Know the lingo

Buying and playing Japanese imports is one of gaming's little adventures. It can be exciting and rewarding, but it's not without its pitfalls — the most obvious of which is the language barrier. While many import games will feature a small amount of English text, most will be impenetrable to those who can't read Japanese.

Fear not, however — we're here to help. The table below is a quick reference guide of some of the most common and important terms a gamer playing a Japanese game is likely to encounter. It’s far from being exhaustive, but it should help avoid any accidental save deletions and give a general idea of what’s being asked.

English: Start/Begin
Japanese: スタート OR はじめる OR 始める

English: Continue
Japanese: コンティニュー OR つづく OR 続く

English: Delete
Japanese: けす OR 消す

English: Load
Japanese: ロード

English: Save
Japanese: セーブ

English: Overwrite
Japanese: オーバーライト OR 上書き

English: Yes
Japanese: はい

English: No
Japanese: いいえ

English: Name
Japanese: ネーム OR なまえ OR 名前

English: Options/Settings
Japanese: オプション OR せってい OR 設定

English: Password
Japanese: パスワード

English: Next
Japanese: つぎ OR

English: Finish/End
Japanese: おわり OR 終り

So there you have it. While you still may not be in a position to tackle the latest text-heavy 3DS RPG, you can at least spot the vital words in menus and this should hopefully make your import adventures that little bit easier.