List of Japanese Computer Menu Terms: a handy guide to your Japanese-speaking devices

kindle-fire-japanese-input-home-screen2Setting your computer’s (and other devices’) language to Japanese is an important step if you are serious about any degree of self-immersion.

It isn’t just the limited number of words you will be using in computer-ese. It has a much deeper psychological significance in making Japanese a part of the reality of your life, forcing you to see and think Japanese at unexpected moments, which helps to re-adjust the balance of your mind toward Japanese.

You can, and almost certainly will, switch back occasionally when you need to understand something complex. It is very little trouble to do so (just enough to stop you cheating all the time!) Don’t worry when you need to do that. The main thing is to have your interface in Japanese 90% of the time, and that really isn’t difficult.

Navigating a Japanesed computer or tablet is easier than you think. A lot of the menu items are actually just katakana-ized versions of the regular English names. If you can’t work out things like ウインドウ、ツール、ブックマーク and ヘルプ you can always type them into Denshi Jisho or use the sneaky Dolly shortcut of typing them into any typeable area of any webpage (the search box usually) and Rikaichan them. And of course everything is still where it was before, so you will find most things naturally.

Also, most of the regular menu actions have keyboard shortcuts, and you can recognize them in the menu by the bracketed shortcuts. Even so I would recommend saying the Japanese names to yourself each time you use them until you know them well.

As for the kanji, some of them are easily recognizable (開く, open for example) others probably aren’t. Don’t forget to pronounce them to yourself as you use them (きびしい人形ね).

List of Japanese Computer Menu Terms

In alphabetical order of English terms
Note: This list has become rather long. Please don’t be daunted by it. The aim is to give you a reference for anything you might run into. Actually a lot of what you encounter won’t be on this list. It will simply be katakana-ized versions of the English terms you know already. You don’t need to know this list! Just bookmark it and use it when you need it.

操作 そうさ action
追加 ついか    add
適用 てきよう apply
閉じる とじる close
環境設定 かんきょうせってい configuration (preferences)
作成 さくせい create
切り取り  きりとり cut
削除 さくじょ    delete
編集 へんしゅう edit
検索 けんさく   find
次を検索 つぎをけんさく   find next
強制終了 きょうせいしゅうりょう   force quit
書式 しょしき format
全画面 ぜんがめん full screen
履歴 りれき history
入力 にゅうりょく input
言語 げんご language
一覧 いちらん list
読み込み中 よみこみちゅう loading
場所 ばしょ location
管理 かんり manage
新規 しんき new
開く あく open
上書き うわがき overwrite
貼り付け はりつけ paste
印刷  いんさつ print
再生 さいせい playback
終了 しゅうりょう quit
最近 さいきん recent (as in 最近開けたファイル, recently opened files)
ゴミ箱 ゴミばこ recycle bin
やり直す やりなおす redo
再読み込み さいよみこみ reload
再起動 さいきどう   restart
実行 じっこう run
保存 ほぞん    save
保存先 ほぞんさき    save location (destination)
検索 けんさく   search
設定 せってい settings
表 ひょう table
元に戻す もとにもどす undo
取り消す とりけす undo
無題 むだい untitled
利用 りよう use
使用 しよう use
利用者 りようしゃ user
表示 ひょうじ viewunlocking-japanese-ad3

We will be adding to this list over time. Please do not hesitate to add new words in the comments (we will pop them into the main list), or ask about ones you can’t work out.

 

5 thoughts on “List of Japanese Computer Menu Terms: a handy guide to your Japanese-speaking devices

  1. Oh, thank you, Cure Tadashiku!

    I don’t think I am ready yet, but when I am, this will be very helpful!

  2. You can add these too, I’m also trying to use computer in Japanese.

    入力 にゅうりょく input
    追加 ついか add
    作成 さくせい create
    検索 けんさく search
    適用 てきよう apply
    利用 りよう use
    使用 しよう use
    実行 じっこう run
    再起動 さいきどう restart
    書式 しょしき format
    ゴミ箱 ゴミばこ recycle bin
    利用者 りようしゃ user
    全画面 ぜんがめん full screen
    言語 げんご language
    管理 かんり manage
    印刷  いんさつ print
    表 ひょう table
    場所 ばしょ location
    操作 そうさ action
    一覧 いちらん list
    上書き うわがき overwrite
    無題 むだい untitled
    元に戻す もとにもどす undo
    切り取り  きりとり cut
    貼り付け はりつけ paste
    再読み込み さいよみこみ reload

  3. お気に入り おきにいり favorites
    戻る もどる go back
    置き換える おきかえる replace
    選択 せんたく select
    並べ替え ならべかえ sorting
    起動 きどう starting

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