Email & WWW for Asian Languages




Displaying Asian characters

Decoding email messages

Sending an email in Asian Languages

Online chatting in Asian languages

Web resources in Asian languages


I. Displaying Asian Characters on Webpages


If you open a web page in an Asian language and it does not display the Asian characters properly, please do the following:


If you are  using Internet Explorer, go to “View” at the top left hand of the browser, select “Encoding”—“More”— the language you want to be displayed, such as Japanese or Korean. For Chinese, select either “Chinese Simplified” or “Chinese Traditional.”


If you are using Netscape, go to “View” at the top left-hand of the browser, select “Character Coding”—“More”—“East Asian,” — the language you want to be displayed. For Chinese, select either “Chinese Simplified” or “Chinese Traditional.”


Click "View" and go through similar encoding steps if you are using Mosilla, Firefox or other browsers.


II. Decoding email messages in Asian languages


Sometimes when you open an email, you find it is an “illegal” document, a document that is full of strange characters and symbols and is virtually unreadable. That might be an email in a language other than English, and it’s very likely to be in one of the non-Roman languages. To “decode” such messages, Internet Explorer does a better job than Netscape Communicator, because Internet Explorer supports more non-Roman languages than Netscape does. So when you get such a message, especially from a foreign friend, use Internet Explorer rather that Netscape. Among the non-Roman languages which Internet Explorer supports are Arabic, Baltic, Chinese (both simplified and traditional), Japanese, Greek, Hebrew, Korean, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese. To render a message in one of those languages readable in Windows 2000, Windows XP, and probably Mac X, please do the following:


Open your email in Internet Explorer. Go to the “View” menu, click “Encoding” and select one of the foreign languages which the email message is most likely in. Your message will be converted and probably will be turned into a language which you can read. If it’s in a language which you still cannot read, try other languages in the View-Encoding menu.


If you do not have Internet Explorer, and have to use Netscape, try the following:


Open your email in Netscape. Go to the “View” menu, click “Character Set” and select one of the foreign languages which the message is likely in. If it does not convert the code into a language that is readable, click “View-Character Set” again and select other foreign languages.


If the operating system in your computer is Windows 95, 98, or Mac OS 9 or alower version, you will need a non-Roman language displaying and decoding software to read those email messages. One of the most popular non-Roman language display software is NJStar Communicator (for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean only). You can download it for a thirty-day trial. Their website is


III. Sending an email in Asian languages


To send an email in a non-Roman language, you should first of all know how to do word processing in that language. If you do, then sending an email in that language is very easy in Windows 2000 or Windows XP. As is the case in reading emails in non-Roman languages, Internet Explorer is a better tool than Netscape. To write and send an email in a non-Roman language, please do the following:


For Windows 2000 and Windows XP and Mac X: Open Internet Explorer. Open your email account. Activate the foreign language input function by click the “EN” icon and select the language in which you want to write your email message. After completing your message, click “Send” as you would do when sending an email in English.


For other operating systems: If your operating system is Windows 95, 98, or an earlier version, or Mac OS 9 or earlier version, you will need a non-Roman language input software in order to enter that language. Some non-Roman language input software include TwinBridge and NJStar Word Processor (Chinese and Japanese). Their respective websites are and


Open Internet Explorer. Open your email account. Activate your non-Roman language input software, and start writing in that language. When you are done, click “Send” to deliver your message.


IV. Chatting in Asian languages


When the students’ foreign language competence has reached the upper-intermediate level, we can increase their interest by using various activities that require more skills in that foreign language. One of these activities is chatting on the Internet in that language.


A very good Chinese chat room can be found in On this webpage, select 聊天 (Chat), select 击进入 (Enter), and students can begin to chat in the foreign language. The instructor should give guidance to student chatting, such as giving a topic, requiring students to use certain language structures they have recently learned. Chinese websites such as 网易, 搜狐, and 新浪 also have very active chat rooms. is the website of a chat room in Japanese, called I Love VV(Village Vanguard).


Another website for chatting in Japanese is Here you can chat on may different topics, such as personal interests, hobbies, travel, art, books, friends, and so on. Many other websites located in Japan also have very good chat rooms.


V. Web Resources for Asian Language Education







a). Chinese Websites This is the U of M CLA Language Center website. It has a great number of useful links.  One of the most popular websites in China. If you want to find information on Beijing Opera, for example, click on “艺术,” then click 表演艺术, then “戏曲与戏剧,” then “京剧。” In this column, you will find a great deal of information on the “Oriental opera,” including its history, characteristics, well-known performers, and famous works.   This website is called 网易meaning “NetEase.” You can find a lot of info in it.


The next one is  The “New Wave” website offers even more information than the others. Go surfing it and enjoy.


There are also many other interesting websites. The following are a few of them: Most helpful for learners of Chinese. This one is located in Australia. It teaches Chinese. contains a lot of information on Chinese culture. CND stands for China News Digest. This website was created and maintained by Chinese students and scholars who are outside China. It publishes a weekly magazine (China Digest), and a daily express (China Express). This is the most popular E-magazine among overseas Chinese. A weekly publication located in Canada and maintained by Chinese students and scholars in Canada and the United States.


Last but not least, we have This one also offers a great deal of information.


b) Online Japanese resources


Here are some Japanese language learning resources on the Internet. The first is the University of Minnesota CLA Language Center’s Japanese website. It has a lot of valuable resources. Please take a look at it and see what you can use for your courses:


The next is Japanese-Online that offers some very nice introductory lessons. It uses the functional approach to introduce Japan’s history, society, and culture, creating of a situation in which a family arrived newly in Tokyo from Seattle, Washington. The materials are suitable for students who are especially interested in Japanese culture, but can also serve as reference materials for instructors of Japanese. Here is the website:


The next site, called Japanese Tutor, offers a lot of useful links, including online Japanese learning resources on the beginning, intermediate, as well as advanced levels. In addition, it also has links of Japanese-English, English-Japanese dictionaries, as well as other Japanese language resources. This Japanese learning website has a lot of audio materials using RealPlayer.


c). Hindi Websites


The University of Minnesota’s CLA Language Center has a Hindi webpage that is linked to a lot of valuable information. Please go explore it:


Hindi, the language songs, is famous for its musical characteristics. The next website focuses more on the Hindi language. It introduces the history of the language, the regions where it is spoken, and the various dialects of Hindi. Please visit the website to learn more about the Hindi language:


Everybody knows that India has a rich treasure of literature. Our next website, is a virtual multimedia store of Indian literature. It contains a video store, a video library, a DVD creation lab, and much more.


d). Online Korean Resources an online Korean teaching and learning resource.


The next is a Korean Language Classroom in which you can learn the Korean language to survive in Korea: This one not only introduces to you various elements of the Korean language, but also offers you many links to other valuable Korean cultural resources.


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