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learning the japanese keyboard layout,

[deactivated user]

    can someone please tell me about a software or even a website where I could learn to type fluently in the japanese keyboard layout, the layout with the hiragana/katakana and just to make sure, I am not talking about selecting the layout from my system preferences, I have already selected japanese as the input method and it works but I need to train myself to use it as there are no labels no japanese labels on my keyboard,

    February 13, 2018



    Hi! I don't know if that's relevant to your question, but you don't need to learn the kana keyboard to type in Japanese. Any self-respecting input software for Japanese has "romaji input," which means that you type in the words as you hear them (e.g. on a normal qwerty keyboard you type T and then A and you get the kana for た). Even keyboards produced in Japan for the Japanese market have that option. Good luck in either case!


    Are you aware that you don't need to use the kana keyboard layout to type Japanese? Even the majority of Japanese people don't use kana layout on their computer keyboards. (source)

    The most common way Japanese people themselves type Japanese characters is by using normal romaji alphabet keys. You type K then A and then the IME automatically turns those two letters into on your screen.

    This is called "romaji input"; using the kana layout is called "kana input". Among us non-Japanese people who are learning Japanese, it's likely well over 99% of us use romaji input on our computers just like the majority of Japanese people.

    If you've set your Japanese input software's input method to "kana input", try changing this to "romaji input".

    All that being said, I don't actually use romaji input myself! I did use it for a long time up until five years ago but then, for better or worse, curiosity got the better of me and I decided I'd like to try switching over to kana layout... However, even now I'm not sure whether I can really recommend other people to use kana input. Your life will be much easier if you stick with romaji input. For one thing the standard kana layout isn't very friendly unless you have gigantic hands, because it uses four rows of keys as well as several extra keys on the ends of the rows...

    That disclaimer out of the way, the way I learned the standard kana layout five years ago was mostly by using the offline kanji learning game "Slime Forest Adventure". It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It has many subgames available from the menu, one of which being a "kana touchtyping" trainer:

    However, the free demo version of the game unfortunately doesn't include the subgames. The full version of the game costs $15. If you're still interested, here's the link to the game's website:


    For a completely free typing trainer which teaches kana layout, my favourite is 美佳のタイプトレーナ ("Mika's Typing Trainer"). It's more of a proper typing trainer compared to Slime Forest's subgame. However the programs are all in Japanese and I think only available for Windows computers. Here's the link to the homepage anyway if you're interested:


    I used 美佳's typing trainers to learn the crazy, non-standard kana layout I switched to over a year ago ("Nicola Thumb-Shift Layout") and also to learn the Dvorak English keyboard layout. So I can say from experience 美佳's typing trainer software are decent and effective. ^^

    [deactivated user]

      just what I've been looking for thanks, and i'm asking for this not because I want to use the kana input method for my everyday life but because I thought using the kana method would be a great way to adjust my mind with the japanese writing system,I also used the romaji input just switched to the kana input a month ago and I don't know how to and had not bothered to switch back, because just like you curiosity got the better of me I wanted to test myself on how fast I could learn the kana layout.


      I'm considering changing to a Nicola also, do you use a thumb keyboard to type in Nicola or do you use a normal English keyboard, in which case what keys do you use as modifiers and how did you configure it


      Mika Kana looks nice, but unfortunately doesn't seem to work on Windows 10. The problem is that the kana input opens a predictive text window, and the program doesn't register the key stroke. I guess that's why the website says only Windows 7 and 8 for Mika Kana.

      However, here on Reddit a japanese speaker pointed out some japanese language typing training websites: https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/comments/2hi9k8/japanese_typing_practice/

      out of these, i could only get the last one to work, where you need to register for an account (it's easy though). and i could only get it to work on Mac, not Windows 10, because there my ゛was input as 「. https://www.e-typing.ne.jp/member/kana/practice/basic/ (once you've logged in, go back to this link. then, start one of the practice trainings like the home row)

      or if you want to practice the full keyboard (though i recommend to learn limited key sets like the home row first): https://www.e-typing.ne.jp/member/kana/practice/practical/

      note that i didn't try these super old Windows 95 and Windows NT programs.


      Just use notepad and type each row on a separate line, over and over until you remember which letter is under which finger.


      You can also see the layout here and it will come up as a small window that you can put near the bottom or top of the screen outside the window that you are using. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/globalization/windows-keyboard-layouts

      [deactivated user]

        I'l try, and thanks for the reply, hope theres a similar one for unix


        Learning to type in the Japanese keyboard is tricky. It uses letters different from the hiragana and katakana alphabets. I suggest you learn the alphabets first, then once you can read with ease, you search trusted websites with reliable information on Japanese keyboards. I was searching it up today, and it's pretty complicated to me. Good luck. Just make sure to type in romaji, or it won't make sense.

        [deactivated user]

          I can read and write katakana and hiragana but I can't read many kanji, I don't know where to look for a spam free site, when everythings in japanese

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