For this series I’m going to be playing games in Japanese and German. What I will be doing is sharing what I learn through playing these games and how my language comprehension improves as I complete each game. I will be using the emulator app on my mobile as well as online sites that have games available in different languages.
What’s an emulator app? Well it’s the next best thing to having the game console itself. While it’s obviously better to have the console, sometimes it’s just not within our reach to get. That’s why you can find apps that allow you to play games on an “emulated” version of the console on your phone. What you’re going to do is download emulator you want (ex: Playstation, Gameboy (Color, Advance, etc), DS, Nintendo 64, etc, etc.) and then download the games you want from a site like this: Cool Rom or EmuParadise. Then look for the games you want that are in your target language.
Watching “Let’s Play ” Videos on YouTube
Let’s face it. Unless you’re a skilled gamer there are going to be moments where you’re not going to be able to progress further without a little help from a guide of some sort. Or better yet, let’s play videos concerning the game you’re playing. That way you can discover when you need to go (and learn new words and phrases as well!) in the game. It’s also a great thing to watch when you just want to unwind and don’t want to play the game.
What’s really going to be beneficial to your language learning is having ones were the creator is providing commentary. Make sure it’s a real person and not a computer-generated voice!
What Games Will I Be Playing?
Whatever I can find that’s available in my target languages. Now you might have seen in an earlier blog post: How To Play Video Games In Your Target Language where I posted this screenshot of me playing a game on my phone. At the moment it is mostly Pokémon games but I will switch it up to make it more interesting as well as playing non-gaming system related games too! This challenge will be how you can immerse yourself in the language whilst having fun at the same time.
Besides, you’re more likely going to be motivated to continue learning languages if you can make it fun too! Am I only going to use game to learn language? Nope, I’m going to diversify the mediums I learn languages on so that way I’m not limiting myself but also keeping things fresh as well.
What If I Don’t Understand?
That’s perfectly fine. The objective here is to immerse yourself in your target language whilst having fun. You’re probably not going to understand everything the first time around but after playing it multiple times (and as you progress further in the game). Don’t worry about looking up every SINGLE word at once. Try to understand what’s going on through the context itself. Then look up words if you can’t figure it out. Although I wouldn’t recommend having a dictionary (especially a paper one) constantly on hand.
Do you use games to supplement your language learning? If so, which new words or phrases did you find the most useful to you? If not, how do you keep yourself motivated learning languages in a fun and engaging way? I’d love to hear from you!