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Life / Computer / Oriental
Reading or writing Korean, Japanese or Chinese on a computer in the UK
Reading Korean, Japanese or Chinese
Oriental (c)
  Writing: Windows
  Writing: Office XP
  Writing: Other programs
  Entering Korean letters

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If you try to open e-mails or websites written in an oriental language on a computer in the UK, it may not be possible to see the characters properly at first. This is because the necessary character information is not stored on most British computers.

If you have received an e-mail written using characters from another language, you need to tell your browser which language it is. If you are using Internet Explorer, choose View / Encoding and select the correct option, normally one of these:
Chinese Simplified (GB2312)
Chinese Traditional (Big5)
Japanese (Auto-Select)

When you open a website which uses oriental characters, you may get an "install on demand" text display support message like the one below (if you are using Internet Explorer). Click on "Download" if you want to copy the character information onto your machine. The download time depends on the speed of your internet connection (if there is a fast connection it should only take a few seconds). If you are in an internet cafe, you may need to do this each time you return. In some libraries or cafes you may not be allowed to download files, in which case you will not be able to read websites in your language.

If you cannot see the characters but a box like the one above doesn't appear, try opening one of the websites below:
Chinese (simplified): or
Chinese (traditional): or
Japanese: or
Korean: or
You should then see a box like the one above, allowing you to download the required text display support.

You can change default font settings for your browser.
For Internet Explorer: Tools > Internet Options > Fonts.

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Follow these instructions if the computer you are using has Microsoft's Windows operating system and you want to install an IME (Input Method Editor) so that you can type Korean (Hangul), Japanese (Kanji/Hiragana/Katakana) or Chinese (simplified or traditional Kanji) in e-mail or documents. The process should only take about 2 minutes to complete.

(1) Click on the following link:

(2) Select the language, for example: Korean:

(3) Click Next:

(4) Click Next:

(5) Select Open/Run this program from its current location; click OK

(6) Click Yes:

(7) Click Yes:

(8) Click OK:

(9) Click No if you just want to use the program now (for example: if you are using someone else's computer). Close any browser windows which are open.
or: Click Yes if you are using your own computer and want to keep the program: this will restart your computer (first make sure that you save any open files).

(10) Open your browser (eg: Internet Explorer, version 4.0 or later), word-processing document (eg: Word 2000 or later) or mail manager (Outlook 98 or later, or Outlook Express version 4.0 or later).
On the taskbar at the bottom of the screen click on the box which is labelled "En" (English) - this is called the Keyboard Layout Indicator. Change to the correct option for your language, eg "KO" for Korean. [ If this box doesn't appear, go to the Control Panel, double-click on either Language or Input Locales, and make sure that the check box next to "Enable indicator on taskbar" has a cross in it ].

There is a useful guide to using Japanese or Korean IMEs (Input Method Editors) at these websites:

To install different fonts on your machine: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Fonts

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For details of how to set up a computer which is using Office XP so that it can allow you to write in Japanese or Korean, see these guides (they should also be useful if you want to write in Chinese):

If you do not have the Korean, Japanese or Chinese IMEs (Input Method Editors), the Office XP versions can be downloaded from these sites:
Chinese (Simplified):
Chinese (Traditional):

After you have successfully installed or activated the Global IME, you just start your Office XP program, select the relevant language from the Language bar. You should also be able to type in these languages in Hotmail and MSN Messenger.

To install different fonts on your machine: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Fonts

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Other programs which are available which help the input or reading of East Asian languages include the following:

NJ Star:

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The table below shows how to enter the Hangul characters on a British keyboard using the Korean IME.
The second row can be obtained by using the Shift key at the same time as the letter.
The blue letters are the letters of the English alphabet in the order shown on a British keyboard.
The black letters are the approximate sounds of the Hangul characters.
To open this table in a new window (so that you can see it when typing a message), click here

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When you use the Japanese IME to enter Japanese characters, you can choose between 6 input methods:
full-width hiragana/kanji, full-width katakana, English alphabet / numbers, half-width katakana, half-width English alphabet / numbers, direct entry:

Kanji are entered using the "full-width hiragana" option: type a word of phrase using the sounds and press the "space bar" to convert it to a combination of kanji and hiragana. If the wrong kanji is selected, you can choose from a list of possible choices. Press the "enter" key once you are happy with the way it has been written.

The table below shows how to enter some of the Japanese characters which are not obvious.
The first two lines are small vowels, which can be entered by using an "x" or "l" combined with the letters which are used for the normally sized character.
The small "tsu" can be entered in a similar way (by typing "xtu" or "ltu"), or alternatively by repeating the first consonant which follows it.
Similarly "n" can be entered either by typing "nn" or by typing "n" followed by a character which starts with a consonant.
The particle "o" is entered using "wo".
For the special character @ (used in e-mail addresses), you need to press the "shift" key and 2 at the same time.
The symbol which shows long vowel sounds in katakana is entered using a dash "-".
Japanese speech markers are entered using square brackets [ and ].

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Return to the Computer page: Life/Computer
UK links for people from China: Links/China
UK links for people from Japan: Links/Japan
UK links for people from Korea: Links/Korea
UK links for people from Asian countries: Links/Asia

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