Russian Keyboard for the lazy and poorly prepared.
I was absolutely psyched when Russian was released today. Mere minutes after it's release, I signed up. Hours ago, upon getting home, I frantically hurried to start the course. I had a Russian keyboard installed on my PC and I was pumped. Then, I realized.....How does a cryllic keyboard work? What latin letter corresponds with the cryllic one?! After some trial and error, I figured it out. Using a silver sharpie, I simply drew the cryllic letters where they would be on a Russian keyboard. Now, one might suspect that it either fades off or ruins your keyboard. That's not true. You can use rubbing alcohol and a rag if you'd like to wash it off, and so long as you let the marker "settle" for several minutes, it won't fade. Below, I have a picture of my own laptop keyboard, equipped with the keyboard for lazy and busy people such as myself.... Please excuse the messiness of the keyboard, this is quite an old laptop..... http://i.imgur.com/FPl2GS1.jpg
Well, you can use Google Input Tools and install the phonetic keyboard for Russian. You will have to memorize few keys, but at least you won't need to mess with the keyboard.
Unless if you want to learn to type on a Russian standard keyboard, going to Russia and so on... but for the language curious, as me, this Google Chrome extension is enough :D
Another good solution for a phonetic Cyrillic keyboard which I use and like very much, is via the TypeIt software. It is cheap and very easy to use. Another advantage of it, is that it can be used to type a dozen or so other languages. And being a phonetic keyboard, for most Russian letters the key is the same as on a standard QWERTY English keyboard., which makes it very easy to quickly learn. To learn the other letters, just print out a picture of the TypeIt keyboard and pin it up near you, and you will within two or three days have learned them. You can find it at: www.TypeIt.org. Try it; it’s cheap and very easy to use. I think you’ll like it. At my advanced age, I did not want to spend many hours just learning to type Russian. And with TypeIt, I didn’t have to.
My letters are not exactly in the same place as yours. I installed Microsoft windows Russian keyboard layout. I have already memorized where they are but I can also see it through Microsoft.
To practice typing in Russian http://vse10.ru
Then using the Shift key for capitals:
Ё ! ” № ; % : ? * ( ) _ +
I am also having an issue with the Cyrillic alphabet. I fortunately have a touchscreen laptop so i can use a touchscreen keyboard although it is extremely annoying to use. I know the Cyrillic alphabet (kind of) but in my preparation for this course I completely forgot about learning the position of the letters on the keyboard. I might use something like the sharpie or stickers to help me learn.
You can just use a on-screen keyboard. I didn't install the phonetic keyboard on my new computer yet (and I want a German phonetic keyboard with some manual modifications so it's not something you can just download in 5 mins) but using the on-screen keyboard to reference the letters' positions on the Cyrillic keyboard works fine too
I just installed a phonetic Cyrllic keyboard. (There are several, just google and check out a few.) What that means is that the keys aren't where they would be on a Russian keyboard, but instead matched as close as possible to the English sounds. This means that б is where b is, and г is where g is, etc. etc. Most sounds correspond, such at the K, L, M, N, T, P, F sounds, etc.
Then I just googled an image of a standard American keyboard, enlarged it, printed it out, and wrote the Russian letters on the appropriate keys in the diagram, and just keep that paper nearby when I'm typing, just in case I forget where the ё or the э key is, for example.
Now I can type basically the way the words sound and the correct letters come up. I still have to learn where a few odd letters are, but still, it's pretty easy.
For me this system works fine. (Although I'd be in trouble if I ever end up in Russia having to use their keyboard!)