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What Do I Do if I Don't Have a Japanese Keyboard?

I'm unable to answer certain questions because I'm not able to type it out in Japanese. I've been trying to make my keyboard so I can use it to practice, but I haven't been able to figure out how. What am I supposed to do? I really don't like skipping questions.

Edit: I figured it out~! はい!!

October 17, 2017



Depends on what OS you have.

If you use MacOS, go to System Preferences and then click on Keyboard. Go to the Input Sources tab. Click on the plus (+) at the bottom of the list of keyboards. Scroll through the list and select Japanese. Make sure the Keyboard is set to Romaji for Typing Method.

I don't know what to do if you run Windows. Hope this helps!


That's really helpful, but I have windows unfortunately.


Windows has a built-in Japanese IME; on Windows 7 this can be added by going to control panel—Region and Language—Keyboards and Languages—Change Keyboards—Add, selecting 'Japanese' from the list and then 'Microsoft IME'. On later versions of Windows, some of these steps might differ slightly, but I doubt greatly.


You can probably get the answer you need if you Google it.


I've been looking for answers since last night, but I haven't found anything yet.


go onto settings and change the language to japanese and install the IME keyboard. when typing the letter a should come up on the bottom right hand corner next to the keyboard language when using it. right click this to choose if you want to use hiragana or katakana. kanji will come in a box when typing.


Thank you for your instructions. I have a Mac and was able to set it up. It's working beautifully. Here's a lingot for you :)


I think it's worse than just skipping questions. I just tried to do the "home" section, and it wouldn't let me finish the lesson. It kept making me do the same exercise over and over and over, and of course, without a Japanese keyboard, I could not do them. Even when I tried to skip them, it would bring them up over and over.

UPDATE: I figured it out. However, I do think Duolingo should provide some detailed help with getting that keyboard setup for various operating systems in the tips section where they first introduce the type-in boxes.


Google "Japanese IME for [whatever version of windows you have]" and you'll get a program that lets you change the language input for your standard keyboard. The way it works on mine is I press ALT+Shift and it switches to Japanese. 簡単だよ。


I've tried that a few times now actually. Nothing is working.


The best solution is to set up a keyboard layout using your native OS settings (go into the control panel and look at regional or language settings on most OS's, some OS's it's in keyboard settings), but failing this, you can open a new tab in your browser and open Google Translate, and they have a very nice input method that you can toggle by clicking on it.

Google Translate also has a lot of useful supplemental tools, like you can use it on the fly as a dictionary to look up the ranges of meaning of certain words. It's not as accurate as Jisho, however, so be warned. But it works great as an input method if you don't have one installed or are on a computer where you cannot install one for whatever reason.


Hi cazort, can you give us a LOT more detail on how to find and use the Japanese kana input method on Google translate? And how to get the characters from Google translate to the Duo exercises?? Thanks!


I'm on windows 10 and am using Google's Japanese IME and it works great (free of course)!

I initially installed Microsoft's IME and for some reason I could just never get it to work, it wouldn't let me type in Japanese kana at all. Then I installed Google's IME and I could finally type hiragana and katakana! But the funny thing is installing Google's IME made Microsoft's IME work all of a sudden! I don't understand why but I have two Japanese IME's now. You only need one so I'd recommend Google's.


I tried that a few days ago, and now I have two IME's, non of which work.

Edit: The Google IME works now, strangely.


lmao, well there you go! I think I remember fiddling around with it until something happened, not sure what but anyway!


If you have a smartphone you can download a Japanese keyboard. I don't really know about anything for computers though.


Wait, you're getting English-->Japanese translation exercises? I thought the course didn't have any? (I finished the course and got zero of them.) Are you getting them instead of the matching exercises? Is there an A/B test?

(I would really like English-->Japanese instead of matching and whatnot...)


I wasn't aware there were any in the course either! I was rather suprised. Maybe it was a change implemented recently?


I haven't seen any either but I haven't gotten very far in the course.

I very desperately want these open-ended typing translation exercises. I have an input method set up on my computer and am all ready to go.

Where did you first encounter them, i.e. in what lesson?


I first encountered it in the lesson labelled "Home", which is somewhere at level 6. I cannot complete the lesson because I can't do the Japanese keyboard exercises! Update: I have figured out how to get the Japanese keyboard (see above). so all is well :)


Somewhere around Level 3, lesson 3 I believe.


I just started with the strengthening exercises, beginning with Hiragana 1, and there was a question that required a Japanese keyboard! Either this is because the course detected that I can handle this now, or they have changed their course to start with it right at the beginning. Interesting...

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