When you see Japanese text

Well, at least I’m not the only one who had this thought. Except at first I definitely thought “Winner.”

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Yes. My brain must “warm up”.

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Vienna coffee? I think that’s with cinnamon or something?

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There was a Vienna Coffee on the menu, and it was Cinnamon based, so you’re very close. But that’s not quite the word the English menu used for this one after I was microaggressed and given the English menu.


arawi keiichi strikes again


as for the op question, it’s sometimes yes and sometimes no for me. apart from manga, most of my written jp consumption is on twitter; when a cute pic or whatever shows up on my feed with a one-line description (usually mostly kana and ez kanji) my eyes shoot right to it like it’s candy.

on the other hand, i’ve got a native friend who posts about netrunner (nerdy card game i play) a bunch and a lot of their posts are basically paragraphs full of terminology and complex sentence structure and my first reaction is usually “ugh, i’ll just read this later”.

with english it takes more like a screenful of text, like a news article, to trigger that reaction.


Not being in Japan and exposing myself mainly to textbook japanese, WK and flashcards I try this from time to time


Just to get the hang the street exposure I could get once there.

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This is me with kanji that have furigana. Even when I know the kanji, I don’t even look at it, but automatically jump to the furigana… but luckily there’s lots of material without them :slight_smile:


Furigana is nice but it’s definitely easy to unintentionally use it as a crutch.


Since I’m still a beginner, whenever I see kanji that I don’t recognise, which is a lot of the time, I just wanna hide in a corner, but when there’s just kana or some simple kanji or words, there’s a delay of a few seconds before I can read what the text says. In time, I know the transition becomes almost instantaneous, but it’ll be quite a while before that happens. Something to look forward to, though.

The way your brain function is closely related to the language you’re speaking: the logic of the language affects the way you think.

When you’re able to speak multiple languages, your brain has to perform a sort of reset to switch from a language to another. This is a known phenomena but I can’t recall what it’s called. For example, this is what happens when you can’t find the correct word to express an idea in your mother-tongue when you’ve been speaking another language for a while. Your brain is still “wired” for another language and since the logic isn’t the same, it struggles to fetch the correct information.

You can train your brain to “switch” faster and more seamlessly, but the switch still happens. In my job, for example, I switch from French to English all the time, and I don’t always notice that I’m reading in French or English anymore. I’m just reading.

Even better, there have been studies that language is connected to your character and personality, and that, when your brain switches languages, your personality switches with it. I’ll try and find the study, but I can’t promise you anything.


I look forward to reading this!

I’ve managed to get my hands on this article, which suggests that language switch usually goes with a change of cultural context, and that is it is the cultural switch that causes the personality switch.

The article also provides a nice list of references for further reading.


I’ve actually heard of that, through people posting on this forum! There was a huge discussion about it somewhere… I think by people where English isn’t their native language. Essentially some people were saying that their “English” personality is more outgoing, confident… their other one was more polite, softspoken… Wish I could remember what thread that was in, but it was a great conversation way back. ^^


I can definetly say the change of personality is true for me. I’m kind of a shy guy, but when I speak English I talk way more than usually. Or maybe it’s just because I don’t get the opportunity to talk in English very often and I just want to use it whenever I can.

As for Japanese texts, I actually like to look briefly over them to check if I know some words. Reading in full sentences is impossible since I don’t know many of the kanji yet.

I also tend to avoid Katakana. When they stand alone I’m able to read them fine, but in a word it takes me a really long time to get the meaning.

I am a very… liberal, outspoken female LOL. But, as soon as I speak Japanese I’m suddenly super shy and soft spoken and passive. I realized it just a little bit ago, actually and I thought I must be crazy. So, this explains it!

I wonder if my personality changes when I switch to Japanese… considering how soft spoken I am in English, it probably doesn’t (at least not a lot).

Or maybe you’re just not nearly as good as expressing yourself in Japanese yet?

@Richard-Degenne Code-Switching begs to differ that any kind of “reset” is necessary.

That’s also possible and a good point

what do you mean by it was obviously google translated? did they use google translate and wrote it there or something