Recently I take notice more about the so-called “visual novel” and it is really interested (Though I’m not really care about it in the past). And when I “played” the one named “Fate stay night” in English version, I felt like really into it. So I’m wondering can visual novel be a good source for learning Japanese? Provided that if we have patient to read really, really long dialogues.
I’d say absolutely!
I haven’t done much with visual novels personally, but I have gotten into playing some RPG games in Japanese, and I’ve found it to help immensely with my reading skills.
As long as it’s something that you’re interested in, and it has a good amount of text (shouldn’t be a problem with visual novels), then I’d say go for it! I think the most important thing is that it engages your mind.
As another idea, I’ve been keeping screenshots of the text for the games that I play, which makes it very easy to go back and reference something that happened earlier, if you weren’t clear on the meaning, context, etc.
While it’s a Japanese Drama and not a visual novel, here’s a course I created for Zettai Kareshi ep 01. It is partly vocabulary list of new words not found in the Basic section of the Suggested Guide for Japanese Literacy course series on Memrise. It then presents the audio clip and you’re to find the correct subtitle line. If that’s all you do it’s super simple however I encourage students to repeat the line out loud trying to match it and to mentally replace words to make the sentence apply to a similar situation they might experience.
This episode is meant to be one of eventual many courses in the Japanese Drama Immersion course series. The JDI has the intention of allowing one to follow an episode with near 100% compression so one can later listen (or read the transcript) to the episode many, many, many times building up passive listening (or reading) skills.
Compare to RPG games then I like to learn through them more than Visual Novel, but Visual Novel provides tons of dialogue though.
I’m just afraid that when I play games I will forget my purpose in the first place.
I can understand that. xD
My approach has been to take screenshots of every line of text in the games as I play, and carefully read through everything, doing my best to keep up on what’s going on without the use of any aids like dictionaries. Admittedly, I still miss a lot of dialogue as I’m playing, just because it doesn’t make sense to me at the time. Later though, I go through all of the screenshots, armed with all of my tools, and meticulously pick apart every sentence as much as I can, adding whatever new words and expressions I find to my Memrise courses.
I’ve still got a long way to go, but I feel that I’ve made great progress with this method, and I’m slowly but surely becoming more and more confident in my reading as I go.
But again, there’s no one ‘right’ way to approach it, and you should go with what’s comfortable for you. Just don’t be discouraged if it’s really, really hard in the beginning. (It certainly was for me.) It’ll slowly get easier, as you start to run across more and more familiar words and patterns.
Agree, japanese - long way to go, but I think it is a pretty interesting journey and by putting that way, it helps me persue this path better :D.
What games do you play? or what do you recommend?
So far, I’ve mostly been playing roms of olders games (90s and early 00s).
Here’s a list of what I’ve played so far, in order:
- Monster World III (Genesis / MegaDrive)
- Sorcerer’s Kingdom (Genesis / MegaDrive)
- Shining Force (Genesis / MegaDrive)
- Langrisser (Genesis / MegaDrive)
- Beyond the Beyond (Playstation)
- Wild Arms (Playstation)
- Pokemon: Blue (GameBoy)
- Advance Wars (GameBoy Advance)
My personal approach has been to start with games that I was already familiar with, to try to give myself a head start on the context so that I could spend more time getting comfortable with reading and less time struggling to keep up with the story.
Also, if you’re still early in reading, I’d recommend starting with games that use little to no kanji, as these often have the words spaced out, and I found them much easier to read than constantly trying to look up kanji that I often wasn’t familiar with at the time. Wild Arms was the first game on that list that I looked at, and it uses tons of kanji, which scared me away for a while. I did much better with it when I played it later, after working my way through a few other, easier to follow games.
Generally, games on earlier consoles seem to use less kanji, from what I’ve seen (partially due to technical limitations). The first two games on that list have zero kanji, while Shining Force uses some, but still not very much. Langrisser only uses kanji in the menu screens, and Pokemon: Blue only uses 円, for the currency. Both PlayStation games on the list are pretty kanji-heavy.
As far as specific recommendations, I stand behind the ones I’ve picked, but I’d also encourage looking around for something that you’d be especially interested in playing. While I don’t think I can post any links here, there are a ton of roms around.
Finally, any recent computer games that you have (Steam’s a great resource) would be worth a look at the language settings. I’ve found a good handful of games that have Japanese text, audio, or (ideally) both, which I’ll probably be checking out eventually.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
Thanks! and sounds interesting! I never actually thought about replaying games I already played. I haven’t played any game in your list though, closest would be pokemon red, which I think has a same story anyway. I guess i’ll give that a try.