could be more fun than playing your favourite video game from childhood in a new language? Would that motivate you to continue learning it, knowing you can have fun at the same time. You can learn new vocabulary and phrases from these games. Some vocabulary will probably be more useful than others (but who doesn’t love learning hilarious phrases you find in video games)!
What Do I Need To Play These Games?
There are a wide variety of ways to play video games and thanks to innovation in technology, we don’t necessarily need the console itself. (although it is nice to have, if you do have it) There are so many emulator apps out there for almost every system imaginable. You can even play certain ones online as well, with sites like Vizzed. I currently use the nds4droid, John GBC Lite, and GBA.emu apps for my smartphone to play games in my target language. Note: You do need to download the games separately through places like Cool Rom or EmuParadise.
What If I Don’t Understand It?
That’s okay. You can learn a lot of new phrases and vocabulary while getting used to the layout of the game itself. For Japanese, it’s imperative that you learn Hiragana and Katakana before attempting to play games in Japanese. These syllabaries will help you read the language better and you will be able to understand a little bit due to the context. No matter what the language, it also helps getting the basics down too so you will be able to get the gist of what’s going on.
Some games are just difficult to play even in your native language. So find one that’s enjoyable but not too impossible for you either.
Are Certain Games Better For Beginners?
There might be a few games out there that could be easier to play for those who have a limited knowledge in their target language. But usually they tend to be aimed at small children and use incredibly simple language that’s more insulting to read for an adult. Besides wouldn’t you rather play something you’d enjoy? That’s what I thought! Try doing a search for your favourite game and see if it’s available in your target language.
What If There Aren’t Any Games Available In My Target Language?
This could only mean that you’re either a) a linguist preserving a dying language b) learning a minority language or language that prefers the game’s original language (ie: Catalan speakers playing The Last of Us in Spanish or Danes playing it in English.) or c) You just assume they’re aren’t any.
If you fall under the a) category: Sorry, there isn’t much I can do here but wish you the best on your language preservation endeavours.
If you fall under the b) category: There are a few games in these languages but they’re usually more difficult to find or it’s incredibly popular and they found a plethora of translators. It’s just a manner of searching for what’s out there.
If you fall under the c) category: Don’t be lazy! Come on now! Google is your friend. Use her to your advantage with specific keywords for the game you’re looking for. You can do it! ( if you can’t even do that, well then you, my friend, need to learn how to use a computer. Which would be too troublesome to do for you.
What Games Am I Playing?
Right now I’m playing mostly Pokémon games in Japanese (Pearl, Diamond, Black, White, Black 2, and White 2) on my smartphone. So far I’m still in the beginning stages of the game but it’s fun to learn new words. Pokémon games up until Diamond and Pearl have only been written in Hiragana and Katakana but from Black and White on, they give you an option to choose Kanji. That way you can boost your kanji knowledge as well!
If you have any recommendations for games or sites where you can play games in different languages, feel free to put them in the comments below!
Do you enjoy gaming? Do you thinking gaming is a great way to learn a new language? I’d love to hear your experiences!