How to differentiate Japanese, Korean and Chinese

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Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese are quite different, but their ethnic similarities confuse many people. This is ironic because I find it more difficult to differentiate people from Western or European countries than Asian ones, quickly identifying their origin.

I decided to write this guide to help you differentiate Asians, Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese. First, it is worth remembering that it is not only the Japanese, Chinese, or Koreans who have small or slanted eyes. Most countries in the Middle East and Asia and even the Indians in Brazil have their slanted eyes.

Another interesting piece of information is the word pulled, something that is also an insult even though it is used to describe the difference in the eyes. In both sizes and shapes, Asian and Western eyes are the same; the only thing that changes is that Asian eyes do not have that fold in the upper eyelid causing a more significant part of the eye to be covered by the skin. Simply put, Japanese eyes are neither smaller nor slanted.

How to differentiate Japanese, Korean and Chinese

How to distinguish Japanese, Chinese and Korean by language?

The first notable difference between Asians is their languages. When listening to a Japanese speak you can easily differentiate from a Chinese or Korean. This is because the Chinese language is tonal and has several variations in syllables, while Japanese never changes syllables. Korean, on the other hand, is a little similar to Chinese pronunciation, but it is very different.

How to differentiate Japanese, Korean and Chinese

An example that I observe a lot is the pronunciation of “R”. The Chinese don't usually pronounce the R correctly, always speaking the L instead. The Japanese are the opposite, they cannot speak L, because there is no L in the Japanese language. Chinese speak: Pastel de Flango while Japanese speak Pasuteru de Furango.

Another straightforward way to differentiate is by name. Japanese names usually have more than four letters and do not have words with V, M, L, or ending with a consonant. The Chinese and Korean characters end up with consonants, mainly with M, NG, N, and usually have three letters. Of course, you will need to hear the surname if the person is just a descendant with a Western name.

Many believe that Chinese and Japanese writing is practically the same, thus concluding that they are the same languages. We have already written a detailed article explaining differences in Japanese and Chinese, you can read by clicking here.

How to differentiate Japanese, Korean and Chinese

I will summarize by saying that the Chinese language is full of dashes (他們有理性和良心), Japanese has few dashes in most letters (私はケビンです), while Korean is full of dashes and dots (보기가 역겨워).

Physical differences between Japanese, Chinese and Koreans

It is not easy to determine which Asian nationality is skin color, but we can see that some Chinese tend to have darker skin, and Koreans have lighter and smoother skin. The face Japanese people tend to be wider, long and triangular, while Koreans have square chins, more prominent jaws and higher cheekbones. The Chinese tend to have a rounder face.

How to differentiate Japanese, Korean and Chinese

Japanese eyes tend to be slanted upwards, unlike Chinese eyes which tend to be slanted downwards. Koreans have smaller eyes. At height, Koreans win with an average height of 1.71 meters, Japanese are second with an average of 1.69 and Chinese 1.68.

With respect to hair, nowadays this is very diverse, so it is impossible to define. It is believed that, at least traditionally in the past, Koreans had long hair pulled back. The Chinese had combed and wavy hair and the Japanese hair curved at the end and covered the forehead.

How to differentiate Japanese, Korean and Chinese

How to differentiate by Style, Fashion and Culture

Another way that we can use to differentiate Japanese, Chinese and Koreans is through their style, fashion and culture. Fashion is relative and goes by very fast, especially in Japan, fashion is very diverse and unique. The Chinese tend to care more about wealth and less about design and colors. So it's normal to find Chinese people with shiny and expensive things, jewelry, gold, and a lot of Western fashion.

In Japan, however, fashion is a mixture of traditional and modern, in addition to cute thingsColorful and unique. In Japan, fashion and style are very accessible, so young people spend all their time in their school uniform, even outside of school. On the other hand, Korea cares a lot about passing fashion; they follow trends that are fast and care too much for brands; they tend to color their hair more than Japan and China.

How to differentiate Japanese, Korean and Chinese

Stereotyped and somewhat racist image launched in the old newspaper that received several criticisms.

The Chinese care a lot about reputation and behave In a way with family and another way with friends. Koreans are usually very insistent; they give importance to family, friendship, etc. On the other hand, the Japanese do not like to opine or meddle in the lives of others, preferring harmony with others than following their own opinion.

Can you already differentiate Japanese, Chinese and Koreans?

I'm terrible at memorizing faces, but I can quickly tell an Asian apart by dress, conversation, and other linguistic details. Things get a little more complicated when we are trying to know the origin of a descendant who lives in Brazil, he is basically Brazilian so we don't need to waste time trying to decipher his origins. Just ask!

How to differentiate Japanese, Korean and Chinese

Some claim that there are big similarities between the Japanese and the Brazilian Tupi Guarani tribe

The great reality is that Asians are very different and have many variations in their own country. For example, northern Chinese have square faces, small noses and small eyes. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell Japanese from Chinese and Koreans! Countries mix, Koreans get plastic surgery to enlarge their eyes, so it gets kind of complicated.

With a short time in Japan you will find that Asians or Japanese themselves are totally different from each other. They are not to blame for the food and the climate collaborating with a standardized skin, eyes and body.

You might want to read our other article that explains because the Japanese or Asians have their slanted eyes.

So in my opinion, the easiest way to differentiate is by language, name and culture. If you think you can differentiate, test your knowledge by searching google quizzes!

Videos to help differentiate Easterners

Thanks for reading our article, don't forget to share and leave your comments! I will end by leaving some videos that can help you differentiate Easterners:

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33 thoughts on “Como diferenciar japoneses, coreanos e chineses”

  1. Eu sei diferenciar alguns europeus. Loiros de olhos claros normalmente são de países de origem germânica, como a Alemanha, Suécia, Holanda. Cabelos e olhos castanhos e corpo mais atarracado são de países latinos como Itália e Espanha. Os Eslavos como russos e poloneses geralmente tem os cabelos e olhos claros, mas mais baixos que os germânicos. Claro que não é uma regra, pois durante séculos, em algumas regiões houve bastante mistura devido à localização e por causa das constantes migrações.

  2. know how to differentiate some Europeans. Light-eyed blondes are usually from countries of German origin, such as Germany, Sweden, Holland. Brown hair and eyes and a thicker body are from Latin countries like Italy and Spain. Slavs like Russians and Poles generally have light hair and eyes, but shorter than the Germans. Of course not é a rule, because for centuries, in some regions there was a lot of mixing due to à location and because of the constant migrations.

  3. Realmente é muito chato confundir uma nacionalidade, acho que as pessoas devem ser educadas há se referir a uma pessoa que não sabe de pais ela é, afinal, não é errado vc não saber de onde uma determinada pessoa ė, respeite, e se comentar alguma gafe, tenha a educação em pedir desculpas, eu particularmente acho lindo os orientais sejam Correndo, Japones, Chineses. Um abraço a todos

  4. Really é very annoying to confuse a nationality, I think people should be educated há to refer to a person who doesn't know about his/her parents, he/she is, after all, not it's wrong that you don't know where a certain person is from, respect it, and if you comment on any gaffe, have the education to apologize, I particularly think it's beautiful for the eastern people to be Running, Japanese, Chinese. A hug to all

  5. primeiro: isso é pura questão de gosto,segundo: vc n teve sorte de encontrar chineses bonitos(as)–>Isso mostra o quão pouco é o seu conhecimento sobre a Asia Por fim, o seu comentário parece meio provocante né?achei muita falta de respeito comentar sobre aparência de uma nação, sendo que vc nem conhece direito. Achou que não existe chines nessa pagina que está interessada em aprender japonês?? pisa menos né cara??

  6. pse, chineses n sabem pronunciar corretamente R (flango?) porque na língua chinesa n tem palavra/silaba com R, então ha uma certa dificuldade no momento de pronunciar
    OBS: espero que as pessoas em vez de rirem deles, tentarem ensinar a pronuncia correta(n to falando do texto, isso foi um simples comentário, porque hoje tah difícil)

  7. primeiro: isso é pura questão de gosto,segundo: vc n teve sorte de encontrar chineses bonitos(as)–>Isso mostra o quão pouco é o seu conhecimento sobre a Asia Por fim, o seu comentário parece meio provocante né?achei muita falta de respeito comentar sobre aparência de uma nação, sendo que vc nem conhece direito. Achou que não existe chines nessa pagina que está interessada em aprender japonês?? pisa menos né cara??

  8. pse, Chinese do not know how to pronounce R (flango?) correctly because in the Chinese language there is no word/syllable with R, so there is a certain difficulty when pronouncing it
    OBS: I hope that people instead of laughing at them, try to teach the correct pronunciation (I'm not talking about the text, this was a simple comment, because today is difficult)

  9. Eu “caí” aqui devido a um site informar que é ofensivo perguntar como um asiático sabe qual é qual etnia.
    Sinceramente, depois desta explicação, acredito que esta pergunta não pode ser considerada ofensiva ou racista. É, sim, para um brasileiro comum, muito difícil perceber as diferenças entre coreano, chinês e japonês.

    • Verdade, chega a ser perigoso fazer esse erro. Kkkk
      Melhor ficar informado do que desinformado. Pode ser que precise no futuro dessa informação.

  10. “caí” here due to a website reporting that é offensive to ask how an Asian knows which é what ethnicity.
    Sincerely, after this explanation, I believe that this question cannot be considered offensive or racist. Yes, for an average Brazilian, it is very difficult to understand the differences between Korean, Chinese and Japanese.

    • Verdade, chega a ser perigoso fazer esse erro. Kkkk
      Better to be informed than uninformed. You may need this information in the future.

  11. Bem, e mais ou menos isso, a china e um país grande então tem uma diferença entre cada parte de la, alem de que se ver um japones do sul e um pouco diferente cimparada ao norte, mas muitas coisas que esta ai ajudam muito a saber