Once you choose Japanese as your language, you will be offered five keyboard choices: Roman-to-Kanji, Roman-to-Kana Only, JIS Hiragana Keyboard, JIS Katakana Keyboard and Kanji by shape (Soketsu). Notice that the author may toggle back and forth between two languages using the F3 key (convenient for text that has a blend of Japanese and English). Following are descriptions of each keyboard:

This keyboard will transform your Roman characters into kana or kanji. WinCALIS 2.0 and WinCALIS Author 2.0 support the two most common systems for transliterating Japanese in Roman characters: 1) the Hepburn system; and 2) the "Kunrei" system. Some Japanese word-processing systems allow many non-standard ways of entering Japanese in romanized form (e.g., "ca" for "ka," "jya" for "ja/zya," etc.). Refer to the kana chart to see how each character may be accessed in WinCALIS. Keep in mind also the following peculiarities.

Typing Object Markers

Typing Tiny Characters

Typing "ん"

Typing vowel extensions

Typing in Katakana

Typing Numbers


There are important things to know about buffers when you are typing Japanese. If the characters are not black, you are in an active buffer and you must do something to clear the buffer. If the computer beeps at you, it means that you are trying to do something outside of the active buffer, and you must clear it (by pressing Enter) before you can continue.

When in the Roman-to-Kanji keyboard, this is the process for entering text:

1) When you type hiragana, the letters will appear blue (active buffer). If you want the words to remain in hiragana, simply press Enter.

2) If you want to convert the words into kanji, press the spacebar, while the characters are still blue. Kanji will replace the words in blue and the sentence will appear red (active buffer). If all conversions are correct, press Enter (Note: The maximum length of a phrase to be converted is 32 characters. When you type the 32nd character, the phrase will automatically be converted).

3) If any conversions are incorrect, do the following while the characters are still red. The reverse video block is your bunsetsu. Simply move the bunsetsu over the inappropriate conversion and press the Spacebar. The homophone list will appear on the screen. Move the arrows to the desired kanji, then press Enter. The selected kanji will appear in the phrase in reverse video. If this is correct, press Enter again.
When you choose a kanji off the homophone list, the program will "remember" that one and present it next time the same kana are entered. The kanji most frequently used will be given priority over the other homophones (this does not rearrange the homophone list, which is constant. Here, a separate user history file is being created and constantly updated).

4) WinCALIS divides your sentence into bunsetsu blocks as its dictionary sees fit, but you may change these blocks. First, convert back to hiragana by choosing it from the list (if you try to change the bunsetsu while there is still Kanji within the active buffer, you will get a pop up message reminding you to convert). Use the shifted left arrow to mark the first bunsetsu. At this point, you may convert that block by pressing the spacebar, or use the arrow keys to "jump" from block to block. To continue to change bunsetsu blocking, move to the block that you would like to adjust, and use the shifted right and left arrow keys to shrink or expand it.

5) The user may find it helpful to clear the buffer (press Enter) early and often while working in the Roman-to-Kanji keyboard so the bunsetsu stay manageable. This will be convenient both for maintaining kana, and in locating the desired kanji. It is especially helpful when typing honorific prefixes: first type the prefix "お" or "ご", then press Enter to clear the active conversion buffer, then type the rest of the noun phrase and convert it. If the homophone list does not display the character you want, try changing the blocking of the bunsetsu. With use, you will become more familiar with how the transliteration process occurs within WinCALIS.

Look at the following passage, and notice the bunsetsu blocks -- the bars indicate the points where conversions may be most efficiently placed (where the spacebar should be pressed):

    「ユーザーフレンドリ」|と|呼ばれる|   りゆうは、ごく |普通の|人がごく|   関単に |使用 |方法を|マスター|でき、|   毎日の|タイプ | の |仕事にすぐ |   役立てることができることからきている。|

This passage includes hiragana, katakana, kanji, and punctuation, so it is a nice exercise routine for typing Japanese. Notice how each bunsetsu is entered:

     よばれる    -     呼ばれる   りゅうは、ごく -     理由は、ごく   ふつうの    -    普通の   ひとがごく   -    人がごく   かんたんに   -    簡単に   しよう     -    使用   ほうほうを   -    方法を   まいにちの   -    毎日の   しごとにすぐ  -    仕事にすぐ   やくだてることができることからきている。-   役立てることができることからきている。

Roman-to-Kana Only
This keyboard lets you type in kana characters without going through the buffer, so you need not press Enter for each bunsetsu (refer to the kana chart to see how it accepts transliteration). It will automatically change Roman characters into hiragana; katakana may be accessed by pressing Shift or CapsLock.

JIS Kana Keyboards
These keyboards transform the QWERTY keyboard into one that directly enters kana characters, according to the Japanese Industrial Standard. For a display of the corresponding keyboard, click on Help, and choose Keyboard Help.

Kanji by shape (Soketsu)
Kanji characters are composed of "root" shapes. Instead of retrieving a character by its pronunciation, this keyboard allows the user to locate a character by its looks; by elements of its root structure. This is especially helpful in situations where you know what the character looks like, but not how it is pronounced. The root structures are accessed by choosing the Kanji-by-shape (Soketsu) keyboard, and clicking on the piano-keyboard-style buttons. Notice that the database requires you to preface any duplicate characters with the "X" key, 重複。


Authoring a Japanese WinCALIS lesson can be done, for the most part, according to the manual. There are, however, a few variations that arise because of the integration of two different languages and four different alphabets. Besides keeping in mind all of the quirks of typing in Japanese text, the author must consider how the text content is processed and presented to the student.

Preparing Students for the Mechanics of the Lesson

Typing in Two Languages

"Cloze Exercise" Hints


Punctuation in Japanese

  • Setting aside keyboard exploration time may make entering Japanese text easier. Because Japanese uses some punctuation that is exclusive to Japanese, the characters may be hidden from view on the standard English keyboard. Most of the punctuation parallels the basic keyboard, but it is in a 'zenkaku', full-width form. The keyboard layout is displayed by clicking on Help and dragging to Keyboard Help. Here are a few marks that are specific to the Japanese language, and how to produce them:
    To produce a:
    - (dash)
    .(bold period)
    type this:

    "Wild Card" Hints

    KANA KODE KEY (or: how to enter kana characters while retaining sanity)
    In order to get a kana character, you must type in one set of Roman letter(s) listed underneath it. The first line of romaji is the Kunrei system. Where applicable, the second line is the Hepburn system, and the third is nonstandard. As an example of usage of this chart: in order for a づ to appear, you input "d-u" or "d-z-u".

    あ い う え お 
      a        i        u        e        o
    ぁ ぃ ぅ ぇ ぉ
     xa       xi       xu      xe      xo
     la        li         lu       le       lo
    か き く け こ  きゃ      きゅ きょ
    ka        ki       ku     ke       ko         kya           kyu         kyo                                            
    さ し す せ そ  しゃ   しゅ     しぇ しょ
     sa       si       su      se      so            sya           syu                        syo
              shi                ce                     sha          shu          she         sho
    た ち つ て と   ちゃ ちゅ ちぇ  ちょ
     ta       ti        tu        te      to            tya          tyu                     tyo
             chi      tsu                               cha         chu          che     cho
    な に ぬ ね の    にゃ   にゅ にょ
     na      ni       nu      ne       no            nya          nyu         nyo
    は ひ ふ へ ほ     ひゃ    ひゅ    ひょ
     ha      hi       hu      he      ho              hya           hyu          hyo
                                                            ふぁ ふぃ ふぇ ふぉ
                                                              fa            fi             fe            fo
    ま み む め も     みゃ  みゅ  みょ
     ma    mi       mu     me     mo             mya             myu           myo
    や (い) ゆ   (え)   よ   ゃ   ゅ   ょ
     ya                  yu                yo  xya              xyu              xyo   
                                                            lya               lyu               lyo
    ら り る れ ろ  りゃ      りゅ       りょ
     ra       ri       ru       re       ro             rya             ryu              ryo
    わ ゐ    (う)   ゑ  を          ゎ            ヰ   ヱ
     wa     wi                we      wo  Wa                WI             WE
    ん               ゔ               っ            tinyカ tinyケ
     nn     vu         xtu     XKA       XKE
     n'                                       ltu             LKA       LKE
    が ぎ ぐ げ ご    ぎゃ ぎゅ ぎょ
     ga      gi       gu     ge       go             gya       gyu         gyo
                                                            ぐゎ ぐぇ
                                                              gwa    gwe   
    ざ じ ず ぜ ぞ  じゃ    じゅ  じぇ じょ
     za      zi       zu      ze       zo                 zya           zyu             zye        zyo
               ji                                                ja                 ju             je          jo
    だ ぢ づ で ど  ぢゃ ぢぃ    ぢゅ     ぢぇ ぢぉ
     da    di      du        de       do       dya          dyi             dyu          dye        dyo 
    ば び ぶ べ ぼ   びゃ びゅ びょ
     ba     bi       bu      be      bo                bya        byu         byo
    ぱ ぴ ぷ ぺ ぽ   ぴゃ ぴゅ ぴょ
     pa       pi       pu      pe     po                pya        pyu        pyo
    ワ ウィ  ウ ウェ  ウォ ヴァ ヴィ ヴ ヴェ ヴォ
     wa       uxi      u          uxe      uxo    VA        VI          VU        VE        VO
                 uli                   ule      ulo
    Rev. SLS 8-10-94

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