Master English with the power of Starcraft English

By Spencer . January 21, 2008 . 12:38pm

senglish1.jpgSouth Korea loves Starcraft. People here still play the decade old game online and matches are always played on TV. South Korea also has a broad selection of English training books that go from your basic workbook to well… Starcraft English! Yes, through the magic of Starcraft you can boost your English vocabulary. While the concept seems strange, Starcraft English is actually brilliant. It’s designed for hardcore fans who immediately know what a Zealot is regardless of the “difficulty” of the word or the language barrier. (Note: Starcraft was only released in English in Korea!)


Let’s take a look at how Starcraft English works.




The book is divided into three segments. The first portion goes through the different units and intelligently breaks words apart and pulls out word stems. Protoss has the “proto” prefix, which can be used for a bunch of English words like prototype. Underneath the English word there is an equivalent in Hangul.




We’ve got the same train of thought going on for Hydralisk, which has the “hydra” prefix.




Not all of the units or skills are easy to break down, but Starcraft English goes through all of them. Look at what they thought up for the Defiler. “Defile a holy place with blood.” OK! And that picture on the right is priceless.




After reading about the meaning behind the units Starcraft English explains the audio conversations that play when you click on the units. Every quote is pulled apart, including the jokes. Some have happy drawings like this one for the Firebat sound byte.




Part three picks apart all the little things like menus, the copyright information and common strategies like “dealing with a flood of zerglings.” It even explains the meaning of Blizzard and related weather terms.



OK, so you probably won’t be fluent in English from reading Starcraft English, but it’s a clever idea that capitalizes on the popularity of Blizzard’s game. Also it’s the only English training book I’ve ever seen based on a video game. I’ve seen books on how to learn English by watching Prison Break and even one based on Gundam, but Starcraft English is out of this world.

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  • thaKingRocka

    this is just the sort of thing i would love to be involved in. this is a great language study project. i have to admit that i am shocked that they never localized the game for korea though.

  • matty

    “Defile a holy place with blood.”

    I hope I can use this material when I become an English teacher. lol

  • Dan Zuccarelli

    This i actually a fantastic idea. I think I’d be all over if something similar came out to teach Japanese to Westerners.

  • It’s about time someone with a little market-savvy migrated to the educational space. Or would this be edutainment? In any case.

    “Make learning fun” isn’t a buzzword. People DO learn better when the subject and/or course materials speak to their interests.

  • Neelie

    This is such a brilliant concept! And a wonderful learning tool!

  • So, I was road tripping to the CPL championships with this awesome Korean Starcraft player. I was sleeping in the passenger seat when he shakes me awake. “What? What do you want? Why do you keep touching me?” I asked.
    “We require more Vespene gas,” he said.
    “I’m carrying your sorry ass with my Terran micro, pump it yourself,” I replied.
    He sticks out his hand and snaps, “Not enough minerals!”

    (snipped before it descends into Kerrigan porn.)

  • cant believe this, it`s insain

    wish you the best with that book.

    o m g

  • the only game that is played here year in, year out. all the other ‘new’ stuff just fades away …

  • Moose
  • Shrike


  • Wow, thanks Moose! I honestly had no idea these types of things were out here.

    I’ve used a few CD’s and such before but it;d be much better to read them I think

  • John H.

    There are (American) kid books that try to leverage interest in games into learning or creation activities. Like, there’s a “Draw the Nintendo Characters” book that’s been going around this year’s equivalent of the old Weekly Reader catalog. Most of those, however, tend to seem rather shallow; so you can draw Mario and Link after reading the book. Now can you draw something else?

    I sort of get that vibe from this, but it does seem evident that this Starcraft English isn’t a fly-by-night project. It’s a cool idea anyway.

  • idosyncratic idiot

    As someone who learned English (well… sorta) through videogames, I’m not surprised.

  • Mike

    My english are bad! Must buy.

    Please anyone for great justice show buy location. !!

  • Vash

    Belive it or not, I learned english playing Baldur’s Gate!
    Videogame are powerful motivators!

  • Sir Bronthius

    Does anyone know where or how to procure a copy of this book somehow without being able to read Korean freaking ebay?

    I would think that this would diffuse into the American market at some points in time, and I just don’t know where and when those points are.

    Post a reply, I’ll check…

  • Jikunbyire

    Well, not a really proper source of English-learning, if you ask me.

    But the ingenuity of the creator is nevertheless incredible.

  • הכל בשבילכם
    ואילו ניתן להזמין עד הבית

  • wooow

  • This book is really good, recommend.

  • mastermix88

    Thanks guys! I want learn English!

  • Yes, it is a magnificent idea! Wonderful studies of foreign language! Thank you to the author of text for inlightening!

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