Japanese Street Fighter Terms & Lingo


This article is dedicated to the people who’d like to know what certain SF terms and words are used in the Japanese language. If you happen to meet a Japanese Street Fighter player and you want to talk to him (or at least try to) about your game, his game or just talk about Street Fighter in general; this list will surely help you to make it much easier to converse with the Japanese players.
This categorized list contains terms that are mainly used in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Street Fighter IV. Basic and universal terms mostly apply to all Street Fighter games, but advanced ones may only apply to those 2 given games.

Standing = Tachi
Crouching = Kagamu OR Shagami
Jump = Janpu
Jump Straight = Suichoku Janpu
Dash = Suteppu

Jab = Yowai OR Jaku Panchi
Strong = Chu Panchi
Fierce = Tsuyoi OR Dai Panchi

Short = Yowai OR Jaku Geri
Forward = Chu Geri
Roundhouse = Tsuyoi OR Dai Geri

(Kicks can sometimes also be “Ashi” or just “Kiku”.)

Ko/Chuu/Dai = Weak/Medium/Hard

Hit = Ataru
Tech Hit = Ukemi
Hit Confirm = Hitto Kakunin
Hit Trade = Aiuchi
Blocking = Gaado
Parry = Burokingu
Quick Recovery = Ukemi
Whiff = Sukaru
Throw = Nage
Throw Escape = Nagenuke
Command Throw = Koma Nage
Air Throw = Kuu Nage
Anti-Air = Taikuu
Juggle = Kuuchuu Combo
Charge = Tame
Charge Partition = Tame Bunwari
Buffering = Shikomi
Counter = Atemi
Technique = Waza
Kara = Idou
Kara-Cancel = Idou Waza
Safe Jump In = Sagitobi
Option Select = Shikomi
Cross-Up = Mekuri
Ambiguous Cross-Up = Giwaku no Mekuri
Meaty Attack = Kougeki Oiteoku
Mash/Rapid Tapping = Renda Suru

Distance = Kyori
Close Distance = Kinkyori
Far Distance = Enkyori
Game/Match = Shoubu
Tournament = Taikai
Victory = Shouri
Win = Kimeru
Health = Tairyoku
Meter = Geiji
Store/Build (Meter) = (Geiji O) Tamaru
Ultra = Urukon (Combination of Ultra Combo)
Advantage = Yuuri
Footsies Game = Ashibaraisen
Wake-Up Game = Okizeme
50/50 Mix-Up Game = Nitaku
Tricks/Gimmick = Neta
Turtling/Defensive Play = Gangaado
Dizzy Stage = Piyoru

This is just a small list with the most commonly used terms. If you want to dive deeper into more advanced terms that are used, you can visit Reno’s website, Versus City, and check his Japanese Arcade Lexicon page for more (with updates!).
Big thanks to Reno and Azrael for helping me make this small introductory article.
I hope this will be a good read & a helping hand for the SF community !

What is ‘reading the mind of the opponent’

ahahah nice

Yomi D:

Umehara. [media=youtube]c3mHP575NOk[/media]

It starts at 1:52

You mean “Kara” isn’t a japanese term to begin with?

IIRC, “Kara” means “empty” in Japanese. But they don’t use the word “Kara” like we do for terms such as Kara-Throw or etc.

Who would really use this lingo against a Japanese player really? Especially since most of you cant speak Japanese.

If anything I’d think you were incredibly geeky and just trying too hard.

But Im not here to be anyones life coach.

You forgot OTTO! when they make mistakes and EH EH EH when they do loops/long combos. Thanks for the list.

There are US players who participate in some RanBats and most of the JP players don’t really speak English, like at all. So if they want advice or anything related to SF; it’s easier for them to converse if they used a bit of words that are familiar to them.
Besides, with Tougeki SBO coming along; it just makes sense that more foreign people will visit Japan and visit arcades. Just trying to make that language barrier smaller for both communities.

Hahaha :stuck_out_tongue: Good one !

Your romanization of weak punch/kick is wrong. The reading for ? in this context is actually “Jaku” not “Sho”.


???Jaku Panchi = LP / jab
???Jaku Kikku = LK / short

I’ve never heard “keri” for kick, always “ashi” or “kikku”. That could be a regional thing though, I learned Tokyo lingo.

Awesome guide, I learned a couple of new words!

Ah thx ! I’ll edit it right away.

That makes more sense.

But I more-so see this as an opportunistic moment for some people just be douchebags in the arcade. Whatever.

So when youre asking someone japanese for tips tips after they beats you do you more-so just splurt out the word and hope that they understand? “Mekuri” “Mekuri” !!!

Well of course not like that, you’d have to at least try to explain with motions or w/e
Japanese people really open up to you if you at least try to make yourself clear and if you use some words like that, half of it connects.
Luckily, most of the time there’ll be at least one JP player who knows a bit English. So you can talk English sentences but with Japanese keywords.
I don’t think people who go to Japan to learn and try to get better will be douchebags about it :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think any actual good players in English-speaking countries will pull that shit on you. More likely just intermediate-level weeaboos.

If you’re gonna be in Japan, yeah, this might be a helpful thread if this is like your first time there and for whatever reason you don’t speak Japanese (maybe this is an over-generalization but something tells me that most people who would dare to belly up to Japanese ranbats probably can already speak more than enough of the language to ask where the bathroom is).

Or more likely, if you’re just watching YouTube videos and aren’t already able to figure out from context most of the major terms being thrown around (my favorites, of course, being “OTTO!” and “EH! EH! EH!”).

A nice guide to have, even though it’s very specific to certain situations… like talking to Japanese people about the metagame, which is something most people probably won’t do.

Add ‘Konoyarou’ for good measure. Other than that, I think it’s very complete.

I think kicks are “geri”, not “keri”. eg. mawashi geri = roundhouse kick. mai geri = front snap kick (sorta like SF3/4 Ken’s f.mk)