The Tridecadal Korean (astralblue) wrote,
The Tridecadal Korean

Using Korean on English version of Windows XP

Why would I need to use Korean on my Windows?

There are a number of reasons:

  • You want to learn Korean! <3

  • You want to chat in Korean IRC networks, e.g. my and d2rampage's, both part of HanIRC, the largest and most popular Korean IRC network in existence.

  • You want to download files off of a Korean IRC network (e.g., part of DankunNet, the only large-scale IRC network that serves Korean MP3s), and you need a way to enter Korean filenames.  Furthermore, while X-Chat supports Unicode, it can't handle Korean filenames on English-only Windows platform either. :/

  • You want to use some l33t Korean programs (such as NATEON Messenger, which is slowly replacing MSN Messenger in Korea) but they work only on Korean version of Windows.

I see.  So what should I do then?

What you have to do is to enable the `East Asian language support' in your Windows XP.  Korean support is included as part of it.

There are roughly three levels of East Asian language support:

  • Level 1: Basic display support, including CJK (Chinese, Japanese and Korean) fonts

  • Level 2: Keyboard input support

  • Level 3: Change of the system locale to support non-Unicode programs

Which level you need up to depends on the reason you want the Korean support.  For example, just browsing websites and seeing Korean letters will require Level 1 only.  Typing something in Korean filenames on an MP3-serving IRC channel will require Level 2.  Letting mIRC or X-Chat receive files with Korean letters in their filename, and running NATEON Messenger will require Level 3.

Would my computer crash and burn if I enabled the Korean support on it?


Sounds cool, but are there any side effects, regardless how subtle they might be?

Depends on the level of support you enable:

  • Level 1 has no side effects, because all it does is just to install font and other support files that other programs (including L2 and L3 support) require.

  • Level 2 has one side effect: Windows will intercept a hotkey combination of Left Alt+Shift, which will be used to switch between English and Korean keyboard layouts.  However, Windows lets you reassign or even turn off this hotkey if you wanted, so there is practically no harm.

  • Level 3 has an additional, possibly annoying but reversible side effect: Some `English-centric' programs might stop working properly when the system locale is not set to English.  You can switch your system locale back to English if you see a program stop working, but it requires a reboot, so it could be annoying if you happen to use such a program frequently. (DeLorme Street Atlas 2003 is one such program for me -- I use it a lot with a GPS on my laptop. -_-)  From my experience though, there are few of these, and for some time now Microsoft has been encouraging application developers to adhere to guidelines to write `region-safe' programs, so most new programs will be problem-free.  If anything, you can leave your computer in the default, English mode for most of the times and temporarily switch your system to Korean locale only when you have to do something that requires it (e.g. to use X-Chat or mIRC to download Korean MP3s from time to time).

Okay, so what should I do if I wanted Level 1?

  1. First, open up the Regional and Language Options control panel by any of the following methods:

    • Select Start Menu -> Control Panel (-> Date, Time, Language and Regional Options if your Control Panel defaults to the Category View mode) -> Regional and Language Options, or

    • Select Start Menu -> Run... and enter intl.cpl in the Run dialog that pops up.

  2. In the Regional and Language Options control panel will you see three tabs: Regional Options, Languages and Advanced.  Select the Languages tab.

  3. In the Supplemental language support box in the Languages tab, check the Install files for East Asian languages box if it is not checked already.

  4. If you checked the box, click Apply at this moment.  Windows will now install the language support files, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean among others.  Note: You may be prompted for the Windows XP installation disc -- have it ready.

  5. If you don't need Level 2 or higher, click OK at this point to close down the Regional and Language Options control panel at this point.

  6. You now have the Level 1 support enabled on your computer.

Yay!  Now I need Level 2...

  1. If you haven't, enable Level 1 support first.  See previous section for details.

  2. Open up the Regional and Language Options control panel.  See the first step of the Level 1 instructions for details.

  3. Go to the Languages tab.

  4. Click the Details... button in the Text services and input languages box (right above the Supplemental language support box).  This will open a new Text Services and Input Languages dialog window.

  5. Examine the Installed services box and see if a Korean service is there.  If you don't see it, click Add... button to add it.  A new Add Input language popup dialog opens, and it will ask you for two things: Input language and Keyboard layout/IME to install.  Choose Korean for both, and click OK.  Windows will close the popup dialog and bring you back to the Text Services and Input Languages dialog box, which should now have Korean support added.

  6. Click Apply to enable the newly added Korean input support.

  7. Windows will now intercept the Left Alt+Shift key combination to switch between English and Korean keyboard layouts.  Take a moment and try to think if you have programs that use the same hotkey.  If you do, click the Key Settings... button.  Windows will give you a new popup dialog titled Advanced Key Settings where you can reassign the hotkey to something else or even disable it.  Even when you disabled the hotkey, you can still use your mouse to access the language bar -- a portion of the Windows taskbar with icons like EN or KO -- to change the current keyboard layout between English and Korean.

  8. Leave the Default input language as English (United States) as before, or if you prefer, set it to Korean -- Windows lets you switch between English and Korean modes anyways (by using the language bar or a hotkey (Left Alt+Shift by default).

  9. If you don't need Level 3, click OK at this point to close down the Regional and Language Options control panel at this point.

  10. You now have the Level 2 support enabled on your computer.

Cool!  Now I want Level 3.

  1. Note: You will be asked to reboot the system at the end of this section.  First save the work you have been doing.

  2. If you haven't, enable Level 2 support first.  See previous section for details.

  3. Open up the Regional and Language Options control panel.  See the first step of the Level 1 instructions for details.

  4. Go to the Advanced tab.

  5. You will find the Language for non-Unicode programs box there, which has a drop-down box with English (United States) selected by default.

  6. Change it to Korean.

  7. Click OK to save the change and close the dialog box down.  Windows will ask you to reboot the system -- do so.

Next to come: Touch-typing Korean on the Korean IME, stay tuned...



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