Official Bandai translated instructions can be found here
There is also a very active Tamagotchi e-mail group here (Yahoo groups).
Setting the time and date (and your birthday) is pretty straightforward - dates are always month/day with Tamaplus
Once your tamagotchi has hatched, you will be asked to name it.
A quick pronunciation guide:
The chart on the left shows all the letters (there are additional non-letter symbols that I have not included) you can use to name your tamagotchi. They appear in the same order (left to right, top to bottom) as they cycle through on your tama.
a="ah" i="ee" u="oo" e="eh" o="oh"
is pronounced "mee-tsoo-mah-meh"
The smaller letters in the sixth row down are modifiers - "fu" + small "a" = "fa"
"ri" + small "yu" = "ryu". The small "tsu", defined as (t), is a sort of silent modifer - it is the symbol that sits between "go" and "chi" in Tamagotchi.
If you do not tend to your tamagotchi's needs when it calls you, it may start begging or turning its back to you.
*the infrared will not work properly in strong light (eg. sunlight)
There will times when you will have to scold or pet your tama. Learning when to use the appropriate action will help you raise a good, well behaved character.
when to scold: when the food and happiness meters are full, but it is still calling you (call sign is lit)
when to pet: if it cries during the infancy or rebellious stages - if it is turning its back to you (insecure screen) even though the food and happiness meters are filled
If either of these marks appears on the screen, you need to use the medicine icon. If you don't treat your tama, it will die, so be careful.
The book icon (second from left, bottom of the screen) will let you see the friends you've made and some of the gifts you've received.
Friends are numbered in the order you meet them.
The friend in the example at left is a female. The tag for a male friend looks like this:
If your tamagotchi plays with the same friend often, their friendship level will increase. With gifts, however, the friendship level can dramatically increase or decrease. The progression of friendship levels is:
When you have recorded 50 friends in your book, you will not be able to communicate with any new friends. If you try to meet a new friend, the screen at left will appear. You will have to remove old friends to make room for the new ones.
To remove an old friend's entry, go to a friend's gender or friendship level screen. From there, press the A button and a screen asking if you want to part ways will appear. Choosing yes will take you to a confirmation screen. Choosing yes on the confirmation screen will completely remove the record of that friend.
If your tamagotchi has been at the breeding age for 72 hours without marrying, Mrs. Busybody will arrive to arrange a marriage. She shows up three times a day, at 10am, 3pm and 7pm.