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Which are the best games for learning a language?


Nixx_57

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English is not my native language, but I have been able to learn it through gaming since I was a child. I tried playing games like Duolingo, but personally, I find it difficult to learn a language that way. Since I have already played Assassin's Creed 2 on last gen, I thought it would be a good idea to switch subtitles and dialogue to Italian in hopes of catching a few words here and there. Unfortunately, I am no longer a kid, so I expect learning a language that way will be harder than before, but it worked once so why not again?

Basically, which games would you recommend playing, that have dialogue/subtitles in another language and are not difficult to figure out what is expected of the player? Also, the story should be forgettable or non-existant.

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2 hours ago, HuntingFever said:

You're better off taking a proper language course with a tutor who specialises in teaching that specific language than you are trying to piece things together from a game which almost certainly has a dodgy translation.

Not certainly true, since i learned english from games from a young age, most language courses also suggest watching something in the language you want to learn with the subtitles in your own language, that way you hear how to pronounce words and / or sentances. It also really helps to get a course of course for grammatica etc.

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Replaying a game that you've already played in English/Native Language with all the crutches removed (meaning, both dialogue and text in target language) can be a good learning experience. You already know what the story is about, and you know how to navigate the menus so you're never at a complete loss. The optimal experience would be to use games that were originally created in your target language, though. As @HuntingFever was alluding to, localizations put you at risk of reading through dodgy or stilted translations. For someone learning Japanese, there is no shortage of original language games to replay and learn from, but I'm not sure you'd have as many options for something like Italian. Your learning experience needs to be fun if you want to stay motivated, so if localizations are your only option, then it's better than nothing.

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I learned the most basic level of English in school, slightly improved it through movies/tv, but not by all that much, likely because the things I was watching were not really all that advanced in terms of required range of vocabulary or the stories in general. The game series that ended up significantly improving my overall English skills, or rather kickstarting the improvement, was the Metal Gear Series, which at that point in time were Metal Gear Solid 1-3. Lengthy cutscenes, rather advanced and complicated story, unique characters. Honestly if you can successfully follow the story of the Metal Gear Solid series in another language, then you can follow pretty much anything.

As for how well it worked, over the years I have received various different ratings and feedback on my written English skills, from people telling me very positive things like my language skills being really impressive for a non native speaker, all the way down to people telling me that I am assaulting the language to the point that they can't even understand me properly. I can say with absolute certainty that it improved when compared to how I used the language in the past though, as old texts of mine make me physically uncomfortable whenever I see them due to all the mistakes, and I never really managed to get rid of my heavy accent, as I quite frankly have no idea how to do that.

 

The most important thing is that you figure out what kind of a language learner you are. Some people get far better results with a methodical approach, learning the theoretical ins and outs of a languages grammar rules again and again, while others (like me) basically have no real clue why they are structuring sentences the way they do, as most if not all of the knowledge on how to structure a sentence comes from nothing but experience. From what you describe, it sounds like you made a rather clumsy attempt at that, but that was all it was. Should the approach you are trying here not work out in your favor, then you might want to consider giving the methodical approach another (proper) go and either get a tutor, or get a real language course instead of Duolingo games.

Edited by Dauersack
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