Practicing Japanese with Animal Crossing while preparing for the update? (or lets freak over the update)

Hello everyone! Are there any fellow Animal Crossing enthusiasts here?
The new update definitely got me hyped!
In the past, I have put my console in Japanese to practice while playing AC a bit but switched it back because I needed to understand subtilities.

Now that the update is coming, I want to prepare my island for the update and I think I’ll put it back to Japanese while doing so.

Is there anyone who intends to prepare to, and maybe to do the same?
Animal Crossing is so repetitive, I think its pretty good to practice, as you kind of know what characters are probably trying to say. I had fun seeing the “original” names of the items and maanged to understand some puns in there. I recommand it :slight_smile:


I got the Japanese version of New Leaf a while back for practice, having never played an Animal Crossing before. I could not get that into it though. Once a week or so I’ll tell myself I need to be diligent about it, play for 10 minutes or so, then put it down.


Aww too bad the game isn’t for you. But 10 minutes of practice is at least something :slight_smile:

In my case, I noticed I understand a good part of what is being said in New Horizons. I try to remember a few vocabularies words. I don’t always read everything, sometimes I’m in a hurry (like today I’m Villager hunting,so I won’t read the Dodos dialogues each time for sure lol)

I think all kanji have furigana, which does make it easier.


Having started AC:NH on release day I have since then accumulated 1650 hours of gameplay. ~150 hours initially switching between English and Japanese, partly because I was sharing the island at first, but since they got their own island I’ve had the system in Japanese.
I consider it daily reading practice.

Gathering is like living flash cards and they change through the seasons. As does the dialogue. I love butting into animals conversations for more than just one-on-one talk. Because the animals have different personalities (jock, sweet, snooty, big sister, etc) talking to all of them in a day means they will mostly pick similar topics but talk about them in a different way. Especially during special events like bug/fishing tournaments and holidays.
Hiding leaches in animal greetings/nicknames has been somewhat useful as well.

Unfortunately it is very heavy on the hiragana. The letters (from the post box) are completely hiragana, I mostly skip those now. Still, when I get the kanji counter-part here its like a freebie.

Pretty excited about the update! There is just so much on the, well, the horizon I guess. I’m particularly looking forward to farming and food recipes and the additional storage space. Also going to need to spruce up my island. Have a feeling I might get visitors again.


I haven’t played it since 2020 but I’ve been thinking about picking it up again because of the update & to try it out in Japanese! Thinking about learning all the insect and fish words though… 大変ですね.


Living flash cards. Catch a Red Snapper, try to mentally retrieve タイ before it shows up on screen. Dive and pick up a sea slug, try to come up with ウミウシ. Kinda funny its kanji is 海牛… oh and the delicious ホタテ. Don’t forget the built-in Criterpedia where you find everything you’ve caught, named and with great illustrations. Honestly, it is much harder working out furniture and clothing items. There are so many of these, but nearly all of them are real things (minus Mario and other IP tie-in items) and are applicable to vocabulary practice. Personally I find them much more useful than the fantasy items I collect in the other games I play. Armors, weapons, every franchises different take on what restores health or increases defense for example. Although having taken one from the Book Club’s book I now create a spreadsheet for each of those games.

The animal name differences! I have a penguin named Puck in the English variant, but ホッケー in the Japanese variant. ほっけーPuck anyone? How about a sheep that looks like a burger and fries dressed in red and yellow named Frita in Eng (a Cuban dish with a seasoned ground beef and pork patty on Cuban bread topped with shoestring potatoes) but ウェンディin Japanese. Wendy’s being a major player in the American Fast Burger industry and also utilizing a red and yellow motif. So many of these.


I’ve been playing ACNH continuously since it launched, but in English because I share the island with my spouse and it’s faff changing languages on the console. (I have a couple of physical Switch games that I play in Japanese for practice, fear not). My plan was to buy myself my own Switch when I passed N4, and keep it in Japanese but the JLPT exams haven’t been held in the UK since December 2019 :sob:

I watched the ACNH Direct in japanese last week and I’m REALLY excited about the update but I also now REALLY want to play the game in Japanese as well. So I think I might have to find another excuse to buy a second Switch…

On the critters - I study a lot from japanese kids textbooks (Kumon etc) and novels and I’ve really noticed how often they mention the insects and fishes from ACNH. In a context where an english language kids book might just say beetle or even just bug, they’re super-specific about which type of insect it is. So while it might seem like esoteric knowledge, if you’re reading kids books at all you’re likely to come across them surprisingly often.


I am also very hyped about the update!!! I haven’t really played AC since January, and I’ve only played it two or three times in Japanese. But I want to play only in Japanese until the update. Then I’ll probably switch back to English to be able to understand everything that’s new.


Omg the leaches idea is great ahaahaha! But yeah, you can easily see they all have a different way of speaking. And yeah sometimes its a bit puzzling because there are too many hiragana.

I love the “living flashcards” side of it, however. And yeaah, the cooking looks amazing and will also be full of useful words!

I’m revamping my island too but I think I might have seen too big, oups .

Yup and its also good for some verbs, reading practice and furniture!

That’s exactly what happened to be and what I plan to do.

What has everyone decided to do with their island? Keep as is, restart, flatten?

I am modifying about the 3/4 of it XD oups


I don’t have time to restart or flatten my island, but I am also modifying half of my island. I also need to make room for new things that come with the update. I’d love to have a big farm :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I still can’t believe cooking and farming will be possible in Animal Crossing. I was never too much into harvest moon, but I can imagine myself doing nothing else in AC :rofl:

So I have been researching how to plan your island nicely, as I wasn’t satisfied with my island. Since the beginning of the game, I have wanted to make a Taisho-era Japan-inspired island buuut it wasn’t exactly like I wanted so now half of my island is in shambles lol.

As for the Japanese, it’s still in Japanese now but I skip a lot over the text, which isn’t good :frowning: I’ll try to force myself on reading a little each day.

Well, my island is completely over-run with flowers. I needed all of the hybrids and DIYs crafted from them so I devoted a lot of land. So much so that I might just plant more so that I can predict where my rocks will show up. I’ve wanted to do that for a long time. Most of what I would like to do has been centered around a scavenger hunt. A follow up to my obstacle course birthday party. I’m a bit hung up on about half of my layout but honestly the update may help push me into the concepts that I thought previously impossible.

We left lots of space with the expectation of updates, and that strategy is now paying off! I’ve never stopped playing but I’ve been inspired to do a lot of tidying up this week and move some of the buildings to try to make the layout a bit more sensible.

Also shout out to anyone else who shares their island and any decisions like this have to be taken by committee…


I’m definitely going to have to do this! I am excited for the update just because I’m easily excited anyway…but I haven’t played the game much. I got it about two months ago though. I just seem to get stuck and don’t know what else to do a lot haha ^_^;;

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Got my hands on an OLED switch and decided to start all over but in Japanese. I’ve yet to finish the first part of the game after 2 hours, but it hasn’t been as difficult to read as I had imagined it would. I might have to play my old island in English too though, so I know what my friends are talking about :sweat_smile:


Anyone playing the new update yet? I was very surprised when it dropped a day early. I need to keep removing flowers, but I already bought a few new things (Japanese-style gazebo!) that will come tomorrow. Apparently there is a mysterious island that has star rocks?!


:man_facepalming: I played throughout the day today and repeatedly declined an update. Thinking, too early for the update. Now I’m nearly ready for bed.

I saw my switch update the software, and thought the software was updated but it wasn’t available yet. Kept on playing Monster Hunter Stories 2 and then the next day realized it was actually live. Hope you got to play it today.

Just finished working through the しずえ and たぬきち update briefings! Haven’t encountered this much new vocabulary since I started the game in Japanese, so that’s pretty nice. I haven’t purchased the DLC yet, thinking that it might be overwhelming all at once. Plus, decorating isn’t my favorite part of the game.

Already seeing some really fun surprising additions that I had not seen in the Tree house live. Haven’t made my way to the dock yet and also just remembered that I’m going to learn the coffee shop system in Japanese. I’m really looking forward to seeing what Brewster’s name is. I hope it isn’t just a katakana version.

Finally a reason to earn miles again!