How gaming taught me languages

This is my story about how I learned languages playing games.

Learning a new language is often seen as being behind books all day long and following endless lessons. In truth this is everything but the right way for many. I’ve learned my languages by, believe it or not, gaming.

The journey through hundreds of worlds

Even as a small child I was intrigued by the worlds of different games: from Pokémon to Zelda and from Final Fantasy to Mass Effect.

EnNl intext--At the age of five, I couldn’t understand anything of this strange English language. If it would have been Chinese on my small Gameboy screen, I wouldn’t have noticed the difference. However, it didn’t take long before I learned my first basic words and expressions by following the story through the animations.

Unbelievably proud that I understood my first English sentences, I was mesmerized by story driven games! I fully dived into a fantasy world where the adventures awaited me and carried me away by the amazing stories they had to offer.

To this day, I still believe this was the best school I could imagine to learn languages and get a head start to other kids in middle and higher school.

League of Legends

This game gets its own title, because it is the reason why I’m currently in Germany and not in Belgium, why I have a lot of friends all over Europe and why I’m learning yet another language.

 My experience began when I took the task of gaming manager and started a gaming clan. Soon enough, I found the necessary players from everywhere in Europe to form two teams. After that, my adventure started.

It allowed me to build up a close bond with people from different cultures and languages. It’s because of them that I had the possibility to advance and practice my English even further, until I spoke more English than Dutch.

Below you can see the League of Legends Championship. As you can see it’s not unlikely to meet a lot of people in this community.

EnNl intext-It didn’t stop there. Through several months of gaming online and having so much fun, I made some permanent friendships with people from Germany. The itch to meet these people became larger every week until the point that I took a wonderful internship in Hamburg, where I currently work at bab.la.

All these things happened to me because of gaming. I can’t believe that I would be this good in languages and meet so many people without the wonders of gaming.

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 [Nederlands]

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