Tuesday, April 3

Online Japanese typing program!

So, up until today I have been typing Japanese in romaji. It has been very frustrating trying to fit into any Japanese community using only Jisho.org to translate my romaji to kanji, hiragana and katakana.When I could use a computer in Japan, it was sheer bliss (but only as far as my Japanese skills would take me). But then returning to my apartment in Japan, and my simple English computer, I had to slave over single word translations with a dictionary just to use the Japanese alphabets.

Let me give you an example. Let's play guess who the foreigner is. (Don't cheat and look at the names!)

If you guessed I was Naoto, you were close. Incorrect, however. The point is, I stand out more than I want to. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if I had the tools, I'd rather make it easier for the other Japanese members to understand me--especially if I can understand most of their conversation and want to add my own input.

So, yes, there are options. One of which is to alter your Region and Language settings in your Control Panel (Windows). It's actually quite easy.

But if you don't want a language toolbar lurking somewhere in the background, or you don't want to go through the hassle, this might not be the best choice. I just found out about Google Transliteration which apparently first appeared on Blogger. In 2009, Google offered an offline version. But the online version I present to you is easy, especially if you're just trying to talk with friends from a public computer.

 It's pretty easy, works just like the Japanese computer input and all it takes is a page load. You can mess with the font, colors, justification and all other sorts of Blogger formatting that I'm staring at now writing this.

There are, of course, two drawbacks. One is that the dictionary and translation tool, which works for English and some other languages, seems to be absent for Japanese. Also, there seems to be a bug that every now and then stops your first letter from being transliterated.

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