How’s Your Personality in Japanese?

It’s sort of long been noted that people shift their personalities, in a way, when they shift between languages. So, for those of you who’ve gotten to the point of being able to hold basic conversation… how’s your personality in Japanese compared to your first language?

I absolutely speak Japanese at a somewhat higher pitch than English. What I find interesting though is I’m a lot more bubbly and prone to being excitable (provided I’m not falling over my own words) when using Japanese. I tend to think more positively, in a glass half full kind of way, whereas in English I’m quite a bit more of a pessimist, both in presentation and thought process.

So, I was wondering in what ways Japanese has affected your personalities, whether the effects are somewhat bound by Japanese culture (since you do have to think a bit like a Japanese person when you speak the language) or whether they’re more independent than that.

(Edited to remove stupid mistake lmao)


Definitely bow more and shake hands less when speaking Japanese :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I become a lot more reserved when speaking. Not because I’m afraid of making mistakes (got that out of the way rather early) but more because I don’t want to come across as disrespectful or make others feel as though I was stepping on their toes. The manager at the school I taught English at would kind of subtly tell me my English could be a bit blunt at times (which could also have just been a cultural thing), so I think that transferred over.

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My Japanese language personality is still trying to figure itself out :joy: I don’t practice speaking ever ( ik ik but hopefully eventually).

I’m currently in the phase of “まったく、寒いなぁ。え?今の…日本語で考えていたの??”
Proceeds to squeal in joy and flail my arms

So when I’m not ridiculously happy and excitable at my sudden display of progress, I notice I tend to adopt personalities. Like someone I’ve been listening to, or a book character I’ve grown attached to. Word choice, politeness, and tone of voice are affected. I think it’s just my brains way of trying to figure out what feels best by trying on different hats. Eventually it’ll pick, but right now it’s all over the place

I don’t think my personality changes when switching between languages :thinking:. Obviously the way I speak will be different, but not my personality.

Also, a change of voice of an Octave or more? I guess if you go from Michael Jackson high to normal pitch, or from normal to really low pitch, but it would be too obvious. An Octave is a large range, so maybe you’re thinking something around a 5th (which would still be very noticeable)?

Sorry, it’s the musician in me :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:.

It’s possible what I’ve been told an octave is and what it actually is is not quite accurate. Might go edit that lol. :sweat_smile:

Though as a side note, I do come from an area where women notably speak at a lower tone than other areas even if the stress accent is more or less the same as them - I appear to be no exception to that, at least in English. My Japanese doesn’t seem to like sounding quite so grave, lol.

Haha! That reminded me of a gaming friend of mine. Sometimes we play Souls games together, and he’ll record our games. But when, for example, we get invaded, or we’re fighting a Boss, and he dies, he’ll say “Yeah, I’m editing that out”. It’s hilarious :joy:.

In Japanese, I become more polite and in a way a bit distant. That could be because normally in Japanese I am talking / talk to teachers. Also I did not have an accent for a long time but recently somebody told me that I have one :frowning:

I honestly don’t think it changes to much as I’m generally a quiet and polite person who tries to not be a bother and stay out of people’s way. That seems to fall in line with the Japanese mindset quite a bit I think. On a recent trip I found myself telling my partner to quiet down on trains and not bother other people. On that note, I don’t think hers changes much either. Unlike me though, she’s not as quiet and reserved. We rushed into an aborting train one time and she randomly looked at two young girls and stated ギリギリセーフ to them. I was a bit embarrassed, but what can ya do? The girls laughed and gave her a gaijin pass.

When I was younger and the language was new and exciting to me though, I did tend to become a little more chatty once I got into a good flow of the conversation.

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I also believe that’s why my personality doesn’t change much either.

And I think this might be part of why I’m different. ADHD runs thick in the blood over here, but speaking Japanese absolutely forces me to think about what I say (and consequently it’s social acceptability) before just blurting it all out. I try not to be a bother, but in English, my thoughts and tongue often accelerate well past any considerations of social ruin.

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I tend to be quieter when speaking japanese. I’m still rather bullheaded though in the sense of saying my feelings an what I think about situations, I just do not speak as much.
I’m in a similar boat as ome other, I am normally a shy person. but I trained myself to be more sociable. so I wonder if I must practice being more sociable in japanese as well?

sorry for any typo’s my work pc has a broken keyboard. and is from 2010. gotta love Japanese companies keeping up with trends!

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