Have you ever wondered what a keyboard in Japan looks like? With its unique language and culture, it’s no surprise that Japan has its own keyboard layout that differs from the traditional QWERTY keyboard commonly used in Western countries. The Japanese keyboard, also known as JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) layout, has its own set of characters and symbols that cater to the Japanese language.
One of the noticeable differences in the Japanese keyboard is the placement of the keys. While the QWERTY keyboard has the alphabet keys arranged in a specific order, the Japanese keyboard has a different layout with additional keys for Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji characters. In fact, the Japanese keyboard has a total of 106 keys compared to the 101 keys on a standard QWERTY keyboard. With its unique design and functionality, the Japanese keyboard is not only an interesting cultural element but also an essential tool for those who use the Japanese language.
Overview of Japanese Keyboards
Japanese keyboards have a unique design that is based on the Japanese language, which consists of three writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Additionally, the keyboards are designed to accommodate the full-width characters that are used in the Japanese language.
Layout and Characteristics
Japanese keyboards have a different layout than the traditional QWERTY keyboard. The keys are arranged in a 12-key configuration, with the alphabetic characters placed in the center. The keyboard also has a number of special characters that are used in the Japanese language, such as the “zenkaku” (full-width) characters. These characters are typically found on the upper-right portion of the keyboard. Additionally, the keyboard has a “kana lock” key, which allows the user to switch between the alphabet and the two Japanese writing systems.
The keyboards also feature a “dead key,” which is used to type special characters and symbols. This key is located on the lower-left portion of the keyboard, and is typically used in combination with the other keys. Additionally, the keyboards may also feature a “shift lock” key, which is used to switch between the upper- and lower-case characters.
Japanese keyboards are designed for a particular typing style known as “Romaji-style” typing. This style is based on the Roman alphabet and is used to type Japanese characters. The typing style is based on the phonetic pronunciation of each character, rather than the traditional English-style typing that is used in the QWERTY keyboard.
The typing style has two major advantages. First, it is easier to learn and use, as it does not require the user to memorize the various characters of the Japanese writing system. Second, it is more efficient, as it allows the user to type faster and more accurately. Additionally, the Romaji-style typing allows the user to type the full-width characters of the Japanese language, which is not possible with the QWERTY keyboard.
Additional Features of Japanese Keyboards
The Japanese keyboards may also have additional features, such as a “keymap” that allows the user to switch between different keyboard layouts. This feature may be useful for people who use different typing styles, as it allows them to quickly switch between the various layouts. Additionally, some keyboards may also have an LED display, which allows the user to see the characters that they are typing.
The keyboards may also feature additional keys, such as the “shift” and “alt” keys. The shift key is used to switch between the upper- and lower-case characters, while the alt key is used to access additional characters and symbols. Additionally, the keyboards may also have a function key, which is used to access various system functions.
Finally, some keyboards may also feature a “backlight” feature, which allows the user to type in a low-light environment. This feature is especially useful for people who work in dimly lit offices, as it allows them to type without straining their eyes.
Frequently Asked Questions
English keyboards in Japan look similar to those used in the United States, but there are a few differences between them. This article provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about keyboards in Japan.
What is the Difference Between a Japanese Keyboard and an American Keyboard?
The main difference between a Japanese keyboard and an American keyboard is that the Japanese keyboard has two extra keys for inputting characters specific to the Japanese language. These characters are called “katakana” and “hiragana”. The Katakana characters are used for writing words borrowed from foreign languages, such as “computer” or “television”, while Hiragana characters are used for writing native Japanese words, such as “sushi” or “onigiri”.
In addition, the layout of the keys on the Japanese keyboard is slightly different from the American keyboard. The characters “@” and “” (double quotation mark) are swapped with each other, and the keys for “Enter” and “\” (backslash) are also swapped.
Are Japanese Keyboards Compatible with American Computers?
Yes, Japanese keyboards are compatible with American computers. When a Japanese keyboard is plugged into an American computer, the computer will automatically recognize the keyboard and adjust the layout of the keys accordingly. This means that the “@” and “” keys will be swapped as they are on a Japanese keyboard, and the “Enter” and “\” keys will be swapped as well.
However, when typing Japanese characters, the user will need to install a Japanese language pack on the computer in order to use the extra keys on the Japanese keyboard. This language pack will allow the user to input Japanese characters such as Katakana and Hiragana.
Where Can I Buy a Japanese Keyboard?
Japanese keyboards can be purchased from a variety of places, including electronics stores, online retailers, and even some department stores. They are relatively inexpensive, and can be found for as low as $20 USD.
When purchasing a Japanese keyboard online, make sure to check the compatibility of the keyboard with the make and model of your computer. Some keyboards are only compatible with certain types of computers, so it is important to make sure that you buy the right one for your computer.
Is a Wireless Keyboard Available for Japanese Input?
Yes, there are wireless keyboards available for Japanese input. These keyboards are similar to the wired Japanese keyboards, but they connect to the computer using a wireless connection such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Wireless keyboards are convenient as they can be used from anywhere within range of the computer, and they are often more comfortable than wired keyboards as they do not have any cables. However, they can be more expensive than wired keyboards, so it is important to research the different models before buying one.
Are There Any Other Input Devices for Japanese Characters?
Yes, there are other input devices available for Japanese characters. These devices include Japanese language pens and electronic dictionaries.
Japanese language pens are similar to a regular pen, but they are able to recognize Japanese characters. When a character is written on the special paper that comes with the pen, it is recognized by the pen and sent to the computer for input.
Electronic dictionaries are devices that allow users to look up words in the dictionary and then input them into the computer. They are often used by students who are learning the Japanese language, as they allow them to look up words on the go without having to carry a physical dictionary.
How Japanese Type on Their Phone
In conclusion, the keyboard in Japan is a unique and fascinating aspect of the country’s culture. It is a reflection of the country’s language and writing system, and its intricate design showcases the importance of precision and attention to detail in Japanese society. From the different character sets to the placement of keys, the Japanese keyboard is a testament to the country’s rich history and technological advancements.
Whether you are a language enthusiast, a tech lover, or simply curious about different cultures, exploring the keyboard in Japan is a worthwhile endeavor. So next time you come across a Japanese keyboard, take a moment to appreciate its beauty and complexity, and remember that it is more than just a tool for typing – it is a representation of Japan’s identity and creativity.