Poker Translation

I have recently been working with an international gambling blog to translate their articles from English to Danish. This particular job has proven to be a challenge, considering the fact that I don’t play poker (or any other card games, for that matter). A specialized project like this requires a lot of research to ensure a good grasp on the proper terminology. But it’s fun because jobs like these keep translators on their toes!

What Should Be Translated

One of the bigger issues I’ve run into while translating these articles has been how to determine what terms to translate into Danish and which ones should remain in English. These particular pieces are about online poker, so there are a lot of technical terms being used, which also tells me that the intended audience is mainly a younger generation. Young Danes speak English very well and actually consider it “cool” to inject as many Anglicisms into their vocabulary as possible.

Name of the Game

The term “online poker” is not translated, while “3-card poker” is translated to 3-kort poker in Danish. “Casino games” is translated to Kasino games, because native Danish words do not use the letter “c” and change the spelling to “k” to make it their own. “Poker strategy” becomes poker strategi. Many words are translated in a way that simply makes the spelling seem more “Danish.”

Various Terms and Possible Poker Translations

While I was reviewing the various terms and possible translations I came across, one in particular that stood out: “Speed poker.” This type of poker is a version of Texas Hold’em, played at a rapid pace. When I tried to translate the term “Speed poker,” I quickly realized that the proper Danish translation would be Fart poker. With an article filled with English words, I was sure the Danish translation wouldn’t work well, considering it might still look like an English term that has nothing to do with the game of poker. So, “Speed poker” remained “Speed poker” in my translation work.

The moral of the story is that when deciding if an English term should be left alone or translated, it is always in a translator’s interest to see if the translated word has any meaning in English. The risk of offending a client with words from your native language would definitely be an unwise gamble!

About ToveMaren Stakkestad

I am a bilingual Danish and English speaker currently living in Florida with my husband and four boys. I have 20-years of experience translating anything from children's books to technical documents for the financial industry. I also write SEO-friendly blog posts for several publications including my blog on parenting, “Mama in the Now”.