I'm looking for a way to express the feeling that sometimes comes up when the way you feel about yourself contrasts with surface-level observations about you. In English we have the "identify as" construct e.g.

"I was born in France, but I identify as American."

You can replace "I identify as X" above with "In my heart, I am X". The closest thing I could find in Jisho was:


Using that I did my best to translate the sentence above as:


"I was born in France, but I myself feel like an American."

Is this accurate, and if not, what would be the best way to express this type of sentence in Japanese?


Here are two possible expressions you can use (After the "I was born in France" part):



I think if you modified your above attempt to say "自分がアメリカ人みたいな感じ", it would be a little more natural.

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    Yeah, I also would say 「フランス生まれですが、/ 生まれはフランスですが、自分のことを / 自分をアメリカ人だと思っています。」 By the way, did you notice the typo (or error?) in the OP: 私はフランス生まれけど ? (And.. I think もうすっかりアメリカ人です might sound more natural..) – Chocolate Jul 21 '16 at 3:16
  • @chocolate what would be the fix to the typo/error? Would it be 「私はフランスで生まれ*たけど」? – Pedro A Jul 21 '16 at 13:11
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    @Hamsteriffic Yes, it would be フランス生まれたけど or フランス生まれけど. – Chocolate Jul 21 '16 at 13:35
  • @chocolate: Good point about the です vs になってる, I agree. – Locksleyu Jul 21 '16 at 16:12

Here's some other variants:

フランス生まれだけど、心は日本人。 I was born in France, but my heart is Japanese.

カナダ人ですけど、考え方はフランス人。 I am Canadian but I think like a French person.

マレーシア生まれの中国人ですけど、長い間ドイツで仕事したので、感覚はドイツ人かもしれないです。 I am a Malaysian-born Chinese but because I have worked in Germany for a long time, my sense (way of thinking) is likely German.

アメリカで生まれたが、カナダの価値観を持ってます。 I was born in America, but I have Canadian values.

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  • カナダの価値観持ってます -> Did you leave out 「を」 intentionally or accidentally? – Chocolate Jul 21 '16 at 8:32
  • @chocolate accidentally :P. – ishikun Jul 21 '16 at 18:56

You can say 「私はフランス生まれだけど、」 ("Though I am French-born," ) or 「私はフランスで生まれたけど、」("Though I was born in France,") but not 「私はフランスで生まれだけど、」 ("Though I'm in France born,"(?)).

Tweaking your translation (minimally), we may come up with:


Or you could say something like:

(私は)生まれはフランス人ですが、心はアメリカ人です。 (I am a Frenchman/Frenchwoman by birth but an American at heart.)

There are myriad ways to express it, really, especially the latter half.

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I think the most widely applicable phrase might be:

自分のことを X だと考えている

  • 自分のことを日本人だと考えています
    I identify as Japanese (国籍)
  • 自分のことをプログラマーだと考えています
    I identify as a programmer (職業)
  • 自分のことを阪神のファンだと考えています
    I identify as a Hanshin fan (団体所属)

This is very similar to saying "I think of myself as X", which I think is basically equivalent to "I identify as X".

In contrast to fact:


  • Using 考える as above sounds like perceive yourself as American rather than French
  • Using 感じる as above sounds like you realize that you are French, but you feel American
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