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Re: [OCLUG-Tech] Japanese IM in Gnome

On Wed, Mar 23, 2005 at 06:00:02AM -0500, Patrick Gilliland wrote:

> We will have a Japanese student staying for a few weeks this Summer.
> I want to provide some sort of native language input support so they
> can send email etc.

Well, urxvt has a ctrl-shift method for entering raw Unicode codes,
but that's not exactly user-friendly.

If the student is okay entering romaji, I'd recommend 'canna' combined
with kinput2.  canna is an optional romaji to kana converter, and then
an optional kana to kanji converter.  I'm not using much kanji myself,
yet, but I use the kana (exclusively) to take all my notes for my
class, and to write programs or wordlists to quiz myself.

Basically, I hit shift-space to enter the proper mode.  I type romaji,
which is converted on-the-fly to hiragana by default.  (If I want
katakana, I hit ctrl-N at the end of the katakana portion.)  If I'm
happy with just using kana, I hit enter, which commits that word and
sends it to the terminal.

If I want kanji, I hit space, and it shows me the first option.
Hitting space again gives me the menu of options, which is basically a
space-space-...-enter procedure.  Once I've selected a word for a
particular kana, it remembers and defaults to that next time.

Some options I changed were to remap various symbols, and also turned
on 'break-into-roman'.  (Ordinarily, if you mistype e.g. ku instead of
ki, and hit backspace, you delete the entire ku kana, which is
disorienting to someone like me who instinctually expects backspace to
undo a single keypress.  So that option means backspace instead takes
me back to 'k'.)

I think setup basically consisted of installing the canna and kinput2-
canna packages under Debian, starting the canna daemon, and setting my
XMODIFIERS environment variable appropriately.

The daemon only affects programs launched in a ja_JP.* locale, so I
ordinarily leave it off (since I apparently accidentally hit shift-
space a *lot* without realising it) and have a 'kanji' script to poke
my locale and launch the specified program, e.g. 'kanji urxvt' or
'kanji kiten' (my KDE Japanese dictionary).


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