Can you please tell me how to use a Japanese keyboard?
Thanks in advance!
well, in first place, you'll need a voice able to read Japanese characters.
Second, if you've already setup the Japanese keyboard (I'm assuming we're talking about software keyboard, and not hardware Japanese device), you have two options:
1. Type using romaji, you just type the romaji sillables or words and keyboard will convert them automatically to hiragana or kanji,
2. Type directly Kana, in this mode, your keyboard contains kana characters instead of roman letters.
You can choose the mode which better suits your needs in settings of keyboard, there are also many other options which you can set there.
And this article might help you as well:
And thirdly.. you have to understand how Japanese is written, and know how to use all three alphabets. The keyboard isn't magic...
The problem is that in Japanese the same word can mean different things.
This word means bridge, but this word has 2 other meanings.
In order to show the meaning of this word, hieroglyphs are used.
As I know, you need to enter the word completely and press the space, and will get the options.
How can I use it? Or what other options are there?
This is what I meant about needing to understand how Japanese is written.. the same word doesn't have diferent meanings all the time. In this case, bridge and chopsticks are written completely different and so are two different words. The pronunciation is also different. You need to know which option you need to choose when you press space, which means you need to study Japanese writing. Otherwise you won't get it right.
@4: heh, do you mean kanji by hieroglyphs?
One good thing about Japanese is, that you can write everything in kana and still be right, i.e. you are not forced to use kanji. You can make the text more understandable of course using it, but it isn't necessary.
That is at least how I understand it.
Words that sound the same, but mean different things are not rare in Slovak. I can't think out an english example, but from our language, for example, koruna means a crown, as well as tree top and also currency used before euros. Rys for example is an animal, but also mean countour or a drawing. These are called homonyms, and they appear from time to time, although we are not aware of that in most cases, because it's usually very easy to figure out correct meaning from context.
But back to kanji, it won't be that easy, like just selecting correct meaning from a list. Kanji are chinese characters, used in Japanese to clarify text meaning when homonyms appear. But because chinese characters mean everyone single word, you can't distinguish between them by spelling.
To illustrate what I want to say, for example, you'll get a list of kanjis, where everyone pronounces ta, but one means he, second she and third it. Difference is purely visual, nothing changes in sound. How do you select the rightone?
This is an example from chinese, I don't know if such kanji ever exists, probably not.
But I think it shows what I wanted to say.
If I'm wrong, I hope more experienced people will fix me. My assumptions are based on Chinese language, in japanese, I'm not using kanji, because it can be replaced by Hiragana.
Homonyms, in English, words that are spelled the same but pronounced differently. So your slovak example is actually an example of a homophone. Let me clarify a few things as a native Chinese speaker and someone who is also fluent in Japanese.
The character for he, she and it are the same character in Chinese. Same pronunciation, same everything, because in Chinese there are no separate words for those three. Every word, when it has a different tone, is represented by a different chinese character. For example, the words for pot, country, fruit and pass by are te same sound. In English phonetics, they are written as guo. But in spoken mandarin they each have a different tone, and each has a separate character for it. That's the simplest explanation without going too deep. So the actual fact is that chinese syllables, depending on the tone, also have a character to match. So you can, indeed, tell the difference. It's not merely a visual one.
By contrast, Japanese has three alphabets. Hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Yes, you can get by everything by using hiragana. But that is something associated with elementary school children. So yes, Kanji are, in fact, necessary in Japanese if you want to clearly demonstrate what you are talking about and also if you want to do web searches for things or actually learn the language. Hashi, which are the syllables for bridge and chopsticks, can be written in hiragana. But Japanese people then have to guess which you are refering to, because Japanese is not a contextual language like English or Slovak or other western languages. The pronunciation is also different, and each has a separate Kanji. Words can sometimes be a mix of kanji and hiragana and without that, writing will look messy. So yes, if you want to type in good Japanese, kanji are necessary. There are also two ways to read kanji in Japanese. Kunyomi, which is the Japanese pronunciation, and onyomi, which is closer to the Chinese pronunciation, which can also be another point that leads to confusion if you only use hiragana.
#8 (edited by Rastislav Kiss 2019-07-10 17:52:54)
@7: interesting, in Slovak everything is normally wrote just in 1 way, so we don't use term homophones and use homonyms instead, good to know that situation in english is different.
Regarding chinese, well, from what I understand, you're saying, that all sounds (with tones included) have just one character?
I am not chinese, so of course can't judge, but what is then sound difference for example between 他, 她 and 它?
Regarding dictionary, firstone is he / neutral, second she and third it. Source:
All of them are pronounced as ta1 i.e ta with first tone. Only noticeable difference, at least from what I was able to get, is in their shapes - how they look like. When I write a chinese sentence to Google translator with those characters, it translates genders correctly, so it seems for me that it works.
Also if every sound had just one character, why are imput methods split to phonetics based and shape based, where for example in pinyin you must always select the character which you mean after writing it together with tone, while in shape based methods like vubi there is only one combination for every character?
I have also read one study of blind chinese people, which was studying efficiency of input methods, and its conclusion was, that phonetics based methods like pinyin had just about 70% correctness in tests, while boshy had 100%, exactly because of wrong characters suggestions in pinyin case.
I'm really interested in this, as I have been studying Chinese for some time, so if I took something wrong, I would like to fix it.
No, I'm not saying that at all. I'm saying that all sounds, with tones included, have different characters. What I should've said was that there are examples of both cases. As a native speaker, I know the characters being used because of how they combine with other words, even if they sound the same. The second one, in your example, can never be mistaken for he or she which are written with the same character, because it's never used in that way. So more than sound difference, context is important. IF I say 其他 and 他们 I automatically know the two are different characters. So there are both cases where different characters can be pronounced the same, and where the different pronunciation for their syllable has their own character. Take for example:
All of those have different characters because they mean different things. In your example, the one that is used specifically for she is only written. When speaking, we don't differentiate between he and she. Ad in daily ritten chinese the first ne is the most commonly used. I can't speak to he rest, especially about shapes, as I haven't studied Chinese as deeply as you, because it's my first language growing up and I only type with pinyin. All that being said, every sound in Chinese, or almost everyone, has at least one character, some have multiple ones, which is why there are so many characters t remember. One final example, the character for pot, and the character for the last name guo are also pronounced the same way. I'm sorry if this isn't making sense, it's early in the morning...
@assault_freak: yeah, I get it, it seems like I have misunderstood your previous post, sorry for that.
So back to kanji, how could a blind person write it in a way, that will look normal for sighted readers?
I'm running into similar problem like in chinese. I can describe kanji in hiragana, because that is somewhat sound describing alphabet, but how do I then select from a menu the right character, if there are more possibilities and everyone pronounces in the same way? Yes, when reading, you can predict what the character is from context, but what about writing?
In chinese, I use vubi, what is a shape based input method, so I can write a character by describing its shape instead of sound, what is accurate because while there can be multiple characters with different shape but the same sound, there are not two characters with the same shape.
But what about Japanese? How do blind people solve this problem? Is there something like vubi for kanji, or some different way of attacking this problem?
I'm just starting with this language, so i would like to make my learning in such a way, that I don't have to return later.
Thank you in advance!
#11 (edited by assault_freak 2019-07-12 17:39:05)
With both Japanese and Chinese, I've approached it from the view of a native speaker, so I can't say how you could go about getting started. But this is how it works for most people. Unfortunately, it requires an understanding of the language.
In chinese, when you enter using a pinyin based method, when the options come up, you get a list of characters which match the pronunciation you typed. Beside them is a description of what that character means and how it is used, which your tts wil read out. But this, as I said, requires deeper understanding of the language, or patience to type slowly as you memorize what each character means, which native speakers learn from elementary school. The same applies in Japanese.You have to make good use of the candidate list and to choose the correct one, you have to know what characters match a particular pronunciation. Hope that helps... because there is no one stop magic solution for either language. Even being able to enter in characters with shapes will not teach you how they're used in different contexts. But everyone has different preferences.