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Get Japanese On Your Computer




Since having first written this page back in 2005, the Declan Software web site has been thoroughly updated, and now serves as an excellent source for getting your computer to read and write Japanese using Microsofts free IME program ("global-Input Method Editor"). The site is a commercial one trying to sell you language learning software, but their version of this guide is more comprehensive and clearly shows you how to download, install and run the necessary free programs. Just in case there are any problems with the site I have not deleted my original text as set out below. In addition I have added two new links for use by Mac owners:

Declan's Guide To Installing & Using IME

For Mac Users

Mac users should try these two sites:
Japanese For Your Mac Language Kit Manuals for the Mac

Original Text

Firstly, two questions: can you see a pair of Japanese characters between the Crossed Swords logo and the word SHOGUN above? And secondly, can you see the little bar known as a macron acsent above the "O" of the word SHŌGUN? If your answer is no, then you are definitely in the right place. Below are instructions on how to get your browser to read Japanese scripts and associated acsented roman characters. And if you wish, to enable your computer to both read and write Japanese characters, in word processors and emailers etc. The twin options of reading and writing will cost you nothing, apart from a little time on-line. And it'll be time well spent. If you find the instructions laid out below, either confusing or simply inaccurate, phone or email me, Dean Wayland at the School. Alternatively you can try Wikipedia's pages on the same subject by clicking HERE

How To Set Up Your Browser To Read Japanese Characters

Internet Explorer

1. Go to the "View" button on the IE menu. 2. Scroll down to "Encoding". 3. Slide over to the right and drop down to "More". 4. Drop down and select "Japanese (Auto Select)".

For Firefox or Netscape

1. Go to the "View" menu 2. Drop down to "Character Encoding" 3. Then select "Auto-Detect". 4. Then select "Japanese".

For Both Reading and Writing

The package for this is called the Global Input Method Editor and it is free from Microsoft. With it you can write in all of the Japanese scripts. However, you need to choose the right version for your system as follows:

Office XP Users

If you are using Microsoft's "Office XP", as opposed to just Windows XP, then you will need to download two separate packages: firstly the "Language Pack", and then the "Office XP Tool Global IME", in that order.

Office XP Language Pack
Office XP IME

Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 Users.

If you are using Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows Server 2003 you can use the built-in input support that comes with it and works in all applications. Note if you are using Office XP, see the above entry. For a guide to activating these features go to:

Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003

Windows 95, 98, ME and NT4 Users

If you are using Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows 95, or Windows NT 4, you'll need Microsoft's Global IME 5.02. But before clicking on the link below to go to the download page, make sure that before clicking the "GO" button to start the actual download, that you select "Japanese - with language pack", in the "Choose a language option:" combo box. Only aftr that, should you hit the "GO" button, to ensure that you get both the IME and its associated language pack.

Windows '95, 98, ME, NT4

Now what do I do?

For instructions on how to fly your IME, use the link below to the Declan Software guide:

Declan's Guide To Using IME

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