Peer Review: Language/Translation Review FAQ
Rules for passing and failing languages during Peer Review.

Related documents:

  • See the Evil Checklist for language/translation reasons to fail/not fail
  • See the Not So Evil Checklist for a list of things that are not reasons to fail a game
  • See the Legal FAQ for legal reasons you should and should not fail a game

Languages declared in Peer Review do NOT appear on marketplace. They are NOT a declaration of translation, merely an indicator of which languages are used in the binary and therefore which languages need reviewing.

It is INCORRECT to fail a game because the languages used for the binary and description don't match. It’s a valid scenario for a description to be localized, and it doesn't imply the game must also be translated. It’s also valid, though not recommended, to have more languages in a binary than in the description.

Valid language fail reasons include:

  • Bad translations: e.g., using automated processes in the binary or the description. Warn but be lenient on small spelling, translation, or punctuation issues. Fail Reason: Inappropriate for Xbox LIVE
  • Using languages not on the approved list (currently approved languages are English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Japanese): Since the review process can't validate unapproved languages, the game shouldn't be in the system. This includes dead languages (Latin, ancient Greek, etc.) and made-up languages that are documented (Klingon, Elvish, etc.). Fail Reason: Grossly misrepresents content in content info
  • Not declaring ALL languages used: This is seen as gaming the system, as you're avoiding getting the game reviewed by the correct speakers. Fail Reason: Grossly misrepresents content in content info

How does the review process work regarding languages?

Games in review have two (2) sets of languages associated with them:

  1. Binary Language: This is set by the developer checking that language.
  2. Description Language: This is set by entering a description in that language. When the game is reviewed, the language passes are counted as follows:
    • A binary language pass is given by reviewers choosing the language checkbox at the end of the review.
    • A description language is given automatically if you have that language set in your profile.

For a game to pass Peer Review, it must have enough language passes in both description AND binary reviews. Reviewers don't have to be multi-lingual; each reviewer’s vote counts towards the language tally, even if they only speak one language. There's a minimum number required for each language a game uses to pass.

Because the description language automatically uses the languages in your profile, it is VERY important that the language(s) you speak are listed in your profile and are accurate and truthful. You must be a native or fluent speaker; otherwise, you may be implicitly passing games in languages you don't speak. This will be seen as gaming the system, which has consequences. Therefore, if you added another language to be able to download more games, please ensure that you change it back before you begin to Peer Review.

Example of How A Language Review Works

MyCoolGame is submitted with English, German, and French as selected binary languages because the game is fully translated to those three languages.

  • In addition, I check Japanese because my game has Japanese characters.
  • In addition, I complete a description for English, French, and Spanish. (German is missed accidentally.)

This means that I need reviews in English, German, French, Japanese, and Spanish.

Reviewer 1 has a profile marked with English and Japanese, and checks both on review. My binary gets a pass for both languages. Reviewer 2 has a profile marked with French and Spanish. He only checks French when he submits, which gives the binary a French pass. However the Spanish in his profile automatically gives my game a pass for the Spanish description.

The exact algorithm for how the votes accumulate or count isn't available. Questions can be asked in the forums, or sent to creators@microsoft.com.

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