monitoring their performance and providing continuous feedback and support.

I also help ensure they have the necessary tools to grow into their roles.

Ultimately, our linguists become our right hand – not only for pure translation and review activity but also to help ensure quality standards are met and delivered on a larger scale.

Manuela Ceccoli at her work station at home

Is there a specific aspect of your role you enjoy?

Languages! I enjoy using so many different languages at once and engaging with people from many different cultures.

How did you get into Localization for video games? What inspired your career path?

Easy: playing! I got into languages at a very young age, as I thought my future would be in tourism.

Then Morrowind came along, and Diablo, and World of Warcraft.

I had absolutely no idea how much work and effort were behind localizing a game at the time, and I soon realised that’s what I had learnt languages for.

What have you gained from working with Keywords Localization?

As I mentioned before, being able to meet (sometimes virtually, sometimes in real life) people from other cultures and who have completely different lifestyles and values is what enriches me the most.

But it also gave me a very broad view of how this is industry works, of all the steps and the services (and the manpower!) involved.

What is your favourite video game and why?

I would say World of Warcraft, although I don’t have much time to play anymore.

The setting, the open world, the lore were unbelievable. I have also met several people from my old raiding guild (from all over Europe!) who are still important to me today.

Tell us an interesting fact that people may not know about you

My very first English book was a short, illustrated version of Peter Pan, with big letters and many colourful pictures.

I might have been four or five years old when I got it. I think I got lost in Neverland then and I still haven’t found my way back.

Finally, what three tips do you have for someone who wants to work in localization?

  1. It may seems obvious but play a lot … play anything! This is the only way to really understand what players want.
  2. Read a lot of books and watch a lot of movies and shows, especially fiction. Knowing pop culture and its lingo helps a lot in this line of work.
  3. Have fun but take it very seriously at the same time. Any small indie game or match-3 deserves just as much love as the most sophisticated AAA game.

At Keywords Studios, through our Localization services, we partner to deliver the truly native experiences that all gamers deserve, wherever they live and whatever language they speak.

Are you interested in a role with Keywords Localization? You can find current open positions on the Keywords Studios website.

For more information on how Keywords can help you localize your video games for players around the world, visit our Localization services page.

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