Master How to Type in Japanese on Your Keyboard (2024)

Master How to Type in Japanese on Your Keyboard (1)

Do you want to learn how to type in Japanese? Being able to type in Japanese opens up a world of communication and learning opportunities. Whether you want to chat with friends, write emails, or engage in online discussions in Japanese, mastering Japanese typing methods is essential. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of installing a Japanese keyboard on your computer and mobile devices. We will also share tips and shortcuts to help you type in hiragana, katakana, and kanji with ease.

Typing in Japanese requires an understanding of its unique characters and grammar. While English keyboards use the Roman alphabet, Japanese keyboards have keys for hiragana (ひらがな), katakana (カタカナ), and kanji (漢字). Hiragana and katakana are phonetic scripts used for native Japanese words, while kanji consists of Chinese characters used for both native and borrowed words.

Grammar and word order in Japanese differ from English. Japanese sentences generally follow the structure: subject-object-verb, and particles are used to indicate grammatical function. Learning basic Japanese grammar will help you construct sentences correctly and understand the context of different words.

When it comes to pronunciation, Japanese has a relatively simple sound system compared to English. Each consonant-vowel combination has its own unique sound. Although there may be small variations in pronunciation, mastering the basic sounds will enable you to pronounce Japanese words accurately.

Equivalent words in Japanese can be written in kanji, hiragana, or katakana. Kanji are Chinese characters that represent whole words or ideas. Hiragana and katakana are syllabaries that represent the sounds in the Japanese language. While hiragana is used for native Japanese words and grammatical elements, katakana is used for foreign words, loanwords, and emphasis.

Writing in kanji can be more complex as there are thousands of characters to learn. It requires memorization and practice to become proficient in reading and writing kanji. To type in kanji, you can use the input method on your keyboard to convert hiragana or katakana input into kanji characters based on context and usage.

The contextual and cultural usage of words in Japanese is important to understand. Different words and expressions may have multiple meanings or be used in specific contexts. It’s crucial to consider cultural nuances and use appropriate language when communicating in Japanese, both in written and spoken form.

By mastering how to type in Japanese, you’ll be able to communicate effectively and engage with Japanese language and culture. Whether you’re learning Japanese for personal or professional reasons, typing in Japanese will enhance your language skills and open doors to new opportunities.

Installing Japanese Keyboards on Windows

When it comes to typing in Japanese on your Windows computer, installing the Japanese input method is essential. Follow these step-by-step instructions to easily install Japanese keyboards on your Windows device:

  1. Click on the Start button and select “Settings.”
  2. In the Settings window, click on “Time & Language.”
  3. Select “Language” from the left-hand menu.
  4. Click on the “Add a language” button.
  5. Scroll down and find “Japanese” in the list of available languages, then click on it.
  6. Click on the “Next” button to begin the installation.
  7. Select the desired language features, such as the keyboard layout and handwriting recognition, then click on “Install.”
  8. Wait for the installation process to complete.
  9. Once the installation is finished, you can switch between different keyboard layouts by clicking on the language icon located on your taskbar.

Now that you have successfully installed the Japanese keyboard on your Windows computer, you can start typing in Japanese with ease. Whether you’re chatting with friends, writing emails, or browsing Japanese websites, the Japanese input method allows you to effortlessly communicate in Japanese.

Next, let’s move on to installing Japanese keyboards on Mac computers.

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Installing Japanese Keyboards on Mac

Master How to Type in Japanese on Your Keyboard (2)

If you are using a Mac computer, you can easily install a Japanese keyboard to type in Japanese effortlessly. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Open System Preferences

Click on the Apple menu at the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences” from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Access Keyboard Preferences

In the System Preferences window, click on the “Keyboard” icon.

Step 3: Add Japanese Keyboard

In the Keyboard preferences, go to the “Input Sources” tab. Here, click on the “+” button at the bottom-left to add a new keyboard.

Step 4: Select Japanese

A list of available keyboards will appear. Scroll down or use the search bar to find “Japanese” and select it.

Step 5: Choose Input Method

You can choose between “Hiragana”, “Katakana”, or “Romaji” input methods. Hiragana and Katakana are Japanese syllabaries, while Romaji allows you to type in English letters that are automatically converted into Japanese characters.

Step 6: Start Typing in Japanese

With the Japanese keyboard installed, you can now start typing in Japanese. Use the input method you selected to enter hiragana, katakana, or kanji characters.

Installing a Japanese keyboard on your Mac opens up new opportunities for communication, learning, and exploration of the Japanese language and culture.

Installing Japanese Keyboards on iPhone and Android

Typing in Japanese on your smartphone is quick and convenient. To start typing in Japanese on your iPhone, follow these steps:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Scroll down and tap on “General.”

3. Tap on “Keyboard.”

4. Select “Keyboards” again.

5. Tap on “Add New Keyboard.”

6. Scroll down and select “Japanese.”

7. Choose the desired keyboard type: “Kana” (hiragana and katakana), “Romaji” (Romanized characters), or “Emoji.”

8. You’ve successfully installed the Japanese keyboard on your iPhone!

To switch between keyboards when typing, tap the globe icon on your keyboard until the Japanese keyboard appears.

If you’re an Android user, here’s how you can install a Japanese keyboard on your device:

1. Open the Settings app on your Android device.

2. Scroll down and tap on “System.”

3. Tap on “Languages & input.”

4. Tap on “Virtual keyboard.”

5. Select “Gboard.”

6. Tap on “Languages.”

7. Tap on “Add keyboard.”

8. Scroll down and select “Japanese.”

9. Choose the desired keyboard layout: “QWERTY” (Romaji), “Kana,” or “12-key.”

10. You’ve successfully installed the Japanese keyboard on your Android device!

To switch between keyboards when typing, tap the globe icon or the keyboard icon on your Android keyboard until the Japanese keyboard appears.

How to Use Japanese Keyboards

Once you have a Japanese keyboard installed on your device, it’s time to start typing in hiragana, katakana, and kanji! Here are some tips to help you use Japanese keyboards effectively:

Typing in Hiragana and Katakana

When typing in Japanese, you will commonly use hiragana and katakana characters. Here’s how you can switch between these two character sets on different platforms:

PlatformSwitching to HiraganaSwitching to Katakana
WindowsPress the Alt + Caps Lock keysPress the Ctrl + Caps Lock keys
MacPress the Ctrl + Shift + Caps Lock keysPress the Shift + Caps Lock keys
iPhoneTap the かな (Kana) key on the keyboardTap the カナ (Katakana) key on the keyboard
AndroidTap the あ/A key on the keyboardTap the ア/A key on the keyboard
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Japanese Typing Shortcuts

Typing in Japanese can be made faster and more efficient with the help of keyboard shortcuts. Here are some handy shortcuts you can use:

  • Double consonant: To type a double consonant, simply type the consonant twice. For example, to type “っ” in hiragana, press “t” twice.
  • Small characters: To type small characters (e.g., ぁ、ぃ、ぇ、ぉ), type “x” before the corresponding character. For example, “xa” becomes ぁ.
  • N character: To type “ん” in hiragana, type “nn”.
  • Long vowel: To type a long vowel (e.g., おう、えい、あぁ), type the letter “o”, “e”, or “a” twice. For example, “oo” becomes おう.

With these shortcuts, you’ll be able to type Japanese characters more efficiently and swiftly.

Now that you have learned how to use Japanese keyboards, you’re ready to start typing in hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Practice regularly to improve your speed and accuracy. In the next section, we will share some resources you can use to enhance your Japanese typing skills.

Resources for Japanese Typing Practice

Practice is key to improving your Japanese typing skills. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to refine your existing abilities, these resources will provide valuable practice opportunities and aid your journey towards mastering Japanese typing.

1. Online Typing Exercises: There are several websites that offer interactive typing exercises specifically designed for Japanese learners. These exercises help you familiarize yourself with the keyboard layout, practice typing common Japanese words and phrases, and improve your accuracy and speed. Some popular options include “,” “,” and “”

2. Typing Software: Another effective way to practice Japanese typing is by using typing software. These programs provide a structured learning environment with various exercises and lessons to enhance your typing skills. Look for software that offers specific Japanese typing drills and gradually increases the difficulty level as you progress. “TypingMaster” and “TypingClub” are two widely-used typing software options worth exploring.

3. Mobile Apps: If you prefer practicing on the go, there are also mobile apps available for Japanese typing practice. These apps offer interactive lessons, typing games, and challenges to keep you engaged and motivated. Some popular Japanese typing apps include “Kana Typing Game,” “Japanese Keyboard – Ten Key,” and “Kanji Typing Practice.”

By using these resources regularly, you’ll develop muscle memory, improve your accuracy, and increase your typing speed in Japanese. Remember, consistent practice is the key to success in mastering Japanese typing. Happy typing!


How do I type in Japanese on my computer?

To type in Japanese on a Windows computer, you need to install the Japanese input method. Here are the steps to install Japanese keyboards on Windows:

How do I install a Japanese keyboard on my Mac?

To install a Japanese keyboard on a Mac computer, follow these steps:

How do I install a Japanese keyboard on my iPhone or Android?

To install a Japanese keyboard on your smartphone, these are the steps for iPhone and Android:

How do I use a Japanese keyboard?

Japanese keyboards work similarly across different platforms and operating systems. Here are some tips for using Japanese keyboards:

Are there any resources to help me practice Japanese typing?

Practice is key to improving your Japanese typing skills. Here are some resources you can use:

Master How to Type in Japanese on Your Keyboard (3)

Master How to Type in Japanese on Your Keyboard (2024)


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