An RPG That Teaches You Japanese

An RPG That Teaches You Japanese

Here's a fascinating new Kickstarter project: an RPG that sets out to teach Japanese to English speakers. It's called Koe, and it's a "traditional" turn-based RPG designed to teach you how to read and understand Japanese.

The concept, via Kickstarter:

Essentially, what I want to do in the game is give you an introduction to the Japanese language within the game itself. I know people who are interested in this style of gaming, as well as Anime and Manga, and who have wanted to learn Japanese because of it, but have no idea where they should start. So why not a fully-fledged story-driven JRPG that gives you a nice start with the language itself?

Before I lose you with the education side of things, I want to tell you that the game itself is a game before anything else, not a flash-card application nor a voice recognition translator, but rather I have put the game, and therefore the gameplay, before anything else. This means it plays like a JRPG, there are random battles, bosses, a story, pets, wizards, cities, houses as well as cats and you will play through collecting items, experience points, weapons and everything else that comes with a traditional JRPG.

Sounds cool, no? Those of us who enjoy RPGs but don't speak Japanese have missed out on some solid games due to the impenetrable language barrier, and this seems like a fun way to learn at least the basics of Glorious Nipponese.

Creator Jitesh Rawal wants £35,000 ($65,000) to commission new art, secure licences, hire a composer and do all the other money-consuming tasks that game development requires. You can check out the Kickstarter right here.


    I learned heaps using Slime Forest, the original learn-Japanese-rpg!
    It was an absolutely bizarre feeling as you progress, smashing the easy monsters around the village after returning from venturing deep into new territory and realising 'hang on, my character hasn't levelled up, *I* have actually levelled up!

    Sounds like something some friends of mine used to use, Slime Forest

    This looks like a fascinating concept. Backed immediately.

    heck yes, backed

    Backed it.

    I wonder if this is inspired by Slime Forest Adventure. While it sounds like an interesting idea, I'm skeptical about how effective it's going to be at teaching you useful, conversational Japanese. It's easy enough to learn random words like katana, neko and baka but they aren't useful on their own. You would never learn sentence constructions like "Toire ni itte mo ii desu ka". What'd be cool is if as you progress through the game, less and less of it is in English and more is in Japanese based on what you would have learnt up to that point.

      Well, throughout his description he has continually brought up that it is meant to be an introduction to the language. Honestly if it proves to become an entertaining way of getting a base in the language than I think the game will succeed in its purpose, though getting to full fluency might be a stretch, it may just spark peoples urge to study on their own. I agree with your idea that the game gets progressively 'difficult' as it shifts from English to full on Japanese since that mirrors many teaching methods in higher education.

      The guy behind it has a vision that's for sure. He has my backing.

      'Introductions' aren't really as useful, for sure. Anyone can get that just through osmosis in watching shit-tonnes of anime. You eventually learn the purpose of 'desu', how to say please, thank-you, sorry, hello/goodbye in different social contexts, various food types, and a bunch of other semi-useful tourist stuff. Learning conversational language would have a pretty huge demand and I wouldn't be surprised if that's the expectation from a lot of hopeful backers.

        Anyone who learns to read Japanese learns through hundreds of hours of intense study. This teaches you to recognise kanji at a glance. It's uses something similar to flash cards. It doesn't teach conversation. At all.

        It says several times that it teaches reading the kana and kanji.

      It's not about learning conversation. It's about learning to recognise and understand hiragana/katakana/kanji contructions in text.

    I had the same idea not long ago... How I envisioned it was very different; but it still seems far less original now. ;_;

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