10 Tips for Learning a New Language with Video Games

Nov 08, 2023

Embrace the Power of Gaming

Learning a new language can be a daunting task. However, with the advent of technology and innovative learning methods, it has become more engaging and fun. One such method is learning languages through video games. Not only does this approach make learning more enjoyable, but it also enhances your language skills in a dynamic and interactive environment. Here are 10 tips to effectively learn a new language using video games, while waiting for WonderLang, the RPG designed to teach you a new language.

WonderLang video game language learning

Choose your Game Genre

Not all video games are created equal, especially when it comes to language learning. Choose games that have a lot of dialogue and text. Role-playing games (RPGs) are often a good choice, as they involve a lot of character interaction and storyline to follow. Games like 'The Witcher', 'Final Fantasy', or 'The Elder Scrolls' series are great examples.

Find the Right Game

Video games commonly offer a variety of language options to cater to a global audience. These usually include major European languages like English, French, German, and Spanish, as well as other widely spoken languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. PlayStation exclusive games, like those from Insomniac Games, often come with fully voiced options in multiple languages. For instance, "Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales" provides audio and text in English, French, Latin American Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese for the North and South American versions. Other regional versions offer a mix of audio and text language support, including but not limited to English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Polish, and Russian. Japanese and English are commonly supported in the Japanese versions of games​.

I found a few resources that might be useful for you:

Xbox Platform: Microsoft has started to collect language information across the Xbox game store, which includes data for the game's interface, audio, and subtitles across 27 languages. They display this information on the store page, allowing users to quickly identify games with multilingual support​.

PCGamingWiki: This website has an automatically generated list that includes games supporting subtitles. It is a community-managed wiki dedicated to cataloging PC game fixes and settings, including subtitle support​. You can access the list directly via this link: PCGamingWiki List of Games that Support Subtitles​.

These resources can provide you with detailed information on the language support of various video games, which can be especially useful when looking for games with specific language options for interface, audio, or subtitles.  Tt seems that there is no single comprehensive database that lists all languages available in different video games, including subtitles and audio. Please share with me if you know some.

Change the Game Language

One of the simplest ways to start learning is by changing your game's language setting to the language you want to learn. This way, you'll be constantly exposed to the language through menus, dialogues, and other in-game text. It might be challenging at first, but it's a very effective immersion technique.

game settings language

Use Subtitles and Translations

Most games offer subtitles in various languages. Use them to your advantage. Play the game with subtitles in your target language, or use a game that's voiced in your target language and read the subtitles in your native language. This way, you'll be able to connect the spoken and written words, enhancing your comprehension skills.

Take Notes

While playing, keep a notebook handy to jot down new words and phrases you come across. This will help you remember and practice them later. Also, try to use these words during the game to reinforce your learning.

notebook video game

Speak Out Loud

Don't be shy to speak out loud while playing. Repeat the dialogues, pronounce the words, and even talk to the characters. This might seem silly, but it's a great way to practice pronunciation and speech. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Play with Others

Multiplayer games offer a great opportunity to practice your new language skills. You can interact with other players, learn slang and colloquial expressions, and even make new friends. Games like 'World of Warcraft' or 'Overwatch' have a massive international community you can learn from.

Don't Rush

Language learning is a process, and it takes time. Don't rush through the game. Take your time to understand the dialogues, read the text, and immerse yourself in the game's world. Remember, the goal is to learn, not to finish the game as quickly as possible.

slow gaming

Have Fun!

Last but not least, have fun! Learning a new language is an exciting journey, and video games make it even more enjoyable. So, embrace the challenge, enjoy the game, and watch your language skills improve.