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I hope this isn't too off topic but I am curious about some aspects of computer use in Japan.

1: Typing. Every single person I have ever seen typing Japanese, myself included, type using the English alphabet, i.e. we hit r-o when we want ろ, h-a when we need は, etc.... However one can also type Japanese directly using kana, these are printed on Japanese keyboards but to most people seem to be little more than decoration.

I wonder...does anyone actually type in this way?

I guess it is a relic of the days of typewriters? But...typewriters were never so big in Japan right? Given the emphasis on kanji=educated (and ease of comprehension) purely kana based writing is frowned upon.

What I'm curious about is does anyone have any actual data about people typing in this way?

Surely some people must do it as it is still included?

2: When I come to type つ I always type t-s-u despite the fact that t-u would suffice. shi for し rather than si is another one. chi rather than ti as ち is a very interesting one as it is so different to me.

Since Japanese people didn't learn the kana via the English alphabet as I did but rather learned them as their "Default" alphabet however, I wonder. Am I normal in typing the "Full" letter or do people more regularly take the shortest route? Indeed, do Japanese people indeed think of chi as ti?

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closed as off-topic by snailplane Mar 5 '14 at 5:07

  • This question does not appear to be about the Japanese language within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'm afraid this question is off-topic on JLSE, since it's not really about the Japanese language itself, so I'm going to close it. But I hope you get some feedback in the form of comments! (For what it's worth, although I'm a learner, I personally type si and ti and tu rather than shi and chi and tsu.) – snailplane Mar 5 '14 at 5:07
I think how people type Japanese falls under Japanese usage just as much as stroke orders or variations of characters would. Most Japanese is written on computers these days after all. – Tor Mar 5 '14 at 5:36
@Tor: I agree with you that this is about Japanese usage. I would say it's on-topic in my personal opinion. I'm not sure it's a good Stack Exchange question for other reasons though since it might be more about discussion than getting a definitive answer. I'm not sure that it would be on-topic on linguistics.SE but it might come under "computational linguistics". It could also come under "user experience" though, which has its own SE site. It is an interesting question! Maybe try asking it on Quora, which has fewer rules than here. – hippietrail Mar 5 '14 at 6:09
It really comes down to whether or not you consider these kana in the context of their Romanization or their place within their respective consonant groups. Personally, especially when I want to type quickly, I will use the shorter variations of the kana to save time, but when I'm typing casually I may use the longer variations. – LordVysh Mar 6 '14 at 4:15
To clarify here I wasn't asking what you as individuals choose to do. I was asking for more solid information on what is the norm and what % of the PC users actually use these alternative ways. Surely such research will have been done by someone in Japan? – Tor Mar 6 '14 at 8:33

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