Noob tip: type on a keyboard

I’m sure you’re thinking, “duh” (or “no doy” from my era), but, wow, what a difference a keyboard makes (when you can). I’m getting through reviews sooo much faster. On the phone is certainly convenient, but if you have time hop on a keyboard. Also, I surprised myself with how well I can type Japanese on a keyboard. Look at me, typing Japanese as fast as I type English! 凄い!


On the flip side, if you want to learn kana keyboard for your phone, WK is actually an awesome way to get quicker. I can swipe through reviews crazy fast now after a few months of this


Do you mean the layout that looks like a number/keypad and you hold down the hiragana? Maybe I need to force myself to use it more often! ありがとうございます!


Once you learn the a-i-u-e-o layout the keys use you don’t need to hold them down anymore and that’s when you really start blitzing it.


Wow, ok, you all got me intrigued. A new challenge! I am a year into learning Japanese. Never thought I would be able to learn how to read and write hiragana and katakana (in correct stroke order), but I did it (Tuttle workbook I believe). Then I thought Kanji was totally out of reach and along came WaniKani. Now I amaze myself when I can read a vocabulary word that I never saw before. Plus I am learning Kanji stroke order on my own along the way. So much is starting to feel do-able now. I am up for the challenge! Thanks again!


Even faster than the kana keyboard for your phone, is the kana keyboard for computer. You can switch your IME to use kana input so it’s 1 key per kana. I recommend keyboard stickers when you’re just starting out, but it doesn’t take long to get used to touch typing. It only took me a week or two to stop looking at the keys. It also helps you to get used to thinking in kana rather than the English alphabet.


Oh sick, that’s good to know. I was curious but heard that no-one actually uses it so I figured it wasn’t worth it. Will give it a crack though!


I think I switched to direct kana around level 20 and I much prefer it. I find it to be much faster and I like not having to do weird things like spelling おんな as “onnna”. It also was super useful in not accidentally putting the reading when it wanted the meaning since it doesn’t accept a kana answer. It doesn’t make as much of a difference on that front now since the recent update to shake messages. I think if more people tried using it when they got started it would be more popular. Setting it up can take a bit of effort though and people get used to just using the English alphabet and don’t want to slow down to adapt to a different method.

I always wonder why を isn’t laid out in the same direction as the other お-sounds.

I think it’s mostly that even Japanese don’t really use it, so learners don’t see it worth learning, as is it is quite a task. I did buy a Japanese keyboard with the kana on it, but didn’t have the patience for it :sweat_smile:. Love the kana keybaord on phone, though.


I wonder if を is laid out like it is due to historical 平仮名 that were deprecated.


Yeah, を and わ belong with ゐ and ゑ in the w- row, even though を is no longer pronounced ‘wo’ in general. However, I think @Saida was referring to the direction which, at least on my keyboard, is down for -o, but left for を. My hunch: The key is at the bottom of the screen, and swiping down from there is kinda hard, so the (arguably) more important を was switched to a more accessible direction.


I’d be interested in seeing a study on how common it is for a Japanese native to type in the English alphabet and the reasons why they do. It seems inefficient to type in a language you’re less familiar with that requires you to hit twice as many keys to say anything without a reason to do so. I’m glad you tried it before deciding it wasn’t for you.

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Yes, that’s the one. As @oesterreich said, once you get used to the order (every key uses the same direction for a-i-u-e-o variants) then it gets really fast. I find it much faster than using the romaji style keyboard now, and it gets you out of the English frame of mind.

You are correct, it isn’t worth it. There’s a reason virtually no Japanese people use it. If you desperately wanted to type as fast as humanly possible you should get a ステノワード.

It’s something like over 90% use romaji-input. I watched a few Japanese videos about it and most recommended learning ローマ字入力 over かな入力. But said both are valid if you are used to them. Romaji-input is just easier to learn even for Japanese people, since you have less keys to memorize, and a big factor ergonomically is that in kana input you have to use the number row for some kana. Personally that feels kinda awkward, especially for touch typing. Also would be a pain to have to teach students to type English.

From Sony typing school

Holy hell that looks weird :smiley:.

I just spent over an hour cutting out tiny little kana to glue onto my keyboard keys and changed all the settings to give it a go!

I have a feeling I’m going to be frustrated later on today… and want my hour back

but… 亜馬はまはりのチマ支払いにテスマラニア馬は西はマイマニラ亜馬らに

so fast!!!

(google translate says it means “Ama Hamahari Chima payment Tesmalania horse to Mai Manila Ama in the west”)

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Ah, that makes sense. Being easier to learn and having the added benefit of helping Japanese students get more used to the English alphabet are good reasons. I suppose I never had any issues with using the number keys since I was already used to using them in video games.

Well, it’s not like I’m not used to them; having to reach over two rows instead of each key being only one row away just feels inefficient and slow as you have to switch your hand position more.

I find having to type twice as many keys slows me down more than having to reach a little further. To each their own though.