typing katakana - details
June 21, 2011 3:14 AM   Subscribe

For those who, like me, frequently use the Japanese language on Windows, I have a 2-question query so I can type my name without hassle: 1) How to add a new Katakana word to the candidate list, so when I type in hiragana it comes up as an option without having to manually switch to katakana? 2) How to get the small Katakana letters? Like the ァ in ステファニー or ェ in ニフェー デービル . These come up sometimes in hiragana but less often.

Surely the information is out there, but I haven't found the right keywords for good googling. This question refers to Windows XP Professional (natively French) and/or Vista (natively Japanese). I use IME Standard input rather than the totally separate keyboard with kana only; I have enough problems between En-Fr.
posted by whatzit to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you type "fa" or "fe" you can get ファ、フェ. In the cases that doesn't work and I really just need the letter by itself, 'xa' will give you ァ. (This works for hiragana too.)

I'm not sure about the other part.
posted by Jeanne at 3:20 AM on June 21, 2011

(I mean to say, typing x before kana in general will give you the small version. Works for vowels and っ.)
posted by Jeanne at 3:22 AM on June 21, 2011

Not sure about Windows anymore... play around with the Function keys. Function keys will probably toggle input between romaji, hirigana, katakana, and kana, and the wide-romaji.

on my ime (linux) for instance...

I'm pretty sure Windows does something similar.

As for controlling the lookup functions, if you know enough Japanese... search for 顔文字(かおもじ)and you can find IME dictionaries with instructions to add them to the IME, like:
ねこ ヾ(=゜・゜=)ノニャン♪ 顔文字

IIRC, somewhere there's just a bunch of .dic files or the like with 'typed input' -> 'substitution1' 'substitution2' '...' 'dictionary mode' lines. You just have to add entries for the words you desire to have custom entries. Also look for an icon or menu entry in the IME interface that looks like or says something about 'dictionary' or 'tables'.

Those will be your google search terms: 'Windows XP' IME custom dictionary tables
posted by zengargoyle at 4:04 AM on June 21, 2011

These links might get you started:
adding words
They are relatively old (XP) and Japanese specific from the odd but helpful TheJapanesePage.com also a good place to go browse/ask questions.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:16 AM on June 21, 2011

Better example of adding custom dictionary entries.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:37 AM on June 21, 2011

Argh, that first one is so obvious I am kicking myself. Guess I don't really associate the sound with the letter F? I don't know.

Please know that not only are these the right answers, but that I will spend the seconds saved thinking of you two.
posted by whatzit at 10:41 AM on June 21, 2011

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