A Japanese/English otaku phrase book announced in Japan

The internet can connect Otaku from all over the world. But what the heck are they saying?

Gakken Holdings, a publishing company in Japan known for making educational materials, has announced a new book aimed at otaku wanting to understand and communicate with other otaku from around the globe. The book, titled Sekai ga Hirogaru Oshikatsu Eigo (世界が広がる 推し活英語), is a phrase book for Japanese speakers designed to help readers make sense of popular idioms and words used by English speaking otaku, and communicate, with English translations of popular Japanese otaku phrases.

The book boasts having 330 words and 477 phrases and appears to have the English and Japanese side-by-side so readers can not only understand but know how to say their go-to phrases in another language. With idol groups, games, anime, and manga fans posting messages about, and to, their favorite creators, it’s not uncommon to see a social media post in one language be full of replies in another. The book might be useful for fans that want to communicate with fellow fans from overseas, or those that just want to know what the heck is going on in the replies.

Internet slang can also be tough for those not intimately familiar with the language they’re reading, and avoiding miscommunications online is difficult enough without taking that into consideration. A phrase like, “Omg, I can’t, it’s too much!” might not sound so complementary if someone takes it literally because they don’t know much English or are using something like Google Translate to help them understand. Maybe this book can help reduce those sorts of issues.

But the book also contains other neat additions to help otaku communicate and interact with their favorite international idols and creators. There’s a section with example fan letters in both English and Japanese, and a free audio download featuring Japanese voice actor Aoi Yuuki performing the Japanese parts of the book. Plus, if you’re an English speaker looking to communicate and understand Japanese otaku, this book may also be helpful with its side-by-side phrases and definitions.

Sekai ga Hirogaru Oshikatsu Eigo will be available in Japan on March 10. The Japanese Amazon store page can be found here.