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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary System 10.5
This tip is for users who use Japanese text input. Because in Japanese it is possible to use unusual characters to represent a particular sound sequence, Mac OS X has a dictionary feature called "Kotoeri" that allows you to add new combinations of sounds and characters to the dictionary. This can also be used to map other characters together. So, for example, on my system if I want to put the macrons over the o's in Tōkyō, I need only enter Japanese input mode and press "o" twice then select ō from the list of suggested characters.

Unfortunately, it is also possible for one's Kotoeri dictionary to become corrupt. If this happens, Mac OS X will not learn the new mappings you add to your dictionary. To solve this problem, use the following procedure.

First open the Kotoeri dictionary application (also known as "WordRegister" and located at /System » Library » Input Methods » Kotoeri.app » Contents » Support » WordRegister.app). From the menu, select Dictionary (Jisho) and Export as Text (Tekisuto ni kakidasu). Save the resulting file somewhere, then delete ~/Library/Dictionaries/ユーザ辞書 (User Dictionary).

Close and relaunch Kotoeri. Select Dictionary and Import From Dictionary or Text (Tekisuto ya jisho kara torikomu). After this, your corrupt dictionary should be fixed, and OS X will once again learn the mapping you teach it.
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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary | 12 comments | Create New Account
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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: frgough on Jan 27, '09 10:56:42AM

Just curious, but why are you using romaji when writing Japanese?

Also, if you set your keyboard to U.S. Unicode, you can enter the overbar on any vowel using the standard option-key combinations.



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: Stormchild on Jan 27, '09 04:11:10PM

Actually, no you can't. There is no macron in the standard US keyboard layout.



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: frgough on Jan 28, '09 07:20:46AM

Select US Exended. Press Option-a. Type the vowel.

Thusly: Tōkyō



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: boxcarl on Jan 27, '09 04:19:51PM

A) I used romaji so the hint wouldn't be complete gooblety-gook to the non-Japanese speaking readers of Mac OS X Hints, and because I was afraid that the Unicode would get garbled by the website. In retrospect, this may have been a wasted effort.

B) As Stormchild points out, you are confusing option + i, which makes circumflexes, with true macrons. Of course, a lot of people use circumflexes for marking the long vowels in Japanese, and realistically speaking there's nothing wrong with it, but still, technically speaking the Hepburn standard calls for macrons and not circumflexes. Kyōto, not Kyôto.



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: Stormchild on Jan 27, '09 04:30:00PM

Just to be clear, I wasn't suggesting a specific confusion between macron and circumflex. I was just saying there's no macron in the standard US keyboard layout, which was partly my mistake, since the original comment I was replying to said "US Unicode" (actually called "US Extended") -- which *does* include the macron.

I have actually never seen anyone use a circumflex in place of a macron, and I would say that's much worse than just leaving the vowel unaffected, since most people who don't speak Japanese (or can only read Romaji) don't understand the purpose of the macron in the first place.

And if we want to be really picky about it, the 'o' macron in Romaji can mean either 'oo' or 'ou', so it's hardly an adequate representation in the first place. All the more reason to learn the kana immediately and stop using Romaji.



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: Anonymous on Jan 28, '09 02:58:22PM

Actually, Romaji o-macron only ever means you select a hiragana syllable ending with "-o", followed by "u".

The "u" syllable is a "prolonged sound" marker in hiragana. You would never write "to-o-kyo-o" in hiragana; it is "to-u-ki-yo-u".

In katakana, the prolonged sound marker resembles a "+" sign, but doesn't have a sound of its own.

Similarly, the macron is a prolonged sound marker in Romaji, so it makes complete sense that typing a double vowel will result in the appropriate prolonged sound marker being added.

To those complaining that a macron doesn't make sense in non-Japanese scripts, that's absolutely right: but Romaji is a Japanese script, so macrons are essential.



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: Stormchild on May 27, '10 10:12:33AM

I missed this reply earlier, but FYI, you're wrong about pretty much everything you said, and you're also attempting to explain the Japanese language to the wrong person.

I suggest learning a lot more about Japanese before you try to teach anything about it anyone else.



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: Stormchild on Jan 27, '09 04:21:23PM

Ah, you're talking about "US Extended" (there is no "US Unicode", though I see what you meant now). That layout does include the macron (what you called an "overbar"), but it would be much more convenient if it was included in the standard mappings.

That said, I gave up on this some time ago, as the function of the macron in Romaji is not generally understood by people who don't speak Japanese, and those who do, don't use Romaji. It's kind of a moot point.



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: frgough on Jan 28, '09 07:24:33AM

Yeah. I meant the U.S. Extended. My bad.

And I agree totally about using romaji. Anyone learning Japanese, IMO, should go right to the kana. It helps you think in the language instead of thinking in English and translating. Of course, my Japanese isn't all that great in the first place, so a good dictionary is also a must. :-)



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: Stormchild on Jan 27, '09 04:15:56PM

Just for the record, Kotoeri is not a "dictionary feature"; it's an input method. The user dictionary is only one of its many functions.



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10.5: Fix a non-functional Kotoeri Dictionary
Authored by: macemx on Jan 28, '09 06:16:21PM

As a person speaking/writing Japanese for most of my life, I'm wondering what the hint's initial statement means: "...in Japanese it is possible to use unusual characters to represent a particular sound sequence."

Is this simply an observation that macrons are used to represent elongated vowels when writing Japanese in the Latin alphabet?

In any case, quick comments on other comments:

1) As already pointed out, Kotoeri is Apple's Japanese input method (not a dictionary feature). (There are other third-party input methods available, like ATOK; the procedure for fixing dictionary corruption in one of those will differ, but this hint may be helpful for anyone troubleshooting those.)

2) Re circumflexes: I have seen many publications use circumflexes. Macrons are the preferred way, of course; I assume that publications using circumflexes can't use (or can't figure out how to use) macrons. Speaking of which:

3) I never knew what the US Extended keyboard was for. I just tried it out – and wow, it does macrons! Thanks to frgough for that tip!

Anyway, the post is a good tip to have on hand in case of dictionary troubles.

---
Mac'em X
http://www.mactivist.com



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One reason for custom dictionary entries
Authored by: MJCube on Jan 28, '09 08:44:45PM
I'm wondering what the hint's initial statement means

I think boxcarl was referring to putting names of people and places with unusual or non-standard kanji in the custom dictionary, though he said it sort of backwards. And then the romaji thing was sort of a misdirection.

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