With Students in Tokyo 1961 by Robert Huffstutter

Get your Computer Ready for AP Japanese and AP Chinese Exams

by John McGehee on May 13, 2012

An important skill you will need for the AP Japanese and Chinese exams is keyboarding.  If you are too slow on the keyboard, you will not get the score you deserve.  Typing Japanese and Chinese is fun so get started now and be ready on exam day!  Here’s how to set up your existing English Linux, Windows or Macintosh computer.

Your Existing Computer Is All You Need

If your computer works with a relatively recent version of Linux, MacOS or Windows operating system, it should work fine with any language, including Japanese and Chinese.  While the instructions follow emphasize Japanese, setting up Chinese is very similar.

The AP test is given on Windows.  Go ahead and practice typing Japanese or Chinese on your usual operating system, but you should at least briefly try typing Japanese or Chinese on Windows, just to make sure you know all the Windows bind keys (shortcut keys) you need.

Set Up Japanese on Apple Macintosh MacOS

As with most everything in MacOS, setting up Japanese is easy. Just follow Christopher Bolton’s Japanese for Your Mac.

Set Up Japanese and Chinese on Microsoft Windows

IME (Input Method Editor) is the feature that allows you to type Japanese and Chinese on your English version of Windows. The web is full of fine articles that will help you set up Microsoft IME.  I thought these were good:

Set Up Japanese and Chinese on Linux

At our house we type virtually all our Japanese on Linux and it works just great.

For Red Hat Fedora Linux, my guide to using Japanese and Chinese Input Method on Fedora Linux will get you going.

For other Linux distributions like Ubuntu, my guide to using Japanese and Chinese Input Method on Fedora Linux is probably accurate enough, but I have not tested it.  See Scott Robbins’ Inputting Japanese text in Linux and some BSDs for specific details on how to install Japanese language input on other Linux distributions and BSD UNIX.

Korean Is Even Cooler

Typing Japanese and Chinese rules, but Korean is even cooler.  Just for fun, check out how  Korean Hangul characters are built up from alphabetic letters just as 漢字 are assembled from 辺.  This video shows how the Korean letters squish together as they are typed.

Handy Links


Image “With Students in Tokyo 1961″ by Robert Huffstutter.

AP is a registered trademark of the College Board.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

lionel May 30, 2012 at 06:51

yo John. lionel here :)
nice blog u have
just to let u know, there is also a very nice and cool Chinese input method which works across all platform :p
http://www.chinese-tools.com/tools/ime.html

*but u need to have an Internet connection though :p

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