What Languages Should You Learn?

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what languages should you learn to become a game designer or concept artist?

Hello,
In your opinion, what would be the best language to learn, if one wishes to become a Game Designer or a Concept Artist?
I’ve been learning German for the past six months, but for reasons that have nothing to do with this career.

Some people say that Japanese would be the most helpful, but I’m still not sure whether I should put effort on learning another language to “boost” my chances of getting hired or just use this time to practice drawing/painting.
Thank you for your attention,
Victor R.

Hey Victor,

since you already got english down, it really depends on where you want to work.

For everybody who has problems understanding, speaking, reading or writing english, I would always without hesitation recommend to beef up your english skills. Most game development is international… or at least distribution is. Or at least it’s useful to be able to go international.

And english is the language to go here.

But if english is not an issue, you need to focus on the countries you want to work in. You can expect english to work in most bigger productions, so you are basically set to work wherever you like. But to be successful and also have a social life in your country of choice you need to get their language down and also learn about their culture. Not to mention that some countries require you to have acquired some language skills first before they give you a visa.

If Japan is your desired working destination, language is super important but so are cultural understanding. People actually study that stuff in hopes to be a foreigner that doesn’t have to be a stranger there. Language is just half the battle.

You could also look into scandinavian games industries. Poland developed some cool stuff in recent years. And there is more.

What I totally can’t recommend you to do is learn another language for some abstract reason like “it is spoken in the games industry”. The language of the games industry – as with any international industry – is english. You don’t need to learn Japanese, if you don’t want to specifically engage the Japanese gaming community. And if you want to do that, you need to think broader than just language.

Hope that helps. Cheers.

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2 Comments

  1. I would recommend learning french too, at least if you plan on working for Ubisoft eventually.

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