Most gamers don’t bother with learning Japanese. But there are inevitably times when your favorite Japanese video games display Japanese words instead of romaji.
If you don’t know how to read these frequently used Japanese words, you’d have difficulties understanding the game.
Don’t worry, learning how to recognize these key Japanese words used in games is not difficult. You only need to memorize them once and the more you play, the more you’d get used to them.
Below is a list of Japanese words you’d encounter frequently in video games.
By the way, you’d notice that there is quite a lot of katakana in this list. That’s because many gaming-related phrases are loan words from English.
The first screen you see will probably be the menu screen. Here are some typical Japanese words you might see:
1. Menu = メニュー Menyū
2. File = ファイル Fairu
3. Mode = モード Mōdo
4. Settings = 設定・せってい Settei
5. Option = オプション Opushon
If you click on mode, settings or option, you get to choose the bells and whistles that you want:
6. Select, choose = 選択・せんたく Sentaku
You can choose the type of music you want to have:
7. Music = 音楽・おんがく Ongaku
You can choose who you want to play as:
8. Gender = 性別・せいべつ Seibetsu
9. Main character, hero, protagonist = 主人公・しゅじんこう Shujinkō
You can choose the level of difficulty of the game:
10. Level = レーベル Rēberu
11. Easy = 簡単・かんたん Kantan
12. Hard = 難しい・むずかしい Muzukashī
Now that you have chosen your preferred settings, you can start playing so you press this button:
13. Start = スタート Sutāto, or
14. Load = ロード Rōdo
Throughout the game, you might see these Japanese words on the screen. Here is what they mean:
15. Mission = ミッション Misshon
16. Yay, I won! or Yay, I did it! = やった! Yatta!
17. Fight = 戦う・たたかう Tatakau
18. Attack = 攻撃・こうげき Kōgeki
19. Item = アイテム Aitemu
This is an exciting set and you finish on a high. Next, you will probably see these Japanese words on the screen and you get to choose what you want to do next. You can:
20. Save = セーブ (Sēbu) to your Memory card = メモリーカード (Memorīkādo),
21. Quit = 終了・しゅうりょう Shūryō,
22. Continue = 続き・つづき Tsuduki, or
23. Retry = リトライ Ritorai
Hope this quick start guide to Japanese is useful to all you gamers out there. Have a great game! If you want to learn more, check out my mega post, Useful Japanese Phrases.