I'm learning some Japanese on Duolingo and I feel like I could really benefit from actually typing out answers rather than picking them from a list. From what I gather around the internet (not an expert) the best way to do this is to use romaji to write out the English-phonetic version of what I'm trying to say, and then use Live Conversion to change it to kana (not entirely sure I'm even using all the right words here).

Anyway, at this point I've activated the Japanese input source for romaji and can't seem to get the Live Conversion to do anything at all:

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Using the on-screen keyboard doesn't seem to change anything.

Am I missing a step? Is this even the intended use of romaji input?

I can't find a tutorial that uses Big Sur so I'm already sort of slanting my way into this, but push comes to shove it feels like something isn't working.


1 Answer 1


Romaji input is for typing Latin letters without any conversion.

Normally to input Japanese you use Hiragana input, where you type Latin letters that are converted right away to Hiragana Kana and then you hit the space bar to convert to Kanji. Live Conversion converts to Kanji right away.

I don't think Apple's IM offers a way to type Latin, keep that on the screen, and then convert to Japanese, if that is what you want. An alternative IM is here.

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