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Author Topic: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?  (Read 1444 times)

SleepyFist

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Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« on: October 19, 2020, 05:47:27 pm »
I've been doing Japanese language lessons lately, breezed right through the hiragana and katakana, Kanji is a little chewy though.

I'm looking for games that would make good reading practice material, I thought I would try the Dragon Quest 1&2 collection, but it's a bit too much for now, preferably I'd also like something without text crunch, because picking out Japanese characters at low res is a royal pain in the ass.
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PowerPanda

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2020, 06:30:07 pm »
I actually found the first 2 gens of Pokemon to be good for this. All of the characters speak in short, simple sentences, and because the games are on the GB/GBC, and memory was at a premium, everything is in hiragana/katakana, with not a kanji in sight. I was also familiar with the plot, so the context helped me learn a bunch of new words.

SleepyFist

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2020, 03:55:23 am »
Thanks, I'll definitely give it a try.
It'll also give me a chance to check out some of the infamous original artwork.
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FAST6191

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2020, 09:13:07 am »
While there are probably worse fates, and harder to correct things, it should be noted a lot of games, especially older ones, talk in a kind of clipped manner because of space issues, and also like a young kid for those games aimed at young kids. Imitating such things will have you speak similarly. Probably better than speaking like a 500 year old samurai because you learned from a dusty old tome (or someone that copied said same into their course) but still something to be aware of.

If it is purely for getting the kana on lock I might almost suggest you find a game that transliterates things into Japanese and go from there, though that might leave you with more Katakana then otherwise.

SleepyFist

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2020, 10:20:49 am »
Primarily I'm only learning the language to be able to read and understand dialog, so any bit of the language I can use as a foothold should work I think, I will keep in mind the age group though.

I'm working my way up to Steins;Gate actually, which should work as a pretty good example of modern Japanese, but I'm not nearly ready to read it yet.
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PresidentLeever

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2020, 11:58:19 am »
Emit vol 1-3 maybe? For PS1/SAT.
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SleepyFist

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2020, 06:36:00 pm »
Interesting suggestion, I do actually have a Pseudo Saturn so I might look into that, I wonder if it'll work both ways.
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Demille

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 03:35:00 am »
Well, I was gonna suggest Dragon Quest titles, but you said it yourself that it might be a bit much for you at this point. At least if you play, say, V, you can slightly justify your inability to read certain lines when things like this appear:


 ;D
I'd be hesitant to recommend kana-only titles to anyone who feels they are beginners though. Kana-only games assume that the player is already fluent in Japanese, but simply hasn't learned all the Kanji yet. Those Kanji which early learners dread so much are often very helpful for those who don't want to mix up words with grammar bits, or wrong words entirely, because they didn't realize that 繕う was the word used somewhere and not the volitional form of 作る, or other things.
Just one opinion though. I'd say "you'll never see that" but believe it or not, you will see that. Somewhere. Eventually.

FAST6191

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2020, 09:38:21 am »
In that case is it worth getting something with Furigana (bunch of DS games had this thanks to size available + touchscreen)?

SleepyFist

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2020, 01:48:48 pm »
 What kind of games are we talking? I've got a DS flashcart. Also I should note that my primary source of learning is DuoLingo, so I'll be learning Kanji and such one way or another.
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Demille

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2020, 12:15:10 am »
In that case is it worth getting something with Furigana (bunch of DS games had this thanks to size available + touchscreen)?

Furigana can definitely help save time with looking up words you don't know just yet, and to remind you of the readings of ones you simply forgot. And, it is easy enough to ignore them once you know the readings.

What kind of games are we talking? I've got a DS flashcart. Also I should note that my primary source of learning is DuoLingo, so I'll be learning Kanji and such one way or another.

It's hard to recommend any one specific game since I have memories (some fond, some bitter) of my early JP study with the games I enjoyed, or tried to. 黄金の太陽/Golden Sun had a limited Kanji set which helped in some ways, hurt in others. どうぶつの森e+ had a sliding difficulty scale for its pool of some 300-400 Kanji, but you really don't wanna mess with trying to dissect some of the slangy speech patterns in that game which make 100% more sense after you realize what they're derived from in standard Japanese. Pokemon Black/White has Kanji, if you can figure out what some of them are due to the squishedness... The long and short is, they're all gonna help and hurt in one way or another. Up to you which pain you wish to face, and eventually you will need to challenge them all  >:D

This is slightly outside the scope of this discussion, but it's worth mentioning anyway: Using an SRS such as Anki, much in the same way that DuoLingo (I think anyway) will drill you on things at set intervals, you can effectively turn any game you're playing into its own isolated instance of a duolingo lesson. I know that sounds weird, but if you screencap something in-game and paste it to an Anki card, you can review words and sentences, complete with context, to study. And when you see it the next time you review it, you'll have a memory of it which is that much stronger. Every little bit helps. This pic is merely an example based on the above screencap, and you can tailor it precisely to your needs/style, but...

The point is, if you're worried about stumbling through a game and not "getting" anything out of it, this may help you to get more out of it when you see things a second, a third, etc, time, and really get a chance to digest words/grammar and the contexts in which they appear.
It may not always be "useful" everyday stuff, but then again, if it helps you to play the games you like, who's to say it isn't useful?

SleepyFist

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2020, 11:45:38 am »
I could look into Anki and Golden Sun definitely, probably won't be doing Animal Crossing though, from experience I know how much of a timesink that game can become.

Endgame goal is, I guess to get good enough at the language to eventually do translation, I've got my eye on Giftpia in particular, and maybe the PSX version of SMT too.
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RickkyJaden

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2020, 09:25:29 pm »
I think that you don`t have to play games to learn Japanese properly. All you need is a synergy with teacher and also you must be able to create a situation when you need to learn language, gaming is one of this ways but for example you can start making your own blog. If you are not sure in your writing skills you can go for 3rd party services like this https://pickwriters.com/japanese-translation-services or you can find some japanese remote work instead of blogging. Every game brings casualty in any activity, so I advise you to practice with words and people, not keyboards and controllers.
I am Rickky Jaden, 20y.All I love in my life is a hockey,basketball and music creating. Learning in Linguistic School. Recently I have finished 3rd academic year, I like this one by the way, I didn`t thought that learning will give me pleasure.
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SleepyFist

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Re: Games that are good for people learning Japanese?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2020, 07:56:00 pm »
Thanks for the advice, don't think I'll be blogging though, not exactly a social butterfly.
I could probably hang out with the Japanese crowd over on NicoNico and Youtube though.
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