Japanese laptop, English "Win 7"


#1
Question for the more computer literate among the WK troopers:

I want to write English and Japanese on a laptop. 
On a recent trip to Japan I bought a cheap second hand laptop there (Sony Vaio).
The laptop is “empty”, the former user has reformatted the harddisk. 
Now I have an “original” Japanese laptop, including a Japanese keyboard.

Main goal with this machine:
Mainly write Japanese on it, but sometimes English as well. 
Want to install “English WIN 7” on it and then “Windows office for students” to use “Word”.

Will this work for writing English AND Japanese? Anything I need to consider or think about?
Thanks.








#2

Yes, Typing in a language is not tied to the language of the operating system.
Just install windows 7 English as normal and then install Google Japanese IME (recommended) or just activate the windows Japanese IME


#3

Though, japanese keyboards are really awkward  for typing in English. The spacebar is too short… and apostrophes, bane of my (computer) existence.


#4

@Mordoc Good to know the shortcomings of a Japanese keyboard. I have been thinking when I finally buy a Macbook Air I would order one with the Japanese keyboard.  I’m waiting for my Macbook Pro to die, or to become very non-portable-- it currently has to be plugged in, as the battery is dead, and the trackpad only works intermittently. But it’s still very functional… I’m getting closer though. May just plant the MBP on a desk as a “desktop” computer, and get the MBA for on the go. I think that expense will wait til AFTER my first trip to Japan. haha

@Werner Why not install Windows in Japanese? I have had my iPhone, iPad, Macbook, Apple TV, etc. (not to look like an Apple Fanboy) in Japanese for over a year now and it has really helped with reading speed/comprehension. I’ve learned new words, verb tenses, and other grammar points just from looking up things that I didn’t understand in system messages. It’s nice when my Google Maps app gives me directions in Japanese also. ^_^ Now, I am confident I could use just about any device in Japanese should I need to.

Edit: I guess I should also note that I am an IT person by trade, so perhaps operating an electronic in general is more intuitive for me… but I’d still say give it a shot! You could always revert to English should you need to.


#5
Apraxas said...Just install windows 7 English as normal and then install Google Japanese IME (recommended) or just activate the windows Japanese IME
 What's the difference with Google Japanese IME vs Windows Japanese IME and why is Google one recommended over the other?

#6
Saponutti said...
Apraxas said...Just install windows 7 English as normal and then install Google Japanese IME (recommended) or just activate the windows Japanese IME
 What's the difference with Google Japanese IME vs Windows Japanese IME and why is Google one recommended over the other?
 Auto correct, word suggestions, patterns etc

and also this
http://www.tofugu.com/2011/02/16/google-japanese-ime-for-better-typing-in-japanese/

#7

Typing in Japanese is basically the same whether you have a Japanese keyboard or an English keyboard. The only thing that’s different on a Japanese keyboard is the placement of symbols. (e.g. Shift+2 produces " on a Japanese keyboard instead of @).

So I hate to tell you this now, but you’re better off just changing your Windows keyboard settings rather than buying a laptop in Japan.

The only real advantage of getting a laptop in Japan, as far as learning Japanese is concerned, is if you have a Japanese OS and Japanese software. But if you don’t want that, you might as well get your laptop in your home country.


#8
linguarum said... Typing in Japanese is basically the same whether you have a Japanese keyboard or an English keyboard. The only thing that's different on a Japanese keyboard is the placement of symbols. (e.g. Shift+2 produces " on a Japanese keyboard instead of @).

So I hate to tell you this now, but you're better off just changing your Windows keyboard settings rather than buying a laptop in Japan.

The only real advantage of getting a laptop in Japan, as far as learning Japanese is concerned, is if you have a Japanese OS and Japanese software. But if you don't want that, you might as well get your laptop in your home country.
 He already owns a laptop from Japan. And yeah, you can install English OS and English software on a Japanese laptop, same way you can install a Japanese OS and Japanese software on an American/European laptop. It makes no difference software-wise (well, apart from maybe some pre-installed software, but you could install anything you want). The only thing that's probably different is the keyboard layout of the keyboard which is on the laptop. You could still just buy external keyboard with another layout if you prefer other layouts.

#9

Or buy an english keyboard for your laptops, there are lots of places you can find english kb layouts for your lap model.


#10

Thanks for all the suggestions.
Since my (Japanee) laptop is “empty” now, I will install the English WIN 7 and see how it goes. My Japanese is not good enough to understand (cryptic anyway) error messages, prompts from the OS.
That Google IME must be also a good idea.
When I install that, how do I make sure it does not mess with the IME provided by Windows ?



#11

One more question:
Does it matter if I install the English or the Japanese version of WORD / OFFICE ?



#12

When you buy a computer with a foreign layout, how do you get your countrie’s specific characters?
i’m considering buying one but i fear the lack of all the accents/specific chars


#13
linguarum said... Typing in Japanese is basically the same whether you have a Japanese keyboard or an English keyboard. The only thing that's different on a Japanese keyboard is the placement of symbols. (e.g. Shift+2 produces " on a Japanese keyboard instead of @).

So I hate to tell you this now, but you're better off just changing your Windows keyboard settings rather than buying a laptop in Japan.

The only real advantage of getting a laptop in Japan, as far as learning Japanese is concerned, is if you have a Japanese OS and Japanese software. But if you don't want that, you might as well get your laptop in your home country.
 I have an English keyboard on my PC and a German keyboard on my Mac, but have and use frequently 4 different locales (was five when I was working in Arabia) with these keyboards (DE, EN, TR, JP). The thing is there is quite a quick learning curve so you remember what key means what. And a few weeks later you type normally. 

Pro's don't look on the keys: http://www.daskeyboard.com/product/model-s-ultimate/

EDIT: Thanks about the Google IME, will try it out.

#14
Werner said... Thanks for all the suggestions.
Since my (Japanee) laptop is "empty" now, I will install the English WIN 7 and see how it goes. My Japanese is not good enough to understand (cryptic anyway) error messages, prompts from the OS.
That Google IME must be also a good idea.
When I install that, how do I make sure it does not mess with the IME provided by Windows ?

 They a considered separate layouts and do not conflict. You can just delete Microsoft IME from Japanese language settings in Windows Control Panel language settings. Here:



#15
mousouchop said... @Mordoc Good to know the shortcomings of a Japanese keyboard. I have been thinking when I finally buy a Macbook Air I would order one with the Japanese keyboard.  I'm waiting for my Macbook Pro to die, or to become very non-portable-- it currently has to be plugged in, as the battery is dead, and the trackpad only works intermittently. But it's still very functional... I'm getting closer though. May just plant the MBP on a desk as a "desktop" computer, and get the MBA for on the go. I think that expense will wait til AFTER my first trip to Japan. haha

Don't do it! Get the English keyboard. It's really easy to type in Japanese on a US keyboard layout. It's NOT as easy to type in English on a Japanese layout. Unless you want to try and look cool by having all the kana on your keys (which no one in Japan even uses, everyone types using romaji on a qwerty layout) You're just making life difficult for yourself. There's a button where the right side of the space bar should be that switches between kana and romaji (which never properly switches back to romaji) and the enter key is much narrower. It's so not worth the hassle. On a mac you can just as easily switch you system language to whatever you want. Since ⌘-space is the default for spotlight and switching languages and I use both of these with keyboard shortcuts, I switched my keyboard shortcut for switch language to ⌥-space.

I also use Google IME instead of Kotoeri, and turn off everything except for hiragana, because really that's all you need. You can still type full and half width katakana and kanji with the hiragana keyboard, but you don't have to cycle through so many keyboard layouts.

#16
mousouchop said...@Werner Why not install Windows in Japanese? I have had my iPhone, iPad, Macbook, Apple TV, etc. (not to look like an Apple Fanboy) in Japanese for over a year now and it has really helped with reading speed/comprehension. I've learned new words, verb tenses, and other grammar points just from looking up things that I didn't understand in system messages. It's nice when my Google Maps app gives me directions in Japanese also. ^_^ Now, I am confident I could use just about any device in Japanese should I need to.

Edit: I guess I should also note that I am an IT person by trade, so perhaps operating an electronic in general is more intuitive for me... but I'd still say give it a shot! You could always revert to English should you need to.
 Unlike mac, installations of windows are language specific, you'd have to buy separate versions of windows to do this, or get the ultimate (waste of money) version. On a mac it's really easy to switch the system language, on windows it's a pain in the ass.

I'm also an ex IT person/ex Apple employee :-) Yay for techies!

#17
Mordoc said...
mousouchop said...@Werner Why not install Windows in Japanese? I have had my iPhone, iPad, Macbook, Apple TV, etc. (not to look like an Apple Fanboy) in Japanese for over a year now and it has really helped with reading speed/comprehension. I've learned new words, verb tenses, and other grammar points just from looking up things that I didn't understand in system messages. It's nice when my Google Maps app gives me directions in Japanese also. ^_^ Now, I am confident I could use just about any device in Japanese should I need to.

Edit: I guess I should also note that I am an IT person by trade, so perhaps operating an electronic in general is more intuitive for me... but I'd still say give it a shot! You could always revert to English should you need to.
 you'd have to buy separate versions of windows to do this, or get the ultimate (waste of money) version. On a mac it's really easy to switch the system language, on windows it's a pain in the ass.


Not really true, while it Isn't as intuitive as a MAC you do can install different languages on other versions of win 7 other than Ultimate. I have Pro version with Spanish/Korean/Japanese installed on it and I can change the language easily. It is just matter of learning how to do it and googling a bit.

#18
Apraxas said...Not really true, while it Isn't as intuitive as a MAC you do can install different languages on other versions of win 7 other than Ultimate. I have Pro version with Spanish/Korean/Japanese installed on it and I can change the language easily. It is just matter of learning how to do it and googling a bit.
 Seconding this.
you just have to go into the language settings and add whatever language you want. for example i use korean/spanish/french/english/japanese switching em with ALT GR + SHIFT
works on 7 pro/home/etc.... (and every windows i've used since creation of the language bar

#19
johnDoe said...
Apraxas said...Not really true, while it Isn't as intuitive as a MAC you do can install different languages on other versions of win 7 other than Ultimate. I have Pro version with Spanish/Korean/Japanese installed on it and I can change the language easily. It is just matter of learning how to do it and googling a bit.
 Seconding this.
you just have to go into the language settings and add whatever language you want. for example i use korean/spanish/french/english/japanese switching em with ALT GR + SHIFT
works on 7 pro/home/etc.... (and every windows i've used since creation of the language bar
 I'm not referring to the language bar. Setting up the computer to type in different languages is fairly easy. And you can switch without much trouble.

I'm referring to the system language. For example, what language is your control panel in, what language do your menus use, etc?
Edit: Well, it looks like Windows 8 has this feature which was only available in Windows 7 Ultimate. So I guess it is possible now if you are using Windows 8. Windows 7 and earlier can't do it though.

#20
Mordoc said...
Windows 7 and earlier can't do it though.
 Did you read my post? >:I