https://www.duolingo.com/RandallMiles

No embedded Russian virtual keyboard

RandallMiles
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I am curious why an embedded virtual keyboard, such as included in Spanish, French, and Italian, is not included in Russian. Granted the Romance ones are only the diacritics and Russian would need to be the entire alphabet, but it would certainly fit. Having it embedded would save us from having to constantly flip our keyboards back and forth between the two alphabets.

3 years ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/-..--..-.-.-.-

Set a hotkey for flipping, problem solved

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jgstcd
jgstcd
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Switching from typing to clicking takes time. Even for languages based on the Latin alphabet I don't use the accented letters duo provides. They only save time in the short term. In the long term you're better off learning to use only the keyboard.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Priscilla95-

I agree.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
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> Granted the Romance ones are only the diacritics and Russian would need to be the entire alphabet, but it would certainly fit.

It would be hell to type on, that's for sure. The best thing to do is to install a Cyrillic keyboard (they come with your operating system) and learn to touch type on it, either specially or as you go along. There were lots of posts about this (installing/using Cyrillic keyboards) yesterday, so take a look.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RandallMiles
RandallMiles
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I am using the Cyrillic keyboard included with my system, and since I find using the virtual easier than trying to learn to touch-type in Russian I am using the virtual included in my OS. It still requires that I switch from English to Russian and back again several times per lesson. I understand that many people don't mind that. I'm simply saying that I do. Having an embedded virtual keyboard would not preclude anyone from using the regular keyboard, just as someone could flip their keyboard to French to type the diacritics in French.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
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That's up to you, of course.

Duo probably has no intention of providing a Cyrillic keyboard--it's been suggested before--so your choice is to flip keyboards or use the barbarous transliteration method of text entry. You get what you pay for, and this is free. Perhaps Duo could implement a Premium subscription for you?

You can set hotkeys to flip to whichever keyboard you want to use. For instance, to load the Rusian keyboard my hotkey is CTRL-8. How difficult is that? Until computers can mind read, it won't get much easier.

FWIW, in the long run, touch-typing is the only way to go, if you want to be even halfway efficient.

[Added] The other possibility would be for Duo to know which language it was expecting the input to be in and interpret the keystrokes accordingly. This could be a good solution for any language on Duo. It has been suggested in the Russian for English speakers forum, I think, but again Duo has made no move to implement it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RandallMiles
RandallMiles
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I've been thinking about your comment that "touch-typing is the only way to go". My experience, from working in academic libraries for 18 year (the last 8 at an Ivy League university), is that few native English speakers touch-type in English. Granted they are not using the Columbus System, but they are looking at the keyboard. Learning a new language, in a completely different alphabet, is difficult enough, without the added difficulty of learning to touch-type in it.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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. . . few native English speakers touch-type in English . . .

That is very surprising to hear.

My experience as a computer programmer for almost forty years has been the opposite. Perhaps 25-30 years ago there were many who could not touch type. Since then I have met very few who cannot. My wife touch-types, our children do, and so do their spouses. The high school students my wife taught (she taught pre-K-12) could touch-type. Many or most children learn it in school nowadays.

I'd be interested to hear from others on Duo as to whether touch-typing in English is uncommon or not.

Learning a new language, in a completely different alphabet, is difficult enough, without the added difficulty of learning to touch-type in it.

It is very easy to learn to touch-type on the computer, with or without a "typing tutor" program. I don't use a program, for instance, but have learned to touch type in French (AZERTY), Russian (ЙЦУКЕН), and Greek over the years. It is a completely mechanical process, can easily be accomplished in less than a month, and can be undertaken independently of learning a language, although I would probably try it after (or maybe as) one learns to sound out words in the foreign language.

And, w/ so many keyboard layouts being similar, once one has learned, say, the keyboard for English, there is little or nothing to relearn for other languages that use the same or a similar alphabet, especially nowadays, when "phonetic" keyboards are easy to load onto a computer. Also it is not difficult to learn to type in a non-Latin alphabet once touch typing has been mastered for English (or for any single language).

What is the Columbus System?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RandallMiles
RandallMiles
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Columbus System: Find a key and land on it. Usually done with just two fingers.

So, you're telling me that all these people if blindfolded would type just as quickly and accurately as they normally do. If not they are not touch typing. They may be typing with all ten fingers and quite rapidly, but not touch-typing.

As for ease of learning: I'm glad for you that you find it easy. For me it was a hard fought semester of high school. Also, in the 1960s my mother was a professional typist: she typed dissertations for doctoral candidates. In English she touch-typed, on a good day, better than 150 wpm. On a bad day still over 100 wpm. However, she complained bitterly, and charged accordingly, when she had to type dissertations in Russian. Her speed was down to a little over 80 wpm, because she had to keep looking at the keyboard. This was a woman who from childhood could speak, read, and write Ukrainian. Granted not Russian, but the alphabet is very similar.

My point is: Why require learning a skill, difficult for some, that is not necessary? Do you think we should also be required to write in Russian cursive? My high school Russian teacher did require that, but did not require we learn to touch-type, even though I had a typewriter with Russian font. I would think that since what Luis is selling is crowd-source translation, he would want to make it as easy as possible for people to learn, not throw up obstacles. I guess I am wrong.

/end rant

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
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So, you're telling me that all these people if blindfolded would type just as quickly and accurately as they normally do. If not they are not touch typing. They may be typing with all ten fingers and quite rapidly, but not touch-typing.

No, I'm telling you that probably most touch-typists would, or pretty close. There may be a significant group who type regular English (or foreign languages) just fine but need to look for where some of the special characters that are not often used are on the keyboard, so they would sometimes look at their hands. My wife says she types that way, for instance. FWIW, I never look at the keyboard, except to find a few of the seldom-used function keys (PRT-SCRN, HOME, etc.).. I've been typing on this computer for 2.5 hours this a.m., in English, Russian, French, and Spanish and have not looked at the keyboard once, except to see where the function keys mentioned above are located.

It is amazing to me that you think that touch typing is a sham. Do you figure that it is some sort of huge hoax foisted on the people of the world, and everyone has just been pretending all these years that it is worth learning? (This is not a rhetorical question.)

As for ease of learning: I'm glad for you that you find it easy. For me it was a hard fought semester of high school. Also, in the 1960s my mother was a professional typist . . .

Adolescence is not a good time to learn anything that you don't want to learn. It sounds like you got off on the wrong foot and never recovered. However, you are not an adolescent now, so why be shackled by misapprehensions from those days?

As for your mother's being an excellent typist in English (doesn't that tell you something, by the way, about the efficacy of touch-typing?) but cursing typing in Russian, well, that just says that she never found the time to learn to type well on a Cyrillic keyboard. It takes some doing, although it is not difficult, and if one doesn't acquire the skill of course it will be difficult, and she obviously never acquired the skill. (Or it says that she knew the Ukrainian keyboard well and was constantly tripping over the 4 or 5 keys that are different between the two keyboards; this stumbling is what happens to English typists starting to use the French AZERTY keyboard, but it passes w/ practice.)

. . . You made your original post 3 months ago. How are you doing with "entering" Russian? You could have easily learned to touch type on the Cyrillic Russian keyboard (any layout) in that time and now be zooming along. I speak from experience, as it took me less than 3 weeks and it was no sweat. All you need is a good attitude, the right method, and daily practice 5-15 minutes a session.

This application, which you can download for free, is set up the right way. Or I would be glad to tell you my method. No software "typing tutor" needed, just a text editor or word processor, and you could even use just the text-entry boxes on Duo. I don't want to be pushy, but it would really pay off for you and would continue to pay off for as long as you type in Russian (or English, or whichever keyboards you learn).

Do you think we should also be required to write in Russian cursive?

No, not required. This isn't high school. But cursive too is easy to learn, and if you want to learn Russian it will be very useful. Why not learn it? Russian school children master it in the first grade, so it can't be (and isn't) very difficult. Writing Russian by hand (in my experience) really helps with memorizing, if nothing else, plus once you are adept you can write in Russian easily anywhere, w/o a computer. Just why would you not want to learn it?

Anyway, I've tried to reply to your questions and doubts. Please let me know what you think.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RandallMiles
RandallMiles
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Actually, no, you did not address my questions and doubts. You did however misunderstand me. I never said, nor did I ever mean to imply, that touch-typing is a sham. I touch type in English. I learned to do so because I was motivated to. By the time I was in high school my mother had given me her IBM Selectric and I was keen to master it. My point was, and your wife should understand this, different people learn differently and different people find different things difficult. My experience, and my mother's, was that we found touch typing difficult to learn. We both mastered it, she much better than I, but it was not easy. I have limited time to devote to DL, about 45 minutes per day. I am not going to waste it on a skill I neither want nor need. I am not here to learn to write in Russian, or any other language. I am not here to learn to speak or listen to Russian, of any other language. My sole purpose here is to learn to read. If that does not fit your worldview I'd like to say I'm sorry, but I'm not. It fits mine and that's all I need. Just curious: Why are you so intent that everyone learn to touch type? Which of the touch-type learn programs did you develop?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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> Actually, no, you did not address my questions and doubts.

Then ask again, please. I tried my best to answer them. Be specific as to what I did not answer, if you're doing anything other than trolling me.

> You did however misunderstand me. I never said, nor did I ever mean to imply, that touch-typing is a sham.

You said: "So, you're telling me that all these people if blindfolded would type just as quickly and accurately as they normally do." To me that says that you think touch typists could not do that. By implication a sham, if we cannot type without looking at the keyboard. Just what did you really mean, if not that? Be specific.

> My point was, and your wife should understand this, different people learn differently and different people find different things difficult.

I understood your point, but you seem to have missed mine, that very likely you got off on the wrong foot with learning to touch type. Consider this: maybe learning to touch-type was hard because your method, not you, was at fault, whereas you, yourself, are quite capable of learning fairly easily. There are better ways and worse ways to learn a skill.

Have you even tried Klavaro, the typing tutor that I linked to? Have you asked to know what method I'm suggesting? If not, how do you know that these methods would not work for you? All you need is a good attitude, the right method, and daily practice, as I already said.

> My sole purpose is to learn to read.

You may not listen to this, judging by evidence so far, but I can read Russian very well already and I learned it on my own. Just in case you miss the point of that statement: I speak from experience. And learning to read Russian would have been much harder and have taken much longer w/o the ability to easily type and take notes in Russian. Less than a month's effort for years of gain.

Being able to type easily in Cyrillic would make even just your learning-to-read-Russian sessions on Duolingo far more productive--you would study much more Russian per session because you wold be entering text faster. And maybe, with those skills, you'd even move on to writing more than little Duo baby sentences in Russian, because typing and taking notes in cursive would be easy. Then you would really start to learn Russian, and it would pay off first and especially in your reading, as it has in mine.

You say that you don't have enough time. There is always some time available, especially for sessions of 15 minutes a day or less. I learned to type in Russian when working 12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week, and with two young children to take up my time at home. And it needed less than 3 weeks.

> Just curious: Why are you so intent that everyone learn to touch type? Which of the touch-type learn programs did you develop?

You know, that really seems pretty slimy to me. You, not "everyone," asked about this, and I have tried my best to answer you, because you asked. You even re-opened this conversation after three months with more questions, which I have tried very assiduously to answer. And now you imply I'm doing this for personal gain.

Just to set your suspicious mind at rest, there are no methods you could buy that I have developed or would derive any gain from if you used them. I simply answered your questions trying to help, because you asked, and because I know how much easier typing in Cyrillic (and writing in cursive) make learning Russian.

So, if you would like to learn how to touch-type easily, I'm willing to continue this, or, which would work just as well, you could give Klavaro a determined try. But if you're trolling me, or if you won't get over the conviction that you are incapable, then there is no reason for us to carry on discussing touch-typing.

Actually I would like to learn what your question about typing blindfolded was about, if not saying, basically, that touch-typing is a sham. What else could you have meant?

2 years ago
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