This article describes how to set up Japanese and Chinese text input with Gnome 3 on Fedora 16. I’ve used Japanese text input since RHEL 3, and with every version it gets easier. Similar articles describe the procedure for other Fedora versions. Japanese text display works by default. If a Japanese language web site does not display properly in Firefox, try adjusting the encoding with the choices in the View > Character Encoding > More Encodings > East Asian menu.
For information on how to install Japanese language input on other Linux distributions, see Scott Robbins’ authoritative guide, Inputting Japanese text in Linux and some BSDs.
Install the Input Method
When I installed Fedora 16, I was pleased to find Japanese support installed by default. To verify, go to Activities > Applications and choose the Add/Remove Software application. Click on Package Collections, and verify that Japanese Support is checked. This is a collection of multiple packages that provide a variety of nice Japanese features.
The Add/Remove Software application has a convenient search box in the upper left. Type
japan here and click Find. A list of every package related to the Japanese language will appear. You can install them if you wish.
Go to Activities > Applications and choose the Input Method Selector application.
- Select IBus (recommended)
- Prepare to log out by closing any other applications
- Select Log Out
- Log in again
Set Up Your Languages
Once again go to Activities > Applications and choose the Input Method Selector application.
- Select Preferences. The IBus Preferences dialog will appear.
- Choose the Input Method tab
- Click Select an input method. A list of languages will appear. If the list does not show the language you want, you may need to select Show all input methods.
- Choose Japanese > Anthy from the list. Click Add.
- Repeat for other languages you write. I write Chinese from time to time, so I added Chinese – Pinyin.
- Use the Up and Down buttons to arrange the order in which the languages appear when you hit the Alt+Shift_L hot key. The languages should be ordered from most commonly used to least commonly used.
- select Close
Type Japanese or Chinese
Now give it a try:
- Put your cursor in a text entry window that handles international input. A text entry field on a web page or a LibreOffice document can do this.
- Hit Ctrl+Space to switch from the default language (English for me) to the first input method (Japanese in my case). A small window will appear in the lower right corner of your display.You use this to control the input method. If the language bar does not appear, look for a keyboard icon in your panel. Click on this to control the input method.
- Type something in Japanese
- If you have another input method (Chinese for me), hit the Alt+Shift_L hot key (that’s Alt plus the Shift key on the left). Now you can type in the second language.
- Another Alt+Shift_L advances to the next language (in my case, this returns to my default language, English)
- Actually, Ctrl+Space switches between the last two languages. So for example after I advance from Japanese to Chinese I can use Ctrl+Space to toggle between Japanese and Chinese.
- You can also use your mouse to change languages by clicking on the input method in the upper right of your desktop and choosing a language from the menu:
Now at last I can directly express in Chinese how good IBus is, 非常好, instead of entering how much I like it in Japanese, 非常に好きです, and then editing this into Chinese.
Change Your Display Language
If you really want to go native, you can change the language of your desktops and applications to use Japanese. However, don’t try this at home unless you can actually read Japanese. In particular, you will be asked if you want to change your file names to Japanese. Give the wrong answer, and your
Desktop/ directory will be renamed
Link to This Article
Link to this article at http://www.voom.net/japanese-input-method-fedora (without the “-16″). As I write new articles for new Fedora versions, this link will always redirect your readers to the latest article.
Photo Credit: “Abstract Tank 1″ by my aunt, Norma McGehee Woodward. This photo is used by permission and is copyright 2012 Norma Woodward.