Need help on a study method involving a videogame

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?
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Pkmn Trainer Abram
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Need help on a study method involving a videogame

Post by Pkmn Trainer Abram » Sun 12.21.2008 10:41 pm

No, this is NOT some typical noob question from a fanboy thinking he can learn Japanese using only videogames and a dictionary.

This is a question from a fanboy asking on a fun method to expand his vocab using a videogame in addition to other reliable resources.*smirk*

I am currently using Iknow everyday in addition to audio CDs and the book "Mastering Conversational Japanese: Japanese for Beginners", as well as writing out each lesson's dialog/vocab lists in kana/kanji(that I know anyway) multiple times in formal/informal styles. And it just so happens I've gotten into the mood to train animals to beat the crap out of each other for my own Pokemon Platinum, Japanese version ofcourse.

I know enough to get through the game and make out what most moves do by reading the descriptions since I don't know what alot of move names mean. However, getting through a videogame isn't my concern, it's the vocab involved I'm interested in.

I found a nifty site in Japanese with all the techniques and wanted to drill the Japanese names into my head. I figure, since this game required basic reading ability to fully enjoy, it would be a great way to boost my vocab on the side.

Only thing is, I have no idea on how to do this. I planning on going through each Pokemon's level up list in both Japanese and in English, write out the descpritions in each langage and translate each word/grammar constrution I don't understand and compare it to it's offical translation. There are 493 Pokemon, so obviously alot or repetitive learning will be gotten from this at least. I plan on doing 2 Pokemon per day as not to overload myself.

Is there a more efficent way to do something like this or am I going overboard?
If Pokemon don't listen, it's a sign that you aren't whipping them enough.-Nuked

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Re: Need help on a study method involving a videogame

Post by Sairana » Mon 12.22.2008 7:18 am

You're probably in over your head... but that's not a terrible thing. Some useful things can be gleaned from what you're trying to do, so if you're into it, do it.

I don't really think there is a more efficient way. It's actually going to yield small results compared to the amount of time you are going to have to put into decoding. It will certainly be easier once you have a better grasp of more grammar concepts. If you still have trouble parsing sentences, the work involved in figuring out whether a string of characters is a word or just some functional phrase is exponentially more difficult.

For instance, things like なければなりません would throw me off, because I would snip off the なりません bit and translate that (lit. 'don't become'). That leaves なければ... dictionary says, "unless one... | if one does not..." So... "unless one does not become..." I couldn't manage to fit it in with the rest of the sentence, and it never occurred to me to look up the entire string of characters on wwwjdic or similar, because I had no reason to think it was a set phrase... it just looked like two words to me. *shrug*

But I digress, I think you probably see what I mean. ^_^

Do it as long as it's fun and interesting. When it feels like work and becomes frustrating, abandon the project for a while and come back to it after you've made some progress in your other study materials.


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Re: Need help on a study method involving a videogame

Post by furrykef » Mon 12.22.2008 8:50 pm

What I'm doing for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (or rather, ゼルダの伝説 神々のトライフォース) is ripping all the text from the game and studying it beforehand. The game has less text than a typical RPG -- after all, there's only one village in the game, two if you count the one in the Dark World -- but still quite a bit. I may end up picking a smaller game to tackle in this fashion before this one, though, like Super Mario World or its sequel.

If you search the web, you might find a text dump of the Japanese version of the game you want to study, so you don't have to make one yourself. (If you don't know anything about ROM hacking, making one yourself can be pretty difficult... I could do it for you, though. But search the web first. ;)) If you're lucky, a dump of the English version and the Japanese version will have dialogue in the same order and you can use the translation to help you understand the original, but be warned that even professional translators make mistakes sometimes, and of course sometimes they change stuff on purpose -- sometimes completely. And, naturally, puns and cultural references don't translate. :)

- Kef
Founder of Learning Languages Through Video Games.
Also see my lang-8 journal, where you can help me practice Japanese (and Spanish, and Italian!)

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