(Current) Magic the Gathering Vocabulary in Japanese
I wrote an interesting post a while back about vocabulary used while playing Magic in Japanese. If you’re living and playing here, planning on visiting the country for a while, or if you just want to study Japanese, please use this page! The majority of this information is copy and pasted from my original article, which you can find here (https://thejapanhobbyist.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/talk-the-talk-a-mtg-vocab-lesson-in-japanese-a-store-profile/)
I thought it would be useful to all those starting to play at Japanese hobby shops to know what each ability or term is in Japanese. With a basic understanding of hiragana, or even just the romanized version of the word, you should be able to play a match in Japanese. A good amount of the players will know some of the terms in English, and some of the judges will be able to speak English a little, but for the most part you will be on your own. In my own experience, if you already know the cards abilities by heart, it is incredibly helpful. Knowing the vocabulary in case you need to explain something or understand what the other player is doing is useful as well. Recently I’ve done entire matches speaking no other Japanese at all except for the card vocabulary, so don’t be too intimidated by playing in Japanese.
Also a warning before you continue reading. Make sure that your OS supports viewing of Japanese characters or else you won’t be able to see the kanji/hiragana characters that are used on the Magic cards. The examples are also entirely in Japanese hiragana. If you want the romanization for those please let me know and I will post an update later. If you see any mistakes in the Japanese spelling, please let me know! (for vocabulary from older sets, click on this link).
The main phases are pretty much all the same, such as untap, upkeep, main phase, 2nd main phase, end step. The vocab you will need to know for attack is as follows. Most players know the other phases in English.
こうげき = (cougeki) attack. “Punch” is also used as an attack word. こうげきをします。(I am attacking.).
The following words are also used, with most of them sounding almost exactly the same in English.
- Library =ライブラリ (raiburari)
- Card =カード (kado)
- Draw a card = カードを引く(kado wo hiku)
- Hand =手札 （てふだ）(tefuda)
- Show me your hand = 手札を見せて(tefuda wo miisete)
- Turn = ターン (tann)
- Game =ゲーム (gaymu)
- Token =トークン (tokuun)
- Counter (as in -1/-1 counter) = カウンタ (kaownta)
- Remove a Counter = カウンタをとりのぞく(kaownta wo torinozoku)
- Add a Counter = カウンタをのせる (Kaownta wo noseru)
- Trigger = ゆうはつ (yuuhatsu)
- Play First = せんこう (senkou)
- Play Second = こうこう (koukou)
- (Dice) high roll goes first = たかいほうがせんこう (takai hou ga senkou)
The card types are all the same too. Artifact, Creature, Instant, Sorcery, mana, planeswalker, Enchant-Aura, Enchantment. The types are written in Katakana for those who can read it, but they are pronounced relatively the same way as their English counterparts.とち（土地 = tochi) is land. If you want to know what the land types are in Japanese, please look below.
- Island = shima (島）
- Mountain = yama (山）
- Forest = mori (森）
- Plains = heichi (平地）
- Swamp = numa (沼）
- Wastes = arechi （荒地）
- Basic Land = kihon tochi (基本土地）
- Non-Basic Land = Kihon de wa nai tochi （基本ではない土地)
Here is a list of the abilities found on most cards, or at least those that are currently found in Standard play. If you have any to add, please leave me a message after the post. (Last updated 10/20/13 with kanji and corrected spellings in hiragana.)
- じゅもんをとなえる= (jumon wo tonaeru) Cast a Spell
- かいけつする= (kaiketsusuru) Resolves
- せんじょにでる= (senjo ni deru) Enters the battlefield
- せんじょにでたとき= (senjo ni detatoki) When it enters the battlefield
- (planeswalker name) のプラス/マイナス (#) のりょくをきどう= ([Planeswalker name] no plus/minus [#] noryoku wo kidou) – Activate (planeswalker name) +/- [#] ability.
- おうぎ= (ougi) Ultimate/Emblem planeswalker
- てふだにもどす=(tefuda ni modosu) Return to your hand
- らいぶらりのいちばんうえにおく= (raiburari no ichiban oue ni oku) Put on top of you library
- らいぶらりの (#) ばんめうえからにおく= (raiburari no [#] ban me oue kara ni oku) – put card  down from the top
- (ability name) をえる= (ability name wo eru) = Gains (abilty)
Core set/basic vocabulary
- むしょうく（無色）= (mushoku) Colorless
- こうめい (高名) = (koumei) renown
- いはく(威迫) = (ihaku) menace
- まこう (魔巧) = (makou) spell Mastery
- いけにえ （生け贄）= (iikayniae) sacrifice
- ぼち（墓地）= (bochi) graveyard
- える（ライフをえる）= (eru – life wo eru) gain- gain life
- ライフをうしなう（失う）= Lose life
- マナをはらう（払う）= (mana wo harau) to pay mana
- ライフをはらう（払う） = (raifu wo harau) to pay life
- ゲームからとりのぞく/ついほう（追放）= (game kara tori no zoku/sueiiho) remove from the game/exile
- はんこん = (hancon) lifelink
- ひこう（飛行）= (hikou) flying
- さいせい = (saisei) regenerate
- ぼうえい （防衛）= (bouei) defender
- はかい = (hakai) destroy
- そっこう （速攻= (socou) haste
- せっし (接死）= (seyshi) deathtouch
- せんせいこうげき （先制攻撃）= (senseicougeki) first strike
- けいかい （警戒）= (kaykai) vigilance
- じゅごん （呪禁）= (jyugon) hexproof
- しゅんそく（瞬速）= (shunsoku) flash
- すてる = (suteru) throw away/discard
- あなたはカードをすてる = (anata wa kado wo suteru) Opponent discards a card
- はかいされない （破壊されない）= (hakaisarenai) indestructible
- いかく= (iikaku) intimidate
- にだんこうげき（二段攻撃） = (nidan cougeki) Double Strike
- そうび （装備）= (soubi) equip
- はずれる= (hazureiru) unequip
- うちけされない = (oochikay saraynai) Can’t be countered
- うちけす(打ち消す)= (oochikay su) counter
- とうたつ （到達）= (toutatsu) Reach
- しょうしゅう（召集）= (shoushuu) Convoke
- せんじゅつ (占術）= (senjutsu) Scry
- かかん (果敢)= (KaKan) Prowess
- 切削する （せっさくする）= mill (seisakusuru)
- パーティー= Party (pahtee)
- クレリック ＝Cleric (kurayriku)
- ならず者 （ならずもの） = Rogue (narazumono)
- 戦士 （せんし）=Warrior (senshi)
- ウィザード = Wizard (Weezaado)
- キッカー = Kicker (Kicka)
- 上陸 （じょうりく）= landfall (jyouriku)
- Changeling (tasou)= 多相(たそう)
- Foretell (yoken) = 予顕(よけん)
- Boast (Koji) = 誇示(こじ)
- snow (land) (kansetsu) = 氷雪(ひょうせつ)
- berserker (kyousenshi) = 狂戦士(きょうせんし)
- Magecraft (maagi) =魔技 （まぎ）
- Learn (rishu wo okonau) =履修を行う（りしゅうをおこなう）
- Ward (gohou) =護法 （ごほう）
- Lesson (kougi) = 講義 （こうぎ）
- Warlock (jyajutsushi) = 邪術師 （じゃじゅつし）
Adventures in Forgotten Realms
- Venture into the dungeon (dungeon wo tansakusuru) =ダンジョンを探索する （ダンジョンをたんさくする）
- Animate Walking Statue (arukuzou wo ugokasu) = 歩く像を動かす （あるくぞうをうごかす）
- Pack Tactics (shudansenjutsu) =集団戦術 （しゅうだんせんじゅつ）
- Roll a (d20) Dice (ii ko no d20 wo furu) = １個のd20を振る （１このｄ２０をふる）
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
- Daybound (higure) = 日暮 （ひぐれ）
- Nightbound (yoake) =夜明 （よあけ）
- Coven (shuukai) = 集会 （しゅうかい）
- Disturb (kourei) =降霊 （こうれい）
- Decayed (furan) =腐乱 （ふらん）
- Flashback＝ フラシュバック
Innistrad: Crimson Vow
- Cleave (setsujo) =切除 （せつじょ）
- Blood token (chi tokuun))血・トークン （ち とーくん）
- Training (kunren) =訓練 （くんれん）
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
- Ninjutsu (ninjutsu) = 忍術 (にんじゅつ）
- Channel (konriki) =魂力 （こんりき）
- Modified (kaizen sarete iru) =改善されている （かいぜんされている）
- Reconfigure (kansou) = 換装 （かんそう）
- Compleated (kanseika) =完成化 （かんせいか）
Streets of New Capenna
- Citizen（Shimin) = 市民 (しみん)
- Shield Counter (Ta-te counter) = 盾カウンター
- Connive（Bougi）= 謀議 (ぼうぎ)
- Alliance（Danketsu）= 団結 (だんけつ)
- Casualty（Gi-sei）= 犠牲 (ぎせい)
- Hideaway（Hitoku) = 秘匿 (ひとく)
- Blitz（Kishu）= 奇襲 (きしゅう)
- Domain (Hanto) = 版図 (はんと)
- Enlist (ko-en) = 後援 (こうえん)
- Stun ( mahi) = 麻痺 (まひ)
- Read ahead (saki yomi) = 先読 (さきよみ)
- Poison (doku) = 毒 (どく)
- Prototype (shisaku) = 試作 (しさく)
- Unearth (sosei) = 蘇生 (そせい)
Phyrexia: All Will Be One
- Toxic (dokusei) = 毒性 どくせい
- Corrupted (daraku) = 堕落 だらく
- For Mirrodin! (Mirrodin no tame ni) = ミラディンのために！
- Affinity for (X) (Shinwa X) = 親和（X) (しんわ)
- (X) Can’t block (X block dekinai) = (X) ブロックできない
- Compleated (kanseika) = 完成化 (かんせいか)
- Oil counter (abura counta)) = 油カウンター (あぶらかうんたー)
It would also be useful to know how to attack, or should I say how to deal damage.
First are the numbers: 1-20
1=ichi / 2= ni / 3 = san / 4 = yon / 5 = go / 6=roku / 7=nana / 8 = hachi / 9=kyuu /10 =jyu
For 11-19, take 10 (jyu) and add the first number. 11(10+1)= jyu+ichi.
For 20-99, take the first number and add ten to the word. EXAMPLE: 20 = ni+jyu. 30= san+jyu. 44 = yon+jyu+yon
When you are dealing damage you will usually add てん(ten)（点）to the number. 10 damage equals 十点 (jyu ten) damage (10 points damage basically).
Playing during a certain phase:
Sometimes you might want to play an instant or activate an ability during a certain phase, or before one. As stated above, most of the Magic players use the English names of the phases while playing. When you want to do something, you can say “____ (phase name) no mae, ____ oh shimasu.” This means “Before ____ phase, I’m playing ___ spell”.
An example would be “End step no mae, Think Twice oh shimasu” (End stepのまえ、Think Twiceをします。)
Most Japanese players in the bigger cities should know these words, but if they don’t you can always ask for a judge to help.
I hope this explanation wasn’t too confusing. If you take anything from it, the vocabulary would be the most important. If you are a beginner of the Japanese language and living in Japan, this would be a good way to practice your Japanese. Good luck with your gaming!
What about milling and “resolved” & “fizzes”?
I would use “suteru” (throw away – (#)mai card oh
sutete 七枚カードを捨てて。) when you mill somebody with a card like Mind Sculpt, but I don’t know about the other two. I’ll ask my Japanese friends next time I talk to them and also get some of the new vocabulary for Return to Ravnica. Check back for updates!
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If possible, you should add the kanji for the keywords, not just the kana, since that’s how they’re written on the actual cards.
Thanks for making this! This is awesome 🙂
I am making flashcards based on this now and wanted to make sure:
ゆうけつ = (yuukaytsu) bloodrush
Is bloodrush yuukettsu, or yuukatsu? I’m making flash cards and would prefer to have the right hiragana. Also why does soulbond have two translations? Is it just an alternative way of pronouncing the kanji?
It’s the first one, yuuketsu. And I think some players used slang for Soulbound, which is why there are two ways to say it. Depends on how formal they want to be
oops. yuuketsu* or yuukatsu*
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I know that any decent dictionary will have the words in them, but for the sake of comprehensiveness, I suggest that you add the basic land types.
Why Katsuhiro Mori rarely plays green, I have no idea.
Good idea, I’ll put land types in there too. If you can think of any other basic words I should add to the list, let me know
A couple things I can think of are the five basic colors (I can name maybe two or three, like shiro and kuro, but having them written in the list would be helpful). And also the number zero, if Japanese players use that term in games (e.g. “I’ll use Chandra’s/Xenagos’/Jace’s ‘zero’ ability”).
As others have commented, these are certainly easy enough to look up myself, but I think it would be good to have concentrated on this dedicated (and thorough!) list. Thanks!
On that regard, I think that Reach (currently under RtR keywords) should be put with the core set keywords. Just saying.
My mistake. Gods call.
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I absolutely love your blog and find most of your
post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers
to write content in your case? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a number of the subjects you write regarding here.
Again, awesome web log!
Yeah, that would be great. My schedule doesn’t always allow me to post when I want, so having some people write about other things would be nice. Message me on twitter or join my Cardboard Samurai group on Facebook and we can talk there.
I would add, please cover the other things that come up often around games.
-Counter (as in, on a car, e.g. -1-1 counter)
I`ve been in Japan for 3 weeks now and I`m working up to my first games, so things like this would be great to know.
These things would also be useful even if they`re not part of the game itself.
-Simple trade related vocabulary
-Round (as in, a round of organized play usually 50 minutes long)
-Formats (vintage, standard, modern, legacy, limited)
Finally, thanks very much for this page. It`s given me the confidence to go and try to play in this country, even though my Japanese is very basic at the moment.
Most of those words can be described in katakana which has a very similar pronunciation to natural English, but I’ll be sure to add those to my post as well.
PS I thought of one more – “exile”.
Exile is already up there. It’s the same as “remove from the game”. Near the top of the core list.
Oops! I stand corrected =)
Nice list and hopefully it will help me find some games with Japanese players. As I have only recently got back into magic after a 15 year hiatus I am finding it pretty daunting tryiing to learn all the new stuff plus doing so in a different language.
As a Lord player I would like how you say ‘____walking’ e.g. island walking. shima ariki??
I havent learned much of the older terms myself. Im starting to play more modern and legacy though, so ill find out sooner or later! Check every once in a while for updates!
From my experience, ~walk is just ~渡リを持つ, so islandwalk would be島渡りを持つ (shima dori o motsu), and swampwalk is 沼渡りを持つ (numa dori o motsu).
渡りを持つ (watari o motsu) is to have the ability to cross. I hope this helps!
If you’re still updating this: Landfall, Awaken and Ingest would be really useful to know for the upcoming BFZ prerelease 🙂
They’ll be up there soon! Thanks for the reminder.
Thanks a lot! Also – do you know if it’s possible to look at Japanese language spoilers anywhere? To get to know the cards a bit better and recognize keywords.
Best bet would be switching wizards website to Japanese and looking at them on there
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Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your blog.
You have some really great articles and I feel I would be a good asset.
If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some material for your blog in exchange
for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.
I’ll consider it! Send me a link to your blog and I’ll take a look at your articles.
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Thank you for being awesome and posting/ updating this. I’m a gaijin here and I dream to one day play in a local store. A true treasure^^^^^ and my next vocab. level up!!
Thanks. I keep on thinking of new terms to add, so you can think of any that I haven’t put on my list yet let me know!
What is “judge” in Japanese?
ジャジ = Judge – practically the same pronunciation.
Thank you so much for making this. I’ve made a Memrise course to memorize the Japanese vocab, and it would have been a lot easier if I had found your post earlier. Now I can easily add in the recent sets’ vocab.
When I started playing in a country where I didn’t know a word of that language I needed to know how to say the following. Without knowing these I was unable to play a single game of Magic^_^.
draw a card カードを１枚引く (CARD wo 1mai hiku) but you can say (DRAW X mai)
to tap 【パーマネント】をタップする。(PERMANENT wo TAP suru)
untap 【パーマネント】をアンタップする。(PERMANENT wo antappu suru)
target 対象 (プレイヤー１人/クリーチャー１体 を対象とし、…) (taishou)
deal x damage X点のダメージを与える (X ten DAMAGE wo ataeru)
take (x) damage (X点) ダメージを受ける (DAMAGE wo tokeru)
life ライフ (LIFE)
put on the battlefield 戦場に出す (senjou ni dasu)
resolve かいけつ (kaiketsu) (if you want to ask your spell resolved)
cast 唱える (tomaeru) (if you want to cast something for example off Chandra or something, otherwise just play the card)
with the rest I could just show somehow.
what can come handy as well…
I’ll be on play 先行 (senkou)
I’ll be on the draw 後攻 (koukou)
‘in response’ STACK de
Thanks! I was going to post an update but haven’t gotten around to it lately.
Thanks a lot for these! Really helpful. I’m going to an Amonkhet PR. It’s English but in case.
Good to hear. I’ll have the Amonket vocal up very soon. Will be posting it after my next article
These are really helpful as I would like to play some rounds when I’m over in Japan later this year.
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Thank you. You’ve updated it up to the latest block!!!!!! Amazing.
An example would be “End step no mae, Think Twice oh shimasu” (End stepのまえ、Think Twiceをします。)
Trying to understand this – I would think if we translate it to english directly, before the end phase I play this would be as they pass priority in main phase 2. Does Japanese just work differently here that this means before the end step ends?
This would be before the end step begins, but you could also probably use “end step の時” (end step no toki) for “during the end step” like if you wanted to do something that would disappear at the next end step but do this to get around it.
Both of these I would use during an opponents turn just before mine began.