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How to install the Japanese input system?

First, let's learn how to install the Japanese input system in your computer. If you are using Microsoft Windows XP or above, the system has already been installed. You just need to "wake it up". Previous Windows versions may demand you to install from a CD.

Step ONE

Right click the language icon.

Step TWO

A menu will appear. The selection at the bottom is "Settings". Click it.

Step THREE

A new window appears. Click the button "Add..."

If you can see "JP" in the middle of the new window, then the Japanese input system has already been installed. You can skip Steps 4~6.

Step FOUR

Another new window appears. There are two drop-down menus. From the upper one, choose your target language "Japanese". From the lower one, choose the most up-to-date version of "IME".

Step FIVE

If you do all steps correctly, "JP" should appear in the previous window, which means Japanese input system has been installed.

Step SIX

Go back to the language icon. Left click. And you will see that the "JP" icon has been added. You can click it to activate the Japanese input system.

How to use?


By default, the letter "A" is shown next to the "JP" icon. It means that although the Japanese input system is selected, you can only type English now.


Press and hold the "Ctrl" key and then press "Caps Lock". The letter "A" will be changed to Hiragana "あ". It means that you can input Hiragana now.


Press and hold the "Alt" kry and then press "Caps Lock". It will then be changed to Katakana "カ". You can input Katakana now.


You can also press the "A, あ or カ" icon directly. A menu will appear to let you choose from a list of different input methods.


Press the "般" icon to select the bias for Kanji conversion. If you don't know what it means, choose "General".

How to type Japanese?

Inputting Japanese is in fact very similar to inputting English. All you need to do is input the Romaji transcription of each Hiragana and Katakana character. For example, if you want to input the Hiragana ま(ma), you need to first select "JP" as your input method, change the "A" icon to "あ" and type "ma". The computer will convert "ma" into "ま" automatically.

You may use the following table to learn how to type Kana characters.

  あ行 か行 さ行 た行 な行 は行 ま行 や行 ら行 わ行  
あ段 あアa かカ
ka
さサ
sa
たタ
ta
なナ
na
はハ
ha
まマ
ma
やヤ
ya
らラ
ra
わワ
wa
んン
nn
い段 いイ
i
きキ
ki
しシ
si/shi
ちチ
ti/chi
にニ
ni
ひヒ
hi
みミ
mi
  りリ
ri
   
う段 うウ
u
くク
ku
すス
su
つツ
tu/tsu
ぬヌ
nu
ふフ
hu/fu
むム
mu
ゆユ
yu
るル
ru
   
え段 えエ
e
けケ
ke
せセ
se
てテ
te
ねネ
ne
へヘ
he
めメ
me
  れレ
re
   
お段 おオ
o
こコ
ko
そソ
so
とト
to
のノ
no
ほホ
ho
もモ
mo
よヨ
yo
ろロ
ro
をヲ
wo
 
    がガ
ga
ざザ
za
だダ
da
  ばバ
ba
ぱパ
pa
       
    ぎギ
gi
じジ
zi/ji
ぢヂ
di
  びビ
bi
ぴピ
pi
       
    ぐグ
gu
ずズ
zu
づヅ
du
  ぶブ
bu
ぷプ
pu
       
    げゲ
ge
ぜゼ
ze
でデ
de
  べベ
be
ぺペ
pe
       
    ごゴ
go
ぞゾ
zo
どド
do
  ぼボ
bo
ぽポ
po
       
    きゃ
キャ
kya
しゃ
シャ
sha
ちゃ
チャ
cha
にゃ
ニャ
nya
ひゃ
ヒャ
hya
みゃ
ミャ
mya
  りゃ
リャ
rya
   
    きゅ
キュ
kyu
しゅ
シュ
shu
ちゅ
チュ
chu
にゅ
ニュ
nyu
ひゅ
ヒュ
hyu
みゅ
ミュ
myu
  りゅ
リュ
ryu
   
    きょ
キョ
kyo
しょ
ショ
sho
ちょ
チョ
cho
にょ
ニョ
nyo
ひょ
ヒョ
hyo
みょ
ミョ
myo
  りょ
リョ
ryo
   
    ぎゃ
ギャ
gya
じゃ
ジャ
ja
ぢゃ
ヂャ
dya
  びゃ
ビャ
bya
ぴゃ
ピャ
pya
       
    ぎゅ
ギュ
gyu
じゅ
ジュ
ju
ぢゅ
ヂュ
dyu
  びゅ
ビュ
byu
ぴゅ
ピュ
pyu
       
    ぎょ
ギョ
gyo
じょ
ジョ
jo
ぢょ
ヂョ
dyo
  びょ
ビョ
byo
ぴょ
ピョ
pyo
       

How to type Kanji?

When you are typing in Hiragana or Katakana, you may notice that there is a line below the word you are inputting. This line indicates that your input is not complete yet. You need to press "Enter" to confirm that your input of a Kana, a phrase or even a sentence is finished.

But before pressing "Enter", you can press the "Space" bar to convert the Hiragana or Katakana you have typed into Kanji. For instance, after typing "ai", the Hiragana characters "あい" appear. You can press "Enter" now to confirm that "あい" is what you intend to input. Or, you can press the "Space" bar to select from a list of Kanji characters, e.g. 藍, 愛, 会い, 亜衣, etc.

So if you don't know how to pronounce a Kanji, it is very difficult for you to input it in Japanese.

How to type Sokuon?

You can type Sokuon (small っ) by inputting "LTU". Or, you can just simply repeat the letter after Sokuon.

For instance, さき is "saki". If you want to type さっき, all you need to do is repeat the letter after Sokuon ("k" in this case) and type "sakki".

To input other small Kana such as ぁぃぅヵ, just type "L" before inputting the Kana.

Using the Japanese input method to type symbols

The "Space" bar does not only let you convert Kana into Kanji, but sometimes also let you change the Kana into symbols. For instance, if you type "hosi" (or "hoshi"), the computer will change it to "ほし". If you now press the "Space" bar, besides the Kanji 星(which means "star"), you can also choose two star symbols, namely ★ and ☆.

Here is a list of the symbols you can "type":

Romaji Kana Kanji Symbols
ongaku おんがく 音楽 ♪♭♯
kurobosi くろぼし 黒星
sirobosi しろぼし 白星
maru まる
batu ばつ -- ×
sessi/do せっし/ど 摂氏/度
yajirusi やじるし 矢印
osu おす
mesu めす
yuubinn ゆうびん 郵便
futougou ふとうごう 不等号
sankaku さんかく 三角
denwa でんわ 電話
waru わる 割る ÷
pondo ポンド --
heihoume-toru へいほうめーとる 平方メートル
rippoume-toru りっぽうめーとる 立方メートル
hisi ひし
omega おめが -- Ω
mugenn むげん 無限
nazenaraba なぜならば 何故ならば
yueni ゆえに 故に
kaku かく ∠⊥∟
sekibunn せきぶん 積分

Or, you can type "kigou" (きごう/記号), which means "symbol" in Japanese, and choose from a long list of symbols.

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