Want to send or receive a letter in Japanese. Here’s what you need:
- The ability to type Japanese:
Mac* – redcocoon.org
Windows – www.coscom.co.jp
iOs – google.com
- The ability to look up kanji and translations:
- Get to work!
Use ‘⌘’+ ‘spacebar’ to switch between English and 日本語 on a mac.
Push the globe in the lower-left of the keyboard to change input languages on the iPhone.
PS – You may also want to use an awesome dictionary (Imiwa?) or an amazing translator Google Translate.
Imiwa? – A dictionary which you can use to look up words using: romanji (or phonetically English), hiragana (japanese phonetic alphabet) or kanji (characters). You can look up characters by radical (“sub” or “fundamental” characters that add up to the whole) and/or by stroke number (this is only useful if you’re used to writing kanji and can count strokes).
Two of the best features of the app are the “how to draw” options for each kanji, to learn to remind yourself, and you can look at all the compounds (multiple kanji words or phrases) which contain that kanji.
Google Translate – This is a translator. It can be useful, BUT it doesn’t consider context, thus use with a grain of salt.
Knowing its limitations, it still can be quite useful, especially if you can tell weather a translation seems right or not.
A cool feature of Google Translate is that you can use a half-screen pad to draw the kanji in to translate it. Again, only useful if you’re able to roughly approximate the kanji.
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