#1 Posted by Tomzombie (396 posts) -

i bought Metro 2033  in the humble bundle and i started playing the game in russian with english subtiles. But i can't understand a word most NPCs are saying so i have started to learn the russian language just help understand what people are say. 
 
Any one else have a experience with a game like that.

#2 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

Not because of a game but it sure helped that my english teacher taught everyone english. 
Makes it a whole lot easier when playing most games and watching movies and listening to music. 
 
But no, I never had to learn Russian for Metro 2033. I do play it with Russian voices on though because then it's like I'm totally a stranger in moscow.

#3 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2009 posts) -

In the process of learning Japanese for a whole bunch of reasons. Waiting for localizations is too much for me (a la PSO2) so trying to guess my way through some games like PSO2 that can get pretty text heavy at points was becoming a fool's errand.

The next time a really cool game from Japan comes out and it seems like it's not getting localized anytime soon, I need to be ready!

#4 Posted by Ares42 (2591 posts) -

For non-English speakers this is probably pretty common. We started learning English in school at the age of 9 or 10 I think, but I had already been playing text heavy games (like Sierra adventure games) since I was 6 or 7.

#5 Posted by believer258 (11682 posts) -

You could always just, you know, read those English subtitles that you turned on. Does wonders for understanding what people are saying in a language that you don't understand.

On topic - no. I think that learning a different language would be cool and interesting, but the ability to play, watch, or read something in a different language would be a side benefit, not a reason for learning another language for me. Now, using some of those things as learning tools for those other languages could be an entirely different story.

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#6 Posted by TheHT (10933 posts) -

Does using foreign language guides count? If so then PSO2, almost every PSP Gundam game, and some other Japanese games I'm sure.

#7 Posted by jonnyboy (2920 posts) -

The opposite in fact, before 2007 I couldn't speak a word of American Military Jargon...

#8 Posted by Animasta (14651 posts) -

@believer258 said:

You could always just, you know, read those English subtitles that you turned on. Does wonders for understanding what people are saying in a language that you don't understand.

the subtitles don't say what the random NPC's are saying

#9 Posted by believer258 (11682 posts) -
@Animasta

@believer258 said:

You could always just, you know, read those English subtitles that you turned on. Does wonders for understanding what people are saying in a language that you don't understand.

the subtitles don't say what the random NPC's are saying

Well, for one that would fill up too much of the screen with subtitles. For two, you don't really need to know what they are saying generally.
Admittedly, having the option of all subtitles, only main character subtitles, and no subtitles would be nice.
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#10 Posted by Sinusoidal (1304 posts) -

I played through the entirety of Saints Row The Third with Korean text and subtitles because it's one of the very few Korean ports with no English text options. The mission with the text adventure was easy because I had a lot of time to read and I already know a fair amount of the language, the story missions as well because the dialog was in English. The side-missions were a real pain because your objectives would only pop up in text for a brief moment and I often had no idea what to do. It didn't help that the objectives are completely absurd for things like Insurance Fraud and whatever the tiger-in-the-car missions are called. Some real WTF moments. They made the game possibly even more enjoyable.

#11 Posted by Video_Game_King (36110 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Now, using some of those things as learning tools for those other languages could be an entirely different story.

Unless the game was designed to help you learn another language, not really. You can actually get through a lot of a game with minimal understanding of the language, as Ryan and Patrick demonstrate.

Oh, and:

いつも日本語!
#12 Posted by mlarrabee (2889 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@believer258 said:

You could always just, you know, read those English subtitles that you turned on. Does wonders for understanding what people are saying in a language that you don't understand.

the subtitles don't say what the random NPC's are saying

Easy-peasy.

"Soldi, soldi, soldi!" = "Money, money, money!"

#13 Posted by Pepsiman (2459 posts) -

@believer258 said:

You could always just, you know, read those English subtitles that you turned on. Does wonders for understanding what people are saying in a language that you don't understand.

On topic - no. I think that learning a different language would be cool and interesting, but the ability to play, watch, or read something in a different language would be a side benefit, not a reason for learning another language for me. Now, using some of those things as learning tools for those other languages could be an entirely different story.

I can personally attest to this being the case as a non-native Japanese speaker. I started learning it mainly because I've had a passion for languages since I was young and it's since evolved into a career for me, as I'm currently pursuing translation and interpretation work that'll likely involve the Japanese government in some capacity. At this point, a lot of the modern games over there that don't get localized are too complex from a grammar and vocabulary perspective to make picking up the language for that end goal of being able to play them particularly viable. I actually just finished Valkyria Chronicles 3 recently, for instance, and even I had to go look up certain military terms in my electronic dictionary from time to time because of how dense that game is with them at times, since conventional language education just doesn't typically cover that sort of niche at all, albeit understandably so. This is despite the thousands of hours I'd invested in formally studying and just applying the language in both normal life and work over a period of years and years up until that point, too. With Japanese in particular, gaining any level of respectable fluency in another language really requires that you rewire your brain to just interpret life and the world around you differently as that language has evolved to portray them. You can only go so far with games without making that effort to gain that perspective firsthand, since so much of the language and culture subtly influences everything from design decisions to dialog pacing. Without it, "advanced" games just become too cryptic to crack.

So I agree with you when you say being able to play more games as a result of that fluency is a nice side-benefit. It's wonderful to be able to try out the really niche stuff and see who's really pushing the envelope and playing them is one of many ways that I do help keep my reading level afloat when I'm away from Japan, but I doubt I'd be able to even contemplate playing Japanese-only games so casually if they were my only catalyst for learning the language in the first place. Likewise, you're right that they can good teaching tools when you're a learner, but like in the West, Japanese games in their native language tend not to have particularly great writing and voice acting, either, so they're only so useful on their own if you don't already have a previous education to detect the quirks for what they are. I've seen plenty of low-level guys pick up too much from stuff like games and manga and come out not particularly well-versed in the finer nuances that you'd actually need to get by in day-to-day life.

#14 Posted by cabbagewater (11 posts) -

Fez has it's own language thing goin-on I suppose..