I’ve been doing Rosetta Stone every day for about a month now. It’s still good, but sometimes you need a little variety, y’know? So I’m augmenting my español with a dose of Final Fantasy.
A fun fact about ROMs (computerized versions of classic games) is that they come in different languages. Sometimes you get the official translation, and sometimes you get fan work – which can be almost as good. Either way, you’re now the proud owner of an entire video game in the language you’re learning.
Video games are great for learning languages, for several reasons. First, it’s total immersion, so you’re forced to sink or swim right away. (A Spanish-English dictionary comes in handy here.) Second, you get a lot of visual feedback to help you figure out the words. And finally, the game is actually – you know – fun, so it gives you a good incentive to keep learning.
In general, you’ll want to stick to RPGs and other text-heavy games for this sort of thing. The Spanish version of Donkey Kong might be enjoyable, but I’m not sure how much vocabulary you’ll learn.
Anyway, it’s been fun so far, although you do tend to pick up some unusual words. “Invocador” is “summoner,” for instance – I don’t think we got around to that one in high school. But you also get a lot of solid, basic vocabulary.
This particular game is especially tricky, because I’ve never played it in English. I’m really figuring it out as I go. I’m sure that I’m missing out on some of the finer points of the plot, and I occasionally find myself wondering where the hell to go next when it should probably be obvious. But overall, it’s not too hard to keep up with what’s going on.
What unusual methods have you tried to learn another language?
Bonus points to anyone who can tell me which Final Fantasy game this is!