Can I learn Chinese/Mandarin by playing Genshin Impact?

No.

First of all, the Chinese used in Genshin is really weird.

You know how English games like to use some Latin, Norse, [insert mystical language] to make things sound cool and stuff? In Chinese, we do the same thing by using archaic, out of date versions of Chinese. Some games also like to use “synonym-ish” words that convey the meaning, but if you actually talk like that in real life people gonna look at you weird.

Can I learn Chinese/Mandarin by playing Genshin Impact?
Can I learn Chinese/Mandarin by playing Genshin Impact?

Look at this artifact for example. (Yes, I know it sucks, I’m f2p, stop judging me! XD)

The word they use for “mastery” is 精通. It means proficiency, so it is a good translation for mastery. But in normal Chinese, people won’t be using this term – well, unless they’re trying to show off their literary prowess or something. You’re much more likely to come across terms like 水平, 本领, or 功夫 instead (and that last one is also context driven)

Second, the translations are trying to convey the spirit of the message, not the literal meanings. Which is a good thing, mind you, as things sound super weird if you’re doing literal translations.

But if you’re trying to learn the language, this translation is absolutely meaningless for you. Take that image of my Sands of Time for example. The flavor text at the bottom reads:

“镇服雷电的勇士特有的时计, 其中的雷之碎晶随流逝如雷如电的时间泻落.”

Roughly this states “scattered pieces of thunder and lightning that fell into the timepiece uniquely worn by a heroic warrior that subdued thunder and lightning.”

But the English translation?

Can I learn Chinese/Mandarin by playing Genshin Impact?
Can I learn Chinese/Mandarin by playing Genshin Impact?

Now don’t get me wrong. This is a great translation. Better than anything I could come up with, that describes the spirit of the flavor text extremely well. But you can see how there are differences in the exact wording.

If you wish to learn Chinese, take real lessons. You need a solid knowledge foundation first, and then slowly move up in difficulty. The literary stuff used in Genshin is way too far for beginner learners.

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