How to Type in Japanese on the Computer (Windows & Mac)

Practicing handwriting in Japanese is essential to memorizing kanji and learning the proper stroke order. But you will find that most of your written communication in Japanese (as is the case with English) is done electronically. In the process of learning Japanese, it is important that you learn both handwriting and typing in that language, here’s how to type Japanese on a computer.(For a full list of our articles on technology and Japanese, click here!)

How to install Japanese on your computer


If you use Windows:

I base these instructions on my own experience with Windows 10. If any part of the tutorial doesn’t work for you, feel free to leave us a comment and we’ll try to help!

  • Open start menu and then click Setting.
  • In Settings, click Time & Language. When you’re in Time & Language, there’s a tab on the left that says Regional language.
  • Click on it, and then click on plusAdd a language“Below button”LanguageTitle “.
  • Additional possible languages ​​are listed alphabetically and Japanese will most likely be under the letter J. But if you don’t see it there, you can also check under N for Nihongo. You can also check the end of the list for other languages ​​with non-Roman names, in which case Japanese might be listed as 日本語.
  • Simply click Japanese (or Nihongo, or 日本語, as the case may be) to add it. If Japanese was the first language you added to your computer, language bar The language bar will probably appear on your taskbar near the clock and volume buttons. But it may appear elsewhere on your screen, especially if you have an older version of Windows. If you already have a language bar, Japanese will be an option when you click it.

    If you use a Mac:

    I based these guidelines on my own experience with a recent version of macOS. If any part of the tutorial doesn’t work for you, feel free to leave us a comment and we’ll try to help!

  • Open Apple menu and then click System Preferences.
  • In System Preferences, click Language & Text.
  • When you are in Language & Text, click Input Source Buttonand you will see a list of languages ​​that can be added. Japanese will likely be listed under K for Kotoeri (Kotoeri (言 選 り) is the name of the input method. The literal meaning of Kotoeri is “choose from.” It could also be listed under J for Japanese, N. for Nihongo or at the bottom of the list for other languages ​​with non-Roman names; in that case, it may be listed as 日本語.
  • Check the box next to Kotoeri / Japaneseand make sure the Kotoeri hiragana, katakana and Romaji sub-boxes are also checked. Before closing the Input Sources window, make sure that you check the box next to “show input menu in menu bar”.
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    If Japanese was the first language you added to your Mac, An American flag icon will appear in your menu bar near your volume buttons and clock. Read more: how to wrap shoebox and lid separately

    If you use Windows:

    If your computer’s default language is English, your language bar will read ENG most of the time. To type Japanese, click on the bar and select Japanese. Then an additional button will appear simply the letter “A.” Capitalization. Click A to change toIt is done! If you clicked to change the button to あ but English letters are generated and not hiragana as you type, right click on あ and make sure you select “hiragana”.

    If you use a Mac:

    Hover over the American flag icon on your menu bar and a small menu will appear. Choose hiragana from menuand that’s it!

    Additional Notes and Instructions (Windows & Mac):

    first) While typing hiragana on Mac or PC, you can use the spacebar to create kanji and katakana. You can press the spacebar after each word or at the end of each sentence, which sounds a bit annoying at first but will save you time in the long run. If you press space at the end of a sentence, the computer will try to guess which hiragana to convert to kanji/katakana and which kanji to convert to kanji/katakana. It’s true a lot of the time, but not always. Press the spacebar after a single word allows you to scroll through every possible kanji/kana option for that word. This is the only way to yield rare kanji.For example, typing “au” might bring up the common kanji 会 う, but if I wanted the rarer version 逢 う I would need to press the space several times. Once you’ve shown the kanji/kana you want, hold them down by pressing enter (or just keep typing). 2) You may need to spell and in a way you’re not used to to make them appear. Depending on the Romanization alphabet you use, you can write these letters as dzu, zu, or du and di or ji, respectively. But on your computer, you may need to enter them as “du” and “go. ” Also, to enter the character ん n, you will need to type “n” twice.Read more: how to keep cats out of kennels 3) Spelling is always important, but misspelling when typing Japanese will result in incorrect display of kanji For example, enter き ん え ん as “no smoking”, but き ね ん as “anniversary”. In Romaji, these words are all “kinen”, but when typing in hiragana, you have to type “kinnenn” and “kinenn” respectively. Some Japanese learning resources do not clearly and/or correctly display long vowels (such as the う in (“high school”) – this is sometimes referred to as “koko”, “kookoo” or “kōkō” by Romaji, but if you want the correct kanji to appear, you must enter “koukou“). If you’re typing a word and the kanji you’re looking for doesn’t appear, one thing to check is that your vowels are correct. 4) When you change your computer’s settings to allow multiple languages ​​input, programs and web browsers will start to remember the language you are currently using in them (although they don’t always remember exactly). For example, if you’re typing in Japanese in Outlook, then open Notepad and start typing, your keyboard may automatically switch to English. If you click back to Outlook, it may switch back to Japanese. Then if you click on the web browser with Google that you typed in Japanese an hour or two ago, your keyboard can remember that you are using Google in Japanese and keep the Japanese language. Or it may forget and switch to English on its own. Switching back and forth between languages ​​is easy and so either way it’s not a big deal but it can cause nasty typos. 5) A few keys (though not many) change their purpose as you type in Japanese. For example, to enter Japanese quotation marks「」, use the bracket keys [ ]. 6) Quite a few Japanese words have notation options as well as kanji/kana . options. For example, if you type ほ し hoshi (asterisk) and press the spacebar once, it will probably display the kanji 星. Then, if you keep pressing the spacebar, you’ll ignore that kanji and can instead choose ☆ 彡 or ★ (or another kanji). Words with symbol options will surprise you! (Try typing お ん せ ん onsen (hot spring) or フ ラ イ furaipan (fried pan)). That’s everything now about typing Japanese on computer. If you are also looking to set up your smartphone to type in Japanese, Click here for our article on that topic! There are aspects of Japanese typing that we don’t have time to cover in this article, so if you have any questions, leave us a comment. And, if any of the instructions above don’t work on your computer, don’t hesitate to comment or message us and we’ll help you out! Read more: How to make adderall more effective

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