Wouldn't Japenese be much more difficult to translate? I find I can do OK with basic understanding and operation of things in German/French/Spanish.. They can be similar to English or maybe my brain can just relate to it. You start bringing in Russian it get's much harder and when you bring in things like Japanese/Chinese/etc.. I'm screwed. My brain doesn't relate to the pictogram form (or whatever the proper terminology is) of those languages well.
Every child learn to recognize words before he learns to read. You still have that ability, but it's been sleeping for a while. I spent enough time in a Japanese LS on FFXI to recognize what characters actually were my character's name in Japanese, what "yes" and "no" looks like, but I can't really say I can read Japanese.
When playing a foreign language game, like when I played Grandia, it's often a question of Trial and Error. I can't really tell this spell is the BaBoom! spell unless I cast it once, but cast it often enough, and I'll be able to recognize where it is in all 4 of my character's magic list.
You learn that the top option is attack, the second is defend, the third is "Maho" (magic) and the fourth is run away, and you commit that to memory. Even when playing an english game, once you figured out which button to press to jump, you don't need to read it on screen anymore to know, so it simply makes the learning process a bit longer and harder.
I played Grandia 1 on both Saturn (JP) and PSX (English) and despite the fact I couldn't understand a thing about the story (I can't read japanaese at all, even "simple" Japanese like the one used in Grandia), when I replayed it, I was actually really close to having pieced the story together by my own, just like how a child can still "read" comics by looking at the images and make up their own stories along the way (Ever had a younger brother and sister do that?)
Games like Dragon Force 2 and Shining Force 3 are Kanji-spam, though, since they're more mature and political than Grandia, and just looking at the dialog was hurting my eyes. Grandia is a "child's game" so it uses the simpler Hiragana and Katakana for the most part. (There's fewer characters in total to learn in Hiragana than there is to learn in english. 26 character, capital and regular, cursive and block letters totals 104 characters. There's actually only 48 Hiragana characters that forms the entirety of their language. The 48 or so Katakana characters are used for foreign words. Kanji is just the equivalent of a bunch of well-known abbreviations.)
My main problem with japanese is they don't separate words by spaces (unless writing in romanji to make it easier on noobs like me). So when you're new and try to read it, it becomes very hard to figure out when words end and such. There are key characters that represent things like "his" "and" "not", that can be helpful, but beyond that, my ability to split up a sentence is nearly non-existent.
After long years without practice, I'll try to decipher that line you wrote:
この "kono" : Pretty much means "The"
フォーラム "forum" (Written in Engrish!) : Forum
は "ha" : Probably a determinant, not sure which. "Of", I guess?
日本語 Kanji for "Nihongo" (Japanese Language). Can't really figure the kanji, but the first is Sun and second is roots, if I'm not mistaken. I suppose the three together actually mean something like "Land of the Rising Run's People's Language".
で "de" : Probably a determinant, not sure which again.
ご利用ください : I give up because this is taking me forever. Edited, Jun 1st 2011 10:39am by Docent42