Updates for August 25, 2014:

+The site has MOVED. If you still see this page, please clear your web browser cache and go to

Aug 1, 2012

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Japanese Version)

Hours of immersion await you in the land of Skyrim

Game Title: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Japanese Version)
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Kanji: Yes
Furigana: No
Difficulty: 3-5/5
(If you are new to the game series, this is a 5/5. If you've played this game or other Elder Scrolls games, the difficulty is in the 3-4/5 range.)

Learning Japanese with an immersion environment can be tough, because it can mean putting aside English media. When it comes to English media that can consume hours of time, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is at the top of my list. The game is massive and packed with hundreds of hours of gameplay. So for those of us who are cutting off from English media, it can be tough to stay away.

How fortunate then that Skyrim has been completely translated into Japanese.

Yep, you heard me, the entire game has been translated. The interface is in Japanese, all items have Japanese names, all NPCs have been revoiced, all the books translated, and of course there are subtitles available for dialogue. The game is now a gold mine for finding new Japanese to learn and for immersing in the language.

Plot: You can really make the plot whatever you want it to be. The game is completely open, so you can do what you want whenever you want to do it. The main quest is about discovering how and why dragons are returning to Skyrim, and then figuring out what to do about it. Aside from the main story line, there are several factions you can join and plenty of people in the world that would like help with various tasks. The world is populated with fully voiced NPCs and the wilderness is full of animals, bandits, fellow travelers, and monster filled dungeons. There are hundreds of hours of quests and dungeons awaiting you.

Gameplay: The game is an action RPG, which you can play from first or third person. You can fight monsters and bandits with magic, sword and shield, stealth and dagger, whatever you'd like. You can spend all of your time bashing your way through dungeons or you can sneak through the cities and rob everyone blind. The gameplay is set up to allow you to do whatever you want.

Maybe now you'll finally read that copy of "The Book of the Dragonborn"

Language Level: This game is definitely on the high end of language difficulty. If you've already played Skyrim in English (or if you've played other games in the series), then you'll have a much easier time. For those who are coming in completely new to the series, this game will be quite a challenge. The important thing to remember in such cases is that you don't have to understand every single word in order to understand the meaning behind what is being said, so don't get too stressed if you don't understand it all at once.

"I'm not wasting time on Skyrim, I'm researching for an article! I swear!"

Final Comments: This game has so much to offer in terms of immersion. There's text to read, dialogue to listen to, and tons of vocabulary to learn. Plus, if you're already a fan of Skyrim or the previous games in the Elder Scroll series, then you'll have a great way to connect what you already love in English with your new Japanese language skills.

Now, how can you get the game...

One of the most exciting things about the Japanese version of Skyrim is that if you own the game on Steam in English, then you already own the Japanese version. If you just go into your Steam settings and change your language to Japanese (which you really should have already done!), then your Skyrim will patch and launch in the Japanese version the next time you open it. Doing this will also change the language to Japanese for all other games (although games such as Half Life 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 only have subtitles in Japanese).

If you want Skyrim in Japanese for the Xbox 360 or for the PS3, then you'll have to order a separate copy of the game. Check out the store page for a list of a few sites that will more than likely have the game. Just be careful not to buy an English copy! Make sure the game is listed as being Japanese!

Edit: I am also not sure about region-locks for the console versions of the game, so check that your console can play the game before you buy it!


  1. Great. Another reason to play thousands of hours worth of Skyrim.

  2. From all I have read, it seems this game is Region-Locked and cannot be played on a US Xbox. Can anybody confirm/deny this? I wasn't able to find information on it on any official sites.


    1. I'm primarily a PC gamer, so I'm afraid that I don't know. I've tried to find a dependable answer online, but the answers I've found conflict. Perhaps someone else will know.

    2. You would need a Japanese 360 to play Japanese 360 games.

  3. Wow, I already new about this, but I had no idea that you could simply change your language in Steam and that it would auto-update. Wow, that's just crazy useful.