Changing phone language

Last week I changed my iPhone Language to Japanese.

It’s got me wondering why I didn’t do this sooner ! It is a lot of fun seeing all the Kanji I’ve learnt on Wanikani (in some sort of context), and also good practice for Katakana (which I really need!).

What I didn’t expect is when I put navigation on - is that Google maps is also in Japanese, and so is the audio ! It has made driving to new places even more fun ! :slight_smile:

Although I was in a massive rush to share a location with someone the other day, and couldn’t work out what to press under pressure ! It was 共有 !

So - definitely recommend for a bit of extra immersion !


I know, right! Have you changed the forum language, too?


I did not know I could ! I have now though :slight_smile:


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Ideal would be to have a tampermonkey script which adds a big “roll back! Help me reset the language” button :grimacing:


I’ve had my phone and computer in Japanese for about a year and a half now, and it’s the best. You get a lot of exposure throughout the day without needing to explicitly sit down and study Japanese. You also already know how your phone works not in Japanese, so muscle memory can help get you through times when you’re not 100% sure.

The only annoying part is that sometimes sharing links/information with other people will not respect that their phone language is not Japanese, so you end up accidentally sharing content in Japanese.


If you’re on iOS and aren’t ready/want to change the entire system language to Japanese, you can switch languages on a per-app basis in the settings. Go into Settings→[App Name]→Language. You could also probably do the reverse: system language in Japanese and some apps switched over to English.


I’ve often been too intimidated to change my whole device’s language, but I just changed the forum to Japanese and I’m feeling like it’ll be a good gateway to moving all my devices to other languages. Thanks for the tip. :+1:


Thing is, i switched to Japanese in my phone. it is linked to my Google account. Other day, my colleague sent me a link to a meeting in Microsoft teams and interface was in Japanese. i tried to get connected to the meeting room but somehow i needed to create an account. Also somehow i am needed to activate my account. All emails were Japanese.
it was all fun and games until that incident…


Suprisingly for me google map did not speak japanese although it was entirely in japanese. I only heard (beep kinda like sound) at every interaction


My favorite thing about it is that when you reach your destination the person says


makes me chuckle - its nice that someone acknowledges my hard work :rofl: maybe one day it will be noticed by a real human :pleading_face:


All of you having nice experiences :slight_smile:

Personally I’ve I’ve tried a couple of times to switch my computer system in other languages, and It always been completely useless and troublesome.

Useless because I don’t pay attention to the text anyway, I just click where I know I have to click. Troublesome because everytime you try doing something new, all the documentation on the Internet is in English. Even French, which is is my first language, is more troublesome than English :see_no_evil:


This cracks me up as well! I have an extremely poor sense of direction, meaning I have to rely on Google Maps to get pretty much anywhere. Last week was the first time I used Google Maps in Japanese, and I was so surprised and slightly happy when I heard that お疲れ様です at the end! (Even with Google Maps, it normally takes me around double the time to get anywhere…)


Yeah I switched my android phone to Japanese a few weeks back and I love seeing random Japanese articles about US politics.


I didn’t know this either, and the first time I used my navigation, I was so thrilled that I could understand the instructions! Very cool. :slight_smile:


The recommended articles I get on my google chrome home page is so much more in line with interests than the english articles I was ever recommended. It’s actually really scary.

But yeah, switching my phone and computer to Japanese was a nice change. Really makes me realize how bad I am at katakana and how it is only VERY slowly progressing. Lol. The main problems are like settings for any app or program. Even then, you can kinda click around and figure things out, but the more important it is, the more stressful things get. But you can surprisingly get by.

Also I can’t understand anything the GPS says except when she says right or left. But then I just read my phone.


Don’t mean to put a damper on the mood, but just be aware that interface translations are sometimes inaccurate (e.g. iOS used to translate ‘calling Person A’ as “正在呼叫 Person A” in Mandarin, which was hilarious because it’s completely unnatural in everyday Mandarin, where 呼叫 is more like ‘to scream and shout to get someone’s attention’, even if 呼叫 apparently is the technical term for the process of connecting two devices via a phone call). You’ll sometimes need to supplement this sort of immersion with your own knowledge and some grammar/vocabulary checks.

This is a good example, since 共有 literally means ‘to have jointly’ i.e. ‘to have in joint possession/ownership’. A possible, more correct alternative might have been 転送(てんそう), which literally means to ‘turn-send’ i.e. to pass on by sending.

Overall, however, it’s definitely not a bad idea to put your device’s interface in Japanese. I used to do it for French on my phone and my computer, and it helped a lot. (I’m studying in France now, so my phone is still in French, even if my computer isn’t.)

I imagine the Apple is probably worse in that regard given that Android is dominant outside of western countries

Edit: Actuality I just remembered that I think Android may be banned in China

Edit 2: Actually apparently it’s kind of oddly blocking the Google parts but allowing the rest, which makes a weird set up.

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Hm… very possible. I didn’t think of that. I would argue that it’s probably more of the fact that Android is licensed to various manufacturers across the globe though, whereas Apple controls everything for iOS. As I pointed out above, however, Google having a translation service and a model that’s closer to open source doesn’t stop it from including translation errors in its apps.

EDIT: Yeah, you’re right about Android presently being banned in China due to the trade war. Not sure how that affects things though.

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i changed all my devices into japanese just after i started wanikani and my mom accused me of doing it so she couldnt snoop around in my phone or laptop cuz she couldnt understand anything

cackles maybe that is why-


Reminds me of needing to tell my family members how to do something on my phone. It was always a nightmare because I would need to somehow help them figure out which French word I was talking about.