Kana keyboard app for Mac


#1

Hello,
I would like to know if anyone is aware of a screen based ( pseudo keyboard onscreen with mouse click etc. ) app for typing kana with Mac.  I know you can switch the keyboard to Japanese on the internation preferences, but it is sort of arduous as you can’t match the roman letters with the kana.  I was thinking of something where a  ( soft ) keyboard appears on screen.  I think thats what they call it, soft keyboard. Thank you. 


#2
Oscardog said... you can't match the roman letters with the kana. 
Not entirely sure what you mean here.  If I type in "ka" on my mac, with input source "Hiragana" enabled, I get か .  I use a keyboard shortcut ( command + space) to switch between English and Japanese, so it's not "arduous" at all.

#3

I’m not at my Mac right now, so I’m not 100% sure. I believe when you switch your input language to Japanese, you can start the keyboard viewer from the language symbol in your task bar or from the language system settings. Maybe that suits your needs.


#4
waldrumpus said... I'm not at my Mac right now, so I'm not 100% sure. I believe when you switch your input language to Japanese, you can start the keyboard viewer from the language symbol in your task bar or from the language system settings. Maybe that suits your needs.

Confirmed.  Go to "Keyboard Preferences" - "Keyboard" - click the "Show Keyboard and Character Viewers in menu bar" check box.  From the dropdown menu (usually displays an American flag with "U.S." written next to it) click "Show Keyboard Viewer"

Still not entirely sure why you would want to use this over just typing, but... 

#5
pushindawood said...
waldrumpus said... I'm not at my Mac right now, so I'm not 100% sure. I believe when you switch your input language to Japanese, you can start the keyboard viewer from the language symbol in your task bar or from the language system settings. Maybe that suits your needs.

Confirmed.  Go to "Keyboard Preferences" - "Keyboard" - click the "Show Keyboard and Character Viewers in menu bar" check box.  From the dropdown menu (usually displays an American flag with "U.S." written next to it) click "Show Keyboard Viewer"

Still not entirely sure why you would want to use this over just typing, but... 

Thanks,

I got the keyboard to work when I clicked ? show keyboard viewer? , thank you.   However, when my input source is Hiragana on the above right, the sound input are not at all corresponding.  Like on the WaniKani system, the sounds represent perfect input, but on the Mac, it's not accurate.  Maybe I have a setting wrong.  Thanks. 
 

#6

check if you’re using kana input or romaji input. if you want to use kana input with a us keyboard, then the keyboard viewer will show a  kana character for each key. if you want romaji input, the keyboard viewer will just show the regular roman letters. 

im not sure what you mean by “the sounds represent perfect input”


#7
pushindawood said...
Oscardog said... you can't match the roman letters with the kana. 
Not entirely sure what you mean here.  If I type in "ka" on my mac, with input source "Hiragana" enabled, I get か .  I use a keyboard shortcut ( command + space) to switch between English and Japanese, so it's not "arduous" at all.
 My experience is pretty much the same as push & others--I too use the same keyboard shortcut. When I do that, and hold the keys down, I can see inside a box on my screen in front of me--a choice of 1) U.S. 2) Hiragana, and 3) Katakana--each of those terms without the numbers and not in the same order (the words rotate, in a vertical stack) depending on which writing system I am using at any given time.

Also, the choice I am currently using show up at the top right side if for some reason I need to confirm what system I am using atm.

You can--and I did--tweak the settings in the Systems Preferences (keyboard) so that your keyboard functions as you wish. There are a number well-written explanations for how to do that (for a Mac) on the net, if you need more details.

As I mentioned, I did some adjustments (using some online explanations for how to do it) when I first started typing in kana--and I realized I was in fact making it much more difficult than necessary. 

All you need to do (once the settings are tweaked properly) is type the sound you "hear" in your head, just like push described.

I was almost shocked--and very happy--when I realized how easy it is, the system as is will quickly change the hiragana into kanji too.

#8
Oscardog said...
Thanks,
I got the keyboard to work when I clicked ? show keyboard viewer? , thank you.   However, when my input source is Hiragana on the above right, the sound input are not at all corresponding.  Like on the WaniKani system, the sounds represent perfect input, but on the Mac, it's not accurate.  Maybe I have a setting wrong.  Thanks. 
 The Romaji → Kana/Kanji is called IME and sadly not all IME's are consistent, some have different rules for conversion (differences must be really rare though).

I have multiple OS' that I tried IME's on (5 in total) and never had problems with them. On Mac, I've used Mac's own IME for quite some time before switching to Google's IME. There were no differences to WK. So it must be something wrong on your end. Can you give an example, so we can assist you?

Also check → Wāpuro rōmaji.


ShotgunLagoon said...

 sure what you mean by "the sounds represent perfect input"
Maybe the workarounds for Kana like っょ (eg. 'ltu'; 'xyo'; etc.). But that cannot be helped unless changing to a real Kana keyboard layout. But let's wait for some examples from the OP.

#9

oscardog, i believe it is considered rude to ask for help and then not respond when people try to help you. have you solved your problem? do you need more help? did our advice help? we would like to know. 


#10
ShotgunLagoon said... oscardog, i believe it is considered rude to ask for help and then not respond when people try to help you. have you solved your problem? do you need more help? did our advice help? we would like to know. 
 Lol..  I just woke up, give me a chance.  I wrote the question before I went to bed.  OMG.  I live in Japan, so a little sympathy for TZ difference please.  

#11
West2East said...
pushindawood said...
Oscardog said... you can't match the roman letters with the kana. 
Not entirely sure what you mean here.  If I type in "ka" on my mac, with input source "Hiragana" enabled, I get か .  I use a keyboard shortcut ( command + space) to switch between English and Japanese, so it's not "arduous" at all.
 My experience is pretty much the same as push & others--I too use the same keyboard shortcut. When I do that, and hold the keys down, I can see inside a box on my screen in front of me--a choice of 1) U.S. 2) Hiragana, and 3) Katakana--each of those terms without the numbers and not in the same order (the words rotate, in a vertical stack) depending on which writing system I am using at any given time.

Also, the choice I am currently using show up at the top right side if for some reason I need to confirm what system I am using atm.

You can--and I did--tweak the settings in the Systems Preferences (keyboard) so that your keyboard functions as you wish. There are a number well-written explanations for how to do that (for a Mac) on the net, if you need more details.

As I mentioned, I did some adjustments (using some online explanations for how to do it) when I first started typing in kana--and I realized I was in fact making it much more difficult than necessary. 

All you need to do (once the settings are tweaked properly) is type the sound you "hear" in your head, just like push described.

I was almost shocked--and very happy--when I realized how easy it is, the system as is will quickly change the hiragana into kanji too.
 Ok, so on the hiragana keyboard input for ka I get  のち    for the input of ki is get のに   for se  i get  とい   So those are a few examples if it helps anyone think whats going on.  I get the choice on the top right under the keyboard input as the following.   Romaji,   Hiragana,   Katakana ,   Full width Romaji,   Half width Katakana.    So I have it on Hiragana.  Thanks.

#12
ShotgunLagoon said... oscardog, i believe it is considered rude to ask for help and then not respond when people try to help you. have you solved your problem? do you need more help? did our advice help? we would like to know. 
 Hello ...

#13

Ok, I guess all is lost. 


#14

So you type on a western keyboard with an IME and get for ka ->  のち?
That’s strange. Either you IME is crazy or something else is going on.

Do you have other keyboard layouts you use?

If for example have problems, when I switch from my Turkish keyboard layout to the Hiragana IME. My IME uses the last used non-Japanese keyboard as the key layout for the IME. That means, that the English key for [ i ] will be mapped to the Turkish character [ ı ]. Or when switching from German keyboard to to Japanese, the [ z ] key would be mapped to [ y ].

My IME can’t recognize the character ı and therefore fail to give me し.

Try another IME

I’m using the Google IME which has some nice features. You can see the features and Download the IME for Mac and Windows on the IME website. All I need Google’s IME is the Hiragana layout and should work like the OS’s native IME’s, only better.

Hopefully this will fix it. On WaniKani you don’t need an IME, the input automatically switches, which is nice.


#15

Thank you.  I will give the Google IME a try. 


#16

Emin,   Thanks again !  I just downloaded the Google IME and it works perfectly.  Very nice…  Thanks !!


#17
Oscardog said... Emin,   Thanks again !  I just downloaded the Google IME and it works perfectly.  Very nice..  Thanks !!
 Glad it worked. Now we can party.




#18
West2East said...
pushindawood said...
Oscardog said... you can't match the roman letters with the kana. 
Not entirely sure what you mean here.  If I type in "ka" on my mac, with input source "Hiragana" enabled, I get か .  I use a keyboard shortcut ( command + space) to switch between English and Japanese, so it's not "arduous" at all.
 My experience is pretty much the same as push & others--I too use the same keyboard shortcut. When I do that, and hold the keys down, I can see inside a box on my screen in front of me--a choice of 1) U.S. 2) Hiragana, and 3) Katakana--each of those terms without the numbers and not in the same order (the words rotate, in a vertical stack) depending on which writing system I am using at any given time.

Also, the choice I am currently using show up at the top right side if for some reason I need to confirm what system I am using atm.

You can--and I did--tweak the settings in the Systems Preferences (keyboard) so that your keyboard functions as you wish. There are a number well-written explanations for how to do that (for a Mac) on the net, if you need more details.

As I mentioned, I did some adjustments (using some online explanations for how to do it) when I first started typing in kana--and I realized I was in fact making it much more difficult than necessary. 

All you need to do (once the settings are tweaked properly) is type the sound you "hear" in your head, just like push described.

I was almost shocked--and very happy--when I realized how easy it is, the system as is will quickly change the hiragana into kanji too.
I do the same thing, too. My coworker taught me, to use the command space, option. Before that I was selecting from the task bar. It makes life very easy. I have never had an issue, also it's nice to only need hiragana since you can shift for katakana. I'm just confused about the input being different. Aren't all qwerty inputs based on phonetics sounds? Everyone I have met uses the Mac or PC built in.

#19

Late to the party, but one of the first things I install on a new computer is the Google IME. Love it.


#20

I know you’re problem is solved but I kinda want to elaborate a little more so you, and anyone else wondering, knows what’s going on. (others touched on this I think but there still seems to be some confusion)

ok, so there are two way of inputting japanese on a keyboard: romaji and kana. technically speaking, kana input has the potential to be twice as fast as romaji input since it only requires one keystroke per kana, but romaji is by far the most popular input method - both in japan and out. romaji input accepts both Hepburn romaji and Nihon-shiki romaji. so akachan and akatyan both give you あかちゃん (I prefer nihon-shiki because it generally uses less keys among other reasons but most people just use hepburn because it’s the more common romanization outside of japan).

in your case, you were accidentally using kana input so while you were expecting ka → か, what you really got was k → の a → ち. this picture should help explain:



so really, using kana input you only need to type ‘t’ to get か. I use windows’ and mac’s built in IMEs and they are identical for all I can tell. unfortunately, the only mac I use is at school and I’m at home so I don’t know off the top of my head how to set up the IME correctly with romaji input but there are plenty of results that come up if you google it. I’ve never used google’s IME outside of google translate and I don’t know why anyone would need to since both these operating systems come with fully functioning IMEs already but it just comes down to personal preference I guess.

I hope this long drawn out post actually helped someone or that was a waste of a good 45 minutes lol.

ps. there are a lot of other quirks and cool things going on in the background of your IME that would take forever to talk about but once you get good at it you can make pretty cool and useful symbols (ok useful might be a stretch) like ★∵⁂*⑥▽↺ and a whole heck ton more.

happy typing :slight_smile: (sorry for the long post!)

EDIT (cause that’s what this post needs, something to make it even longer): here’s a nice article showing a lot of helpful tricks with the IME for anyone interested.