I’m currently going through the Jalup decks (I’ve learned 760 cards, but not fully confident in all of them) and a friend suggested to me that I start playing VNs in Japanese, and I thought Little Busters looked interesting. My friend also said that learning through VNs has helped him immensely, but I’m a bit skeptical. Have any of you tried it?
Yeah I’d say its one the fastest ways to build authentic comprehension of the language.
I’d start when you have around 2000 of the most common words under your belt and basic grammar down.
Yes, some grammar knowledge is essential to be able to parse sentences, even if they contain unknown words. You can always look up words, but you have to know, where they are
Also, I’m not sure if LB! would be good for one’s first untranslated VN, but at least both its Steam and Switch releases are bilingual, so if it turns out to be too difficult, you can always switch to the translated version to enjoy the story (or save it for later )
Depends a lot on how much it annoys you to be considerably slower than playing it in english. Especially if you have no real reading practice yet, one sentence might take 10 minutes to fully grasp. If you are ok with that, great, go ahead, you could theoretically start consuming any material without having any japanese knowledge if you can endure the grind.
Try it out, if it works for you, great, if not, just drop it and return to it later
VNs have been hit and miss for me recently. They are great for fun, but learning I guess I’m just not patient enough to go through and actively learn the material I’m reading.
Immersion, whether with manga or novels, VNs or other games, podcasts or dramas, etc., definitely helps you improve a lot. You get context for words and grammar and can see how they’re actually used. As long as it’s something that interests you and you don’t mind going very slowly at first, it can really help a lot.
Really, the most appropriate time to start is the earliest time you feel ready to make that leap, and that all depends how comfortable you are with going slowly and not understanding everything, because really the only way to be ready for reading is… by reading. I actually started reading a couple months before I even started studying Japanese properly, armed only with the rudimentary and scattered knowledge I’d picked up over the years (mostly from anime and character songs, of all things, lol), a JP>ENG dictionary app, and a couple grammar books with designs on getting more, along with a whole lot of motivation, all because I’d found a series I was obsessed with that didn’t have an English translation and that I really wanted to read. I actually understood quite a bit! Nowhere near everything, of course, and much less than I do now with 9 months of reading and 7 months of studying under my belt, but it was still exciting realizing that I actually knew what was going on, even if I did have to look up nearly every other word and had to use some clever Google Translating to try and get some of the grammar.
If VNs interest you, I say go for it! If you decide it’s too much for where you are right now, you can always put it aside for later, and/or find something else