Vocabulary: in game menu

by | Learn Japanese Through Gaming


The very first step when you start a game is of course the title screen and its menu. It’s so obvious we sometimes overlook this step and get straight into the game. However, there can be quite a few selections to make in some games and the first time you see such a menu in japanese, it can get a bit confusing. Since we have to start somewhere, here’s some of the most frequent entries in those menus.       



Probably the most common entry in any RPG, the item menu! It’s read aitemu and is literally the transcription of “item”. Pretty easy to recognize and a mandatory menu in any game.


Another mandatory entry in any RPG. It’s read sutētasu and is the transcription of the word “Status”. The status screen is literally riddled with stats and all kinds of info, so i’ll detail it more in a dedicated post at some time.


This is in pretty much every RPG, especially J-RPG! It’s read mahō and means “Magic”. This is the base word of course and can be declined to design all kinds of magic such as black or white magic.


Another essential menu for RPGs. It’s read sōbi and means “Equipment”. In most games it’s translated by “equip” in menus. This word means equipment in general, not just the act of equipping something.


While not in every game, this menu is still in quite a number of J-RPGs so it doesn’t hurt to remember it. Read tairetsu, it means “Formation” and is generally the menu where you can change your party layout.


This one is kind of optional unless you’re a fellow trophy hunter. It’s read zukan and means “Encyclopedia”. This is where you find your enemy, item, whatever in game library you need to check either info or completion rate.


Transcribed from the word “System” and read shisutemu. This is where you can usually select save, load, options, etc… Almost in every game as well so better learn it quickly.























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Fanzine by a gamer who fell in love with both video games and japan for life.

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