What Games Taught Me- New Language

This is a series of posts in which I’ll tell you exactly what games have taught me throughout the years.

In this first part I’ll be discussing how games helped me learn a new language.

As you might already know: I’m Portuguese, so obviously, first language I learned in my life…was Portuguese! Anyways… A few years back, we only got to learn English (or French) starting on the 5th grade. Loving challenges as I did, I picked French, of course! All the way from the 5th grade to the 9th grade! …I hated it. I had good grades but I can barely form a phrase in French. English, however, is very different, as you can tell. My english classes were from the 7th grade to the 11th.

So I had “Level 1” in 7th grade, “Level 2” in 8th grade, “Level 3” in 9th grade and… “Level 5” in 10th grade. Jumped two levels because if you pick French/English on your 5th grade you’re supposed to stick with it til 11th grade. But I switched! So I had 5 years of each language. All teachers told me not to switch, even my friends did it. Their words were something like “You need to worker so much harder than anyone else there”, “You’re gonna fail. You know that, right?” – guess what? I didn’t even put an effort on those classes. I picked English exactly because I was comfortable with it.

There are probably quite a few grammatical mistakes here in the text alone (and that’s why I decided to write in english – to improve my skill further) but I can assure you I had good grades. All because of video games, music and movies.

Uncanny resemblance, but that’s not me! Also: yay for stock images!

One of the first games that helped me with this was Pokémon – and the English Language Dictionary, too! I would play the game and just sit there, paused, looking for the word on the dictionary to figure it out. I just wish I thought of this the first time I played Pokémon, though, because it would’ve made it so much easier, instead of just running around thinking harder than I should have.

After that, I kept learning through Grand Theft Auto series (oh, I played my first one when I was 9 years old. It was GTA III and boy…did I learn things from it), The Legend of Zelda series, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and, of course, all my Dreamcast games – Sonic Adventures (both), Skies of Arcadia, Jet Set Radio/Jet Grind Radio and the mighty Red Dog. In all these games I did that little thing with the dictionary and tried to make sense of things. Of course, I’d sometimes say things like “I like eat potatoes” because I didn’t quite understand how to use “to” (even though it’s so easy). But it was a step towards learning…and I have to say, I think it helped me a lot.

What about you? What have games taught you thus far? Leave a comment, let me know. Let’s discuss it!


6 thoughts on “What Games Taught Me- New Language

  1. I’ve been playing video games since I was 5. They motivated me to learn how to read so I could understand what the characters were babbling about, 🙂 They’ve also taught me how to be calm in dangerous IRL situations, such as driving incidents, and have provided me with amazing worlds to get lost in. A great escape mechanism!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great 🙂 I really don’t know how young I was, to be fair, when I started playing games.
      That’s also a good thing to pick up from gaming; being calm in dangerous situations helps solve the problems a lot quicker, in my opinion. Or at least reduces a bit the size of said problem, so to speak.

      Ah yes…the BEST escape mechanism! For me, at least.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s so cool that video games helped you fly through your English classes! 🙂 And I’ve never tried to learn French (I studied German in high school and Italian in college), but I’m inclined to agree with you about it….

    i’m not sure I could name everything that I’ve learned from video games. They’ve really opened my mind up to different aspects of humanity, and they’ve made me research into areas that I might not have otherwise looked into too much, so they’re also encouraging me to expand my knowledge on topics I wouldn’t have looked into otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Games have taught me more than I could say in one comment. I love when any media makes me look up words, and video games and books are the big contributors of that. I remember learning the word “nefarious” from Final Fantasy VI, and I decided to study Qabalism/Mystic Judaism because of Final Fantasy VII. My favorite genre is RPG and I like the ones that are plot driven and tell a story, so I learned a lot from just that alone.

    For what it’s worth until you mentioned that English wasn’t your first lesson I didn’t know and I’m a native speaker 🙂 I have many blogger friends who run their blogs in English where it’s their second or third language, and I’ll tell you know; even though I studied French and can understand it (better at reading than verbal), I wouldn’t feel comfortable running a blog in French and I’d have to take my time if I followed a French blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve learned much more than “just” a new language, as well 🙂 I’ll get on that on future posts.
      My favorite genre is also RPG – I have a special thing for ARPGs (the likes of Diablo, Titan Quest, etc) though. They’ve always been my absolute favorite. Even though I deviate from them a lot nowadays.

      In English it’s easier to communicate with most people, I guess. French, well… Let’s say I know basically as much Japanese from watching anime as I know French from studying it 5 years and having my neighbors speak French. It’s my arch-nemesis, of sorts. I can’t learn it properly (mostly because I dislike the language itself overall)!
      And thank you, it actually means a lot that I can pass as a native speaker – I’ve been practicing for years, so it’s very good to know that I can (at least write) decently 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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