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Japanese Keyboard?

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Japanese Keyboard?

Postby Flik » Tue 12.02.2008 12:41 am

Since I'm reaching the point where I can read and write in hiragana, I've been thinking about getting a Japanese keyboard. I tried the Japanese IME program, but I find it to be slow and awkward. If I bought a Japanese keyboard, would it be compatible with my American-bought computer? Is there anything special I'd have to do, or would it hook up and work like any other?
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby Kenitai » Tue 12.02.2008 12:45 am

I suppose you used the 2-tick kana settings? (where you tick n & a for na?) That can be slow in the end, compared to the real Japanese keyboard setting.
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby keatonatron » Tue 12.02.2008 12:57 am

I think buying a Japanese keyboard is kind of a waste of money.

Hardly any Japanese people even know how to type without using the romaji input method.

But if you really want to try the old-fashioned, unless-you're-a-60-year-old-woman-you-don't-use-it method, you can choose that option with the IME: just click the little "kana" button that's under the button that says "caps" on the IME. Of course you won't have the letters painted on your keyboard, but you could look at a picture online until you get used to it.

Image

Of course I'm not sure which would be more efficient in the end: using the romaji method like Kenitai explained, or learning to type with a whole new layout.
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby becki_kanou » Tue 12.02.2008 1:00 am

I agree with keatonatron. I've never met anyone NSoJ or NNSoJ who used the Japanese input system over romaji. I think it would be much harder to remember a whole new keyboard layout, and you'd still have to henkan it afterwards anyway.
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 12.02.2008 1:45 am

becki_kanou wrote:I agree with keatonatron. I've never met anyone NSoJ or NNSoJ who used the Japanese input system over romaji. I think it would be much harder to remember a whole new keyboard layout, and you'd still have to henkan it afterwards anyway.


... There are two people in my office that can only type using the Japanese input system ...
They are also the only two people I have ever met who use that system.
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby Kenitai » Tue 12.02.2008 1:55 am

There are also kana stickers to put onto each key on the keyboard. :lol: and they're cheap. (found out on Amazon recently haha). cheaper than a Japanese keyboard I'd say.
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby Infidel » Tue 12.02.2008 2:00 am

I use kana input. Mainly because I use Dvorak keyboard layout due to carpal tunnel so, since the roumaji input method is based off qwerty, I found it easier to memorize the kana keys layout than memorize two different roumaji layouts. Learning two different layouts only took about a week to touch type. I just kept a picture of the layout handy and refered to it at need. After that, my speed only slowly improves as I don't deliberately do exercises to speed up my typing.

My only problems with kana is some keys on roumaji don't work, like the tilde ~ = ろ in kana, so I can't do that extra large tilde most people do. at least, not resorting to henkan, and I can never remember the command.

Of course people must freak out a little when I use other people's computers. I've this reputation for being "good with computers." so they ask why I "hunt and peck" when I type. The answer is, I can't touch-type qwerty any more.
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby nukemarine » Tue 12.02.2008 8:14 pm

Infidel,

It's a hack (ie, you're messing with your registry), but if you're using Windows, you can change your IME to use Dvorak instead of Qwerty as your input layout.

[From Pazustep on Reviewing the Kanji forum]

1. Open regedit
2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layouts\E0010411
3. This should be the Japanese IME keyboard layout entry in the registry. Confirm this key has a value "Layout Text" set to "Japanese MS-IME 2002" or something like that.
4. Change the "Layout File" value to "KBDDV.DLL"
5. Reboot

Edit: In Windows Vista, the E0010411 key doesn't exist. Instead, you should navigate to a key in the same path, but ending in 00000411. This is the "Japanese" keyboard layout entry.

Edit 2: This same trick may be used for layouts other than Dvorak. You just need to figure out the DLL for the layout you want to use, and replace the "Layout File" value in and E0010411 (for Windows XP) or 00000411 (for Windos Vista) with it. For example, use KBDSW.DLL for a Swedish keyboard layout, or COLEMAK.DLL for the Colemak layout. Read the rest of this thread for details.

[end quote]
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby Infidel » Tue 12.02.2008 9:53 pm

testてすとー‘~~~おhhっやっとしまいました
面白い。

Thanks for reminding me nuke. I've been told about that before but never bothered, but it seems to work fine. Once i get used to it, I might even prefer it. :)
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby furrykef » Wed 12.03.2008 7:30 pm

Flik wrote:Since I'm reaching the point where I can read and write in hiragana, I've been thinking about getting a Japanese keyboard. I tried the Japanese IME program, but I find it to be slow and awkward.


Be warned that a Japanese keyboard will slow down your typing in English slightly even after you get used to it. You have to hold Shift to get an apostrophe, for instance. There are also some things that are difficult to type in kana mode as well, like full-width exclamation points and question marks. It's easier to get half-width ones, but you should be using full-width ones if you're writing full-width text, and virtually all typed Japanese text is full-width.

I think kana mode is a superior way to type, but the particular layout they've chosen isn't that good for it because of that punctuation problem and such. They have the right idea but the wrong execution... and don't care to fix it because nobody uses that layout. As it is now, well, either way will do fine because they're both a bit deficient. ;)

I think kana mode does have an elegant advantage for foreigners that romaji mode does not: it encourages you to think in kana instead of romaji.

Flik wrote:If I bought a Japanese keyboard, would it be compatible with my American-bought computer?


Yep.

Flik wrote:Is there anything special I'd have to do, or would it hook up and work like any other?


You'll probably have to fiddle with the drivers unless you're using the Japanese version of Windows. It's not hard, you just have to follow instructions. I'll post the instructions if you ask for them.

The main thing I like about a Japanese keyboard over a standard US keyboard is the extra keys that make it easy to switch among the various modes. On a US keyboard, it's rather cumbersome because you have to use mouse (major "ugh") or awkward key combinations like Ctrl+Alt+CapsLock.

Incidentally, one last problem you may have with Japanese keyboards: some games and such may expect you to be using a US keyboard. I had problems with both DosBox and ZSNES, myself.

On the whole, I don't think a Japanese keyboard is quite worth the trouble or the money, but it's still not all that bad.

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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby Breyyne » Mon 12.22.2008 4:43 pm

I have a Japanese keyboard as well. And once you get used to the different placement of certain characters, Namely ' and @, It is quite easy to use. Plus I am not big on wireless keyboards and mice so the 3m cord comes in handy at times. :P
I used the romanji input when typing Japanese, but to have that ability in a keystroke is useful when typing at speed. Also the keyboard is useful when I am in a game that doesn't give me the option to pull up the IMEpad, such as Spore. I have taken to double naming my creatures and creations, English and Katakana for the creatures and English and Kanji for creations.
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby 00 » Thu 02.05.2009 4:02 am

furrykef wrote:You'll probably have to fiddle with the drivers unless you're using the Japanese version of Windows. It's not hard, you just have to follow instructions. I'll post the instructions if you ask for them.


Instructions please. I know you're not tech support or nothing, but I have an imported Japanese Elecom TK-U12FYALBK S/N080741745B Japanese keyboard, compatible with my American Microsoft Windows XP Professional computer, but it's foreign keys aren't working. You wouldn't help me by any chance, would you?

Image
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby furrykef » Thu 02.05.2009 9:13 am

I'm extremely busy right now (I'm working on a video game and it's less than two weeks before we give it to the publisher @.@;;), so I can't give very detailed/specific steps right now, but this page should have what you need to know.

Note that the instructions apply even if you have a USB keyboard (as I did). I remember that confused me, since it's a PS/2 keyboard driver.

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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby 00 » Fri 02.06.2009 10:28 pm

Thank you, Kef. I have a USB keyboard too but my current driver is 'HID Keyboard Device' which is the only one that shows up under the manufacturer '(Standard Keyboards)' so being the "Stand 101/102-Key Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard"' option isn't there I cannot select it.

Image

So I looked under Microsoft and picked 'Microsoft USB Office Keyboard (106/109)' and it seems to work okay. Although, I still have to use the IME bar and I was, correct me if I'm wrong, under the impression that real authentic Japanese don't use that so I didn't want to either and only wanted to use the keyboard and with that wanted an as real and authentic Japanese setup as possible.
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Re: Japanese Keyboard?

Postby Sairana » Sat 02.07.2009 12:36 am

00 wrote:I was, correct me if I'm wrong, under the impression that real authentic Japanese don't use that so I didn't want to either and only wanted to use the keyboard and with that wanted an as real and authentic Japanese setup as possible.


Real authentic Japanese, eh? Sounds like an elite brand name.

In any case, from what i understand, most Japanese use romaji input. Typing in kana could be faster, I suppose, but not by much. From the second post in this thread:
keatonatron wrote:I think buying a Japanese keyboard is kind of a waste of money.

Hardly any Japanese people even know how to type without using the romaji input method.

But if you really want to try the old-fashioned, unless-you're-a-60-year-old-woman-you-don't-use-it method,[snip]


You won't be able to use your Japanese keyboard natively unless you are using a Japanese OS. I think the only real benefit to having a Japanese keyboard is the henkan key anyway, which just does almost the same thing as the space bar in the IME, I think.
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