Aya Katz has a PhD in linguistics from Rice University. She is an ape language researcher and the author of Vacuum County and other novels.
Suppose you go into your YouTube account and start browsing, and suddenly all the labels are in a different language—a language you can't read. How do you change it back? Easy.
- Find the label that says "current language."
- Press "show languages."
- Choose a language that you can read from the options.
However, you may find that the label that says "current language" is also written in the language that you can't read. So how do you recognize it?
This happened to me; my YouTube suddenly started displaying the Japanese language rather than English. It could happen to you, too. Just in case it does, I will tell you what to do in order to switch back to a language you can read.
How to Find the Language Button in Japanese
While I don't read Japanese, I do know some Chinese characters, and a lot of Japanese writing uses Chinese characters. It's a completely different, unrelated language, mind you, and the characters are pronounced differently in Japanese, but it can definitely help to know some Chinese when trying to read Japanese.
If you are stuck in the Japanese language setting, scroll down to the very bottom of your YouTube screen and look in the left hand corner. To select a country or region, look at the part that says:
現在の地域: 全世界 地域を表示
The problem in my case was not the region. I had mine set to include the entire world (全世界).
The problem was the language setting, and it looked like this:
現在の言語: 日本語 言語を表示
Here's how I guess you would translate that:
"Current language (現在の言語): Japanese. 日本語 looks like the Chinese characters for Japanese language. Then, should you wish to change it, press the blue link that says "show language", which looks like this:
The image below shows what you will see after you click on "show languages."
It's Easy After You Find the "Show Languages" Option
Once you press "show languages," things become easy, because all the available languages are self-labeled. That is, even though my language setting is still Japanese at this point, the label for English is in English. The label for Russian is in Russian. The label for Hindi is in Hindi, and so on and so forth. So from here on in, the process becomes self-explanatory.
How to Read "Show Languages" in Other Languages
In order to help any readers who got stuck in a language other than Japanese, I will provide photos of the "show languages" blue link in all the other languages available on YouTube.
- Russian: Текущий язык: (current language) Pyccĸий (Russian) Отображать языки (show languages)
- Mainland Chinese (simplified characters): 当前语言：(current language) 中文 (Chinese) 显示语言 (show languages)
- Taiwan's Chinese (traditional characters) 目前語言： (current language) 中文 (Chinese) 顯示語言 (show languages)
- Korean: 현재 언어: (current language) 한국어 (Korean) 언어 표시 (show languages)
- Hindi: वर्तमान भाषा: (current language) हिन्दी (Hindi) भाषाएं दिखाएं (show languages)
Languages That Use Latin Characters
If you are reading this article, chances are you already understand English, and hence will not need the two types of English (US and UK) available on YouTube translated for you.
Above I listed the YouTube languages that use a different writing system from that of English. I think it should be much easier for a speaker of English to decipher other European languages that are written in Latin characters. However, in case there is any problem with that, here are the other languages:
- Spanish (both of Spain and Latin America ): Idioma actual: (current language) Español (Spanish) Mostrar idiomas (show languages)
- French: Langue actuelle (current language) Français (French) Afficher les langues (Display the languages)
- German: Aktuelle Sprache: (current languages) Deutsch (German) Sprachen anzeigen (display languages)
- Italian: Lingua attuale: (current language) Italiano (Italian) Mostra lingue (show languages)
- Dutch: Huidige taal: (current language) Nederlands (Dutch) Talen weergeven (display languages)
- Polish: Bieżący język: (current language) Polski (Polish) Pokaż języki (show languages)
- Portuguese (of Portugal and Brazil) : Idioma actual: (current language) Português (Portuguese) Mostrar idiomas (Show languages)
- Swedish:Nuvarande språk: (current language) Svenska (Swedish) Visa språk (show language)
- Czech: Aktuální jazyk: (current language) Čeština (Czech) Zobrazit jazyky (display language)
Why Did My Language Settings Change?
Here's what happened to me: I was researching an article about national anthems. In the process, I played the Japanese national anthem over and over again. I did it often enough that Bow got seriously annoyed with me.
Afterwards, somehow all the labels on my YouTube account changed to Japanese. I don't know how or why it happened. I don't think I pressed the button to change languages. I have a theory about it, though. The AI program running YouTube must have figured that anyone who listens to the Japanese national anthem that many times in a row must be Japanese. Plus my name is "Aya," and that's a common Japanese name. So YouTube's automatic software jumped to the conclusion that I'd be much more comfortable reading Japanese from now on.
Anyway, that's one theory of how it could have happened.
Good Luck Switching Your Settings!
Now you have all the information you need to change your YouTube account back to English in case it automatically switches to some other language. You can also use this information to switch to another language besides English, if that is your preference. Armed with this knowledge, you can feel free to listen to any national anthem in the world and know you will still be able to use your YouTube account afterwards.
© 2009 Aya Katz
Shivansh mall on April 02, 2020:
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on August 04, 2013:
Right now everything looks different from the way it looked back then. Google accounts are tied to Youtube accounts, so when you change languages in Youtube, you are really changing it for your entire Google account.
In your account settings find the heading שפה -- which means language.
Under that, it says שפה ראשית. That means "main language".
Then, if you are in Hebrew, it will say עברית.
In order to change that to English, or some other language you prefer, you need to click on ערוך -- which means edit. Once you click on that, you have the list of languages, and English is listed in English.
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on August 04, 2013:
Hebrew wasn't one of the languages listed when I wrote this.
Hebrew in Hebrew is עברית.
Henry Kratchman on August 04, 2013:
How about Hebrew? Please!
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on April 26, 2012:
Anon, sorry about that. This was written sometime ago. YouTube has changed since then, and many other sites as well. When I logged in to see your comment, I could hardly recognize the layout of this article, because HP has recently changed the appearance of hubs on technical subjects to include this printed circuit board look.
So again, my apologies. Nobody can seem to leave anything alone...
Anon on April 26, 2012:
Not helpful at all... youtube has changed
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on February 24, 2012:
Alex, glad to know I'm not the only one this happened to!
Alex on February 23, 2012:
I had the same issue, thanks
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on February 20, 2012:
Dan, glad to be of help!
dan on February 20, 2012:
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on May 18, 2011:
SDF, you are welcome!
sdf on May 17, 2011:
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on May 17, 2011:
Schemalaggning, glad this could help!
schemalaggning on May 17, 2011:
Thanks just what i was looking for!
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on February 18, 2011:
Marissa, thanks! Glad it helped!
Marissa on February 17, 2011:
Thanks! Somehow I got mine in German... O.o This really helped!
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on September 17, 2010:
Sondra Roberts, thanks! I'm glad this helps.
Sondra_Roberts on September 17, 2010:
So simple once its explained ,Thanks for this very useful Hub
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on August 30, 2010:
Matilda, oh, does that work? I had no idea. I'll have to give it a try if this happens to me again. Thanks for the tip!
Matilda on August 30, 2010:
OR, you could have typed "Youtube.co.uk" into the searchbar and a box comes up saying "view youtube in English(UK)"
Aya Katz (author) from The Ozarks on December 05, 2009:
sutrapu from kuwait on December 05, 2009:
very useful hub