Many must have already wondered what the computer keyboard used by the Japanese looks like. This is because in Japan writing does not have letters as we commonly know. Before understanding the keyboard, it is important to know the script used by them, which are logographic kanji (symbols that represent whole words) and syllabic kana (a pair of syllabaries, the hiragana).
There are at least 50 thousand kanjis alone, most of them in disuse. And according to the Japanese government, elementary school students must have knowledge of at least 1,026 symbols while in high school should reach the mark of 2,136.
So if a keyboard were to be used the kanji system it would have to be considerably big to fit so many symbols! And these logograms are not even able to give an idea of how the words are pronounced.
The hiragana and the katakana are used with the syllabary function so that each symbol represents a letter to facilitate writing, each of them has 43 characters. This idea is the same one used for Japanese keyboards.
With the shift, alt and other auxiliary keys it is possible to trigger rarer syllables. And as it is written in hiragram, there are corresponding kanji options to use. There are language-specific keys. For example, in Brazil there is ” w ” and in countries like Spain it has ” no ”.
Japanese keyboard accent in 10 steps
For those who use the Japanese keyboard, it may be difficult to place accents on words, this is because the keyboard driver generally does not support dead keys in order to combine two keys to generate the accented character on Windows operating systems.
The site https://olmarcelo.wordpress.com/acentuacao/ brings the step by step to be able to accentuate with the Japanese keyboard in an uncomplicated way. Let's see:
1 – You must download the driver, and then the ”Google Docs” page that will open in another window, press Control-S or File-Dowload to get the files in .zip format;
2- The installation files must be unzipped and then put to run Setup Setup. This process is to install the Japanese keyboard already with accent support;
3- The next step is to restart the system;
4 – Configure the default keyboard;
5 – Keeping the Windows key (between left Ctrl and Alt) pressed, type R; Type “osk”, without quotes and press Enter;
6 – Type “osk”, without quotes and press Enter;
7 – Configure the default keyboard: Open the control panel (Start – Control Panel); or run “control intl.cpl” then open “Regional and Language Options”;
8 – Click on the Languages tab and then click on the Details button;
9 – In the window “Text Services and Input Languages”, in the section “Standard input language” select “Portuguese (Brazil) – Japanese dead keys“.
10 – Then delete any other keyboard that is inside the “PT Português Brasil” key.
virtual japanese keyboard
For those who live outside Japan and are learning the language, it is essential to be as familiar with writing as possible. One way to do this is by having the virtual keyboard for mobile or computer to write in hiragana and katakana format.
The keyboard is available on the website: https://www.lexilogos.com/keyboard/ and makes it possible to write in any language (even those that do not have letters) through the windows keyboard itself. It already has more than 90 languages available.
But to find the kanji just type in the search of the site itself: ROMAJI and click on ENTER. Then, several radicals will appear and just select the kanji you are looking for. However, you can simply configure your computer or cell phone to write in Japanese.
For Android phones: Download the 'Google Japanese Text Input' application from the Play Store, once installed, enable the keyboard in Settings -> Select Input Method -> Keyboard Layout -> QWERTY.
For iPhones and iPads: Go to Settings -> General -> Keyboards -> Add New Keyboard -> Japanese – Romaji -> Done.
For Windows computers: Go to Settings -> Time & Language -> Region & Language -> Add a language -> 日本語 Japanese -> Next -> turn off "Set as my Windows display language", select Handwriting -> Install ->Click the language icon ->Select Microsoft Japanese IME -> Click the letter “A” once and it will change to あ.
For Mac computers: Go to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Input Sources -> + select “Japanese” and “Add” ->Click on the flag next to the date and time at the top of the screen ->Select Hiragana.