Set up Japanese Input on Your Computer

Windows XP

You may need your original Windows XP Install CD to add Japanese support.

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Select Regional and Language Options. (If you don't see this choice, click Switch to Classic View on the left sidebar.)
  3. Select the language tab and check Install Fonts for East Asian Languages.
  4. Insert the XP Install CD if prompted.
  5. Click the Details button.
  6. Click Add and select Japanese.
  7. Click OK.

Mac OS X

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Select International.
  3. Select the Input Menu tab.
  4. Check Kotoeri, Hiragana, Katakana, and Romaji.
  5. You may want to check "Show input method in menu bar."

Additional note: while you can generally switch between input languages on the Mac using APPLE+SPACE, some versions (10.4) assign Spotlight this key combination instead. To disable the Spotlight key combo on 10.4, open System Preferences, select Spotlight, and uncheck both boxes listing keyboard shortcuts at the bottom.

The Basics

  • To input あ, type "a".
  • To input は, type "ha".
  • To input を, type "wo".
  • To input ん, type "nn".
  • To input きゃ type "kya".
  • To input ちょ type "cho".
  • To input small っ, type the following consonant twice (for きって type "kitte").
  • To input small ぁ, type "xa".
  • To input ・(てん) , type "tenn", hit SPACE, select ・ and confirm.
  • For 「 or 」(かっこ), type "kakko" in Hiragana mode, hit SPACE, select 「 or 」 and confirm.

from an old handout my Japanese teacher made.

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