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?

4 Answers 4


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.

  • 2
    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, 2016 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, 2016 at 13:11
  • 2
    @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, 2016 at 13:35
  • @chocolate: Good point about the です vs になってる, I agree.
    – Locksleyu
    Jul 21, 2016 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.

  • カナダの価値観持ってます -> Did you leave out 「を」 intentionally or accidentally?
    – chocolate
    Jul 21, 2016 at 8:32
  • @chocolate accidentally :P.
    – ishikun
    Jul 21, 2016 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.


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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