Author Topic: Can I read and write Japanese on Mac OS 9?  (Read 640 times)

Offline Y2K

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Can I read and write Japanese on Mac OS 9?
« on: July 15, 2021, 07:26:00 AM »
Is the only way to display and produce Japanese characters to install a Japanese operating system, or are there settings or possible extensions I could use to enable that?

The other day I was browsing something with Classilla, and in the View > Character Coding menu, none of the three Japanese codings would display the characters correctly.

The keyboard control panel in the Apple menu only contains European languages, unlike modern Macs that offer all sorts of non-alphabetical scripts.
I remember back in the day when I had a Windows98, in order to produce Japanese characters, I bought a Japanese word processor software that I used for writing, and I copy-pasted the text from there to wherever I needed to post it. But I have no idea what Macs of the time were doing in order to bring Japanese script to those who only used it as their second language.

I'm on a clamshell, running a non-emulated 9.2.2.

Offline Mat

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Re: Can I read and write Japanese on Mac OS 9?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2021, 03:31:01 PM »
You can use Japanese quite easily. You have to install the "Japanese Language Kits", an addition at the original Mac OS 9 CDs. The 2nd thing you have to do, is to use Japanese fonts.
For the Finder this is "Osaka" font that you have to set at "Control Panels -> Appearance -> Fonts -> Views Font" (after installing the language kit). For all other programs you can use different fonts. Alanwood has an overview about Unicode fonts for Mac OS 9 in Japanese: http://www.alanwood.net/unicode//fonts_mac.html#japanese . Finally you need to use programs that can handle unicode, or special Japanese fonts (PS Type1, TrueType or OpenType), or directly some japanese programs. for whatever you like to do.

Here is an "howto" in Japanese itselve: http://www.kenkyuu.net/computer-01.html

Offline GaryN

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Re: Can I read and write Japanese on Mac OS 9?
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2021, 11:44:03 PM »
In this totally useless and frustrating post, I'll note that I sold a G3 Lombard with a Japanese-character keyboard just a few months ago…

I should have listed it here first but it went almost overnight and I forgot… Sorry.  :-[

Offline Y2K

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Re: Can I read and write Japanese on Mac OS 9?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2021, 12:00:51 PM »
You can use Japanese quite easily. You have to install the "Japanese Language Kits", an addition at the original Mac OS 9 CDs. The 2nd thing you have to do, is to use Japanese fonts.
Here is an "howto" in Japanese itselve: http://www.kenkyuu.net/computer-01.html

It seems very straightforward, but when I boot from the MacOs9Lives CD, all I find is an application called "Mac OS Restore", not "Mac OS Install". And Mac OS Restore seems to want to do the whole business of erasing my disk and reinstalling OS 9, which makes me feel quite cautious. I wonder if this MacOS9Lives image even contains the files mentioned in that guide?

Guide fed to a translator for English references, and because I find skimming through long Japanese documents quite difficult too  ;)

In this totally useless and frustrating post, I'll note that I sold a G3 Lombard with a Japanese-character keyboard just a few months ago…
I should have listed it here first but it went almost overnight and I forgot… Sorry.  :-[

Oh that's alright, I couldn't justify buying any more computers, and we're probably not on the same continent either.  ;)
It's also very different to type with a Japanese layout keyboard because on them, you're typing one character per key, while people without a Japanese keyboard are used to typing syllables as they are, and only once the syllable has been typed, the Japanese syllable character for it appears, and by pressing the space bar, you cycle through transformations and alternatives for it. I'd have to completely re-learn typing if switching to a Japanese keyboard!
Also, changing physical keyboards is really difficult because the punctuation characters are usually mapped to completely different keys; This has partially affected the way people from different countries have typed ASCII smilies over the years.

Offline Mat

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Re: Can I read and write Japanese on Mac OS 9?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2021, 03:12:39 PM »
That is why I wrote "original CD" and you used the "MacOs9Lives CD" … go to Macintoshgarden and get a – to your system version – corresponding CD image and install the language kits from there.

Offline Y2K

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Re: Can I read and write Japanese on Mac OS 9?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2021, 03:22:46 PM »
That is why I wrote "original CD" and you used the "MacOs9Lives CD" … go to Macintoshgarden and get a – to your system version – corresponding CD image and install the language kits from there.

Oh, right, okay.  :)
I wonder why they had to be removed from the MacOS9Lives version.
I assume that there won't be any conflicts with that, even though the operating system itself was installed from a different CD.

Offline Y2K

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Re: Can I read and write Japanese on Mac OS 9?
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2021, 05:06:46 AM »
Okay, I was able to install Japanese according to that guide; It works in the operating system and I can type to SimpleText and Finder.

However, I still can't view Japanese pages correctly in Classilla. I've tried going to View > Character Coding and selecting either Unicode 8 or one of the three Japanese alternatives that actually existed there before I even installed the language pack, but none of them can display a website correctly. Does Classilla have the capability to display Japanese at all, in general?

Offline Mat

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Re: Can I read and write Japanese on Mac OS 9?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2021, 01:15:51 PM »
However, I still can't view Japanese pages correctly in Classilla. I've tried going to View > Character Coding and selecting either Unicode 8 or one of the three Japanese alternatives that actually existed there before I even installed the language pack, but none of them can display a website correctly. Does Classilla have the capability to display Japanese at all, in general?
Just to finish this issue with success, you have to go to "View->Languages" (see the screenshot) and change bothe packages to japanese. Subsequently Classilla is displaying japanese content correctly. I gave it a quick shot right now, and except the parts of the OS Classilla was immediately displaying everything in japanese.

 


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