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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Registering kanji readings in Japanese Windows OS


If you use a Japanese language version of a Microsoft Windows computer operating system, you have probably had the continual frustration of having to do work-arounds when typing the kanji for unusual Japanese first names, surnames or Japanese place names.

For example, I have a colleague by the name of Nakago (中後) and every time I tried to enter that name Windows would try converting only the first of the three hiragana (な) into kanji—always as 名—forcing me to first type in just なか and select 中 from the candidate list. (You'd think 中 would come up as the default reading, but for some reason it was always 仲!) Then, rather than entering ご, which would come up by default as 語, it was quicker to enter あと and select 後.

How much simpler it would be to "teach" Windows this special reading and make that reading the default without any split-input workarounds. Well, you can—and easily. The following example is using the Japanese version of Microsoft Windows 7 Professional.

1. Click on the orange Tool Box, by default at the bottom right of your screen.
2. Select "単語/用例の登録(W)," by default second from the top.
3. Make sure the left-hand tab, "単語の登録" is open (it should be, by default)
4. In the top box "読み(R)," enter the hiragana reading of the name.
5. In the second box down, "語句(D)," enter the kanji for the name.
6. In the third box down, "品詞(P)," select "姓" (if it's a surname).
7. Skip the other boxes and click on "登録(A)" and you're done.

Now go to anywhere in Windows and test it. That pesky hiragana combination should now always automatically come up in the kanji characters you want it to.

See also:
LH Kenji and LH Naoko: Your Computer's Default Voice

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