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Old 2004-01-31, 12:07   Link #1
Danodare
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Japanese keyboard in europe

This is going to sound really geeky, but...

Typing "shingetsutan tsukihime" on google in japanese with microsoft IME requires 21 keystrokes just for the letters, not counting the keystrokes to convert in kanji.

Typing it in hiragana using a japanese keyboard would require 10 keystrokes, again not counting the keystrokes to convert it in kanji.

So I am looking to buy a japanese keyboard, here in Europe.

Does anyone know of any good website selling japanese keyboards ? Most japanese hardware websites only sell inside Japan, and more importantly its likely to either arrive broken or cost three times the price just to ship it here.

Another question, only loosely related to the previous one, is what OS is most japanese friendly ? Many posts mention the multilingual abilities of windows XP, what about linux ?

Thanks in advance for any advice,
-Danodare
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Old 2004-01-31, 13:14   Link #2
Shii
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Linux does Japanese keyboards just fine, with the proper modules.
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Old 2004-01-31, 14:25   Link #3
Megane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danodare
This is going to sound really geeky, but...

Typing "shingetsutan tsukihime" on google in japanese with microsoft IME requires 21 keystrokes just for the letters, not counting the keystrokes to convert in kanji.

Typing it in hiragana using a japanese keyboard would require 10 keystrokes, again not counting the keystrokes to convert it in kanji.

So I am looking to buy a japanese keyboard, here in Europe.
I've had a little experience with Japanese input methods and keyboards (I too want one myself, but only for the geekiness ^^). I'm not entirely sure getting hold of a Japanese keyboard will be worth the effort though, if all you want to do is save yourself a handful of keystrokes...

Quote:
Does anyone know of any good website selling japanese keyboards ? Most japanese hardware websites only sell inside Japan, and more importantly its likely to either arrive broken or cost three times the price just to ship it here.
Unfortunately the only JP keyboard I've seen was imported, but there are quite a number of hits for "Japanese Keyboard" on eBay (at least, the American one), but I couldn't find any on eBay.co.uk. As for other European countries, I don't have a clue I'm afraid.

Quote:
Another question, only loosely related to the previous one, is what OS is most japanese friendly ? Many posts mention the multilingual abilities of windows XP, what about linux ?
I've never been particulary impressed with either Windows' or Linux's Japanese input support, but I imagine that Linux's is much more likely to improve over time.
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Old 2004-01-31, 14:32   Link #4
ZeroKun
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its kind of silly to buy a japanese key board when they dont really do anything. You will have to do the same thing as you are doing right now, and that is type and changing the kanji if you need to. A japanese keyboard doesnt type japanese, it just has the hiragana on top of the english letters physically, and doesnt actually have anything to do with typing japanese. Hope that helps.
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Old 2004-01-31, 15:43   Link #5
Megane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeroKun
its kind of silly to buy a japanese key board when they dont really do anything. You will have to do the same thing as you are doing right now, and that is type and changing the kanji if you need to. A japanese keyboard doesnt type japanese, it just has the hiragana on top of the english letters physically, and doesnt actually have anything to do with typing japanese. Hope that helps.
Under certain input methods, you can save keystokes, because instead of pressing 't' and then 'a' to get 'ta', you only need to hit a single key on a JP keyboard, which soons leads to only needing to press half as many keys. The question is how often one types in Japanese, and therefore how much they will benefit from such a keyboard.
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Old 2004-01-31, 17:34   Link #6
Danodare
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Interesting reply Zerokun. You imply that there is an easy way to make a western keyboard do hiragana.

Is it possible to type hiragana directly on a non-japanese keyboard using a non-japanese windows ? If not, what about linux ?

Ashibaka, if you use a japanese friendly linux, what distro do you recommand ?

About purchasing a japanese keyboard in europe, I found one website in the nederlands:

http://www.awbcomputing.nl/


Thanks in advance for any more advice,
-Danodare
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Old 2004-01-31, 21:20   Link #7
Esperchld
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Actually, these keyboards are great, but not only for shortening the number of keystrokes needed to input japanese titles or to play japanese games. It is also great if you need to be able to type with the full range of the upper and lower ascii tables (you need to do some prep work to do this though, and the win95 layout works just as well to) (granted practical uses is pretty much limited to geekiness and programming).
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Old 2004-01-31, 22:25   Link #8
Shii
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danodare
Ashibaka, if you use a japanese friendly linux, what distro do you recommand ?
Uh, there used to be a Japanese distribution, but I think it is gone. Just get Red Hat, Debian or Gentoo and install the Japanese packages.
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Old 2004-01-31, 23:09   Link #9
ZeroKun
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hmm yah i guess that does make sense. Since i made that post late at night it didnt pass my mind that the jpn keyboard can do that, Megane. But hell is typing a few extra keys gonna kill you? Its alot better than spending money on something. As for typing hiragana on a Us keyboard you need the japanese IME for windows, I dont feel like explaining it in detail because its different for each version of windows. Its pretty simple once you get it running, you just type and it changes the characters, and if you need a kanji you press space twice and a list pops up.
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Old 2004-02-01, 01:39   Link #10
Paper
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Japan
Just don't throw out your US-style keyboard. I find that the worst thing about Japanese keyboards is the layout of the punctuation. Especially the apostrophe (I don't want to hold down the shift key to get an apostophe, thankyouverymuch). True, after a while, you'll get used to the new layout, but for me, it's too annoying. :P I'm so glad they have US keyboards in Japan.
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Old 2004-02-01, 04:07   Link #11
kj1980
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Besides, people in Japan don't use the Japanese type sets anyway as they are annoying.

There are many "typing games" here in Japan, and all of them teach the romanized typing way as research has found it that this way is much less strenous to the Japanese typesetters as well.

I mean, look at it - you have 26 letters in the English alphabet. We have close to 50 hiragana letters in our Japanese alphabet.

If you ever looked at a Japanese keyboard, that would mean that there would actually be a Japanese letter in the number buttons above the QWERTY, and some keys actually have two hiragana letters. It's annoying.

Check out our "normal 109-key" keyboard setting before you decide (for me, I actually hate Japanese keyboards for the small space bar...especially when I have to type in English)

http://www2d.biglobe.ne.jp/~msyk/key...out/109key.png
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