Friday, January 19, 2007

Advanced Japanese Input

Japanese is no doubt one of the most complex of all languages to write, since it can use no less that four different scripts: Kanji (Chinese characters), Hiragana, Katakana, and Latin.

The Hiragana and Katakana syllabaries play an especially important role, because their Latin equivalents are used for Japanese computer input (with subsequent conversion to Kanji as appropriate) via a Latin keyboard, and they are also used to represent the pronunciation of non-Japanese words or possibly unfamiliar Kanji.

There are well over 150 kana syllables which can be created by the Mac Kotoeri Japanese Input Method, some fairly rare, and info on how to make all of them is buried in the Japanese-only Kotoeri Help. Anyone who needs this in more usable form can find a copy of the list here, which you can enlarge in your browser or drag onto your desktop to print for reference.

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