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Went into a gaming store today and was joking, as usual, with the… - Silicon Rose [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Silicon Rose

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[Apr. 28th, 2006|06:40 pm]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |confusedconfused]

Went into a gaming store today and was joking, as usual, with the storeperson about how they don't stock the games I play. Developed into a discussion on Japanese language and my level of competence, found out that he was studying Japanese as well. He mentioned possibly reading manga to advance his lingual skills, I mentioned that it didn't help much with novels, things were going fine... then he tells me he isn't interested in learning kanji.

O-kay. Well, I've heard that before. From a second year student, a little unnerving, but whatever. I tell him he's unlikely to be able to play many games, then.

"Well, my friend knows Japanese, and he doesn't understand kanji, and he plays them just fine."


"Not RPGs, then?"

"No, RPGs. They all have the pronunciation over the kanji anyways."

. . .

"I'd have to disagree with that. I can't think of the last RPG I played that had furigana. Final Fantasy XII has some, but it's at the level of commenting that the kanji for 'ningen' should be read 'hyu-m', which, while useful to an English speaker, doesn't happen for anything but the vocabulary that they're playing with."

"Well, my friend says..."

The conversation ended relatively peaceably regardless of the disagreement, but just earlier today I saw an entry in RPGamer's Japandemonium that claimed the same thing. Are these people playing a version of the games I'm not? The only time I ever see furigana in games is when the scriptwriters are trying to be cute, or decide to invent new words out of whole cloth.

I guess you could get more or less most of the plot from the voice-acted sequences, but... weird.

[User Picture]From: cyfis
2006-04-29 03:44 am (UTC)
It probably depends on the game. Most games directed towards a mature audience (I don't mean as in pr0n) don't have furigana unless they use specialized vocabulary. Ookami, for instance, is full of furigana because they're using archiac-speak and lots of Shinto terminology.

As far as I know your average console RPG most definitely does not have furigana. Maybe they got the Extra Speshul version?
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2006-04-29 04:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, or maybe they play Nintendo RPGs... or something?

Damn, I'd love to have furigana. It'd make things much easier.
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[User Picture]From: dragonmaster_x
2006-04-29 04:28 am (UTC)
The vast majority of RPGs don't have furigana overhead. That guy is a nub.

From my own experience, Ookami, Wild Arms series, Zelda series have furigana.

"Well, my friend knows Japanese, and he doesn't understand kanji, and he plays them just fine."

"plays them just fine" doesn't mean his friend knows the definition and pronounciation of every single word used in the game.

For instance, I could have "played Suikoden V just fine" even if I didn't bother to look up every unfamiliar word. But 100% comprehension is something else, and I strived for that with this list:
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2006-04-29 04:25 pm (UTC)
I kind of wish I could do that with FFXII, but with the cinematic sequences, it'd be next to impossible.

I'm actually not getting much of the plot out of the game.

That's really impressive.
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