Sunday, 14 October 2012

Japanese Text Input in Fedora 17

Those who know me will already know that I'm currently learning Japanese.  Something that has helped with drafting assignments and corresponding with my teacher (we're encouraged to email to practice our Japanese) is setting up a Japanese IME on my PC.

As I use both Windows and Linux, I have the Microsoft IME set up on my Windows 7 partition (quite easy to set up) and Anthy on Linux.

After breaking a few things on my Fedora 17 instance, I reinstalled Fedora yesterday.  Since I couldn't remember what I did last time, a little Googline yielded what (or at least what I think is) the guide I used last time.

Written by Mark Rogoyski, it outlines everything you need to do to be able to enter Japanese text in GNOME3

A few pointers for those who are not familiar with a Japanese IME (which certainly caught me off guard at first) are:

  • ん - To enter this symbol, type "nn" rather than "n".  This has caused me problems where this character occurs immediately before another character on the n line.
  • The IME automatically tried to convert to kanji.  Pressing return will keep the hiragana/katakana you're entered.  Particularly important if (like me) you don't know kanji
  • Remember to switch it off!  I've lost track of the number of times I've Googled for a nonsensical set of Japanese characters or typed them in to an IM chat window.
  • On Anthy, Ctrl+Space switches between input modes.  I've found this to be quite useful when quickly switching between English and Japanese.
So far, Anthy has proven to be a very useful tool.