Tips and Tricks (When Typing in Japanese)

Tips and Tricks (When typing in Japanese)

Using an English-Japanese keyboard can be difficult at times, but especially when you are attempting to write kanji. Here are some tricks and tips to make it easier! (Gathered from trial and error)

  1. To type を, (if you use an English keyboard) type ‘wo’
  2. To write specific kanji, check the spellcheck options when typing out the words.
  3. Type in ‘^_^’ (on mobile it’s in the symbols section) for all different kinds of faces on the correction bar.
  4. Press space to automatically turn hiragana into kanji

I’m sorry that I don’t have any more tips for typing, but I hope you find these useful!

Until next time,



Note: I’ll be continuing my study log somewhat on 2024-03-09T08:00:00Z


Aye, because it is a “wo”, even though it’s pronounced “o” in modern usage. In general, when you’re typing with romaji input, you want to be thinking in terms of wapuro romaji rather than one of the other standard romanisations, because wapuro romaji (i.e. short for “word processor”) is what you need to type on a QWERTY keyboard to get the right kana.


For characters like し and ち and つ you can type si and ti and tu (instead of shi and chi and tsu), saving yourself some keypresses.

You can also type, for example, either zi or ji for じ depending on which is easier on your particular keyboard layout. Some keyboards (including WaniKani’s) also allow things like ca for ka.

ん can be typed as n' (that’s N + apostrophe). Also, ん at the end of a word can be typed as N + spacebar. I find this useful for things like ばんにん since I find ban'nin easier than bannninn.

To insert a “little” kana, you can type an L before entering the kana. For example, ala produces あぁ.

Use du and di to type づ and ぢ.

Use / to type ・ (the “interpunct” mark)

Use [ and ] to type 「 and 」 (quotation marks).

  • Type in all caps for katakana - kana will turn into かな, but KANA turns into カナ

  • Any kana that can be small can be typed by prefixing it with l or x - for instance, both ltu and xtu turn into っ - this also works for アイウエオ so you can write things like ディジタル

  • They’re mostly obsolete but very occasionally still used: you can type the kana for “we” and “wi” by typing wye and wyi. One example of a current usage is a VTuber named Sakamata Chloe, whose given name is written クロヱ (kurowe). You can type this as KUROWYE


I find the history of を to be super interesting. I found this great video on it (in japanese so time to get that immersion time in I guess. Or just look at the diagrams, they’re not too hard to understand):

Basically を was pronounced /wo/ but so was お at one point. The sounds merged before the /w/ glide got dropped. Then in the 1946 spelling reform, を was eliminated from the language except for when using the particle. (which I think everyone here appreciates :sweat_smile:)

Still sometimes in songs I swear it’s still pronounced wo. Like here (0:55 after 心):

Maybe thats just a dialect thing?

Anyway on topic advice. Um, on mobile download a sliding based kana keyboard so you can feel like a texting god and input reviews at the speed of sound.


Aye, it is, sometimes. I figure it’s for the purposes of clearer enunciation.


Your other video talks a bit about that from 3m56 to 5m12 – apparently the modern kana spellings have led some people to believe that the particle を “ought” to be /wo/ because it is in the w-column of the kana chart, but the pronunciation is still very close to を so it’s not really detectable except when being clearly enunciated in e.g. songs. Also it’s apparently pronounced that way in Ehime-ken dialect – this news article quotes a survey saying 77% of people from there pronounced it like that. The map of survey results at the bottom of this article suggests it’s not limited to Ehime dialect though.


It’s a funny thing isnt it. It’s not like these people are also pronouncing the old を usages with /wo/. So its a language change driven entirely by orthography. But its not even about how the words are being spelt, it’s about how the letters are organized. That kind of thing isnt even possible in english, imagine if we changed the order of the alphabet and suddenly people started pronouncing “s” differently. Isn’t language crazy.