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Practicing Italian Through Games

Discussion in 'Italian Language' started by Aurelia, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. Well, I am curious what you think about this. This is how my brother learnt English - through games. And this is how a friend of mine learnt German. She programmed most of her games to be in German and it helped her with some idioms, collocations, expressions and such.

    I know that this can't increase your fluency level, but it can certainly increase the level of comprehension, and that is one of the first steps in learning a language. There are a lot of games which could be programmed like this - Assassin's Creed and Sims come to mind.

    Well? Any opinions? For those younger learners, more relaxed and without a fixed schedule, this could certainly be a helpful and approachable method, almost effortless. Of course, you do need to learn a language on the usual way, but this can be something for a break and such.
  2. I think it's all up to the person. Good on your friend for learning through games, though! Some learn through classes, some learn through interacting with actual Italian speakers, some learn through online programs, and some learn from watching TV and movies. In fact, as an ESL speaker, I learned from watching TV with my native language subtitles. The most important thing is to actually learn the language and aspire to be fluent in it. However, for games, I feel like most of them would be designed for toddlers. No pure language-teaching games for adults come to mind :/
  3. I think learning Italian through games is an excellent idea!

    It's not just the Sims and the other one, in Italy, most games and everything computer related is in Italian. I remember, back in 2008, it was my first year in Italy and I bought a magazine for a game it had, something with car racing. When I installed it it was in Italian. And since it wasn't the full version, it wouldn't let me change the language :)

    I think learning a language through something fun is always a good idea!
    It can be games, like you said, or it can be music, it can be cartoons (my brother in law speaks such a fluent German, one might think he was born there! But all he did was watch cartoons in German, he never learned it in school or with a tutor!)
  4. That's not what I'd meant, Nate. It seems you have misunderstood me. I did not think of games which teach language, but games as help to learning a language. If a certain, for example, adventure game is in Italian, you have to understand what is asked of you to progress. If you must find a pineapple (ananas) or find a certain river, mountain or cave or something similar and you don't know what it is - you must find out in order to finish the quest. That's what I'd meant when I'd said using games to help you with vocabulary. It doesn't have to be an adventure - it can be anything.

    Rosie made a good point. It's not just games, it's also cartoons. My best friend and her brother learnt German that way as well. They'd watched Super RTL. I remember being sixth grade. It was our second year of learning German. She could speak German as if she had been born there and I was so curious. I kept asking her to write me down lists of words - from crazy things to universe, stars and such, and she always had an answer. Sometimes she missed an article or she wasn't certain, but when compared to her knowledge, that's minute.
  5. The same thing happens to my cousins, who picked up a few German, French and Italian words by playing FIFA and other games in their PlayStation. How they do it is they change the language features every now and then and as they play they just naturally use the word in the context of the game. They would use the foreign words when they describe their experience to other family members. :):D:p

    FIFA video games is not an adventure game. All three of my cousins learn a new language this way, and they like to sing. So they sing songs that are primarily in English, and sometimes in other languages. Their parents consulted the activities to a learning specialist and they agreed that young children under the age of 5 could pick up up to 3 different languages.

    Once they reached school age, they no longer use their newly found words and just focus on the school subjects, although they still occasionally play games. It's all fun and games to them.
  6. Yes, I believe this happens. Children are capable of acquiring more languages, that is, subconsciously picking up languages. This is effortless and happens just like that, so children can be bilinguals, trilinguals et cetera. They may forget the vocabulary later (this is also common) but nevertheless, the language and knowledge is stored somewhere in their minds - they will learn these languages easier as they grow older or they will develop more logical skills which will help them with the curriculum. They are smarter than other children, practically. But yes, I do believe almost any game can help.
  7. Maybe almost any game can help. It's useful to note that the children were not given the games for the sole purpose of learning a new language. Being able to acquire new words is not an indicator of their fluency. It simply showed the positive impact of the game on their play time. And it won't hurt to actually play games that are designed for language learning.
  8. I, too, started to learn English by playing videogames, back when very very few games were translated in Italian. It's fun to go back to these games and see how much of the story I missed and how wrong I could be when assuming what something meant :p
    I'm actually doing the same with Japanese now, although I have to say age plays a big role and I'm finding it harder now, almost 20 years later.
    It's definitely doable! The Sims actually has a pretty good italian translation and object descriptions are well written, although you may miss some of the humour.

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