Computer Setup

Setting Up Your Computer for Japanese (Vista)

These instructions explain how to set up your Vista computer so that you can see and type Japanese text.
Instructions for other systems:
Step 1
Open your control panel. (Click the Windows button in the lower left corner of your screen, and choose Control Panel from the menu.)
Step 2
The control panel window has many different appearances. If your window looks like this picture, click Change keyboard or other input methods. This will open another window.
Or, if your control panel window looks more like this, click Regional and Language Options. This will open another window.
Step 3
Click the Keyboards and Languages tab.
Step 4
On the Keyboard and Languages tab, click Change keyboards.... This will open another window.
Step 5
On the new window (titled "Text Services and Input Languages"), click Add.... Yet another window will open.
Step 6
Now on the "Add Input Language" window, follow these steps:
  1. Scroll down to Japanese (Japan).
  2. Click the tiny plus sign next to this item to see the available keyboards.
  3. Put a check in the Microsoft IME item.
  4. Click OK.
Step 7
Back to the Text Services and Input Languages window, do these two steps:
  1. Make sure the Japanese keyboard information appears as shown below.
  2. Click the Language Bar tab.
Step 8
The Language Bar is how you switch text entry (typing) between Japanese and other languages. You can have the language bar always appear (float) on your desktop (recommended), or keep the language bar nested in the task bar at the bottom of your screen. The recommended settings are shown here. When finished, click OK.
Step 9
Click OK to close the Text Services and Input Languages window. Click OK again to close the Regional and Language Options window.
You're all done! You should now be able to type Japanese text in most applications (including the Nihongo-Pro classroom). To switch to Japanese text entry, follow these steps:
  1. Open an application where you can type in text, such as Word.
  2. From the Language Bar, choose Japanese. Then, from the Input Mode menu on the language bar, choose Hiragana.
  3. Type romaji. As you type, your romaji will be converted to hiragana automatically. The hiragana characters will be underlined with a dashed line. That is your indication that these characters can be converted to Kanji (see below).
    Hit the spacebar, and you'll see the system's recommended Kanji conversion (or the conversion might be plain hiragana—it depends on what you type).
    Hit the spacebar again, and you'll see all the possible Kanji conversions. Use the up and down cursor keys to choose the one that fits what you're typing, and hit Enter. Your text will be updated automatically.