Japanese Translation for FX Packaging

Konichiwa my Japanese friends!

I’m updating the packaging for the Arduboy FX and want to include / update some Japanese on the box. The language is beautiful and unfortunately too nuanced for google translate to do a good job.

We need your help! These are the phrases that need translating:

  • Expanded Memory -or- Flash Expansion (Or something similar)
  • Featured Games
  • Learn to Code

@inajob suggested maybe we can use this instead:


Actually, about these characters at the end: 開発機, these are Kanji symbols right? I’m curious if it is possible to say the same or similar thing using Hiragana or Katakana symbols? I think Kanji is sometimes more compact, but I prefer the flowing look of the other style of characters, especially in graphic design. So that would be my preference for the other translated phrases too… Is that a dumb request? I don’t know the language well enough.

This is what the draft packaging looks like now, let me know what you think! Ping @obono @chame @n602 @emutyworks @akkera102

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Ok, I took a swing at it, still would be interested it if I could Hiragana or Katakana symbols for “development machine” but I think that might be asking a lot? Probably a lot of characters, because they are phonetic?

Also, can I put japanese text vertical on the spine like this:

It’s different than the english website text that is there, but I thought it would be cool, if they were stood up on the edge to show it this way. Also thought about rotating the english characters to be vertical too…

Would like to get the input of a Japanese person to see if I am trying too hard with this, or what would be ok?

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You forgot to mention @BlueMax.
He may also be able to help if he is available.

As I’ve recently found out, Google translate can’t even manage French correctly. :P

Yes, those are Kanji. My usual dictionary doesn’t have a word recorded for that combination though.

A quick crash course on the three writing systems:

Kanji (漢字) literally means “Chinese characters”.
Each kanji symbol is a pictogram with a different meaning which can be chained together with other kanji or with hiragana to create words.
The same kanji aren’t always pronounced the same, there’s two different readings (“on” and “kun” readings) for every kanji.

Hiragana (ひらがな) is the system closest to the English concept of letters in the way that the symbols are chained together to make new words and the readings of any kanji can be expressed with hiragana.
Each hiragana character represents a single specific sound, thus making it a syllabary system.
When transliterated into English via the romaji romanisation system, almost every hiragana character begins with a consonant and ends in a vowel, with an exception of five that are only vowels and one that’s a consonant.
Hiragana was actually developed from kanji,

Katakana (カタカナ) is also a syllabary system, and it has a 1:1 relationship with hiragana - every hiragana character has an equivalent katakana character that makes the same sound.
The difference is that katakana is typically reserved for loan words or foreign concepts.

There’s also a load of interesting history behind each system but I’ll save that story for another day to avoid boring people any further. :P

“Flash Memory” on its own is フラッシュメモリ,
made up of フラッシュ “Flash” and メモリ “Memory”.
These are both loan words, so they’re pronounced more or less the same as the English terms.

An easy but somewhat cheating solution would be to also transliterate “expansion” into katakana as エクスパンション.
(There may need to be a “ッ” in there somewhere, I’m not entirely sure.)

If you wanted to use kanji instead of katakana I’d suggest the word “拡張” (かくちょう, kakuchou) because that’s what the Nintendo DS web browser memory expansion pak used.
There may be a better work though - I’m not a native speaker.

FX can be written in English letters, but you may want to add ruby text over top of it to indicate the pronunciation.
E.g. FXエフ・エックス

Arduboy is actually quite difficult to express in Katakana because the ‘dyu’ sound doesn’t actually appear naturally in Japanese.
My IME expresses it as アルヂュボイ, but I’d be interested to know what a native’s opinion on the matter would be.

I think this is an odd phrase to be trying to translate in the first place.

What about プログラム可能なゲーム機?
(“Programmable game console”.)

Or even プログラム可能な8ビットゲームのゲーム機.
(“Programmable 8-bit game console”.)

I’m not going to offer to translate the whole box of course,
my grammar isn’t anywhere near good enough to manage that.

I’m native Japnaese.
I checked below Japanese sentences.


I’v already mentioned. 8ビットゲーム開発機 is better.


It seems to be OK.


It seems to be OK.


I think “拡張フラッシュメモリ内蔵” is better.

拡張 means “expansion”.
フラッシュ means “Flash”. (It is an option , because “Memory” means RAM and ROM. If your customer is not core gamer, this difference is not so important.)
メモリ means “Memory”.
内蔵 means “Included”.

Typography is not good.
The space next of “ッ” is too wide.
(You think it is too small mistake, but many Japanese notice this discordance.)



I also found too wide space.


I liked メモリチップ付き because “Memorichippu” sounds the same in both japanese and english.

I think I will use with “フラッシュメモリ” is this ok?

If I use too many more characters it starts to be longer than Arduboy.com

This is why it is great to have your help thank you so much!

And this one ok now?


“フラッシュメモリ” has probrem.
「ッ」「ュ」is positioned too left.
If you have word-processing software (like OpenOffice) and Japanese font, you can check correct position.


「コーディングを学ぶ」's typography is good!

I don’t know native English nuance, プログラミング(programming) is more familiar than コーディング(coding) in Japanese.

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How is this 先生 @inajob? :bowing_man:

「プログラミングを学ぶ」's typography is OK.
but 「プログラミングを学べる」is better.

「フラッシュメモリ」has problem yet.

  • 「ッ」「ュ」should be fit to right.
  • Spaces before and after「ッ」「ュ」is too wide. You should reduce these spaces.



I came here too late.:joy:

How about “プログラミング学べる”?
This change gives the nuance that you can play games and learn programming,too.

Featured Games 注目のゲーム
A direct translation would probably look like this.
In the case of NES mini sold by Nintendo, the expression 「収録タイトル」–“syuuroku taitoru” is used to represent the built-in game. This phrase may also be good to indicate that there are many games in memory.

I’m looking forward to Arduboy FX!


:+1: “プログラミングも学べる”

I can’t wait to get a nicely designed package :smile:

…Anyway, Informative and relevant opinions and advice have already been proposed on this topic.
I would also like to submit some opinions


I also think “8ビットゲーム開発機” are better at this.


Regarding these, I think that the following explanation in Japanese is not bad.

FEATURED GAMES — “200以上のゲームを収録” (it means: Contains over 200 games)

LEARN TO CODE — “コーディングを始めよう” (it means: Let’s start coding) , or
LEARN TO CODE — “プログラミングを始めよう” (it means: Let’s start programming)

These are not exact translations, but they are words that supplement the original English text and add a little explanation.


I agree with all suggestions(@inajob, @BlueMax, @n602) .:+1:
I don’t have to say anything.

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Can I do:


Or is that to weird?

Learning about Japanese is fun! How am I doing?


Already good guys advised, so I have nothing to say. :upside_down_face:

The following document may help about placing small kana character.

In vertical writing mode, the letter face of small kana (cl-11) characters (ぁぃぅァィゥ etc.) is placed at the vertical center and to the right of the horizontal center of the character frame; in horizontal writing mode, it is placed at the horizontal center and below the vertical center (see Figure 4). Also there are punctuation marks with letter faces that are not placed at the vertical and horizontal center of the character frame.


“八ビットゲーム開発機” is not wrong. but “8ビットゲーム機” or “8bit ゲーム機” is better.
As you used「八」 is equals to “8”, but in this case 八 is not used.

Small katakana character in “フラッシュメモリ” is OK, but 「リ」is positioned too right. 「リ」 should be positioned center.

“プログラミングも学べる” is good!

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Haha I guess if I read the website @obono posted I will learn why that character moves over a little bit!

I think the language looks cool, and we have a lot of japanese customers so that is why I am doing it!

I don’t really want to repeat the number 8 again in the title. Is there something other than 8-bit I can write? I think almost all japanese can read “8-bit” in english? I don’t want to use 八 if nobody in japan would write that, so I guess that is out.

I don’t mind the translation being different. The title in japanese also describes the next title of “game development platform”.

But it seems like “ビデオ” is not a very cool word in japanese!

Any other suggestion?

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“Coding” is trendy and casual.


Literally “compilation title”.

The English translation is strange, but it makes sense.



From what I gather, arabic numerals have replaced most every day uses of numbers in Japan.
Supposedly kanji numerals are only really used in shrines and fancy restaurants,
but I’ve never actually been to Japan so I can only go by what I’ve seen in Japanese media.
(Although apparently kanji is preferred when writing vertically.)

One of the reasons arabic numerals appear more in computing constexts is because of the early difficulties of getting computers to handle the three Japanese writing systems.
(7-seg displays are a lot simpler to work with than what you’d need to handle kanji numerals.)

I remember hearing that fax machines were still popular in Japan long after the west stopped using them simply because it was easier to write kanji by hand and fax it over than it was to type the corresponding Kanji into a computer.

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Sure and also a lot of the Japanese infrastructure was based around having the fax in the same way we now casually use email.

The reason for all of these words are basically so that it can be purchased as a gift easily. If someone is buying it for themselves there is a good chance they know what it is already or will look it up on their phone quickly.

Now that it has so many games, there is a much better chance for it to be sold in retail locations, so I want to try and improve the packaging.