• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

J'apprends le français. How can games help me learn a second language?

John

Member
So i'm learning French in school now and unlike the foreign language classes I took in high school I'm really getting into it and I want to make sure this one sticks. I've read about people on this forum learning Japanese at least partially through video games, and although they're different situations I'm interested to find out what methods people have used to supplement their education with games.

Specifically, anyone learn French? (I'm not playing Fahrenheit again if that's what it takes)
 

Keikoku

Banned
C'est une langue difficile et exigeante, je te conseille de lire des livres en français plutôt que de jouer à des jeux... surtout que je n'en vois aucun qui soit à même de t'aider à apprendre le français, même de façon complémentaire.
 

Rapstah

Member
It's pretty much the most extensive video game dubbing market there is, you're bound to find something. I personally learned English through Pokémon which exists in dozens of languages, so try that in French possibly? I don't know if you still have to import the games to get translations.
 

Lard

Banned
I'm taking a course on topics in second language learning this semester, and I was seriously thinking about doing a paper on this for the class. I just don't know if I'd have enough academic sources to do it. :/
 

Xater

Member
I am not in the same situation as you, but if you have a PS3 getting games in french should be easy.

I have not tried it but HEavy Rain might be better in French. Anyone checked out their dub?
 
The protagonists in Skygunner were the french words for Hero, Friend and Woman, IIRC.

I played Peace Walker with Spanish subtiles to work on my Spanish. Coincidentally many of the characters were Latin American.
 

orioto

Good Art™
Keikoku said:
C'est une langue difficile et exigeante, je te conseille de lire des livres en français plutôt que de jouer à des jeux... surtout que je n'en vois aucun qui soit à même de t'aider à apprendre le français, même de façon complémentaire.

Wow, i hope he's really far in his program or he won't get that :p

Also Sacrebleu!
 

John

Member
Keikoku said:
C'est une langue difficile et exigeante, je te conseille de lire des livres en français plutôt que de jouer à des jeux... surtout que je n'en vois aucun qui soit à même de t'aider à apprendre le français, même de façon complémentaire.

well, any french reading i do will be within my coursework, since i'm already going through a book specifically designed to teach me the language. this is more about melding my education with my favorite hobby.

chandoog said:
omelette du fromage
YES

i mean

OUI
 

Chao

Member
I learnt all the english I know today playing videogames. Well, a huge amount of it.
Try to play games you have already beaten on a different language.
 
Chao said:
I learnt all the english I know today playing videogames. Well, a huge amount of it.
Try to play games you have already beaten on a different language.
Same here, although I'd say it was far easier back then because games featured a LOT of text and I mostly played adventure/rpg games which are always text heavy.

Today few games feature subtitles so it's a bit harder, then again a lot of games that I've seen will change the language to the console's OS language so that's an advantage I guess.
 

Alx

Member
I'm not sure videogames are the best way to learn a language... but I suppose that it can help you broaden your vocabulary, especially in games where you interact with many common objects (like adventure games, or Scribblenauts for example). Unless you want to know how to say "broadsword" or "firebolt" in French, but that's not really useful. :p
 

Rapstah

Member
John said:
well, any french reading i do will be within my coursework, since i'm already going through a book specifically designed to teach me the language. this is more about melding my education with my favorite hobby.
Tes camarades a la classe n'apprécieront pas ça :lol

EDIT: Fuck, first time I miss the :lol smilie. :(
 

Blizzard

Banned
I haven't really tried it and I cannot speak for how good all of the localizations are, but I believe that both Scribblenauts 1 and 2 have multiple language options. I think the US edition had Spanish, French, and maybe something else. It seems like the Scribblenauts games (presumably just the second one would be fine) would be good for working on vocabulary and adjectives, since you can examine the prebuilt levels as you play and look at the words, matching them to what you know the objects and adjectives are. That would be combined with thinking up the proper words to solve the puzzle, and perhaps reading hints and descriptions in the foreign language of your choice.
 

Xater

Member
I also wanted to add that having the language you learn all around you always helps. My English learning did not just consist of classes, but also watching movies, listening to music, reading comics/books and of course playing games. I am trying the same with Japanese, which is still more difficult. It does help though because you are constantly forced to use the knowledge you have and often learn something new.
 

Bisnic

Really Really Exciting Member!
I remember playing video games at 8-12 years old with a little french/english dictionnary near me.

I'll never forget you little dictionnary. You saved me plenty of times while i was playing my first video games.

I was pretty good in my english classes probably because of that lol.
 

Rapstah

Member
Blizzard said:
I haven't really tried it and I cannot speak for how good all of the localizations are, but I believe that both Scribblenauts 1 and 2 have multiple language options. I think the US edition had Spanish, French, and maybe something else. It seems like the Scribblenauts games (presumably just the second one would be fine) would be good for working on vocabulary and adjectives, since you can examine the prebuilt levels as you play and look at the words, matching them to what you know the objects and adjectives are. That would be combined with thinking up the proper words to solve the puzzle, and perhaps reading hints and descriptions in the foreign language of your choice.
Absolutely not, from what I gather they're all machine-translated and you can see English shining through the other languages.
 

yencid

Member
I learned english thanks to video games. Way before i started taking english classes i was already reading english so by the time i got here and started learning it it was pretty easy.
 
ゲームをどんどん輸入すると、いい読解練習が出来ると思います。
 

Keikoku

Banned
John said:
well, any french reading i do will be within my coursework, since i'm already going through a book specifically designed to teach me the language. this is more about melding my education with my favorite hobby.

Well, you could play the Phoenix Wright series in french. The first one had an excellent translation.
 

Kurtofan

Member
Well you could try importing French versions of games you liked if you have a good enough level.
Western games are often entirely dubbed while most Japanese games are only subtitled(with English dub).

Keikoku said:
Well, you could play the Phoenix Wright series in french. The first one had an excellent translation.
Benjamin Hunter!
(that's Edgeworth's French name)
It's a shame they didn't translate Miles Edgeworth Ace Attorney :(
 

Xater

Member
Cheesemeister said:
ゲームをどんどん輸入すると、いい読解練習が出来ると思います。

Ha I got that! But I had to look up a few kanji. :(
 

Blizzard

Banned
Rapstah said:
Absolutely not, from what I gather they're all machine-translated and you can see English shining through the other languages.
That's unfortunate. I hoped the noun/adjective translations would at least help with vocabulary.
 

Shiggy

Member
My_French_Coach_cover_art.jpg


Said to be popular with the giiirlz.
 

Fularu

Banned
Stumpokapow said:
Napoleon (Nintendo, GBA) est le seul jeu que je pense pourrait être utile pour toi.
No, I would go with Sokail's games

L'amerzone, Syberia 1 and 2. The originals were written in french, they're cheap and available in both languages on GOG. They're also much more interesting to play in french than in their (somewhat average) translation.

Le français est une langue fabuleuse, riche, complexe et profonde, je te souhaite bien du plaisir à l'apprendre ;)
 

Kurtofan

Member
The Spoony Hou said:
Play some classic adventure games. I learned English that way :D.
Sam and Max Hit the Road in French is funny cause they replaced the regional American accents with regional French accents.

The Runaway series aren't French games(they're Spanish) but they have a great translation.
 

Ranger X

Member
I've gone through the same situation you are in except that I am a native french speaker and did learn english tks to videogames. Well, it's not just by videogames of course but since I was a gamer it helped greatly.

Anyhow, to learn another language you need to bathe as much as possible in it. My advice would be to try to listen to TV in french, radio, listening to music and traducing the lyrics, reading as much as possible (most important one me thinks) and finally to play videogames in french whenever possible.

Another trick is also to search definitions AS SOON as you block unto something. You're playing a videogame and suddenly a character uses a word you never seen? Instant pause reflex and you go google it. With this mindset, (sounds extreme at first maybe), I swear you will learn that second language within a year (at least becoming functional).
 

John

Member
The Spoony Hou said:
Play some classic adventure games. I learned English that way :D.
Fularu said:
No, I would go with Sokail's games

L'amerzone, Syberia 1 and 2. The originals were written in french, they're cheap and available in both languages on GOG. They're also much more interesting to play in french than in their (somewhat average) translation.

adventure games seem like the popular and most sensible option, i'll go with that then.

Le français est une langue fabuleuse, riche, complexe et profonde, je te souhaite bien du plaisir à l'apprendre ;)
also it's apparently got a lot of cognates, i didn't even need google translate for that one (laughs)
 

Ranger X

Member
You can also looks for games by Ubisoft too. Generally speaking, the french is ok. (it's a french business afterall!)
 

Kenka

Member
French is totally useless. Why not Chinese or Spanish. Frankly, French mostly matters when you are in Western and Central Africa, any yeah, France.


If you want to learn something for business, go with one of the aforementioned languages. If you want to learn a language for its beauty, try Russian or Hindi for example. Persian is nice.

And French sounds like German except for the /ʒ/ sound.
 

szaromir

Banned
Was there ever LittleBigAdventure in French? Is it better than the English version? I'd play that one in French if possible, I'm also trying to learn the language.
And French sounds like German except for the /ʒ/ sound.
LOL, not at all.
 

Fularu

Banned
Ranger X said:
You can also looks for games by Ubisoft too. Generally speaking, the french is ok. (it's a french business afterall!)
Games developped in Canada have an awfull french translation (game is developped in english) which is prety ironical.

The same can't be said for games made in France.

Also, do not go the dictionary way anytime you don't understand a word. Try to understand through the context. The more you try to find out with books, the longer it will take, the less you'll learn.

Act as if you had no other means but to read and try to interpret. Once you're familiar enough with words and context you can delve slightly deeper or you'll get discouraged

Kenka said:
And French sounds like German except for the /ʒ/ sound.
You have no idea of what you'Re talking about.

Also Africa is one of the future battlegrounds marketwise after Asia. French is an extremely usefull language to learn. After all it's only the third most spoken language in the world :rolleyes
 

Ricker

Member
Most games these days are bilingual,well at least in Canada so if you have a 360,just switch the language to francais et le jeu seras en francais...for roleplaying games,like Two Worlds II la semaine prochaine,it`s a good way to brush up on your french.
 

CassSept

Member
Rapstah said:
It's pretty much the most extensive video game dubbing market there is, you're bound to find something. I personally learned English through Pokémon which exists in dozens of languages, so try that in French possibly? I don't know if you still have to import the games to get translations.
This. Try Pokemon, while I did know a little english prior to playing it, Pokemon was the thing that really kick-started my learning of the language. It took it to completely another level, really. Reading and trying to understand all attacks and especially Pokedex entries formed my entire basis for further development.
 

LPC

Banned
French is totally useless. Why not Chinese or Spanish. Frankly, French mostly matters when you are in Western and Central Africa, any yeah, France.


If you want to learn something for business, go with one of the aforementioned languages. If you want to learn a language for its beauty, try Russian or Hindi for example. Persian is nice.

And French sounds like German except for the /ʒ/ sound.

French is nothing like German, what a stupid reaction!

Anyway, French is a very complicated language if you try to learn it late... actually, even for a lot of people living in France, Belgium,... I've learned English at school for 7 years and have used a lot of games and websites to not forget it. And all TV shows I watch are in VO, what a beautiful feeling to be able to understand all the original content. Really happy of what I did. I continue to use English now, at work, and in foreign countries. It is not perfect, grammar is actually a big problem :-D but people are able to understand me and that's the most important for me.

The best thing I can tell you is to learn it in another way (books, schools,...) and really get into it with movies, or games just to be used to words, grammar, verbs,... There are so many ways to say the same thing that this is really a nightmare for new student. :)

Bref, en tous cas, bonne chance! ;)
 
It's not called Napoleon, but l'Aigle de guerre in France - I used to work at Nintendo France at that time - Still, I am not sure it's the right platform to learn French...

As hinted by someone else: please, read books, watch movies, read some comics, but video games is definitely not the right medium to learn French (except for few exception developped in France in French language first - Another World, Flashback, Croisiere pour un Cadavre probably fall into this category, but I think Heavy Rain was recorded in English first...).

If you want recommendation for movies/books/comics, don't hesitate!
 

szaromir

Banned
Fularu said:
Also, do not go the dictionary way anytime you don't understand a word. Try to understand through the context. The more you try to find out with books, the longer it will take, the less you'll learn.

Act as if you had no other means but to read and try to interpret. Once you're familiar enough with words and context you can delve slightly deeper or you'll get discouraged
I'd suggest the total opposite. Read as much as possible and check the unknown words in dictionary, at least in the beginning stages. I rarely use a dictionary when I read in English anymore, but if I went the guessing route it would be a disaster - you cannot guess accurately if your reading comprehension is below 90% and even then you can get a wrong idea about the meaning of the word.
 

vulva

Member
nice to know my french reading skill are still good. Even if I have troubles speaking the language lately
 

John

Member
GalacticSushiman said:
It's not called Napoleon, but l'Aigle de guerre in France - I used to work at Nintendo France at that time - Still, I am not sure it's the right platform to learn French...

As hinted by someone else: please, read books, watch movies, read some comics, but video games is definitely not the right medium to learn French (except for few exception developped in France in French language first - Another World, Flashback, Croisiere pour un Cadavre probably fall into this category, but I think Heavy Rain was recorded in English first...).

If you want recommendation for movies/books/comics, don't hesitate!
by all means! i don't spend all my free time playing video games after all.
 

LPC

Banned
szaromir said:
I'd suggest the total opposite. Read as much as possible and check the unknown words in dictionary, at least in the beginning stages. I rarely use a dictionary when I read in English anymore, but if I went the guessing route it would be a disaster - you cannot guess accurately if your reading comprehension is below 90% and even then you can get a wrong idea about the meaning of the word.

+1

Dictionnary is your friend. To guess is such a difficult thing to understand words correctly!
 
Top Bottom