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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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After news that the latest iPhone 2.0 beta firmware (due in June) had incorporated Chinese handwriting recognition, there were many readers who were interested to see the input options for Japanese language. Handwriting recognition is not available for the Japanese language in the latest beta.

Instead there is the standard keyboard:


173037-japanese1_500.png



As well as a Kana international keyboard:


173038-japanese2_500.png



These images are from the latest beta (5A258f) iPhone 2.0 that is available to developers. The final version will be released to consumers in June.

Article Link
 

miketcool

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2003
915
347
California
May be just me, but i am quite surprised. What is there intention with focusing on chinese support?

Who knows, there are only over a Billion Chinese, its such a small market why bother. Besides, Chinese counterfeiting is a huge operation, why go after and legitimize that market when you could ignore Chinese speaking people all together. Or instead of focussing on the less then 30 characters for Romance languages it seems foolish to try and make a keyboard for the hundreds of characters in in Asian languages that would fit on an iPhone screen. Its your call.
 

Telp

macrumors 68040
Feb 6, 2007
3,075
25
Who knows, there are only over a Billion Chinese, its such a small market why bother. Besides, Chinese counterfeiting is a huge operation, why go after and legitimize that market when you could ignore Chinese speaking people all together. Or instead of focussing on the less then 30 characters for Romance languages it seems foolish to try and make a keyboard for the hundreds of characters in in Asian languages that would fit on an iPhone screen. Its your call.

Dude, was the sarcasm necessary? You coulda just made your point. I hadn't thoguht of the character problem. But hey, thanks for pointing me in the right direction. :rolleyes:
 

MacTheSpoon

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2006
514
0
Well, if there is HWR for Chinese, I'm sure it's just a matter of time before it's added for Japanese, too. That would be very, very nice!!
 

appleguru1

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2003
307
4
I just had a japanese friend try this on my phone and she LOVED it. The romanji support in leopard and on the iPhone is very very good; and the kana keyboard on the iphone is cool as all hell. She described it as "very clever".

When I informed her that there was a 3g version coming out "soon" she got very excited :)

In any case, chinese HWR support indicates more languages are likely coming soon. Coolness indeed.
 

shigzeo

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2005
711
77
Japan
i thought this was about japanese? all the comments except one are about chinese. am i reading upside down?
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,626
1,321
Tokyo, Japan
I just had a japanese friend try this on my phone and she LOVED it. The romanji support in leopard and on the iPhone is very very good; and the kana keyboard on the iphone is cool as all hell. She described it as "very clever".

Yeah, this is GREAT news for a Japanese release - the existing entry method SUCKS big time, incredibly slow and cumbersome (mainly due to the ridiculously tiny conversion selection area) ... These new entry systems are light years ahead of what are currently available and will really help to guarantee a successful iPhone launch here in Japan. Kudos, Apple!
 

wyscript

macrumors newbie
May 5, 2008
4
0
japanese/chinese input

This has irked me for some time, as there have been many uninformed people stating that it would be impossible to display all the chinese characters needed to write chinese on the iphone's screen -- So a note to the uninformed:

There are multiple ways to input chinese characters with the roman alphabet. One such method is used in the Japanese language, which uses approximately 1500 kanji (chinese characters) in daily life in addition to its native script. Obviously, 1500 chinese characters aren't going to fit on the iphone's screen, but there's no need to do so as you can sound out the word and spell it in roman letters - then hit the spacebar (or some equivalent) and the software will display all the most common combinations of different characters and words.

Now you know.;)
 

(L)

macrumors 6502
Nov 12, 2005
482
0
No
That text conversion software is either highly limited but clever or just plain stupid. The conversion software would work much more efficiently if it would assume that the first character inputed is correct - the permutations would be cut down dramatically.
 

Pigumon

macrumors 6502
Aug 4, 2004
441
1
This has irked me for some time, as there have been many uninformed people stating that it would be impossible to display all the chinese characters needed to write chinese on the iphone's screen -- So a note to the uninformed:

There are multiple ways to input chinese characters with the roman alphabet. One such method is used in the Japanese language, which uses approximately 1500 kanji (chinese characters) in daily life in addition to its native script. Obviously, 1500 chinese characters aren't going to fit on the iphone's screen, but there's no need to do so as you can sound out the word and spell it in roman letters - then hit the spacebar (or some equivalent) and the software will display all the most common combinations of different characters and words.

Now you know.;)

Most of these ways are not as fast as simply writing it with your finger. Also, many of the 1500 japanese kanji are modified forms of chinese characters, so they aren't even legible to chinese.
More importantly, unlike Japanese, Chinese is ENTIRELY composed of TENS OF THOUSANDS of kanji, all with multiple pronunciations, so it's very difficult to represent with 26 letters.

Japanese input is simple with ROMAJI (not romanji as others have misspelled it)
Chinese is downright difficult, Pinyin being the quickest next to writing and selecting from a list.

Now YOU know :p
 

shigzeo

macrumors 6502a
Dec 14, 2005
711
77
Japan
i told you so

i sort of knew it would probably turn into one of these threads. one member or another just show they know more about a language and get instand wuffie.

well, im glad it will be out for merely just dictionary possibilities. i don't mind roman-ji or romaji input at all, it is fine but takes a bit of time and writing it too takes time and i am sure with my messy scrip, would not even be workable with text input.

june is indeed something i am looking forward to with laboured breaths.
 

macintosh tech

macrumors member
Apr 28, 2008
79
0
Most of these ways are not as fast as simply writing it with your finger. Also, many of the 1500 japanese kanji are modified forms of chinese characters, so they aren't even legible to chinese.
More importantly, unlike Japanese, Chinese is ENTIRELY composed of TENS OF THOUSANDS of kanji, all with multiple pronunciations, so it's very difficult to represent with 26 letters.

Japanese input is simple with ROMAJI (not romanji as others have misspelled it)
Chinese is downright difficult, Pinyin being the quickest next to writing and selecting from a list.

Now YOU know :p

Thats rômaji or ローマ字. I do not do Chinese, but I could see how that would be tough and a bit slower than japanese.
 

kornyboy

macrumors 68000
Sep 27, 2004
1,529
0
Knoxville, TN (USA)
Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

miketcool said:
May be just me, but i am quite surprised. What is there intention with focusing on chinese support?

Who knows, there are only over a Billion Chinese, its such a small market why bother. Besides, Chinese counterfeiting is a huge operation, why go after and legitimize that market when you could ignore Chinese speaking people all together. Or instead of focussing on the less then 30 characters for Romance languages it seems foolish to try and make a keyboard for the hundreds of characters in in Asian languages that would fit on an iPhone screen. Its your call.

I agree that it would be nearly impossible to get a usable keyboard on the iPhone screen. HWR is necessary if you want to market to the people in Asian countries. It would be nice to have an English version of the HWR software but maybe it will come after it is completed in the Asian market area.
 

Karumu

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2008
6
0
Most of these ways are not as fast as simply writing it with your finger. Also, many of the 1500 japanese kanji are modified forms of chinese characters, so they aren't even legible to chinese.
More importantly, unlike Japanese, Chinese is ENTIRELY composed of TENS OF THOUSANDS of kanji, all with multiple pronunciations, so it's very difficult to represent with 26 letters.

Japanese input is simple with ROMAJI (not romanji as others have misspelled it)
Chinese is downright difficult, Pinyin being the quickest next to writing and selecting from a list.

Now YOU know :p

OK, I'm only doing this because you went and corrected a poster above you and you still didn't get your information that correct so I'll correct you:

Japanese:
There are 1945 kanji (漢字) that are in the official jyouyou kanji (常用漢字) not 1500. these are the official kanji that are to be used.
In Japanese there are around 50,000 kanji in the dai kan-wa jiten (大漢和辞典), a dictionary of kanji.
Japanese characters are NOT mostly (or however you define many) modified. They are for the most part the kanji in Japanese are still in the traditional form (used in traditional chinese). Some have been simplified by the Japanese, some of these simplifications are the same as the chinese simplifications and some are unique. Other characters are unique to Japan, known as kokuji 国字.

Chinese:
Yes there are tens of thousands of characters in Chinese, but as you can see above, the same can be said for Japanese. The fact is you don't need to know them all and there are particular characters that are so difficult to write that you cannot type them on the computer do to their being far too many strokes to be legible. such characters are pretty much non-existant in modern chinese. Knowing 3 or 4 thousand characters will be sufficient to be of native level of chinese. not at scholarly level but that is another thing.

Now back on topic, inputs:

for people wanting hand written input in english, lets remember we don't have a stylis to write with, so you would be using your finger. will it really be that much faster over using the qwerty method? especially when it might misunderstand your writing.

As for the chinese hand written input, not sure i would want to be writing traditional chinese characters with my finger on the iphone. sure something like 人 is fine but what about 臓 and that is not even as complex as they get. i'd want a stylis to be trying to write the more complex ones. there are a number of inputs in chinese phones, pinyin and stroke methods are probably the fastest. I didn't see the stroke method in any of the earlier screen shots, perhaps it is not being implemented.

The Japanese input on the top, being input through a qwerty keyboard (via romaji) is good and possibly quick. hard to know when you cannot type on the iphone as quickly as you can on a computer keyboard. The bottom kana based method is exactly like that used on Japanese phones and is fantastic. I find typing on a japanese phone to be very good so I am so glad to see this method added.

Input was one of my worries but Apple have answered that completely with good chinese and japanese input methods. I hope that with this Japanese input we will be seeing the iPhone released in Japan very soon. I'll be rushing to be one of the first in Japan to have the 3G model~ ^^
 

super7

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2008
1
0
TYO
English HWR

Most likely, finger-input HWR will require more surface than the iPhone has to be really usable, while using a stylus to write more in a small area probably isn't what Apple has in mind. Variations in hand writing habits might also be problematic.

Creating shorthand-like characters to get around this will most likely infringe some sort of software copyright, ie. Graffiti (even Palm Inc. itself is being sued), and getting users to "learn" new character sets just for the HWR on the iPhone isn't my idea of "user friendly".

As for the Japanese input method, the software K/B resembles what we're using on cell phones over here in Japan. The key input for romaji should be easy enough to use, but I do hope Apple will incorporate T9 input to cut down on keystrokes required.
 

Pigumon

macrumors 6502
Aug 4, 2004
441
1
Karumu, additions appreciated.

OK, I'm only doing this because you went and corrected a poster above you and you still didn't get your information that correct so I'll correct you:

Japanese:
There are 1945 kanji (漢字) that are in the official jyouyou kanji (常用漢字) not 1500. these are the official kanji that are to be used.
In Japanese there are around 50,000 kanji in the dai kan-wa jiten (大漢和辞典), a dictionary of kanji.
Japanese characters are NOT mostly (or however you define many) modified. They are for the most part the kanji in Japanese are still in the traditional form (used in traditional chinese). Some have been simplified by the Japanese, some of these simplifications are the same as the chinese simplifications and some are unique. Other characters are unique to Japan, known as kokuji 国字.

Chinese:
Yes there are tens of thousands of characters in Chinese, but as you can see above, the same can be said for Japanese. The fact is you don't need to know them all and there are particular characters that are so difficult to write that you cannot type them on the computer do to their being far too many strokes to be legible. such characters are pretty much non-existant in modern chinese. Knowing 3 or 4 thousand characters will be sufficient to be of native level of chinese. not at scholarly level but that is another thing.

Now back on topic, inputs:

for people wanting hand written input in english, lets remember we don't have a stylis to write with, so you would be using your finger. will it really be that much faster over using the qwerty method? especially when it might misunderstand your writing.

As for the chinese hand written input, not sure i would want to be writing traditional chinese characters with my finger on the iphone. sure something like 人 is fine but what about 臓 and that is not even as complex as they get. i'd want a stylis to be trying to write the more complex ones. there are a number of inputs in chinese phones, pinyin and stroke methods are probably the fastest. I didn't see the stroke method in any of the earlier screen shots, perhaps it is not being implemented.

The Japanese input on the top, being input through a qwerty keyboard (via romaji) is good and possibly quick. hard to know when you cannot type on the iphone as quickly as you can on a computer keyboard. The bottom kana based method is exactly like that used on Japanese phones and is fantastic. I find typing on a japanese phone to be very good so I am so glad to see this method added.

Input was one of my worries but Apple have answered that completely with good chinese and japanese input methods. I hope that with this Japanese input we will be seeing the iPhone released in Japan very soon. I'll be rushing to be one of the first in Japan to have the 3G model~ ^^


While I appreciate that you added more information, I think the reason you did it was no different than mine, yet you act like I was trying to be something other than helpful. I corrected the other guy because HE was correcting someone else and getting it wrong. So I appreciate what you added, but that wasn't really my point.

I was using his number of 1500 when I should've been more precise and stated 1945 as you did. "Many" is certainly not "Most", that's why they're two different words.

For my subject, you seem to know a lot about the numbers of japanese and chinese kanji, but it seems you haven't actually written them with handwriting recognition.

I'll point out that kanji (as I assume you know) has parts of each kanji known as radicals. These are characters with their own meanings and recur often in various kanji. These are akin to "root woods" in english. For instance 食 (tabe), and other kanji that include it, have to do with food or eating. If you enter the simple radicals, a pop-up of all the kanji with those particular strokes will appear, making it in quite easy to enter even the most complex of kanji. :) Of course I'm ASSUMING this is how they did it with the iPhone too.

It's really a great use of technology. I'm happy to see it applied this way. Now if they'd only make some 64GB or higher iPhones....
 

mavis

macrumors 601
Jul 30, 2007
4,626
1,321
Tokyo, Japan
While I appreciate that you added more information, I think the reason you did it was no different than mine, yet you act like I was trying to be something other than helpful. I corrected the other guy because HE was correcting someone else and getting it wrong. So I appreciate what you added, but that wasn't really my point.

I was using his number of 1500 when I should've been more precise and stated 1945 as you did. "Many" is certainly not "Most", that's why they're two different words.

For my subject, you seem to know a lot about the numbers of japanese and chinese kanji, but it seems you haven't actually written them with handwriting recognition.

I'll point out that kanji (as I assume you know) has parts of each kanji known as radicals. These are characters with their own meanings and recur often in various kanji. These are akin to "root woods" in english. For instance 食 (tabe), and other kanji that include it, have to do with food or eating. If you enter the simple radicals, a pop-up of all the kanji with those particular strokes will appear, making it in quite easy to enter even the most complex of kanji. :) Of course I'm ASSUMING this is how they did it with the iPhone too.

It's really a great use of technology. I'm happy to see it applied this way. Now if they'd only make some 64GB or higher iPhones....

Could you guys knock it off with the 'I know more about Japan and Japanese than you do' pissing contest? Nobody here cares about how many kanji you know and/or how long you've studied Japanese. No one here cares exactly how many kanji there are, how many are regularly used, etc.

Suffice to say there are lots of kanji, the current iPhone conversion method is terrible, and the new ones are great. ;)
 

Karumu

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2008
6
0
For my subject, you seem to know a lot about the numbers of japanese and chinese kanji, but it seems you haven't actually written them with handwriting recognition.
I have, my dictionary uses written input as the only method of input. I have used a number of hand written dictionaries (trying out friends) and the radical method you speak of is not nearly as fast as writing the character directly. Of course this radical entry method would be a way around the problem of not having a stylis if that is how it is done.

@Mavis, I didn't intend to state I'm better than anyone else at Japanese blah blah.. although i can see how it can be taken that way. I just don't like incorrect information to be put forward, I like the record to be straight and I would hope if I ever put forward incorrect information people would do the same to me.

anyway as you said this input so far is looking great and lets just hope the iphone gets released in Japan this summer.
 

wyscript

macrumors newbie
May 5, 2008
4
0
しょうがないけど、僕は何も言わない方が良かった。ただ、皆が言っているよりもアイフォンで漢字を入力するのが簡単ということだけ言いたかった。
 

windowpain

macrumors 6502a
Apr 19, 2008
590
100
Japan
quick question,

Am I right in thinking that the new input method is the same (or very similar) to the one currently used in mobile phones in Japan, where you push the keys to cycle through the hiragana. for example あ い う え お (usually on the '1abc' key) ?
And then there will be text prediction as you input them?

I think if this is the case it will be a huge improvement on the current method. The tiny tiny buttons are damn hard to push correctly.

imho, I also can't see handwriting recognition being a viable input method for apps such as email. I don't think the ipod touch has the sensitivity needed to differentiate between the many similar characters. There are a few good kanji input games available for the Nintendo DS, but those of course use a pen-like stylus and not a finger.

And one of the benefits of entering hiragana to get the kanji, is the fact that you don't need to know how to write the kanji. Having to draw in each character individually would take (me at least) forever.
 
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