Japanese Keyboard

Table of Contents

Install the Japanese Keyboard

To install the Japanese keyboard on your device, follow these general steps. The exact process may vary depending on your operating system.

Make sure to install “Roma-ji” Japanese keyboard.

For Windows:
1. Open Settings: Click the Start menu and select Settings (gear icon).
2. Go to Time & Language: Find and click on “Time & Language.”
3. Select Language: Click on “Language” from the left sidebar.
4. Add a Language: Click on “Add a language” and search for “Japanese.”
5. Choose Japanese: Select Japanese and click “Next,” then “Install.”
6. Switch Keyboards: Use the language icon in the taskbar to switch between installed keyboards.


For macOS:
1. Open System Preferences: Click on the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
2. Go to Keyboard: Find and click on “Keyboard.”
3. Input Sources: Click on the “Input Sources” tab.
4. Add (+): Click the “+” button and search for “Japanese.”
5. Add Japanese: Select Japanese and click “Add.”
6. Switch Keyboards: Use the input menu in the menu bar to switch between keyboards.


For Android:
1. Open Settings: Go to your device’s Settings app.
2. System: Scroll down and select “System,” then “Languages & input.”
3. Virtual Keyboard: Tap on “Virtual keyboard.”
4. Manage Keyboards: Tap on “Manage keyboards.”
5. Add Japanese Keyboard: Find and toggle on the Japanese keyboard option.
6. Switch Keyboards: Switch between keyboards by tapping the globe icon or space bar when typing.


For iOS (iPhone/iPad):
1. Open Settings: Go to the Settings app.
2. General: Tap on “General,” then “Keyboard.”
3. Keyboards: Tap on “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”
4. Select Japanese: Find Japanese in the list and tap it.
5. Choose Keyboard Type: Select the Romaji Japanese keyboard.
6. Switch Keyboards: Switch by tapping the globe icon next to the space bar when typing.


When you type
on your Japanese keyboard,
あ (a),
い (i),
う (u),
え (e),
お (o)
will appear.

Congratulations, you’re now typing in Japanese!

The five Japanese characters listed above are crucial because they represent the vowels in the Japanese language.


If you type “n” on your Japanese keyboard and notice no Japanese characters appear, try typing “n” twice.
Did the character ん appear after the second attempt?
Indeed, to type the unique character ん, you must press “n” twice.
This method is essential for accurately inputting Japanese text.

Small Characters

In Japanese textbooks or casual Japanese, you’ll often encounter half-sized characters.
While there are several special characters that can be half-sized, we’ll cover those in more detail in class later.
For now, just remember that typing “l” or “x” before a character makes it half-sized.

Try typing “a” and then “l+a”.
Did you notice the half-sized characters appear?
Can you see how ぁ is a half-sized version of あ?
If it’s not immediately clear, don’t worry—you’ll soon be able to distinguish them easily! 

Double Consonant

The half-sized tsu, “つ”,  is crucial in Japanese as it denotes a double consonant.
When typing in romaji, you indicate this by doubling the consonant that follows the tsu.
Your Japanese keyboard will automatically insert a っ at the correct spot.

For instance, try typing “yatta”.
You should see やった appear on your screen.
This demonstrates how you can successfully type the half-sized tsu (っ) and master another aspect of typing in Japanese!

Kaomoji ٩(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)۶

Ready for a bit of Japanese keyboard magic?
Try typing “kaomoji” followed by pressing the spacebar and then either the down or up arrow key.

Do you see a selection of adorable faces?
The word “kaomoji” combines “kao” (face) and “moji” (character), literally translating to “face character.”
This is exactly what you’re exploring now—expressive faces made from text characters, adding fun and personality to your digital conversations!

Katakana & Kanji

To toggle between hiragana, katakana, or kanji, typically you just need to press the spacebar after typing the word in hiragana.
If you’ve entered the word correctly, predictive text will often suggest the word in katakana.
If not, it might be wise to verify the spelling using an online dictionary like Jisho.

Try typing “amerika” followed by the spacebar.
Did アメリカ appear in katakana as a suggestion?
If so, you can simply select アメリカ to choose it.


You’re now equipped to type in hiragana, katakana, kanji, and even use kaomoji, just like native Japanese speakers!

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