Set up Fcitx for Chinese and Japanese language input on Ubuntu Xenial 16.04

fcitx.pngIt was time to update to the latest Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) release again recently, and it turned out that setting up Fcitx wasn’t quite as simple this time around. Here is what I had to do to get it to work. [...]

Set up Fcitx for Chinese and Japanese language input on Ubuntu Trusty 14.04

fcitx.pngAfter recently upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr (LTS), I decided to give Fcitx, the default input method framework on Ubuntu’s Chinese sister project Ubuntu Kylin, a try and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only is Fcitx rock-solid and actively developed, it also offers input methods for Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and a bunch of other languages in addition to the default Chinese input methods. Here is how you get it to run on Ubuntu 14.04. [...]

LyX CJK set-up based on XeTeX and xeCJK

lyx.pngI have recently been playing around with LyX and XeTeX, a Unicode extension for TeX, to find a set-up that allows me to switch easily between various East Asian languages without entering LaTeX code. With the help of a few friends, the xeCJK manual and Richard Heck over at the LyX Mailing List, I was able to define LyX Text Styles for Chinese (Simplified and Traditional text), Japanese and Korean that can be selected via the context menu right from within LyX itself, allowing me to focus on the content of my writing and leaving the worrying about Unihan issues to someone else … [...]

Android phones & East Asian language support

android-robot.pngUntil a few years ago, if you frequently travelled to Asia or wanted to send a message in an East Asian language, you usually had no choice but to buy a mobile phone from the country you’re communicating with. At that time, only a limited number of phones were capable of handling Unicode and displaying East Asian character sets. Thankfully, with the advent of smart phones, and especially Google’s open source Android operating system, this has changed, and mobile phones have become much more international. Today it is possible to have one mobile phone and install support for a whole set of different languages. Basically everything you need to know to fully convert your phone to Chinese, Japanese, Korean or any other language… [...]

NateOn for Foreigners & Pidgin-NateOn

nateon.gifWhen you live in East Asia for a longer period of time, you will notice that a large percentage of people here don’t necessarily use the larger chat networks like Windows Live (MSN) or ICQ to communicate, although the former is relatively popular. In China for example, the most common chat programme is QQ, a network almost unheard of in the west, but one of the largest in the world. Now what QQ is for the Chinese, NateOn is for Koreans. NateOn itself doesn’t differ very much from MSN, in fact it used to be compatible to MSN until some time ago, or so I heard :) But it has evolved into a separate independent network and has even overtaken MSN in South Korea in terms of user numbers. Its main advantage is its connection to Cyworld, South Korea’s larget social network.

There are websites explaining to foreigners how to set up a QQ account, but setting up a NateOn account is somewhat more complicated and not encouraged by Nate itself. The main obstacle here is that new users will usually need a Resident Registration Number to register, a code number similar to American social security numbers, but only available to South Korean citizens. Foreigners living in Korea will also receive a similar number with their “alien registration card”, which can be used in a similar way. But for people outside of Korea there is little chance of getting around this barrier, short of number fraud. Thankfully, there is another, legal way to get a NateOn account… [...]