How to Type Japanese on an iPhone

by C. Taylor
Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Apple's iPhone 5 includes support for multiple input languages, including the Japanese language's phonetic hiragana and katakana alphabet and its complex kanji. Before typing in Japanese, you must add the Japanese keyboard to your iPhone and select it as an input method when composing text. A separate Japanese dictionary is used, from which suggested characters are presented, similar to how English words are offered when you type in English.

Step 1

Tap "Settings | General | Keyboard| Keyboards | Add New Keyboard" to bring up a list of available keyboard languages.

Step 2

Touch "Japanese Romanji," which enables you to type phonetically.

Step 3

Open any window in which you can input text, such as a text message.

Step 4

Touch and hold the "Next Keyboard" key, indicated by a globe icon, and tap the Japanese language when its name appears on the space bar.

Step 5

Begin typing the Japanese characters phonetically until suggestions appear at the top of the keyboard.

Drag your finger across the suggestions to view all options and tap any suggestion to enter it in the text.


  • Information in this article applies to iPhone 5 and iOS 6. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

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