I am a DM of a small group of friends; we prefer D&D 5e but this question can apply to any TTRPG. My friends have some experience with English, but are not comfortable with it. Lately I've been entertaining an idea of "helping" them become more comfortable with it using D&D.

My draft plot is as follows:
Their characters find themselves in an unfamiliar realm of which they heard little but with which language they have some experience with. The game will be held in their native language, but all the NPCs will speak only in English; literature, notes etc. will be completely in English. My idea is that they will be gently "forced" to interact with characters in English, which would allow them to grow their skill organically, much like some people learn local language when they are forced to live abroad. Players would know what they are signing up for upfront.

Is it a good idea for players to not understand what NPCs are saying, at least for a while? Would it be fun to be "weak" in this way, or would it be too stressful? Can that prevent them from interacting with NPCs altogether? Is there any real educational value in it? I am thinking about giving them a "magic" dictionary early on (Google Translate); would that defeat the purpose?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Take the tour and visit the help center when you get a chance. You have a great concept here and I commend you for using D&D to make a difference in peoples lives. However as written this question is very opinion based and will likely be closed. Instead of asking "is it a good idea?" you could ask for methods to maximize learning, "How can I use D&D to teach IRL languages?" or similar. Good luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin May 13 '19 at 7:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi rino, Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already. Will the players be aware of your intentions up front, or will you be doing this "behind their backs", so to speak? I imagine this detail will drastically affect any answers... \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS May 13 '19 at 7:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ They will be aware of it. I would also plan some NPC's who would speak their native language if things get too confusing \$\endgroup\$ – rino May 13 '19 at 7:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ You might also consider asking some aspects of this question at languagelearning.stackexchange.com. \$\endgroup\$ – Tommi May 13 '19 at 8:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Echoing linksassin, I think you have at least two solid questions in here; one about using RPGs (or D&D specifically) to learn a language, and another about interacting with NPCs that don't share a language with your character. I look forward to reading both of them. Let us know if you'd like help with the edits so we can get this question reopened! \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon May 14 '19 at 1:19