Hey everyone! (First post here!)
Apologies if this is a duplicate post, but I’ve reviewed similar posts and most of them don’t get at the questions I’d like to ask here. They either seem to be feature suggestions or not provide a great overview.
To put it simply, “should I use romaji input or kana input?”. From what I have gathered, this depends on
- the platform you’re using
- the keyboard you’re using (if one at all)
- personal preference
Additionally, because of issues like IME auto-suggest, it seems like your preferred method of typing Japanese may change depending on whether you’re using WaniKani or not.
To put my specific problem simply, I mostly use WaniKani on my Surface Book with Windows 11 connected to an external monitor and an EN-US gamer keyboard. I also do reviews on my phone, a Surface Duo, when I do not have access to my computer. I connect a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse if I have a flat surface, but I usually just use Microsoft Swiftkey 12-key swipe input.
My reasons for creating this post are two-fold: I find,
- I downgrade around 1% to 3% of my reviews because of reading misinputs.
- I would like to do my reviews as fast as possible.
So far, I haven’t done much about either of these. Getting a few reviews wrong each time means they’ll just pop up again later so I can “learn them better” or something. I also feel like I can crank out my reviews pretty quickly with a high accuracy rate.
It seems that resolving one problem makes the other worse. Slowing down takes longer but I get fewer wrong, and speeding up is faster but I’ll likely get more wrong. I’d like to attack one or both of these problems by improving my typing setup.
As for mobile, it seems like 12-key is not necessarily more popular than romaji, so I could try the romaji keyboard. Or I could just get better at swipe input.
As for desktop, I can turn off predictions completely in IME settings. I can also use kana input to emulate a Japanese keyboard. Based on what I know about Japanese keyboards and this link, it seems like kana input would be difficult to use on a US keyboard, as there are special keys for the IME and switching inputs (not to mention memorizing the kana locations).
Should I get a Japanese keyboard? Is it faster? My friend who does Japanese-to-English translation for a living has one, but I don’t know which input mode he uses. Even if I don’t use kana, are there any benefits that make a JP keyboard better for romaji input? And even if I can’t get kana to be faster for WaniKani, what are the advantages and disadvantages to switching input modes and/or keyboards?
If using kana input and/or buying a JP keyboard is better in the long-run, I don’t mind attacking the learning curve to switching now. But I also want to make sure I don’t buy a new keyboard and/or learn a new typing style to little return.
Sorry if this post was a long one. Looking forward to your answers and hoping this spawns some interesting discussion!