Should you change your smartphone to japanese?

Hi guys
I was wondering if it makes sense to change your mobile phone, laptop or anything else to the japanese language because you use it every day and maybe you can deepen your japanese knowledge.

what do you think? and at what level does it make sense?

kind regards


I have my cellphone language set to Japanese, but mostly because it helps keep the default kanji set to Japanese and not end up with Chinese versions slipping in.

It obviously doesn’t hurt from an “immersion” perspective, but it’s a limited set of words that appear. You could probably set your phone to a language you’ve never studied at all and have it figured out and memorized in a few minutes.


I have done this. When learning Japanese you will encounter many synonyms without really knowing their nuances or when they should be used.

Changing my phone and computer to japanese has helped me understand which synonym is used in which situation for many different words.

I changed languages at ~lvl 22.


The only reason I don’t have my phone in Japanese is because Google Maps displays the street and place names in katakana. And Romanian names don’t translate well to katakana and just make me feel confused and lost. If Google allowed the Maps app to have a different language than the phone language, I’d keep it in Japanese all the time :man_shrugging:.

I don’t keep my phone in Japanese for day-to-day usage but it’s fun to occasionally switch it over to attempt a Japanese conversation with Siri :joy:.

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I feel like this wouldn’t be very useful since you’ll probably just memorise what button does what naturally, but I’m sure it’ll help some bit.

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As others have said, if you memorize UIs and don’t bother doing any reading, it won’t help much. Otherwise, go for it. Japanese-ify everything if you want to immerse or have input from a variety of sources. All of my digital devices are in Japanese, and I’ve learned (/been forced to learn) a lot. It comes particularly in handy if you use any of your devices for technical work that you may someday need to communicate about in Japanese, and this includes even asking for help about something regarding the software or hardware of your device.

If you bother to read patch notes, you’ll pick up a ton of technical jargon. Otherwise, interacting with programs’ settings and menus also teaches a lot of vocabulary used in the programs’ domains (ex: Photoshop/GIMP, a terminal, software updates, the web browser interface, disk navigation, spoken Japanese for navigation such as in Google Maps, phone photography, etc.).

I have pretty everything in Japanese but I wouldn’t advise it for beginners of the language. If level 4 of WK is all you have right now, then it won’t be fun and you’ll have to look up pretty much everything.

With that being said, I’m using Houhou SRS with the WK options to get a similar experience to what I have here, which is working pretty well for me. I’ve learned hundreds of words that aren’t on WK nor the JLPT lists, so you’ll definitely learn a ton of important words. Anyhow, I really don’t advise this for beginners, the option will still be there in 6 month and by then you’ll probably be much more comfortable, not to mention that you should really be able to understand certain things you click on, like error messages or payment related things, you really don’t wanna be guessing there.

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I’ve changed my phone to Japanese but not my computer. I study computer science so there are a lot of technical things I have to do on my PC and doing them in Japanese would be painful, plus I’d hate to misread something and accidentally delete my OS or something like that.

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I have my Macbook and phone switched to Japanese.
On my phone I have the UI remembered so it doesn’t do much for me there. But since my Ableton Live is now in Japanese as well I feel like I pick up more than if it was in english.

But every now and then when an error shows up, it’s always a gamble which button to press if you cant fully read it…

But if you’re like me and like living dangerous you should totally go for it :stuck_out_tongue:

i dont even usually pay attention to street names lol
i just look at the map to see where i need to turn and turn.

Great idea! Just changed my phone to Japanese now…

Won’t touch my PC tho, again because fancy CS student :slight_smile:

There’s various levels of setting your iPhone to Japanese.

My iPhone is set to Japanese region but English language right now. Main reason for doing this is that I lost the ability to recharge my mobile Suica in on one of the updates and setting the phone back to japan fixed this.

Added bonuses are Apple maps directions are read out in Japanese which helps me but annoys my passengers on the rare occasions I drive a car.

I also have Siri set to Japanese to practice some basic speaking and a separate Japanese App Store account to download apps not available on the other app stores I have accounts on.

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