Romaji or Kana input?

I was just wondering what most people use for their input?

I mainly use romaji input but occasionally use my Google IME.

I would like to use kana input more, but the trouble is I’m much slower with it. Not actually with my Japanese input per se, but just generally with the interface and the method of typing. Swiping for English letters is a real drag!

Has anyone persevered with this input method and eventually found it beneficial and quicker?

I know a lot of Japanese people use romaji input themselves, but they are coming from the opposite side of the spectrum. As an English speaker I can’t help thinking moving away from romaji input will break down barriers and eventually help my comprehension. I still tend to think of words in romaji rather than kanji and this probably reduces my recollection when seeing the Japanese compounds.

On another point… is there anyway to type answers in katakana? I assumed Wanikani would just accept the katakana equivalents, but it doesn’t seem to. Inputting via this method seems like a good way to get my katakana on par with my hiragana.



Personally I only use the inbuilt ime wanikani comes bundled with


Uppercase letters get converted into katakana in the Wanikani IME (or did you mean whether wanikani accepts katakana instead of hiragana? No, it doesn’t, only for words like フランス人 and stuff where the word is partly katakana).
On my phone, I tried switching to kana input once but didn’t stick with it, so I’m using romaji input and I don’t feel like there’s any disadvantage to it (since Japanese people use it too).

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Based on your post, I’m assuming you’re talking about cell phone input, right?

If so, I use the kana-flick keyboard for input and press a button to switch to my English swipe keyboard when I need to write in English. It is quicker, though using the flick keyboard has a learning curve.

As for my desktop computer, I utilize the Microsoft IME romaji input because it makes more sense to do it that way.


Are we talking about mobile here?

Yeah, mobile input. do most of my reviews on my phone.

Yeah, It’s a shame it doesn’t accept katakana

On mobile, Japanese people don’t use romaji input much at all.


If you want to see more katakana when doing wanikani, there’s the Katakana Madness script which automatically turns hiragana into katakana for on’yomi in kanji reviews.

Great thanks, I think I will download this and try it out. Makes sense for on’yomi anyway!

For WaniKani I use the built in ime, but use a kana flick keyboard for writing Japanese in other contexts. It seems counterproductive to use it for wanikani, since more than half the answers (counting radicals) are in English. I’ll also sometimes use a traditional Chinese handwriting keyboard for single kanji, like with KameSame.

for wk reviews/lessons, built in input is the best.
for forums or else, i use gboard. it has japanese qwerty option to type in romaji to quickly get 漢字
in pc, i use microsoft ime input. it is not easy, i dunno… ctrl + shift 1 and 0 to change language, then alt + capslock to katakana, ctrl + capslock to hiragana and finally ALT + ~ ( or é ) to switch romaji…

I appreciate WaniKani’s built in IME. Some of my desktop IMEs convert the characters into their kanji before I make the input, and while I do like that self-validation that I got my reading correct, I don’t think WaniKani likes me saying that the reading for 漢字 is 漢字. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Slightly off-topic, but are there any good training programs for learning flick kana input on phones? I’ve tried to get used to it but never managed to succeed. I know that I probably just need to keep practicing, but I was wondering if there were any shortcuts to proficiency.

second that, I’ve never seen it (although because I spend winter in Japan, maybe they just like using flick input because it takes them less time, meaning their hands become less cold ;))

I tried FlicKuma (it’s an app on Android, not sure if it’s available on iphone) Jury is still out on whether it is good or not though.


I’ve tried it on iPhone. It’s more of a practice app than a training app…

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For WK I only use the inbuilt input, so romaji, but when texting I use the kana swipe input.

I have two installed, one that is swipe only to get to いうえお options, and one that allows tapping to switch between the options. I stopped using the second one mostly, because it is annoying when writing words with the same kana repeated. But I still use it for special symbols, since it has a lot more options in this menu:

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More importantly, my phone’s 9-kana keyboard has an emoji button. :slightly_smiling_face:


I use kana input for mobile. It was difficult at the start, but it was worth it because I make so many more typos using romaji. I think it saves time in the end too, if you’re fast enough. You only have to type one character instead of two letters.

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