‘Criú nó fealltóir?’: Video game Among Us receives Irish translation

9 Jul 2021

Image: © JorgeEduardo/Stock.adobe.com

Among Us has implemented the option to play in Irish, bringing Gaeilge to the popular pastime of social deduction.

Wednesday (7 July) marked a huge win for a small team of language enthusiasts, as their homegrown Irish translation of Among Us was officially implemented in patch 6.30.

Among Us is an online social deduction video game made by the developers Innersloth.

While it was first released in 2018, its popularity skyrocketed in 2020 – attributed both to Twitch streamers and the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the game, anywhere between four and 15 crewmembers board a spaceship and must complete tasks. Among them are imposters, who are tasked with murdering their friends without being caught.

With its iconic imposter design and reminiscence of summer camp games of Mafia and Werewolf, the game has become a minor cultural icon both through its memes and its online streaming.

First released for iOS and Android, it later received a Windows and Nintendo Switch port. With announced versions for PlayStation and Xbox in development, the game continues to grow in popularity and accessibility.

Back in December of 2020, Úna-Minh Caomhánach tweeted that a team of seven “translating enthusiasts” had finished developing an Irish version of the game. While users could access the version, it required the installation of a mod, which many might find off-putting.

“If it was official, it would be in built into the game in the language settings and much more accessible,” said Caomhánach at the time.

Seven months later, in a “a cultural win for a thriving minority language”, Caomhánach announced not only had Innersloth decided to collaborate, but they would be releasing the version as Gaeilge in the latest patch.

With help from fellow Gaeilgeoirí and collaborators Brian C Mac Giolla Mhuire, Cormac Cinnsealach and Mike Drinkwater, the Irish translation is now available in all latest versions of the game.

“Among Us is huge. It’s a massive win for teachers, speakers, young students, gamers and enthusiasts,” said Caomhánach.

With other popular video game Minecraft already incorporating an Irish version, the medium represents a promising growing resource for those looking to celebrate the minority language.

Sam Cox was a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news