OS switch part one : Using Google Chrome in Japanese

Greetings everyone.  Wanted to post this update about testing out switching my operating system to Japanese. I’ve done it before (When I was in Japan I didn’t use Mac OSx in English for many, many months) but then I never looked up vocab or studied anything actively so switching didn’t teach me much, except how to slowly navigate familiar programs. I’m still on step 4 of Core2000 (realized I didn’t finish everything recently, my reps got mixed up and I still have about 80 new cards to learn : p)  Either way, I want to see if I can “ease” into my OS being completely Japanese. With some more words under my belt, I tested out my comprehension using Chrome in Japanese.

I’m mainly typing what I can comprehend without looking anything up. I’ll mention what I can’t read, and any words i’ve looked up are highlighted in black. 

The Menus

FILE ファイル










Okay so this is “File” ( ファエル) and just testing what I can read I see.

“New Tab” 新しいタブ”(あたらしいたぶ)

“Fresh Window” 新規ウインドウ (しんきうえんどう)(no idea why its fresh vs new)

“Fresh ’Secret’ window” 新規シークレットウインドウ” (never used this in chrome b4)

“Open Closed Tabs?” 閉じたタブを開く(とじたたぶをあく)

“Open file” ファエルを開く(ふぁえるをあく)

”Open page/location” 場所を開く

”Create Application shortcut ” アプリケーションノショートカットを作成 (さくせい)(implement)

(dont’ know the full reading for that one. from other Kanji, I thought it was “sa sei” but it didn’t come up. Looked it up and its “saku sei” 作成 (implement)

“Close Window” ウインドウを閉じる (ういんどうをとじる)

”Close Tab” タブお閉じる(たぶをとじる)

Can’t read this next one yet. I can recognize some of the Kanji meanings, but I don’t remember enough to reference it all.

ページの場所をメール送信 (そうしん)ーTransmission

The last one obviously is “print” but i cannot read it yet.

EDIT 編集 (へんしゅう)(henshuu)









Undo  –  取り消す —I am

assuming this is an abbreviation of “tori ke su” 

取り消す ーとりけす cancel/revoke

Redo –  やり直す (やりなおす)

Cut カト, Copyコピー, Copy URL URLをコピー Paste, パースト

Something about “paste style?” can’t read this yet.

can’t read.

“Spell and grammar” スペルと 文法(すぺるとぶんぷう)

Then something with 文字(letter).

VIEW 表示 (ひょうじ)(hyouji)

Okay so this one a little more tricky.

I can see something about “bookmark”, I sort of figured out the reading “full screen mode” or “go full screen”

全画面表示にする。(zengammenhyouji ni suru) Trick for remembering “screen” is GA ME N like “Gaming screen” heh.

I can read 拡大(enlarge), and i’m assuming the next one means “decrease” but I can’t read it yet. Then I see… “Encode”,

then 開発/管理(かいはつ/かんり)which I guess is …. the stuff you view like source code and so on? One word is “development”, the other is “management” and the menus lead to stuff with source info. So Not beasting that menu, but I can definitely read some.

WINDOW (ウインドウ)

This section was a little interesting because here I am experimenting with readings I am not familiar with to try and get the words. I couldn’t do this previously. When I had my operating system set to Japanese in Japan, I would sort of “wing it” using Heisig to get an idea of how to navigate around.

I’m also getting a cool interpretive analysis of these functions. So I know 最 is “sai”, I know “小” chi (from chisai)  and ” ka” 化 from stuff like 変化(change). What I learned just now is that 小 is “shou” generally and also can be read “ko”. I will learn the differences over time. And typing the Kanji explains it all… if you type the wrong meaning, it won’t come up. Great self-test. So the words 最小化 is “sai shou ka” which means minimize.  I liked the fact that I could read “sai” and “ka” beforehand.

I keep seeing 選択 on the menus I know 選 from words like 選挙(election)、選手(athlete), but I haven’t regularly used the other Kanji. So I looked it up, and it reads “taku”. so the word is “sentaku” which means, selection or choice.

so 次のタブを選択 Next tab

前のタブを選択    Previous tab

ダウンロード Download

拡張機能 ー Expansion/Extension? Feature

– I was VERY pleased to be able to read this one without even looking anything up. I remembered the meaning from the following works.

so 拡 kaku  from 拡大 kakudai   長 chou 会長  from kaichou   and  機能 kinou (which by itself means feature)



I had major problems with readings and now after doing about two weeks of consistent vocab study and light reading, I am seeing how I am getting much better and identifying common readings i’ve studied and its good for some words to be halfway there before you pull out the dictionary.

Common Words

I think if I can stay in Japanese, I will get decent exposure to common words like choice, selection, upload, download, add, subtract, etc. Stuff that I might not consciously read about, but if i see it on my phone/computer/video game then it should be reinforced.

I switched my facebook account to Japanese yesterday and I will use it for a week or two before doing a post on it… or earlier if I feel motivated. For now, cheers!

About marcusbird

Writer, Designer, Filmmaker
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