The representation of a Japanese word usually consists of "Kanji" and/or "Hiragana" characters.
A "Kanji" represents a meaning of something. Its pronunciation consists of one or more syllables. Many "Kanji" have two or more different pronunciations depending on the context. And also, there can be several different "Kanji" for the same pronunciation.
A "Hiragana" basically represents a syllable. e.g. a, i, u, e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko.
In fact, there is another character type called "Katakana" for representing syllables, but I don't mention about it here.
You feel so troublesome? But I have to use mixing the Japanese character set and the ASCII characters also in FME workspaces.
In a general text editor such as Notepad, you can enter a Japanese word with these steps in Japanese input mode.
1. Enter the word with English characters according to the pronunciation. The characters will be converted to "Hiragana" automatically on the screen, one by one syllable.
2. After entering entire syllables of the word, push the Space key to convert it to a candidate representation including "Kanji".
3. If the candidate is the preferable one, push the Enter key to decide the input.
4. If not, push the Space key again to display a list of candidate representations, and select the preferable one.
In all the parameter fields of FME Workbench, you can enter Japanese words with the same way above.
FME 2014 and earlier
However, the Advanced Text Editor in FME 2014 (and earlier) does not display characters while entering them in the step 1 and 2. Although the list of candidates will appear after entering entire syllables and pushing the Space key (step 4), it's too inconvenient since there could be a typo while entering, and it causes mis-conversions easily.
So I often enter a Japanese word in an external text editor and then copy-and-paste it to the Advanced Text Editor. It's also troublesome, but is a little more efficient than the "blind-entering" in some cases.
I found that some enhancements for the editor have been done in FME 2015, so that the "blind-entering" has been resolved.
The new Advanced Text Editor displays the characters as same as Notepad, so I can enter Japanese characters directly and efficiently. The usability became much higher.
I believe that the improvement brings a big benefit also to every character set which needs a specific character input mode. e.g. Chinese Hanzi, Korean Hangul.
Anyway, I had been waiting for this for long time.
Thanks for the great improvement!
FME 2015 beta build 15179