Japanese Quest

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about any Japanese learning resources that I have found, but this one was so cool that I couldn’t pass it up.

Japanese Quest is a Twitch/YouTube channel that teaches Japanese through video games! It’s run by an actual Japanese Language teacher, and runs on a pretty solid schedule, so there is TONS of quality content getting pumped out. Now, this isn’t really a “Japanese from zero” course that will teach you all of the grammar and stuff that you need. But it’s really more of just playing through games, doing live translation, and mining the games for interesting words to learn. There is a spreadsheet and Anki deck of the words that are mined.

I think this is mainly ideal for someone that has been studying Japanese for a little while already and learned the basics. If you don’t really know how to mine words and phrases from native material, this will teach you how. If you have tried to mine words from native material but given up because it was too difficult, this might show you that it’s actually not as difficult as you thought. And if you just don’t really mine words from native material because you are too lazy, well then it doesn’t get any easier than this! It’s so easy to just sit back and watch, and then import the words into Anki later on.

So far he has covered several games including Xenoblade 2, Super Mario Oddyssey, Breath of the Wild, and others. Here is a map which I assume shows most of the games that he is planning to cover at some point (though it is subject to change, as he has already done several that don’t appear on here):

I really recommend checking it out, and spend at least 30 minutes or so with it to see if it could be helpful to you!

Japanese Quest – Twitch

Japanese Quest – YouTube

 

NES/SNES Classic Manuals

If you are a fan of classic Nintendo games like I am, then you might be interested in reading the original game manuals in Japanese!

The SNES Classic was released today, and along with it Nintendo has posted up the original manuals for all of the games included on it, in multiple languages! And of course, the manuals from the NES Classic are all available as well. It can be a lot of fun to compare the Japanese manuals with the English versions as well!

NES/Famicom manuals

SNES/Super Famicom manuals

Language selection is in the Top-Right corner of the page.

Little Charo – Final Thoughts and Extras

I can’t believe I finally got all the way through Little Charo! It took about 3/4 of a year, but I finally did it! Just keeping on track and moving forward with it without stopping was the hardest part. But I think it all goes back to what I said in one of my very first posts. Just having a well-defined goal and constantly keeping track of what you are doing is half the battle. For all I know, no one even reads this blog, or was following along in the game with me, but the most important thing that the blog has done for me is to just give me goals and to easily let me see what kind of progress I was making. Throughout this time, I have definitely seen a lot of improvement to my reading speed AND comprehension.

I’ve got a few extras and some statistics regarding Little Charo that I would like to go through now.

First of all, I have my fully-completed save file. If you are playing the game in the DeSmuME emulator, you can load this save file to access everything. This might be handy if you are having trouble unlocking some of the bonus episodes.

Also, here is a zip file containing CSV files of all of the scripts from the spreadsheet. It also includes a kanji frequency report and word frequency report generated by cb’s Japanese Text Analysis Tool. Let’s take a moment to look at some interesting information from these statistics:

Kanji

  • Little Charo contains 1300 Kanji.
  • About 300 of them appear only once.
  • About 80 Kanji make up 50% of the Kanji that you will see in the game.
  • Less than 500 Kanji will cover more than 90% of the Kanji that you see in the game.
  • About 650 Kanji will get you to 95%.
  • It surprisingly does not use several Kanji that are taught early on in Japan, such as: 円, 貝, 岩, 汽, 弓, 算, 寺, 池, 麦, 里, as well as many of the Kanji for numbers.
  • It uses 30 non-jōyō Kanji.

Vocabulary

  • There are 6500 unique words contained in the game.
  • 2700 (a little over 40% of the words) only appear once.
  • Only 33 “words” will take you to 50% coverage (but these are almost all particles and grammatical structures).
  • It takes 1210 words to reach 90% coverage.
  • 2525 words get you 95% coverage, and the remaining 5% of words all occur 3 times or less.

I am still not completely finished mining sentences from Little Charo, so I will probably be finishing that up over the next few weeks. Although I have read everything, I’ve still got about 6 chapters that I want to review in more detail. So, I will probably be taking a break from posting anything here for a few weeks while I finish that up. Afterwards, I’m not sure what’s next for me. I would like to start another project that will not only help me learn more Japanese, but can be beneficial to others as well. I’ve got a few ideas in mind, but nothing set in stone yet.

 

Little Charo Bonus Episode 10

This article is part of a series on the game Little Charo for Nintendo DS. For more information please see this introductory post.

Episode Overview

Here we are, the very last bonus episode in the game. This one tells the story of Tomoko before she came to the USA.

Bonus10Requirements

For this episode to be unlocked, you have to have cleared episode 26, obtained 4500 points, found ALL of the English coins in the entire game, and answered ALL of the strange dog’s questions. Wow! That’s quite a list! Like all of the bonus episodes, this one is very short and completely linear, so if you aren’t able to meet the unlock requirements, you wont be missing much by just reading the script.

Frequently Used Vocabulary

Any new words here will only appear once or twice, so there is nothing really worth mentioning.

Script

Click here to go directly to the master spreadsheet, which will allow you to save the contents to your PC.

Or click here to access an HTML version of the script that is compatible with Rikai-chan.

If you have any questions regarding the Japanese used in this episode, please post in the comments!

Little Charo Episode 26

This article is part of a series on the game Little Charo for Nintendo DS. For more information please see this introductory post.

Episode Overview

We finally reach the final chapter of the story. It is the fateful day when both Charo and Tomoko are hoping to realize their dreams. But when a sudden accident happens, everything is thrown into disarray. Is Charo willing to help a friend realize her dream, even if it means giving up his own?

Frequently Used Vocabulary

The most frequent words in this episode have appeared before in several previous episodes. Here are a small handful which you might not have seen in a while.

時刻    じこく    (n-adv,n-t) instant; time; moment; (P)
集団    しゅうだん    (n) group; mass; (P)
散乱    さんらん    (n,adj-f,vs) dispersion; scattering; spreading out; diffusion
思い浮かべる    おもいうかべる    (v1) to be reminded of; to call to mind
街路    がいろ    (n) road; street; avenue

Script

Click here to go directly to the master spreadsheet, which will allow you to save the contents to your PC.

Or click here to access an HTML version of the script that is compatible with Rikai-chan.

If you have any questions regarding the Japanese used in this episode, please post in the comments!