I'm trying to figure out which verb to use if I want to say "Let's switch between speaking English and Japanese", but in general I would just like to know.

  • 1
    What do you mean by 'switch between speaking E and J'? Speaking J for some time then E (and then to J)? Or change to J from E?
    – sundowner
    Nov 5 '21 at 4:53
  • Yes the former. Sometimes speak in English and sometimes speak in Japanese, so I can practice and they can practice too.
    – Hayli
    Nov 6 '21 at 5:12
  • I think because you said "switch between", 切り替える would be a very good choice. It's like toggling a switch. 変える would be better fit if you said "let's change the way we communicate to English".
    – dungarian
    Nov 6 '21 at 11:37

切り替える could be used but it sounds more like switching to the other language for the rest of the conversation.

If you are using it for language-exchange kind of thing, it would be clearer to use simply something like:

  • 最初に(最初の30分)英語を話してそのあと日本語を話しましょう Let's speak English first (first 30 mins) and then speak Japanese.

Maybe closer to the 'switching between English and Japanese' you have in mind is:

  • 英語と日本語を交互に話しましょう.

But this is not clear about how 'switching' takes place (like the English phrase), and may sound suggesting switching the languages frequently.

  • Would using 交代 be right?
    – Mauro
    Nov 6 '21 at 10:15
  • 2
    @Mauro I guess 英語と日本語を交代で話しましょう would be understood as intended by the OP in appropriate contexts, but by itself it sounds not like suggesting a conversation, more like the speaker and the hearer giving speech or translation, one in English and the other in Japanese.
    – sundowner
    Nov 6 '21 at 13:17

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