How to write hiragana and katakana in Windows (XP/Vista/7)? My current locale is Swedish and I have a hard time writing hiragana and katakana characters.

Usually I have a txt-file open in notepad and copy the individual characters, but that is (obviously) not efficient.

The same also applies for kanji.

closed as off topic by rcjsuen, Grigory M, Mark Hosang, rjzii, Ali Jun 1 '11 at 12:19

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  • Voted off topic, but something we should include in the site FAQ. – rjzii Jun 1 '11 at 11:47

Windows has Language Packs available for other languages and alphabets. See http://support.microsoft.com/kb/972813, for example.

They allow you to write in a phonetic transliteration and then translate it into kana; pressing the space bar converts familiar words into kanji and where meaning is unclear you can choose kanji from a list.

For example, if I type "totemo benri desu ne?" in English with the language pack it will give me とても便利ですね。 Very convenient, isn't it?

  • That seems very convenient. – dalle Jun 1 '11 at 11:21

You need to setup an additional Japanese keyboard IME in the 'Region and Language' options in your 'Control Panel'. On Windows XP you may be required to enter a XP disk for the installation though I think that might only be prompted for Asian fonts (which I presume you already have since you are using notepad right now).

Once you've set it up you want your language bar to be set to 'JP' and then use Alt+~ (the default keybinding) to switch between the entering of Japanese characters and the Latin alphabet.


Google's Mozc Japanese IME is pretty good - http://www.google.com/intl/ja/ime/

You can give it a try.

  • awesome, it includes smileys xDD – mikyatope Jun 1 '11 at 11:01
  • ooh, smileys included! – dalle Jun 1 '11 at 11:21

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