Use your PC to Master Japanese and Chinese
Retrieving the First Lesson
Although Windows emphasizes the ease of using the mouse to activate menus and
dialog boxes, it is frequently faster and more convenient to keep your hands on
the keyboard, using it to activate functions instead of reaching for the mouse.
Try practicing navigation using the keyboard, then go back and do the same
functions using the mouse, until you are skilled in both methods.
Open the first
lesson file, called Lesson1.jp0. You may notice Lesson1 on the
quick pick list of recently closed files at the bottom of the
File menu. For the tutorial, use File | Open anyway:
- Begin in a known state by using Window | Close All to close all the
open document windows, then minimize the permanent windows.
We could just type (or paste) the full path name
c:\sc\jpn\lesson1.jp0 and press Enter, but let's instead use the
navigation capability of the Open Document dialog:
- Select File | Open to invoke the Open Document dialog box.
- Press Alt+t (underlined in "Type") to move the focus to the List Files
of Type control, then press the Alt+Down arrow key to drop the list of file
types. Press Down repeatedly to scroll the list until you see Japanese.
- Press Shift+Tab to move backwards through the active controls on the
dialog box (Tab moves forwards). Stop when the current directory is highlighted
in the display under Directories. Press Up to highlight the Sc
directory, then press Enter to activate the OK button. Selecting a
directory then OK changes to that directory. Note that the current
directory, listed under the Directories label, reads c:\sc (if
Smart Characters is installed on the "c" drive). Do the same for the Japanese
examples directory jpn.
- Observe the list of files in the list box on the left. To get to the list,
we first press Alt+n to get to the File Name control, then Tab to move
into the list. Once in the list, the Up and Down arrows scroll the list to
reveal Lesson1.jp0. Highlight the entry by pressing Down then press
Enter activate the OK button, which tells Windows that you want to open
the indicated file. Smart Characters complies and displays the file in a new
Adjusting the Display and Zoom
Note the indicators of a maximized
child window: the file name is appended to the main frame window title, the
child system menu button moves to the left of the menu, and the child restore
button moves to the right.
- Press Ctrl+PageUp to scroll the window to the top of the file and position
the insertion point at the beginning (Ctrl+PageDn goes to the end).
- Select View | Normal (press Alt+v, then n), to set the display to
normal editing mode (top and bottom margins, and headers, footers, and
footnotes are not visible).
- Press Alt+Minus to drop the child system menu, then x to make the window
fill the Smart Characters frame window. You could also click the maximize
button, or double click the title bar.
- Select View | Zoom | Margin Width to switch to normal view, and
zoom the margins to fit in the window horizontally. If the display is too
large, use View | Zoom | Page Width or another fixed zoom setting
instead (133% works well with the customary 12 point type).
Set the Annotations Display
If you are a fluent speaker, please bear with us, and consider the benefit to
less experienced users of the Smart Characters annotations which allow them to
read your language, and remember, after these tutorials, you can turn these
annotations off for good with the click of a button.
- Select View to drop the View menu. Verify that
Annotations is checked, meaning that Smart Characters will display and
print text annotated according to the annotation preferences. Press Esc twice
to cancel the menu display, and unhighlight the menu bar. Scroll the document
to display some Japanese text.
- Click the Annotations Expert/Novice button on the toolbar, a face
wearing either a flat scholar's mortarboard (annotations off for
experts) or a pointed dunce cap (annotations on). Notice the three types
variable word spacing(4-
furigana, and English glosses. Also notice that the line spacing changes to
accommodate the annotations. Leave the annotations on.
Adding and Deleting Lines
The status bar indicates the line number if you were working in Line
mode, but you may be working in Page mode which displays pages and x, y
positions. If so, set View | Display | Status Indicators to Line.
Note that the indicators on the status bar change from Pages and x, y
Inches to Lines and Columns.
Make a few blank lines for typing. The Enter key breaks a line into two lines.
The Delete key deletes a blank line. Practice adding and deleting lines below
the first line:
- Press Down, Down, Down to move the text insertion point to the forth line.
- Press Enter twice to add two lines and make some space.
- Press Up to move up one line.
- Press Delete to delete the blank line, then Up to move to the first new
Writing a Sentence in Japanese
To write your name in Japanese, you must first know how to spell it in
Japanese. Since we do not know your name, we will use one of our designers',
Pam Swart. In romaji, this is spelled pamu suwa-to. The complete
sentence will be
Suwa-to de gozaimusu, I am Pam Swart). The katakana alphabet is used for
names that are not native Japanese, but we will make a typical mistake and type
the first name in hiragana, so we can practice correcting it later.
Add a small dot (used for separation in Japanese):
- Press F12 or the Side + or - key until the insertion point displays a
and the input mode indicator displays Romaji >> Hiragana.
- Type p-a-m-u. Romaji uses lower case, and don't type the hyphens!
Watch the screen, and note how the romaji changes to hiragana as you
Oh, no! We typed Pam's name in hiragana!
! (gomen nasai) We'll fix it, but, first, finish typing the sentence,
this time in katakana:
- Press Forward Slash (/). A dot appears. Note that the status line at the
bottom of the window reads PUNCT in the middle. We have just inserted a
punctuation symbol (the dot), but the input mode still reads Romaji >>
Note the hidden characters window in the upper (or lower) right
of the main frame window. It shows type (katakana) of object you just entered,
and both the romaji (romanization) and alphabetic (katakana) version.
- Select Keyboard | Input Mode | Katakana to switch to katakana input
mode. Note that the input mode indicator displays Romaji >>
- Type suwa-to (do type the hyphen here). The name appears in
To finish the sentence, we will insert a few more words. To separate these
words for later editing, we use a word separator.
Notice how the hidden characters window box becomes blank,
awaiting the start of the next word. Also note that the input mode is still
Romaji >> Katakana. Switch back to hiragana and quickly finish the
sentence by typing:
- Press SpaceBar to end the word by inserting a word
Put a Japanese period (a tiny circle) at the end of the sentence:
- Type Ctrl+W to jump to hiragana then de-(Space)-go-za-i-ma-su (no
- Press the period key to add a Japanese period.
From Hiragana to Katakana
Instead of re-typing Pam's name, fiddle with the text and change the type from
hiragana to katakana and back again. To convert pamu to katakana, we
will insert the katakana code into the pamu object, which starts
at the beginning of the line:
Notice that the status line window on the bottom of the main frame
window displays in part:
- Press Home to position the insertion point at the beginning of the
4L 10c 0p 117b English .^W.23 ! Romaji >> Katakana
Every Smart Characters line starts out as English. Ctrl+W (^W) is the
first (0 position) character on the line, which is in column 10 (10
Ctrl+W is the hiragana
object type code(D-
Object type codes specify the type of the following text (to the right), so we
will add a katakana code just after the hiragana code, and just before
the pamu text. This will change the type of pamu from hiragana to
katakana. Move the insertion point one position to the right:
Notice that the insertion point does not visibly move, but that the
object type indicators in the hidden characters window and on the status line
change to Hiragana, and that the position indicator changes from
1 to 2, and that pamu now appears in the hidden characters
window, with the (non-blinking) cursor to the left of the pa. Add the
- Press the Alt+Right arrow key (press and hold the Alt key, then press the
Right arrow key, then release the Alt key) to move one position to the
Redraw the line, displaying subsequent
- Press Ctrl+T to redefine subsequent characters as katakana. Notice that
the first character to the right of the insertion point changes to katakana
immediately, and that the pamu in the hidden characters window has
completely changed to katakana.
- Select View | Redraw Line (note the shortcut key F10) to redraw the
Checking and Saving Your Work
Before saving your new document, redraw the window and check your work:
If it looks ok, save it:
- Press the Right Mouse button to display the word processing speed
menu. Select Redraw Window to redraw the window. Press Alt+V
- W to do it again, and note the shortcut key. Press F9 to do it yet again.
If you have not
registered your license, you will get an error message telling you that your
file was not saved, code #. If so:
- Select File | Save to save the file under the same name as the
original. Smart Characters automatically backs up small files in the same
directory and file name with a .bak extension.
- Select OK. Continue with the lesson in demonstration mode.
- Optionally, register your license. See Registering Your License.
Quitting Smart Characters
Although it is not necessary to exit Smart Characters to work on another
Windows (or DOS) program, try it now:
- Select File | Exit to leave Smart Characters. Don't save any other
files. The next time you return, the windows that are open now will be
re-opened, as you left them.
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Last Modified: March 23, 1996
Copyright © 1996 Apropos, Inc.