Language Learning Tip: Keyboards

At some point when trying to learn another language in the Internet age, one will find that they have to type using a character the English keyboard doesn’t have. This is extremely frustrating and trying to figure out workarounds is time consuming. Well, there’s an easier way to type accents, just change the computer’s keyboard setting. It is really simple  go to setting and find something that says “language preferences” or something similar. From there find where keyboard settings are and then select the setting needed. There are many options when it comes to keyboard settings, the most basic is to just add the other languages keyboard setting and toggle back and forth between it and the English. However, that can be confusing and time consuming. A simpler method is to use the US-International keyboard setting, it is easy to use and learn where the accents are located; the downside is that is only has very basic accents and special characters (though it is great for typing in French, Spanish, German, etc.); so, if one needs less common special characters (say for Esperanto with is ĝ, ĥ, and ĵ) the better option is the Canadian Multilingual Standard (which is what I use!). It is a little more complex than the US-International and takes a little more time to get use to, but for language nerds it is definitely worth it.

The advantage of both the US-International and the Canadian Multilingual Standard is that none of the letters have moved from where they are on the standard US QWERTY keyboard (this is opposed to if one uses, say, the French keyboard setting where some of the letters are switched around). The real changes on these keyboards are to the location of the symbols (though, again, the US-International has far fewer changes than the CMS; in fact, the only real downside to using the US-I is that one has to press shift more often, other than that it is real simple and fast to use).

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