Is there a less tiring way to type in japanese? I think I'm stressing my arms and wrists too much

My problem with typing in japanese is the arrow keys. In english, your arms and wrists remain stationary over the button keys, spacebar and enter. You can write almost anything from that position. With Japanese, and especially kanji applications like wanikani and kamesame, you need the arrow keys to select kanji/phrases, and arrow keys to backspace/delete parts of the phrase you dont want. You need them all the time, or at least I do. You’d think this is not important, but the constant movement of the right hand from JKL area to arrowkey area is putting a lot of stress on my arm/shoulder and it means i cant rest my elbow as much as i want… I’m probably having other issues as well right now, but writing japanese is definitely stressing it more than anything else.

How do natives/skilled people do it? is there a common trick to either minimize arrow usage or smart hotkeys in the ASD JKL areas? Or do you have the smae problem as me?

EDIT: made a small edit to highlight that its not only the up arrow selection (can be done with tab) but also the need to trim/cut parts of the prefilled phrase to , for example, keep one kanji or another kanji.

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I usually use spacebar to toggle between IME kanji conversion results.I can use tab, as well. I don’t really use the arrow keys.

You shouldn’t need to use the IME for WaniKani at all.

Ah okay, I see what you mean. For this, get into the habit of converting after every word, instead of entire phrases?

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I guess I can try to eliminate all instances of producing a 2-kanji word with the intent of keeping the leftmost one and that would remove the need for arrows. I just need to find better words to use to summon these kanji

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you mean when you need to type a single kanji in kamesame, for example? If I need the first kanji of a jukugo, I can just type the jukugo, convert, enter and backspace. If I need the second one, that’s harder, then I would need the arrow key, I guess.

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@ajdgaoigjaoirgjo This would probably make your life easier since you’d have fewer things to fix. Try to stick to short set phrases, say… 4 kanji or 1 verb at a time at most, and even then, do that mostly for expressions. If you’re handling a rare expression/one that just doesn’t come up in the IME suggestions, then go kanji by kanji. That aside, like @Saida said, the spacebar is your friend. On my computer, the arrow keys are really nearby (I just need to pivot my wrist a little) so I use them a lot and I guess I can’t fully empathise with what you’re experiencing. Most of my Japanese typing experience comes from using an IME. Either way, I hope you find a way to do this more comfortably soon!

EDIT: Another thing you might want to try, though I don’t know if this is easy to find for Japanese: try looking for a handwriting input system so that you have the option of just writing the kanji you need if you’re really stuck on something horrible that the IME doesn’t suggest at all. You can keep it on your computer as a last resort.

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Under normal IME usage, you’d only type what you need to type - you type the words and phrases you want to type in whole pieces, not kanji-by-kanji. Space to select options, enter (or just keep typing) to confirm. The arrow keys basically never come into play (though if you do hit space one too many times, backtracking with the arrow key is probably simpler than pushing space until you get back to the start again).

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It’s probably a daft remark. But at work we’re obliged to go through this ‘desk assessment’ every year. And be told how to sit properly and have our seat at the right height and our desk at the right height and so on. I’m typing this lounging on a sofa with a laptop on my legs. I know this is not good for my elbow as it’s squashed in a funny angle :slight_smile: I am just wondering if you are sitting nicely when you’re typing. Just that it might ease the tension in your shoulder?

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I WISH my work would do this!

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You should try Google’s IME. You can rebind literally every action you described (including cursor movement) and more to any keystroke of your choosing, including modifier keystrokes. I decided to use space key for “commit first suggestion” for example, so just now as a test, 日本語 was a 3 stroke process from start to finish. (に ほ spacebar, no enter key needed)

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Outside of those apps, and these forums, I’ve never really needed to input a single kanji. It’s basically just typing regular sentences. Although I have gotten really good at hitting left-arrow delete without looking. :wink:

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This isn’t really about the particular issue you’re talking about, but just in case you’d be interested, I thought I’d mention it.

If you’ve found that needing to press the enter key twice after every WaniKani review item to also be tiring, there’s this script that eliminates the need to do that. The way it works is, if what you’ve typed up is correct, then your answer is automatically entered, and it moves on to the next review item. One drawback is that it does make it possible to cheat, since if what you’ve written doesn’t automatically enter, you can figure out that isn’t what was wanted and change your answer. At the same time, though, sometimes the reason it doesn’t enter is just because of a typo or a negligible rephrasing of the answer that will get accepted anyways. So that ambiguity makes it easier to just go and press the enter key on the occasions that it isn’t automatically entered.

There’s also this script with a similar concept, but with more options when it comes to managing typos. I personally use the former, as well as a now unmaintained script with extra features, but to be honest, this second one looks like it might be better. (I only came across it just now, while finding out the other script I use isn’t maintained anymore.)

One reason I ended up taking a one year long hiatus from WaniKani was because of the strain it caused for my little finger from needing to hit the enter key so many times. (Just to clarify, though, it wasn’t a year because my finger was hurt that long. I just decided I didn’t want to do it anymore if it was going to be like that, and it took a year for me to come back and find out about scripts that could fix the problem.) So I hope this can be of some help to you as well.

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In my experience, Japanese people in general were surprised when I could touch type without looking at the keyboard. A lot of folks hunt and peck at the keyboard.

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Right now, I live in Japan and the computers I use have a button that can change between Kanji, half characters and English, but you could always buy a Japanese keyboard to do that!

The only thing I don’t like about Japanese keyboards is that the symbols are not in the same place (because they have to make more room for the characters). So the whole number line is one character off usually and I end up sending the opposite emojis or wrong symbols :stuck_out_tongue:

Otherwise, I downloaded Japanese IME for my personal (US) laptop and change between the two when I am typing on my own (not using an app such as Wanikani)

But I’m a little confused when you would have to type a Kanji in Wanikani. From my experience, I just keep my keyboard settings in English, and when I need to type a reading it automatically starts typing in hiragana once I combine the letters. (that’s usually how I catch myself before making a mistake between reading and meaning haha XD)

I never use the arrow keys, but when typing for Kanji in Word or something for example, I always punch the spacebar if I can’t find the right Kanji or it doesn’t select the correct one immediately (but that usually means I’ve spelled it incorrectly anyways, haha)

Haha this joke is funny because lots of buttons

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Chellykins, I fear they only do it so when you say “hey I’ve got a terrible pain from typing”, they can turn round and say “well you had the training, mate, you can’t sue us for sitting badly”!
that’s the cynical view at least :slight_smile:

Yeah, I agree with others who said that you shouldn’t need to use an IME with WK at all. There’s no reason it needs to be different from how you normally type.

If there is a time when you need one kanji in other applications, you can scroll through all the options to get to it without using arrows.

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In general, I find using the arrow keys annoying because of how distant they are from the other keys on my keyboard, so I’ve remapped alt + h/j/k/l to the left/down/up/right arrow keys, and I find that really helpful. You can use xkb to do this on linux and autohotkey on windows, but I’m not sure about mac os. You might also find it useful to swap the caps lock and left ctrl key.

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I was with you on vi style cursor movement but you lost me at CAPS lock. :wink:

I find it too useful for regular prose, especially in an acronym heavy field.

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i NEVER USE MY cAPS lOCK BUTTON

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