How To Play (and comprehend!) Japanese Games 1. Introduction What Is This Tutorial? This tutorial will help people who are interested in playing games in the Japanese langauge by introducing them to helpful websites and online tools, and suggest the best ways to use them to meet their end. Why Would I Read This? Just by being at GBATemp, you are almost certainly interested in video games, and likely have means of playing many of the great Japanese titles that were never released in English. You may have a passing interest in the Japanese language, but don't have time to do full-on independent study, or you take Japanese classes, but don't find them to be tailored towards your ultimate goal: Playing sweet, sweet Japanese exclusives. Hopefully this tutorial will help you tailor your learning process towards games and take a shortcut to comprehension. Do I Need To Be Able To Speak Japanese? No! What does speaking have to do with playing games anyway?! In any case, this tutorial includes information for people with little or no Japanese language experience. Users looking for more advanced language help should check out Densetsu's introductory guide to translation, which is aimed towards people with intermediate Japanese skill. 2. I Don't Know Any Japanese! Help, What Are These Squiggles! Japanese is considered by several linguists to be one of the most difficult written languages. There is room for debate on this subject, but needless to say, learning to comprehend it is not an easy feat for everyone, especially not those accostomed only to 'Western' scripts (English, Spanish, French, etc.). There is, however, a method to the madness. Japanese typically uses three different types of writing, each with their own specific uses: Kanji 漢字 -Originally Chinese characters adapted (stolen!) by the Japanese for many uses -Often used to write the most important 'stuff' in a sentence - subjects, objects, verb roots -They look scary to foreigners, but you should learn to love them, they are the key to comprehension! Hiragana ひらがな -Loopy deformations of kanji that make up one Japanese syllabary (fancy word for an alphabet, but not quite) -Usually used to write things that relate to grammar -prepositions, markers, verb 'inflection' -Commonly seen, especially in 8-bit era video games that did not support kanji! Katakana カタカナ -Further deformations of hiragana that make up the other Japanese syllabary (two alphabets? impossible!) -Used to write words borrowed from foreign languages, and writing robot dialect - no, seriously -Foreign words are abundant in Japanese games, as are robots, so you cannot skip out on learning Katakana! Here's the kicker: In a modern game, you will see ALL THREE OF THESE together in a single sentence! Don't be afraid, you can learn hiragana and katakana easily. It's just a matter of practice, and you'll be 'practicing' with video games, not a textbook from the 70s. Kanji can be difficult to learn, but you can learn them on a case-by-case basis. Each one you learn will be something new you understand about a game you're playing, so it won't be as big of a pain as it is learning it for school. Here is where I toss you off a cliff. This is not a tutorial on how to learn these things, but rather how to use games to guide your learning! And so, here are some links that are far more helpful than what this tutorial can provide: Learning About Japanese Scripts (hiragana/katakana chart included!): This is a great, concise, website about Japanese writing. You can read up on the specific uses of Hiragana and Katakana if you want, but the most important thing is the Hiragana and Katakana chart! Make a copy of that chart, bookmark the page, or find a chart somewhere else, because if you don't already have those symbols memorized, you're going to need the chart to start your translating! http://www.saiga-jp.com/japanese_language.html Learning About Kanji: Yes, Kanji is very hard, and I could write for hours on theory and methods to learning them, but unfortunately all this tutorial has to offer is these words of wisdom: LEARN KANJI STROKE ORDER. If you can do that, you will be able to use real and online dictionaries to look up kanji yourself. This skill will be more useful for you playing games than sitting down and learning 1,000 kanji for school. This website is a fantastic synopsis of learning Kanji stroke order. Please, please, please read it, because once you can look up a kanji, you will be able to comprehend more Japanese than the majority of the world: http://www.tofugu.com/guides/guess-kanji-stroke-order/ 3. Powerful Tools To Understand Japanese Text You cannot copy a wall of Japanese text, paste it in an online translator, and obtain anything of practical use, unless, of course, you already know Japanese and have experience in reverse engineering machine logic. This is not a debate for this tutorial, but the tutorial's author swears that if you want to argue about it, he will leave you crying. That includes fancy corporations that spend lots of money on machine translations (my father worked for one) and well-meaning people who stake their life on Japanese knowledge (import-store owners, etc.). You CAN, however, use the next best thing - a database with an unthinkable amount of translations powered by an unruly search engine*. And the next best thing after that - a dictionary. And the next best thing after that - a kanji dictionary! *Guess what? Many online 'translators' attempt to aggregate knowledge from these databases when puking out their 'translations'. Why not skip a step and go straight to the database yourself? Windows Language Toolbar: If you are not running some version of the Windows Operating System, I apologize. I will say, though, that the language toolbar and IME Pad (explained below) are the single reason why I can never use anything other than Windows. They are far too convenient. The easiest way to search a database full of translations is to be able to type in Japanese and write out Kanji on your computer. For that purpose, you should use the Windows Language Toolbar and Japanese support. The Language Toolbar is a helpful tool that allows you to change the output language of your keyboard on the fly. Installing The Toolbar (XP): Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options -> Languages Tab - Details -> Text Services and Input Languages - Add -> Add Input Language - Japanese Make sure your 'installed services' include IME Standard and Natural Input, there are other keyboard layouts, but those are specifically for Japanese keyboards, not your Western keyboard! Warning: Spoilers inside! How Do I Use It? Once you set your preferences so that you can actually see the toolbar, keep in mind that your current language setting will change for every window (including explorer) that is open. So if you set the toolbar to Japanese while you click a search bar, and later you click your explorer bar, the language will go back to English - just click the search bar again to go back to Japanese. Once you are in Japanese mode, you'll see this: Warning: Spoilers inside! INPUT TEXT: Once you are in 'Japanese Mode', any text you type should come out in Japanese! (hit the spoiler button for more instructions!!) Warning: Spoilers inside! If you haven't already realized, you are supposed to enter Japanese by typing out the 'romaji' lettering... in other words, you just type it as if you were typing a Japanese word into an English sentence. For example, 'kamikaze', would just be typed 'kamikaze'... go ahead and try, press the space bar, and see the different ways you can input that word in Japanese. And what if you don't know how to type out a certain hiragana or katakana word? Use a good katakana/hiragana table!: http://www.saiga-jp.com/japanese_language.html DRAW KANJI: Click the paint bucket icon and select 手書き to open the IME Pad! Try your best to draw a kanji in the IME Pad so that you can enter it as text! Warning: Spoilers inside! Now you can look up any kanji without knowing how to pronounce it! Stroke order is the most important thing to getting the IME Pad to recognize you writing, so be sure to visit this website to understand stroke order fully: http://www.tofugu.com/guides/guess-kanji-stroke-order/ Hopefully you will now be able to input Japanese text into some of the following tools with ease. If you can't, a last resort is to use a romaji-to-kana converter website. This is an extra step that can take forever, but it's better than nothing... To look up kanji without being able to write it out, just use an online kanji dictionary (such as the one listed below), or a regular paper one. This is a good skill to learn, but can be very slow when you're trying to play a game. The Incredible Database: This is a tool that was designed to help local Japanese people learn functional English for communicating with foreigners (ie; businessmen): http://www.alc.co.jp/ How do I use it? First of all, this database only responds to JAPANESE TEXT. So if you don't know how to input Japanese text on your computer, go back and read about the Language Toolbar. One interesting thing to note, though, is that if you enter an English phrase in English, the database will give you responses in Japanese! So yes, this is a two-way English-Japanese Japanese-English database, but we're only concerned with one of those for now. Enter the text you want to look up (either type it in Japanese or copy+paste) Warning: Spoilers inside! Look for relevant results, add or remove text from your search terms to broaden or narrow the search! Warning: Spoilers inside! It's that simple! The beauty of this database is that you can look up entire phrases, not just single words. That includes verbs with their inflections (modifications that make a verb past-tense, negative, etc.). There is no realistic dictionary on Earth that can do this! If you input a verb (or adjective or anything else) with other grammatical elements on it into a normal dictionary, you will (99% of the time) receive no results, because a normal dictionary only includes the 'root' of a verb. In English terms, this would be like an English dictionary containing only Latin every time you tried to look up a verb! A Great Dictionary: This is one of the most solid Japanese-English/English-Japanese dictionaries on the internet. You can never have too many dictionaries, but this is where you want to start: http://www.rut.org/cgi-bin/j-e/sjis/dict How Do I Use It? Warning: Spoilers inside! Warning: Spoilers inside! Dictionaries aren't the ultimate translating tool, but they are more helpful for getting an exact definition than a database, which often includes more information than you may be willing to sift through. Sweet Kanji Dictionary!: The tutorial author is partial to this dictionary because the layout (specifically the sidebar) is very useful: http://nuthatch.com/kanji/demo/frame.html You may also want to try out this one, though the following examples are from nuthatch.org: http://jisho.org/ How Do I Use It? Warning: Spoilers inside! Warning: Spoilers inside! Kanji dictionaries are more for serious study, but people who are unable to use regular input methods (non-Windows users) may have no other options for inputting kanji! 4. Case By Case Translation Method For Games So far, you've learned about some amazing websites, how to input Japanese text on a Windows computer, and maybe a little about the Japanese written language itself. You're sweating and you're nervous, because there has been little to no mention of video games so far. Well calm down, because things are about to get real. 1. Encounter A Problem "There's stuff I can't read!" First, diagnose what it is you're trying to read. In a videogame, especially an RPG, text you can't understand will fall under one of four categories: a. Menu Item Menu items are little blocks of text you encounter when you go into a game menu. These are typically single-word phrases, made solely of either hiragana, katakana, or two kanji. Clasically, games used either hiragana only or katakana only for menu items, even if you'd normally see those things written in a different script because the game didn't have room for both sets of characters. Later, when it was possible to have an entire set of kanji in a game (16-bit era), menus would be comprised of 2-character words written in kanji, both for uniformity and convenience. 2-kanji commands persist in many RPGs, specifically SRPGs, where the same little menu pops up every time you select one of your characters. aa. Stats For this method, I consider 'stats' to be menu items, because it will probably be difficult to find statistical information without navigating a menu. 'Stats' can also appear in a game's HUD, but for the sake of simplicity, let's lump them in with menu items as well, as they usually follow the same format (a few kanji or hiragana). b. Item Function An item function is the game's way of telling you what a particular menu item (be it an actual physical item in the game like a potion, or just a bit of text explaining the option you have highlited) does. While not as simple as looking up a single word, item descriptions aren't particularly difficult because you already know two things: Part of the description is going to explain WHAT is affected, and part of the description is going to tell you HOW it is affected. c. Command A command is when the game tells/asks YOU to do something. The most typical example is when a game asks you a yes/no question (would you like to save?), which is prompted by a little yes/no choice box. Other times (especially with auto-saving games) the game is telling you not to turn it off, for fear of ruining the internal data. And then (in modern RPGs especially), someone in the game is asking you to do something specific, like a fetch-quest. This is often where 'gamer's intuition' fails, and it really helps to be able to understand that one simple command that the dog is telling you over and over and over and over... d. Dialogue Dialogue is what I call everything else. Story synopses, random chatter, plot points, and other things you don't necessarily have to act upon, but might want to know to get the flavor of a game. You can usually ignore this* if your goal is just to play through the game, but if you find Japanese being really easy for you to read (???), you might want to try reading a little dialogue here and there. Be forewarned, dialogue in videogames is one of the most inconsistent forms of writing on Earth. It ranges from excessively flowery to deliberately obtuse, often times without any inbetween. *OK, maybe you can't usually ignore this. It really depends on the game, though with all the hand-holding that goes on nowadays, don't be surprised if a game is very blatant; Especially a game for children, like Inazuma Eleven, which will tell you, at all times, what you are supposed to do, and point you in the general direction of that event... with a giant arrow. 2. Figure Out Where One Thing Ends And Another Begins This is called 'parsing', and in order to look up a word in a traditional dictionary, you will need to be able to do it. Using the database listed above in the tools section, you can just toss in an entire phrase or even a sentence if you're feeling lucky. If you aren't lucky, though, you will have to pare down your search, and that can include understanding how to parse a sentence. a. Kanji Are Your Friends! In the phrase: 早く起きな！ You have two parts: 早く (quickly) and 起きな！ (wake up!) It was pretty easy to divide this phrase because the kanji acted as a boundary between words. You won't always be so lucky, but more often than not, you can separate phrases and even sentences this way. Click the spoiler for another great example of how kanji are our friends: Warning: Spoilers inside! The phrase "かってに外にでてはいけませんよ。" contains only one kanji, and sadly it isn't even the kanji for the verb! Luckily, かってに (to do as one pleases), and "いけませんよ" (please don't do/go) are common enough to be picked up by either the database or the dictionary (you will actually need to look up かってに in the dictionary first to get the kanji reading "勝手に" before using the database). But what about this phrase, from the same exact game (and nearly the same exact scene): Here we see かって again. This time, かって is not the same かって as かってに (勝手に), but an entirely different かって! Not only that, looking up かって in the dictionary and database will not yield a single useful results for this particular phrase... (User Marcus Aseth pointed out that the analysis of this phrase that follows (I've marked it in red) wasn't completely correct, I'm adding his reasoning in blue, and then you can read the red as sort of a cautionary tale, hah) First we'll have to look up "みたい" which ends the phrase. It's a word you can tack on to sentences to change the meaning to 'resembles' or 'looks like'. So the game wants to know what something looks like something. Maybe. Let's look up those four possible responses: かめ - turtle トラ - tiger とり - bird リュウ - dragon OK, so the phrase means 'something something animals resemble... and indeed, if you look up "どうぶつ", you will see that it means 'animals'. But what the heck is かって!? Because we don't have the kanji for this verb, and the verb is already conjugated (fancy word for 'modified'), we can't look it up in the dictionary. Our only hope is to search EVERY possible word that is pronounced かって in the database, and stop on one that has something to do with animals*. The simplest way to do this is with the language toolbar: So type 'katte' into the search bar and... YIKES! 29 possible entries!? Well, we've already determined it's not #5 勝手 (animal looks like as one pleases?), but that still leaves the other 28... Eventually, plugging each of these phrases into the database search will land you at #7, 飼って... "TO OWN A PET" In fact, if we search the ENTIRE phrase: かってみたい using weblio's phrase database (a website similar to JapanALC), we get an even better understanding of what's going on: Warning: Spoilers inside! While there are several sentences that contain both かって and みたい it doesn't take long to identify one that has to do with animals. A closer analysis would reveal that the phrase isn't composed of かって and みたい separately, but in fact, かってみたい IS the entire phrase (more specifically, かってみる is the entire phrase, where the る has been changed to たい to convey that you "would like" to do something). Read Marcus Aseth's original post here, or below for a full understanding): Warning: Spoilers inside! Seriously, 'to own a pet'. So they're asking 'which of these animals do you want to own/looks like a pet you own'. How on Earth, unless you possess a degree in Japanese Animal Husbandry, were you supposed to know that? This is a situation where having kanji would have saved you anywhere from 10-30 minutes of time. So, the next time someone says, "I can read it if there's hiragana, but I'm not good with kanji..." roll your eyes at them, because it's unlikely they've learned all 29 verbs that are pronounced か, including an obscure one about owning animals. *This is because dictionaries do not contain verbs that have already been modified. In fact, they only contain useless root forms of verbs that nobody actually uses, so unless you already had an extremely good grasp on Japanese, you couldn't easily deconstruct かって to its root form. Or rather, you could, but you would be doing just as much guesswork as the layman who looks up every word on its own. b. Particles Are Also Your Friends! Parsing a Japanese sentence by looking for particles borders on actually knowing Japanese (gasp!), but for someone hard-translating using dictionaries and databases, it can be useful to figuring out why a certain phrase won't show up in the search results. For the purposes of this tutorial, I will direct you to................... wikipedia. No really, it has a great article on Japanese particles, including what particles are, exactly. There is really too much to cover in this tutorial, so I will leave you with suggestions on particles to recognize: は、が - wa, ga - mark subjects を、に - o, ni - mark objects と - to - similar to the word 'and' in English か - ka - marks a question, like a question mark but spoken out loud で - de - marks place or means (like the popular game "Densha de Go!" = "Travel by Train") の - no - marks possessive (same as an apostrophe, as in Mark's Apple = マークのりんご) Decent Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_particles 3. Look Those Things Up After singling out the part or parts you don't understand, find out what that stuff means! Copy a whole phrase, or just parts of a phrase, with or without particles (see above) into the database search. Once you figure out what is a single word or verb, you can copy that into a dictionary to look up a more concrete definition. 4. Comprehend Most of the time, your comprehension will be instantaneous, especially if you're tackling menu items alone. Item functionality in RPGs (what an item, such as a potion, actually does) is slightly more difficult because you will probably have an entire phrase to translate. Commands (such as 'Go to the store and meet Kuma-san') are the most complicated things you'll have to figure out, other than actual dialogue, mainly because commands are dialogue, without the ambiguity often found in Japanese (ie; you will rarely receive a command in a game that says, 'Captain Masa is... well I don't know...", in which some wishy-washy NPC wants you to give the school soccer captain a homemade cookie she poisoned). 5. Examples Awww yeah, it's stats galore! At the bottom of the screen, we have a bunch of single kanji - let's look them up one by one: 力 - strength, power 体 - the database said 'body', but the dictionary is more helpful here: "health"! 知 - wisdom 速 - speed 魔 - devil... but if we look at other words, like 魔道 or 魔弾, we see that it also means 'magic' 運 - luck Easy enough, and I'll bet these show up in almost every RPG! How about the stuff on the right-hand side? 攻撃 - attack 命中 - "a hit". If this doesn't make sense to you, check out some other compounds, you'll see 命中率 means 'accuracy rate', so it's safe to say this has to do with hit rate or accuracy. 防御 - defense 回避 - evasion 魔法威力 - wow, couldn't find anything in the database OR the dictionary? Let's look at them two kanji at a time: 魔法 - magic! Simple! Plus you may remember 魔 from the stats at the bottom of the screen. 威力 - power! Come to think of it, 力 alone also meant power, right? In fact, just by knowing 魔 is magic and 力 is power, you could probably already guess that 魔法威力 is just a fancy way of saying 'magic power'. And in fact, in a less fancy game, you will see it written just as 魔力. 魔法効果 - Nothing again... too bad that businessman database isn't tailored towards videogames... some day.... some day. Anyway, you know 魔法 is magic (or even if you don't, you could look it up again until you did remember....), so just look up 効果. 効果 means 'effect' or 'effectiveness', so 魔法効果 means 'magic effectiveness'. And that's it, all of the stats are translated! Here's an actual game menu. There are stats at the bottom, but I mean, you should be able to figure out what they are based on those little pictures. But what about the menu items at the top? The menu items are all icons, while the actual item is listed to the right of the bar. 食べ物 - Throw this whole phrase in the database and you'll get several definitions for the same thing: food! No wonder there was a picture of an apple... びく - 'biku'... written in plain hiragana. What the heck is biku?! The database tells us it means 'creel'. WHAT THE HECK IS CREEL!?!?!? If you didn't know what a creel was, you could look that up in an English dictionary, but for now, just look up 'biku' in the Japanese dictionary - "A basket for carrying fish". How simple! Now you see the benefits of using a dictionary for single words versus the database for whole phrases. AHH! That's a lot of Japanese! And there are choice to make! This must be a command... Now, if we were lazy, which we are, we would look up the choices first: 男 - male 女 - female OK, so the game is probably asking our sex/gender. But let's pretend we're stupid and do things the hard way: 主人公の性別を選択して下さい。 Let's do those first three kanji: 主人公 - main character, hero, protagonist の - no is a possessive article, so whatever comes after this should 'belong' to the protagonist 性別 - gender So together, 主人公の性別 is 'the main character's gender' を - marks an object, we already know 'main character's gender' is the object/subject, so let's move on... 選択して - If you run this in the database, you'll see several results about 'selecting' and 'choosing', so it's safe to say this has to do with making a choice (as if we didn't already know). 下さい - It's 'kudasai'! The dictionary says this means 'please do for me', so it's basically a polite way of asking something. So put that all together and it's... main character's gender choose please! But because you're not a stupid computer, you know this means, "Please select the main character's gender." But in all honesty, you would have figured this out the second you knew what 'male' and 'female' were, or at the very least by the time you looked up the word 'gender'. It's OK to take shortcuts, especially if you're just trying to play a dang game! OMG there's a guy and a thing and this game is awesome but what is that text?!!? Dialogue can be a pain in the butt, but sometimes you just have to know what's going on. ホーク！ - the database says this is 'hawk', which makes sense, because it's written in katakana, and that usually means it's a foreign (often English) word. But it also says it can be a person's name... "Hawk". That would make more sense in this situation. 早く起きな！ One word at a time: 早く - means 'quickly' 起きな - put this in the database, and you'll see this means 'wake up', 'rise and shine', 'get up already', and so forth. So the phrase 早く起きな！means 'get up quickly!' or 'hurry up and wake up already!' ぐずぐずすんな - Dang, no kanji! How can we figure out what this means? We don't get any results by putting the whole thing in, but erase those last two hiragana... and we see that ぐずぐずする means 'to dilly dally', waste time, slack off, etc. You can infer that the character is telling Hawk not to waste any time sleeping. Sometimes all it takes to figure out a phrase is to run it through the database with a few less characters. A lot of trial and error can get you pretty far, as you may well know if you've tried playing Japanese games with absolutely no Japanese knowledge whatsoever! 6. Conclusion Not all Japanese is this easy to translate, but hopefully with these tools, websites, tips, and examples, you can figure out how to fight your way through text. Once again, all the links featured in this tutorial, with a few extras: Page on using the language bar in Windows XP: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306993 The ALC Japanese-English Database: http://www.alc.co.jp/ *NEW* The weblio Japanese-English Sentence Database: http://ejje.weblio.jp/sentence/ Jeffrey's Japanese Dictionary: http://www.rut.org/cgi-bin/j-e/sjis/dict Kiki's Kanji Dictionary: http://nuthatch.com/kanji/demo/frame.html An Introductory Guide To Japanese Writing (with Hiragana/Katakana table): http://www.saiga-jp.com/japanese_language.html Learning To Write/Draw Kanji: http://www.tofugu.com/guides/guess-kanji-stroke-order/ Tae-Kim's Guide To Japanese Grammar: http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar GBATemp's Own Densetsu's Japanese Guide: http://gbatemp.net/threads/learning-japanese-the-nihongo-faq.290986/ ?. Post Script A Note On Japanese Grammar: Japanese is often referred to as a "subject-object-verb" (SOV) language, meaning that its sentence structure follows a pattern where subjects come before objects, which in turn come before the sentence's verb. But who is to say that any language has definite objects, subjects, or even verbs? Who, other than some stuffy linguist trying to prove the Universal Grammar theory (Noam Chomsky's theory that the brain and all languages and... oh, go look it up yourself)? For the purpose of understanding a Japanese phrase, it is often more useful to divide a sentence into 'subject' and 'predicate', by which I mean, "s*** that comes before the verb" and "the verb and the s*** that comes after it". It is particularly useful to do use this method of parsing sentences in Japanese because there is a lot of s*** that can come after a Japanese verb. This includes everything from tense (I walked vs I will walk), aspect (walking vs finished walking) and tone (walk, damn you! vs please take a walk). In fact, many people consider the verb and everything that comes after it to be all one word. You heard right, Japanese verbs can be transformed into a proper mess, given proper inflections. But that is the beauty of searching a database versus searching a dictionary. Assuming you can pick out the verb in a phrase, you can just copy+paste that part of the phrase into the database and come up with a result, oh, 70% of the time (my estimate, no real science was done to come up with that number). With many, though not all, games that incorporate kanji into the text, this is rather easy to do, because a verb will almost always start with a kanji or two. So long as you can pick out those kanji, you can usually pick out the verb and the nonsense attached to it. Here is a good example: Warning: Spoilers inside! Everything proceeds fine in this game until you try to leave the building that you begin the game in, at which time you are prompted with this message: Here we have two phrases, divided by a comma (just like in English!), 小包も受け取ったから and いったん部屋に戻ろうかな. The second one is less confusing for me to explain, so let's take that one on: いったん部屋に戻ろうかな has three kanji in it, one compound (a word that contains two or more kanji), and then one lone kanji. Based on what I said above, we can assume that that lone kanji, which comes at the end of the sentence, is the beginning of the verb (and the stuff attached to it). Looking up 戻ろうかな yields nothing*, but 戻ろうか or 戻ろう yields a few results, each that include 'get back'. So it's say to say this phrase is about 'getting back' to a certain place. *Japanese learning tip: Warning: Spoilers inside! After you've singled out 戻ろう is the verb, look up かな that comes after it. The dictionary will tell you that it means, "should I" or "I wonder", when it comes at the end of a sentence. If your memory isn't awesome, write down all these sentence-ending words to save yourself the trouble of looking them up later! Then we can look up the rest of the phrase, starting with the kanji (because non-verb kanji usually represent nouns, or at least something more concrete than random grammar particles). 部屋 means 'room', so we can assume this phrase means 'get back to the room'. In the context of the game, this makes sense, because this message pops up every time we try to leave a certain building. The game is letting you know you have to go back to your room to progress the story!