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Setting Language Options in XP

Stanley J. from Lewisville, TX asks:

I just returned from South Korea and I got a keyboard with the Korean characters on it and would like to use it to write my friend in Korea. I know Microsoft has a language pack for this, but I’m not sure which one and how to use it when I download it. I am using Windows XP. Thanks!

For most languages, there’s no need to purchase a brand new keyboard from the country whose language you wish to converse in. The option to switch keyboard layouts on your computer is also available. This means you wouldn’t need to buy a foreign keyboard and you could switch back to English any time you wish to. Thankfully most Korean keyboards have the ability to switch between the Roman alphabet and the Hangul alphabet at any time, so you can still use the keyboard you purchased in South Korea for writing in the English language too. There is a single button for this switch.

The Korean language isn’t listed among the many languages supplied on the Regional and Language Options window. Use the following steps to adjust your list of languages to suit your needs.

Step 1 – Go to the Start button at the bottom of the screen and click on it


Step 2 – Click on Control Panel

Step 3 – Double click on Regional and Language Options


Step 4 – When the new window opens, click on the tab labeled Languages


Step 5 – Check the box next to Install files for East Asian languages

Step 6 – A window will pop up telling you that you have chosen to install language files for Korean, Japanese, and Chinese and it will also state how many MegaBytes (MB) are needed for this to take place. Click the OK button on this box and then click the OK button at the bottom of the Regional and Language Options window.

This change should enable you to type in Korean and see what you are typing, once your computer recognizes your keyboard too. Steps to install your Korean keyboard are provided below:

Step 1 – Make sure the computer is off

Step 2 – Plug the keyboard into the back of the computer tower

Step 3 – Turn on the computer

Step 4 – If the keyboard came with a CD to aid with installation, then insert the disc into the computer at this time. Follow the prompts provided on the screen as the disc walks you through installation of the keyboard.

Step 5 – Windows XP will generally let you know if there are any additional drivers needed to make the keyboard function properly. Follow any prompts given and you shouldn’t have any difficulty in setting up the keyboard.

If you still aren’t able to type in Korean, then you might need to install special software known as Global IME, in order to make the keyboard function properly.

The XP Tool known as Global Input Method Editor is supposed to allow you to fill your documents with Korean text, insert Korean text into messages, presentations, and even web pages. Supposedly, you do not need to change the language your Office XP is in or the type of operating system being used.

The following steps will walk you through the downloading and installation process:

Step 1 – Turn your computer on

Step 2 – Download Global IME (Korean) from here:

Step 3 – Click on the blue Download button and follow the prompts. You might have to reboot your computer after the downloading process is complete.

Step 4 – If you rebooted the system, then wait for the computer to come back on and use the language bar to switch to Korean characters.

The language bar allows you to switch between languages and makes it much simpler when typing in multiple languages. Most people are able to alternate between keyboard layouts for many different languages. Unfortunately, Korean isn’t one of the languages to choose from the dropdown list on Windows XP in the ‘Regional and Language Options’ window, which is why you will need to download the supplemental language support Microsoft offers or the XP Tool: Global IME.

In case you simply purchased your keyboard in South Korea and have never actually used one, there are a few things you should know. The basics listed below are common for most Korean keyboards:

-The Ha/En key allows the keyboard to switch from Hangul to English and vice versa.

-Holding down the Shift key while pressing a key with multiple Korean characters on it will enable you to choose the alternate character on the key.

-Most words written in Hangul can be converted into Hanja characters by placing the cursor at the right of a section of Hangul text and pushing the F8 button. To convert Hanja characters to Hangul text, use the cursor in the same fashion and press F7.

Hopefully these many steps will have you typing in Korean to your friend in no time at all.

~H.A. Bryan