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a question on kanji 
8th-Jul-2014 07:07 am
So I'm starting to study kanji (using this book) and I realized that I don't know how I would go about typing those kanji onto my computer when I want to type a message in JP like on twitter or something.

Anyone know how I would do that? I've downloaded some Japanese fonts and have them installed on my computer, and I can get the hiragana, mostly, but I'm at a total loss when it comes to Kanji >___
8th-Jul-2014 12:00 pm (UTC)
I hope you’ll have fun with learning Japanese.

Typing Kanji is pretty simple – let’s take two Kanji it can never hurt to know: 東京or if you know the Hiragana already とうきょう (by the way, all this spells “Tokyo”). I would suggest you try typing とうきょうon your computer; usually you will immediately receive a suggestion of writings – after all, each Kanji can be constructed out of Hiragana, think of Kanji as a quicker, more intuitive way of reading long, Japanese words. Instead of とandうandきandょandう your computer (or phone, or tablet) will offer you a quicker way: Just 東 and京.

Confusingly, if you just take each individual Kanji, then 東 spells out asひがしor “East” while 京 spells out asきょうor “Imperial city”, so literally “the imperial city in the East”. So as you can guess, there are also some intricate rules that are part of reading and interpreting Kanji, but in its most basic form, the above-mentioned explanation applies.

Hope this helps!
10th-Jul-2014 10:15 am (UTC)
Thank you so much ^^ I actually am having fun XD especially since I have people to talk to and practice JP with ^^

And thank you so much!! I tried that, and it works! As soon as I start typing in hiragana, it offers me suggestions :D
8th-Jul-2014 02:25 pm (UTC)
Do you have a Mac or Windows or something else? It's a little different on each one.

On a Mac, you press the spacebar after typing in hiragana, to get the kanji. to get the little katakana/hiragana when they're being weird, you press x and then the letter, so like ティーオドル (Teodor) is "te xi - o do ru" (without the spaces). with the normal mini ones (like the や in きゃ) you can just type it normally though (as straight "kya").

There is another input method which is, instead of in the latin-style (where you hit k+vowel etc), in the japanese-style, but I don't know how to use it lol.

Edited at 2014-07-08 02:29 pm (UTC)
10th-Jul-2014 10:16 am (UTC)
I have Windows ^^

and thank you, I figured it out :D
9th-Jul-2014 01:08 pm (UTC)
^ Just gonna add it's the same on windows. After you type out the word in hiragana, press space bar for a list of kanji suggestions. Type "x" before a vowel to make it small.
10th-Jul-2014 10:17 am (UTC)
Thank you ^^

can I ask what you mean by typing 'x' before a vowel? aren't all the JP hiragana/katakana basically vowel sounds? ^^;
10th-Jul-2014 10:33 am (UTC)
most Japanese sound represented by kana are a combination of a consonant + vowel (ka, ke, ki, etc) or more (kya, kyo). The vowels alone kana: a/i/u/e/o あ/い/う/え/お sometimes become small like this-> ぁぃぅぇぉ

In order to make them small you must type an x first, then hit spacebar to for it to change.

It's necessary for many words like party パーティー the ィ (katakana ぃ) to use small kana
10th-Jul-2014 10:37 am (UTC)
Oh, I didn't know that!! Wow, thank you so much for telling me!

Is there a set of rules that tells you when to use a smaller vowel? Like, do you use it when it comes up in the middle of a word, but if it starts off the word, you leave it large, or something like that?
10th-Jul-2014 12:55 pm (UTC)
Pwaha, that's a good question I've never considered.

For proper situations, you won't encounter the small vowels too much (ever?) in hiragana only words. It mostly (always?) pops up with katakana words. In that case, you just learn by learning how to spell the word... the same way you know if a world in English is spelled with "c" or "k"... just learning how to spell it :). (Well, if you want to be technical knowing the origin language of a word in English can give you a clue... but for standard folk, it's just memorization).

When talking about informal spelling though... like in manga... you might see the small hiragana. I've seen a sigh "ahh" "ああ” written as "あぁ~” before. I assume that's mostly a visual cue to indicate the sound of a sigh fading ^^;. Or on twitter some people write ”something something かな” as " something something かなぁ~” "I wonder~~something something". It doesn't really need the small ぁ. It's just stylization.

And I assume you may have already read about small tsu -> "つ” -> "っ". You do not make this with x. You make it by typing a double consonant.

Example: "school" = "gakkou" = "がっこう”. The small っ appeared because I typed "k" twice.
10th-Jul-2014 08:38 am (UTC)
Just to confirm, you do have Japanese IME installed, right? Are you using Mac or Windows?
10th-Jul-2014 10:17 am (UTC)
I have IME installed, yes! I'm using windows and I figured it out today, thank you so much ^^
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