Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Oct 2012 14:52 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless When Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, one of its most prominent and most controversial features was the on-screen keyboard. In as world dominated by devices with physical keyboards, it was seen as a joke, something that could never work. We know better by now, of course, but while I still prefer the physical feel and clicks of a real keyboard, a recent new endeavour of mine has made me appreciate the on-screen keyboard in a whole new way.
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by henderson101 on Thu 25th Oct 2012 23:09 UTC
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Japanese isn't actually hard to type. Japanese uses a syllabary alphabet to represent the language - every word can be written in Hiragana. But the issue is that Japanese traditionally uses Kanji (Chinese based) for most words, and also Katakana (another syllabary) for loan words. However, a Japanese friend of mine assured me that writing in Hiragana, whilst sometime hard to understand straight away, is not impossible. A lot of kids seem also to use Hiragana to coin new words.

ありがとう => arigatou => a-ri-ga-to-u => あ - り - が - と - う

猫 => neko => ne-ko => ね - こ

Once you understand that all Japanese words are made up of combinations of a limited set of vowels, consonant-vowels and "n", and that a Japanese virtual keyboard can be set to accept Roman letters, typing becomes a breeze. Coupled with the ability to use the Kanji picker, should you be that advanced, typing Japanese is actually dead simple.

Korean does rule though. A school friend and I devised a code based on Hangul that we used for years. I can still half read Korean text if I try, though some letters mean slightly different things to our "code".

The thing you'll find with Korean and Korean grammar is that is is very similar in structure to Japanese. There is no proven direct link between the two, but the grammar is eerily similar. right down to particles of speech and word order. But Korean can be a lot more complex with regards to phonetics and particles.

Oh, and whilst it seems quite dead in the South, North Korea still keeps Hanja alive and well - i.e. Korean Kanji!

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