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Learning keyboard for foreign languages.

  Tags: Keyboard
 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
19 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3  Next >>
ilanbg
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4596 days ago

166 posts - 189 votes 
Speaks: French, English*
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (classical), Persian

 
 Message 1 of 19
09 November 2007 at 6:53pm | IP Logged 
What are people's thoughts on learning the keyboards of foreign languages?

I don't see it being too useful unless one plans to visit a country using that language and use its computers. In
most cases there are shortcuts available on the QWERTY (or Dvorak, if you prefer) keyboard that will produce any
unusual symbols common in your foreign language, as well.

I was wondering about this as I realized that after just a couple hours of typing using the Arabic QWERTY
keyboard, I was typing at almost the same speed as on a regular QWERTY keyboard, in English. I was
considering learning the regular Arabic keyboard, but wondered what the point would be. I imagine its layout is
perhaps more efficient for typing, but other than that I don't see the benefit. Thoughts?

(And of similar ilk, does anyone know where one could buy [online] little stickers for [foreign or non-foreign]
alphabets? If I do choose to use learn the Arabic keyboard I'd like to stick its letters under the Latin letters on
my keyboard.)

Edited by ilanbg on 09 November 2007 at 6:55pm

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apparition
Octoglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4836 days ago

600 posts - 667 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Written), French, Arabic (Iraqi), Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Pashto

 
 Message 2 of 19
09 November 2007 at 8:38pm | IP Logged 
I just use whatever Microsoft's built into their operating system for that language. It takes a while to practice, but as long as you disregard the letters already on your keyboard and learn to touch-type, it's no problem (assuming you can touchtype in your own language, of course).

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ilanbg
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4596 days ago

166 posts - 189 votes 
Speaks: French, English*
Studies: Spanish, Arabic (classical), Persian

 
 Message 3 of 19
09 November 2007 at 9:37pm | IP Logged 
Oh... I suppose it would have been worth mentioning I use a Mac. On my Mac, I have two options for the Arabic
keyboard: Arabic and Arabic QWERTY. Arabic is whatever they use in Egypt, I presume, and Arabic QWERTY
attempts to pair up the Arabic letters with their closest Latin counterparts. Likewise, I can create most of the
symbols for French or Spanish without having to use the French or Spanish keyboards.

So is there any point to learning the layout for any of these languages, if there are easier alternatives?
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OrlMoth
Groupie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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77 posts - 83 votes 
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 Message 4 of 19
09 November 2007 at 10:48pm | IP Logged 
In kubuntu, it lets me switch to any keyboard configuration I want. kubuntu has a nice touch type training feature, too.
The only problem is the letters printed on the keyboard, but then I'm a graphic designer and I can make them myself (and so can you!): print a sheet full of special characters at around font 10 or 12 (any text editing software will do) cut it and paste it on the keys. Adhesive paper (also know as sticker paper)is available at your local Office supply store. If you have no printer, the nice people at your local copy/print shop will gladly print them for you if you bring them a file with the special characters on a disk.
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Captain Haddock
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
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Joined 4954 days ago

2282 posts - 2814 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: French, Korean, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 5 of 19
10 November 2007 at 5:37am | IP Logged 
On a related note, Mac OS X Leopard now lets you create custom keyboards, with customizable keys and combinations for inserting any Unicode character. This would be great for inputting minor languages with odd letters or diacritics.
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Jamfrogs
Newbie
Australia
Joined 4466 days ago

8 posts - 8 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: French

 
 Message 6 of 19
10 November 2007 at 6:29am | IP Logged 
For folks on Windows systems, you can use the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, which can be downloaded here.

Windows comes with the On-Screen Keyboard, which can be set to always on top which is useful for just sticking in a corner of the screen as a reference.
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jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 5095 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 7 of 19
10 November 2007 at 1:14pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
I was considering learning the regular Arabic keyboard, but wondered what the point would be. I imagine its layout is perhaps more efficient for typing, but other than that I don't see the benefit.


Efficient for typing, yes. If you don't want to type, you don't have to learn it. It is as simple as that.

This is a common topic.

How hard can it be learning a new alphabet? Anybody can learn to type in Cyrillic (just an example) in an hour or two (probably quicker). If that's all it takes, I'll learn that instead of buying stickers or creating a custom keyboard.
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LilleOSC
Senior Member
United States
lille.theoffside.comRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4877 days ago

545 posts - 546 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 8 of 19
30 December 2007 at 4:04pm | IP Logged 
Captain Haddock wrote:
On a related note, Mac OS X Leopard now lets you create custom keyboards, with
customizable keys and combinations for inserting any Unicode character. This would be great for inputting minor
languages with odd letters or diacritics.


Do you know how to do that?


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