Japanese News: Animal Crossing coming to mobile phone

This Friday, I will study a different kind of “Japanese news”. When I watched Nintendo’s announcement for the future launch of the game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for smartphones, I found the video to be a very good opportunity to listen to some clear and easy Japanese.

Animal Crossing is a Nintendo’s game series. The last main title of the series is Animal Crossing New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS. In the game, you impersonate the mayor of a village populated by anthropomorphic animals. You can decorate the village and your house, speak to animal villagers and befriend them, fish and catch bugs to make some money called “bells”, buy new clothes, new furniture, give presents to the villagers, and a lot more other things.

Recently, Nintendo has started launching some of its game on smartphones. Animal Crossing for mobile is announced for the end of November, here is the presentation Nintendo gave of Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp:


The woman speaks so clearly with such a calm voice… it looks like a recording for Japanese learners, haha. Let’s take on a challenge: I will try to understand absolutely everything the woman says.

From start to 1:00

気ままな means “carefree”, it conveys a similar meaning than the word のんびり used just before. I see that 気ままな can also have a negative meaning of “selfishness”.

管理人・かんりにん means “administrator”, “manager”, “supervisor”. I would not have had trouble recognizing the word if it had been written, but I had to take some time to recognize the spoken word.

From 1:00

がらん This is a new word to me. It is used in the expression “がらんとした” which means “empty”, “vacant”.

四季折々・しきおりおり each season. Used with の “四季折々のNOUN”, it means “seasonal”, “of each season”, like in the video: 四季折々のフルーツ

The verb used just after is 茂る・しげる, which means “be luxuriant”. It can designate a tree which “grew thick” or “leafy” or an area that is “thickly covered” with trees and grass.

わさわさ means “be restless”, “be busy”.

When she says that Caramel (the yellow dog) asks her for an apple, she doesn’t say “he asked for an apple” but “I was asked for an apple”. I know that when “I” is involved, Japanese prefer to use the passive voice where “I” is the subject. It’s hard, though, to remember using the passive when speaking. I would naturally say “He told me” rather than “I was told by him” when the latter would, on the contrary, be more natural in Japanese.

熟れる・なれる means “to mature, ripen”.


おれいの品・おれいのしな is also the kind of expression I understand when I see it written, especially if it is written as お礼の品, but don’t understand immediately when heard.

もと has a lot of meanings and different kanji. I think that in the expression ふわふわのもと, もと means “material”, “raw material” and comes from the kanji 素.

Soon after, the word 素材・そざい appears. This word means “material”, “resource”, and contains the same kanji 素!


すっかり… This word belongs to the “leeches” (words I can’t remember that keep coming back) of my Anki deck. I can’t remember its meaning because there are so many similar words! Well, すっかり means “completely”, “entirely”,”fully”… It means here that we have “completely” befriended Caramel: すっかり仲良し. Associating difficult words with a context always helps to remember them! すっかりis now associated with a yellow puppy waving his head.


I don’t understand why き in “キーのもと” is a long vowel. Maybe writing “きのもと” would be strange or refer to something else, such as 木の本, which has a different meaning…? 🤔

ぶたい… I think it is 舞台, a “stage” (theatre). The stage is the “area map”, composed by different locations.

The name of one of the location is ポッカリ島. ぽっかり means “lightly floating”… the lightly floating island?

生息する・せいそくする is a new word to me. It means “inhabit”, “live”.

蝶々・ちょうちょう, butterfly, is a word I learnt with Animal Crossing New Leaf.

寄り道・よりみち “got out of one’s way”, “make a detour”, “stopping here and there along the way”.

アゲハチョウ is a “swallowtail butterfly”. One peculiar thing with Animal Crossing in Japanese is that you will find yourself knowing more name of fishes and bugs in Japanese than in your mother tongue.


目当て・めあて means “aim”, “object”, “end”, “view”. Here, it is used with the polite form お: お目当て. Together with の, we can form the expression お目当てのNOUN which means “the NOUN I was looking for, I wanted to see/have…”.

The second location mentioned is しおかぜビーチ. 潮風・しおかぜ means “a salt sea breeze”.

珊瑚・さんご is “coral”.

ゆくゆく means “in the future”, “someday”.

ひらめ is a “flatfish”, アジ is a “horse mackerel”. When fishing an アジ in New Leaf, your character will wonder how is the 味 of the アジ.


投網・とあみ is a casting net. Typically the kind of word which meaning can be guessed thanks to the kanji!

When she throws the net in the water, she says something like “本格的な業容”. I am not sure for the second word 業容・ぎょうよう, but I can’t see what she could say else. 業容 means “the scale of a business” and together with 本格的, which means “full-scale”, it could mean that, with the net, she can do some big-scale fishing.

Then comes the word たいりょう, which I think is “大漁” which means “a large catch”, “a good catch”. When our character says “アジの大漁とかじゃありませんように”, she wishes that she didn’t catch just horse mackerel.

乗り心地・のりごこち. I knew the expressions 寝心地 and 座り心地 and even 履き心地 for shoes, but I never saw 心地 with 乗る before.

The name of the third location is こもれび広場. 木漏れ日・こもれび is a word I often see in novels but that I haven’t put in my Anki deck yet. It means “a ray of sunshine filtering through the branches of trees”. (I have checked the English version of the same presentation, and our plaza gently stroked by the filtering sunlight is just the “marketplace”…)

お馴染み・おなじみ means “something or a person you know well”, “familiar”. The character appearing in the “marketplace” are well-known characters to Animal Crossing players, as they appear in the other titles of the series.


まめに means “diligently”, “assiduously”, “with assiduity”.

I had to listen several times to understand: 異動で大活躍, I could not figure out what the たい was because I didn’t think of associating it with 活躍・かつやく. We are talking here about the camping car that does a remarkable service 大活躍・たいかつやく when it comes to moving 異動で・いどうで.

~好み・ごのみ is something that someone likes. This expression is used with a noun: NOUN + 好み, the noun representing a person. For example “a street that young people like” would be “若者好みの街”. Here we have “自分好みに・じぶんごのみに” which can be translated as “as you like”, “following your taste”.


I am not certain about アウトドアの達人感, especially for the 感・かん. I think she says that the camping car with the second floor gives a feeling, impression that this person is an expert in outdoors activities.

ぐっと is to me the same kind of words as すっかり that we met earlier. How many little words are there to say “very much”, “considerably”… 😫

どうぶつの森好き, we have here the suffix “~好き・ずき”. People who love Animal Crossing are used to 慣れっこ paying back loans to the tanuki you see appearing on the screen.

貝殻・かいがら a seashell

採掘する・さいくつする mine, work a mine.

バザー is a bazaar. I didn’t recognize this word!


構成・こうせい making, composition, configuration.


The Japanese word used to say “amenity” is オブジェ which comes from the French word “objet”.


最優先・さいゆうせん means “top priority”

When talking about fishing a lot of fishes with the net, she uses the word 一気に which means “in one breath”, “in on gulp”.

蜜・みつ means honey! I didn’t even know this word! 😳

鉱山・こうざん a mine… To me, she is saying something like “鉱山を採掘する” (digging a mine) but what I see on the screen looks more like “岩をスコップで叩く”


Building the pool was not made in vain, it was “worth it”, it has “brought its reward”. The expression here is Verbかいがある: つくったかいがありましたね.


I think I did it! With some words looked up here and there, I can say that I understand everything the announcer says. To me, it was really entertaining to work on this video. As I love Animal Crossing’s universe, it didn’t feel boredom at all to look up unknown words. Associating study with something one’s like really has remarkable benefits.

The game looks fantastic, too!