Astarion from BG3. Larian Studios All rights reserved.

Gaming for everyone: Our Inclusive Language Localization of Baldur’s Gate 3 in Brazilian Portuguese

Baldur’s Gate 3 shattered records by securing the highest Metacritic score of the year, a testament to its excellence across various facets. Notably, the game stood out for its balanced approach to characterization, gameplay, and storytelling, with an emphasis on gender inclusivity. Altagram's role was pivotal in ensuring this inclusivity extended to the realm of language.

To immerse players in the rich world of Baldur’s Gate 3, Altagram seamlessly integrated inclusive, non-binary language into both the gameplay and dialogues of the Brazilian Portuguese version of the title. However, this was not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. The project demanded a nuanced approach to address the intricate dynamics of gender and Brazilian Portuguese language within the game's diegesis.

Guiding Principles for Authenticity

Recognizing the diversity of characters and races within the game was crucial. Notably, different races had distinct cultural norms, influencing their use of inclusive language. For instance, some races, like goblins, deliberately defaulted to “neutral” language (male) or employed phrasing that skillfully avoided the use of pronouns. This approach added depth and authenticity to the gaming experience, enriching character development and narrative complexity.

The -elu System

The choice of inclusive language in Baldur’s Gate 3 rested on the -elu system, a standardized framework for gender-neutral language (https://pt.pronouns.page/elu). While the team encountered instances where grammatical consensus was still evolving, preserving the integrity of the -elu system remained paramount.

Definite and Indefinite Articles

To streamline dialogue and enhance readability, definite and indefinite articles (ê/ume) were often omitted. However, these articles were retained when their emphasis was integral to the context, ensuring clarity without compromising inclusivity.

Avoiding Misgendering

The project adhered to a strict no-tolerance policy against any form of misgendering within the dialogues, reinforcing a commitment to respect as an utmost priority.

Generic Vocatives

Generic vocatives and one-liners, which frequently addressed multiple participants, sometimes employed the male plural for simplicity (“Gnomos, preparem-se para morrer!” /”Gnomes, prepare to die!”). The team maintained vigilance to prevent any personal misgendering in these instances.

Plural Variations

While plurals like “juntes” (“together”) and “todes” (“all”) were avoided whenever possible to maintain naturalness, some instances that exclusively referred to non-binary characters required these variations, and they were incorporated judiciously.

Internal Cohesion

Dialogue coherence remained a priority, with unconventional lines flagged for attention to ensure alignment with the context. While cer­tain lines may have seemed unconvention­al, we ensured that they aligned with the context. For example, “Então.. não é elfo?” (“So... it is not elf?” (masculine form)).

A Remarkable Collaboration

Collaborating with Larian Studios and a talented team of freelancers on the localization of Baldur’s Gate 3 was a remarkable journey for Altagram. The experience, from start to finish, was outstanding, and the team looks forward to continuing their commitment to inclusivity and excellence in game localization.

Setting the Standard

The games industry is home to a diverse community of players around the world who enjoy playing the latest titles, and often identify with the games, their stories, and characters. It’s an industry that has birthed large-scale conferences which serve as meeting points for the community, and a space that is on the forefront of social change. With the application of inclusive language, we hope to push the industry forward, making it an increasingly welcoming place for all those who want to play.

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