Just the FAQs
Questions about TheJapanesePage.com
How do you get the avatar picture to appear under your username?
You can upload an avatar on your Edit Profile page.
The avatar has to be 100x100 or smaller, and in either a format of .jpg, .gif or .png. If its not that small or the wrong format, then you can stick it in paint and adjust it that way. It should also be 20kb or smaller, this may be a problem with animated gifs.
If your image does not fit the regulation size, it will appear as a broken image. If you are having trouble with the image and one of the dimensions is 100px, try changing it to 99px. Also be sure that its file type is the same as given in the file name (renaming .art to .gif does not make an AOL picture into a .gif one).
How do I make a signature with a picture?
First of all you have to have a picture that fits the space allowed (100x400 pixels).
When you have a picture you want to use in your signature you have to upload it to an image hosting site. There are many free sites on the internet where you can upload and host your image. For instance: http://imageshack.us
When you’re done uploading your picture you get a link. As an example:
or something like that.
Edit your signature on your Edit Profile page, add the following code (using your link of course):
Remember that sig. graphics on the forum are limited to 100 pixels in height and 400 pixels in length. If you upload a larger image, you will quickly get messages asking you to alter or remove it.
What is the Shoutbox for?
Read about the Shoutbox here.
What are the Forum rules?
Questions about using Japanese on my computer
Setting up a Mac OS X for Japanese
Japanese is built-in, and already loaded. You just have to activate it.
Navigate to [apple logo] -> System Preferences -> International -> Language
If you don't see "日本語" listed under the "Language" tab, click the "Edit List..." button. Scroll through the list and check the box next to "日本語".
Next, click the "Input Menu" tab. Scroll through the list and make sure the box for "あ Kotoeri" is checked. Also, at the bottom, there is an optional box "Show input menu in menu bar" that you can check to see the currently running input method next to your clock.
This only applies to OS X. For the steps on OS 9, please refer to Nihongoweb's Instructions.
Setting up Windows XP for Japanese
Navigate to Start -> Control Panel -> Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options -> Regional and Language Options -> Languages Tab
Check "Install files for East Asian languages" -> Details -> Add
Select "Japanese" from the drop down list and press OK
Click Language bar. Check "Show language bar on desktop". Click [EN] (English) and change it to [JP] (Japanese). Click "Input Mode" and change it from A (Direct Input) to あ (Hiragana) or ア (Katakana).
A good guide about setting up language and using the language bar is here http://greggman.com/japan/xp-ime/xp-ime.htm
Using a Japanese Keyboard
Some instructions for Windows users: http://www.kurnspatrick.com/Support/keyboardmapping.htm
Does anybody have Mac/Linux instructions?
How do you type ゐ ゑ ヰ ヱ?
It depends on your IME.
|IME||Type This||Get This||Anthy||xwi||ゐ||Anthy||xwe||ゑ||use F7 to get katakana versions||MS IME*||wi||ゐ||MS IME||we||ゑ|
- Note that with MS IME you must henkan (type space) after entering we / wi to get desired character.
ARRGH! I just can't enter Japanese.
If, for whatever reason, you can't install an IME then there is ...
- Online IME. This is great!
- romaji conversion
- JWPce a free downloadable Japanese text wordprocessor
- Wakan: another free downloadable Japanese text wordprocessor with a nice example sentences package
"How do I say or write '....' in Japanese?" questions
You can try the wiki page How do I say "...." in Japanese?.
You can also try a dictionary.
These kinds of questions are very common. If you can't find an answer on the linked pages, do a forum search and you might well find the answer.
Questions about learning Japanese
Where can I learn Japanese?
Can somebody teach me Japanese?
Nobody is going to do everything for you for free. Post sensible specific questions in the forums and people will probably answer them. Practice writing Japanese in the forums and people will probably correct it. Don't forget the option of textbooks (see Selecting a Japanese Textbook) and taking classes.
What should I study first?
Hiragana first. It is the absolute basic thing to learn. It's easy enough to understand and utilise within a week or so and it goes very far to help you understand Japanese. Katakana is usually the next step. Katakana phonetically spell out foreign words in Japanese. Both syllabaries have the same sounds, but different characters. After that, learning is much easier.
Do I really have to learn Kanji?
If you want to be able to read and write passably in Japanese, yes. Kanji aren't difficult, but learning them is time consuming. They also help to make the spoken language easier to understand because it clarifies how words share the same roots in the Japanese mind.
Learn to love them early on and it will make your learning swifter and far more pleasant.
What about Manga and Anime?
Where can I find some audio files of Japanese?
- Japanese Pod 101 has daily podcasts with Japanese lessons.
- Japancast has weekly lesson podcasts, and links to humorous video clips.
- NHK has weekly lesson broadcasts in a number of languages, which are archived on their website.
Why are some words written in a combination of kanji and hiragana? Why not in all kanji or all hiragana?
Originally, Japanese was written in all kanji, but Japanese, unlike Chinese, is a highly inflected language, and inevitably certain kanji started to be used purely for phonetic value to represent the verb and adjective inflections and the particles. Eventually, these became simplified in a couple of different ways, resulting in the katakana and hiragana syllabaries.
In childrens' books, Japanese is written in all hiragana, but the use of kanji makes words easier to distinguish, especially for foreign language learners with small vocabularies.
How to know when to use kanji and when to use hiragana? A mixture of experience and esthetics. Many words that can be written in kanji are usually written in kana in modern Japanese. Also, Japanese try to maintain a balance between kanji and kana for esthetic reasons.
What's the difference between on and kun readings, and how do I know when to use them?
On readings are the way the Japanese heard the kanji pronounced when they borrowed them from Chinese. They are usually used in compounds and suru verbs.
Kun readings are native Japanese words to which the kanji have been applied according to the meaning of the kanji. The are usually used in stand-alone kanji or in conjugated words (-i adjectives and verbs.)
Since there are often two or three on and kun readings, and sometimes up to a dozen kun readings for a kanji, the only way to be sure how to read a word containing a kanji is to learn the word and the reading it uses.
Questions about TheJapanesePage members
Is anyone here Japanese?
The short answer is yes. The more complex answer depends on the reason for asking this question. In general, unless studying very advanced Japanese, there are plenty of non-Japanese members that can answer any question accurately. The native Japanese usually only step in to answer if one of the other members answers incorrectly. Just remember that asking specifically for a Japanese person to answer a queston is usually considered rude and can alienate other members.
If a Japanese person is needed to fill out some kind of survey, then these requests are more tolerated. Follow standard survey practices, otherwise some who might be willing to take the survey may lose interest.
If on the other hand you are looking for a penpal it is better to use one of the standard pen pal connection venues. These are some links to sites some members have used.
- Japan Guide
- The Penpals Network
- Penpal Net
- My Language Exchange
- Polyglot Learn Language
- World Friend
A few notes about penpals:
- Don't trick a penpal into thinking you have a higher level of Japanese ability than you do. In other words, don't post to the forum asking for entire e-mails to be translated (either way). Stay within your level of Japanese -- if your Japanese is almost nonexistent, then get a penpal who knows English.
- Don't post the penpal's private e-mails to you onto TJP unless you have gotten your penpal's permission to do so.
What are these people talking about?
Over the years, a few threads and posters have become legendary and the subject of various in-jokes that act as shibboleths. Unlike normal shibboleths they are not meant to exclude, but they do confuse people from time-to-time.
Questions about Japanese culture
Tattoos and Japan
Recommended reading material
Some of your questions have already been discussed on the forums. Please check these threads.