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Japanese language in otome games

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#1 Aimi gamer

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:16 PM

I learn Japanese by myself for about 3 years. I tried few otome games but the language is too hard for me. What kanji grade (school 1-6) have you known when you started playing? I heard that Tokimeki is easy but for me some kanji are simplified (hard to find in dictionary if you don't know it earlier). Which game do you consider the easest (beacause of language)? It doesn't matter if it is all age or 18+.

#2 Nika


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Posted 27 July 2010 - 01:46 PM

No idea what kanji grade I have :/ but I started playing otome games after studying 1.5 - 2 years I think? Of course I understand a lot more now (a year later) than I did then, but even at the time I understood most of it.

I would say tokimeki really is one of the easiest games language wise, mostly because the actual amount of text isn't that much either. Starry Sky isn't too difficult either, the only thing you might want too look up are some of the terms related to astrology.

Other than that, I'd advise to stick with games that are set in the present time (and world) to avoid weird terminology. Also, don't force yourself to look up every word, it will only take all of the fun out of it. If you understand the general meaning of a sentence you can often manage just fine, playing longer will increase your vocabulary automatically. If it helps, stick with (almost) fully voiced games, I find I can understand a lot more than I can read, plus it helps if you already know the pronunciation when you want to look something up.

#3 sheepishsheep



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Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:32 PM

Dunno what level I am, but I'm officially JLPT2. This is my fourth year learning the language, not that I'm studying at all XD Stagnating is more like it but oh well. I didn't know anything when I started out four years ago except that I sort of guessed my way through things by pulling kanji out and matching them to their Chinese counterparts. Knowing Chinese helps a lot too but it's not a must. If your problem is kanji, try writing them out and practicing until you remember it like you used to learn to write the alphabet in school.

But yeah, like Nika says, modern-world game stories are the best because the vocab used is basically what you learn from textbooks and stuff. Another good way to learn could be listening to music by popular bands since translations and romaji are easily found online. Watching anime with subs help because you tend to know what the words sound like and if you internalise it with the grammar that you have or will learn/t, then you should do pretty okay.


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#4 Aimi gamer

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 07:27 PM

Thank you for you answers :) My level is something about old JLPT 3 (I've TRIED to pass it last year - now I hate listenings :P). At the beginning when I tried to play japanese games grammar was a big problem. But during preparations to JLPT I studied all those plain/masu/etc + something forms and understand things better.


I'm gonna wait to play Hakuoki and SYK and other games. Ah well... ;)

#5 ameshi


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Posted 29 July 2010 - 12:02 AM

Very good idea, and good suggestions! When I started, my level was pretty much non-existant, other than a few words I learned from my friend who was doing self study. I couldn't even read katakana or hiragana! When I got to college and started studying though, I started with games like Tokimeki, and it helped that the charas were voiced too. Voiced games make all the difference for me, and yeah, modern-language ones are definitely the way to go to start with. I don't think I'm even ready to tackle ones like Hakuoki, despite having a bit more confidence now. XD
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#6 SukunaHikona


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Posted 14 September 2010 - 07:25 AM

In my opinion, full voiced game is a good start, especially the one with light story and contains minigame (because if you can't read kanji, it'd be boring to play full text game like Hakuouki or Hiiro no Kakera).

My first otome game is Vampire Knight DS. It almost full voiced, with many minigame. But because the story different than the manga, I can't understand it and stopped playing before finished a route. At that time, I almost can't read Hiragana and Katakana. Then, I know about TMGS 2nd kiss and started playing it. With walkthrough, even someone with lack japanese language skill like me can enjoy and finished the game.

#7 reira


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Posted 15 July 2011 - 06:07 AM

I agree. Especially since games like Hakuouki and Nise no Chigiri combine world-specific AND historical period-specific terminology that can get really difficult to read. Visual novels in general require a good grasp of kanji to play through imo.

Random note- It can get a bit tedious, but you could use an electronic dictionary with in-built tablet to search up unknown kanji while playing. Sometimes I use my DS kanji dictionary, cos searching kanji online or in an actual dictionary got way too impractical

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