View Full Version : I want to learn enough Japanese to play games
12-25-2005, 12:03 PM
Ok, that might seem like a silly reason, but frankly it's the one I have. If you wanted to learn Japanese in order to play video games, how would you go about it? I don't need to learn all the characters and such, but mainly the common video game ones (like health, mana, etc.). I know some words would still be lost to me, but that happens in any language you learn. As long as I could still get what was going on and such, I don't think I would mind that.
12-25-2005, 03:07 PM
You really want to learn all the Hiragana and the Katakana at the very least and that's not too tough since it's all phonetic. Katakana is used for non-Japanese words so in RPGs that usually means weapon/spell/character names. If you spend maybe 2-3 hours a week you can probably memorize them all in a month.
As for the rest, I would concentrate on learning the common RPG Kanji (Chinese characters)...and there's not too many.
Numbers 1-10, 100, 1000, 10000
Directions N W S E
Areas - Cave Town City Villiage Castle, etc
Reading off stats - Health, Power, Agility, Etc.
That said, I think that you might find that playing J-RPGs not too fun if you don't understand what's going on, even if you understand the menus :)
You might get more milage out of combat oriented games like Disgaea, Front Mission, Final Fantasy Tactics, ec
12-25-2005, 04:55 PM
Live in Japan for some time. I had 4 years of high school Japanese and know all the kana, maybe 200 kanji, but that still does jack when you are trying to read the game and there are hundreds of thousands of words you never learned. So unless you want to spend most of your time with a dictionary, you should learn the words.
Hmmm... I'd probably learn the kana, 'cause you can't get far without them.
Then I'd learn enough kanji that I understand the way that they're put together (the basic components that make up kanji--a very small number of components make up most kanji that you'll run into in an RPG, I'd guess), and learn to use a kanji dictionary. That way, every time you see a kanji you don't recognize on the screen, you can write it down and look it up.
It's a bit of a bizarre approach, I guess--normally I'd never advise someone to learn kanji out of the context of the language--but it'd probably get you the words like "health", "mana", "magic", although you'll never be able to understand the story with this approach; you'd have to try learning the language for that.
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