The other day, I had problems viewing a document, because it was encoded in ANSI. So I went and changed the system language to Chinese (nothing AppLocale could fix for some reason). When I was done, I switched back to English. Now, all Japanese characters has a Chinese looking font (noticeable especially on the Katakana):


I cleaned the C:\WINDOWS\Fonts folder and re-installed them all directly from the Windows XP disc, but the issue still remains. I also went to the "Regional and Language Options" applet in the Control Panel and disabled/de-selected anything that had to do with Chinese languages, fonts, etc.

Very frustrating. Has anyone ever experienced the same? I've been searching on the net for hours, but I find nothing related to this...

It's very strange how this actually worked. I mean, I did clean out the font folder completely before I re-installed it, so I don't get how the installation didn't fix it. Either way, thanks!

Oh, and sorry I'm unable to properly accept your answer, because I have no longer access to my temporary user. I was running CCleaner and thousands of other different tools to try to fix this.

  • I merged your two temporary accounts for you. For future reference, if you register your account, then you will be able to log in at any time, and will not lose access to your questions.
    – nhinkle
    Jul 12, 2011 at 1:25

2 Answers 2


You sure it isn't Kanji you are looking at? Cause the Japanese language has two written forms. And XP ships with both of them.


Try replacing one of the problem fonts. Unlikely the font itself is corrupt, but this will narrow it down. I'm still trying to narrow down the changes XP makes when switching languages.


  • It has three. Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. The fourth item in the picture, for example, has both Kanji and Hiragana. Either way, the fonts doesn't look like they should. And I've even tried disabling/de-selecting anything besides what's related to English characters in the control panel applet.
    – Nisto
    Jul 11, 2011 at 18:28
  • Odd, I'd check to see if the same thing happens in Internet Explorer. Navigate to a page with Katakana. We can narrow it down. Could be just the font acting up.
    – surfasb
    Jul 11, 2011 at 18:31
  • Well, it does look like it should in both Firefox 5 (my main browser) and Internet Explorer 6. Oh, and by the way, I forgot to mention that I also repaired the installation via the XP installation disc today. It did not help at all. Another strange thing is that, in foobar2000, the fonts there also don't look like they should.
    – Nisto
    Jul 11, 2011 at 20:03
  • I tested out some different fonts for the icon styles (through the properties window for the desktop), and it looks like it's just some fonts (Tahoma, Microsoft Sans Serif, Verdana and more) that now has this Chinese looking style. It looks just like it should with Lucida Sans Unicode...
    – Nisto
    Jul 11, 2011 at 20:28
  • See my edit #1.
    – surfasb
    Jul 11, 2011 at 20:41

China doesn't have any katakana, so saying katakanalooks 'chinese' is nonsense.

Anyway, check your register keys, they are like this on my machine. Maybe yours are changed and haven't reverted.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes


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