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!
My daughter when she was 9 considered learning portuguese by opting for that language when watching her movies (Barbie, Disney Princesses, Pixar) sadly, she says she’d tranlate in her mind back to English so she only managed to learn a few words and lost interest, then she started watching them in Spanish and became fixated on the bad translations because she knew those movies in English by heart… Now my son (7) sometimes does what you are doing and can’t stop laughing while he is trying to play and pay attention… Captions in English and audio in Spanish is a very useful strategy! mucha suerte amigo bloguero, te leo pronto Alexandra
Muchas gracias Alexandra, siempre. 🙂
HOnestly, about the same thing you are doing. I have found that playing video games in different languages is extraordinarily useful when you are trying to pick up new vocabulary, because it continually reinforces vocabulary for you and gives you incentive to keep learning. Unfortunately, I am more interested in learning to speak Mandarin and Japanese than learn to read them, although this strategy is extremely useful for French. Curse you, lack of alphabet in Chinese! (Although I don’t know about Japanese- this one is just a language where I learn a few new phrases every now and then for funsies while I hang out with my friends who are actually taking Japanese).
Yeah, Chinese and Japanese are two of the most difficult languages to pick up. I’ve spent a little time on both as well. Have you tried Slime Forest Adventure? I hear it’s good, although unfortunately I think it focuses more on the writing side of Japanese.
No, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of it before. I need to look it up now!
I enjoy watching other movies with subtitles on. Sometimes I’ll watch a movie I’ve seen before, and the dubbed voices will change the characters and narrative a bit. It’s a fun exercise. One of my favorites is Winnie the Pooh (the most recent movie) in French.
Sounds fun 🙂