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By Stuart Owens Subscribe to RSS | March 30th 2012 | Views:

To learn an East Asian language, say for example Japanese, there’s no better way to get in contact with the Japanese language and culture than through the Internet. Operating your computer with Japanese as the instruction medium gives you a lot of practice and you get the chance to expand your vocabulary or brush up your language skills. But most operating softwares don’t come with pre-installed East Asian language software. If you’re a Windows XP user, in most cases, you may need to independently install the Japanese language software. Here’s how you install the Japanese language in Windows XP platform.

Different styles of fonts:

Before we move to the ‘how to’ part of this article, check out the different styles of Japanese fonts available with Windows XP. As Japanese has different writing styles mostly derived from the Chinese alphabet, there are fonts available in the Windows platform to derive each of these styles on your computer. For printed styles such as the Minchouu or the Goshikku (gothic) the font styles that can be used are the sans-serif or the gothic type faces. These two font styles display bold, round or alphabets with thick vertical lines. For displaying brush or handwritten style of outputs, font styles such as the Penji, Kaisya, Hitsukaisya and Edumoji.

How do you install the fonts?

To make your work easier, check if your operating system has pre-installed Japanese language fonts. Here’s how you check:

Open up a Windows Explorer window and type the following address: C:/WINDOWS/Fonts


Click Start, Run, type in C:/WINDOWS/Fonts and press enter.

Once you enter the font’s window, check for the MS-serif or Gothic type faces. Not all MS-serif or gothic typefaces have all the Japanese scripts like the Hiragana and the Katakana installed, it mainly supports only the Kanji or Chinese characters. In which case, you have to install the Japanese language pack from the official Microsoft Windows.

When you find the font and are not able to view comprehensible letters, then it’s something to do with the code format. Most style fonts on Windows XP are of the Unicode format. Well, to read proper Japanese text you might have to install programs that support the non-Unicode format.

If you do not have a pre-installed Japanese typeface or if you don’t want to take the trouble to install a new program, follow the steps given here. In most Windows XP platforms, you just need to modify the settings. There are not many installation procedures that you have to follow. All you need to do is install the Input Method Editor (IME) and the East Asian Language packs. This language pack includes most of the East Asian languages like Chinese and its dialects, Japanese, Korean and Thai. In most cases, there is no need to download and install the language pack, it is provided in the installation CD. But if you don’t have the CD with you, here’s what you got to do:

Click on Start->settings->control panel

In the Control Panel, choose the date, time, and regional language option if you’re using the category view or simple click on the regional language option if you’re using the classic view.

You will either be re-directed to another window where you will be asked to pick a task or click on a control panel icon. Click on the Add a regional language (or) regional and language option. Or you will be directly navigated to the Regional and Languages pop up window, in which case you can ignore the previous steps.

In the Regional and Languages option, click on the Languages tab. Firstly, click on the Install files for East Asian Languages check box. Next, click on the Details button provided in the Text Services and Input Languages. Here, choose the Japanese IME option and click on Add button. Another dialog box asking you to choose the input language will appear. Choose Japanese here. In the "Keyboard layout/IME" combo box and chose Microsoft IME Standard 2002 ver. 8.1".

Lastly click on the Apply and then the OK button. You will find the Japanese IME icon in the task bar. Remember, you don’t need a Japanese keyboard to write in Japanese on your computer, the IME substitutes that. If you face any problem during the installation, you can easily get assistance from the quality software tech supports available.

Stuart Owens - About Author:
Stuart is a freelance writer who has written articles on various topics. He likes to share some of his view about getting a home network setup.

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