Sunday, February 1, 2015

How to move your kotoeri Japanese user dictionary to Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite

I have been weary of new versions of the Mac OS since 10.7 Lion removed a ton of functionality. I could care less about iOS, and think that merging desktop and mobile OS is, at this point, a bad idea (especially when that desktop is used for work). Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks was a step in the right direction, but I was not at all interested in moving to 10.10 Yosemite.

Then I bought a new mac with it installed. Next, I discovered that "koteri" (ことえり)Apple's Japanese IME had been unceremoniously replaced. I guess that's fine. Kotoeri really wasn't that good. A lot of folks used ATOK.

For kotoeri users, though, there was no clear instructions on how to move your user dictionary. All I could find was this unhelpful page on Apple's site. In fact, an English-language brought me zero solutions. However, the first hit on a Japanese-language search contained the answer.

1. Go to ~/Library/Dictionaries and copy the bundle ユーザ辞書
2. On the Yosemite machine, open system preference, navigate to Keyboard the Input Sources (why it's not in "Language", I do not know), and select Japanese
3. Scroll down to the very bottom to "Specialty dictionaries", and drag and drop the ユーザ辞書 bundle into the input field.

That's all. (If you upgraded a machine to 10.10 and lost the file, just copy it over from your backup. What? You have no backup? You updated an Apple OS without making a backup of the old version?)

The location of the ユーザ辞書 bundle.
Drag and drop the ユーザ辞書 bundle into "Specialty dictionaries".


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  2. I used to have a massive (3000+ entry) kaomoji dictionary imported into Kotoeri. The new versions of OS X and iOS sync their dictionaries over iCloud or something, and it of course it synced this massive dictionary. This caused my iPhone and iPad to hang for 10 seconds after each kanji conversion as it constantly was trying to go through and search this dictionary... And now even though I deleted all the words, and it's synced again, and I've reset my iPhone from scratch 3 times... The iPhone input is STILL laggy as hell. I'm worried I'm going to have to create a new iCloud account to get rid of this issue or something.

    So a warning: Only import reasonable user dictionaries, avoid importing those kaomoji or postal code ones as iOS can't handle then.