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Windows phonetic keyboard: Can't find letters?

I'm very excited to be learning Russian through Duolingo. However, I notice that some of the words use letters that I can't find on my newly-downloaded Windows Russian phonetic keyboard. A prime example are й and ь, which I have copy-pasted from a question that asked for it.

Does anyone have any advice concerning how to find these "missing" letters?

Thanks for your help!

EDIT: I have found the й key, but I'm still having trouble with the other one.

November 7, 2015



Do you have a picture of your layout? The Russian phonetic layout should look like this:


Why on earth put Ж on 'v' and В on 'w', and not put Х on 'h'? I really can't understand some of the strange and inconsistent choices some phonetic layouts make.


I cannot find a picture of my layout. It's very similar to this one, but with exception of the ~ key (which comes out as ъ), none of the keys that would align with numbers and punctuation in English give Russian outputs. Do you know of a way to change that?


You can download Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (it is free) and change the layout the way you prefer :-) Also, you will see the picture of your current layout there and will be able to screenshot and print it.


That clears a lot up. Thank you!


Where did you download it from? Microsoft? And what release of Windows do you have?


I'm using the Russian Mnemonic keyboard I downloaded from via Microsoft 10's keyboard options.


It sounds like olimo has you covered.

To make a rough-and-ready keymap, you can print out the rows of keys (w/ caps on or off) on paper or in a file. They only way that does not work so well is if a letter takes multiple key strokes or if using key combinations with, say, the Windows key or the ALT key is necessary.


You probably have a ЯШЕРТЫ layout (like I do) instead of the ЯВЕРТЫ olimo described. You should check this site for the missing letters http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-performance/russian-mnemonic-keyboard-layout-is-missing/e2c92dd0-ca7c-400d-b9e2-bdd276150323. I should note that you can also get Я by just pressing Q, and Ш by using S+H which might make memorising its sound easier.


There are even variants within ЯШЕРТЫ and ЯВЕРТЫ which put some of the non-letters in different spots and this seems to be a mnemonic keyboard which is yet again different.


Windows 10 Russian Mnemonic Keyboard

Unfortunately, I don't know how to load an image of a keyboard with the Russian-English equivalents set out here, so this is the best guide I have been able to come up with.

I suggest that English speakers use the Russian Mnemonic keyboard. Identical letters such as a, e, m, and o occupy the same keys in both languages. Russian equivalent letters with characters which differ from their Engish counterparts in form but not function occupy the English letter equivalent to the Russian character: the Russian “i” = “и” is entered in Russian text by pressing the “i” key on your keyboard. Similarly, the Russian “r” = “р” is entered by pressing the “r” on the keyboard. [This text is being written using [Windows key + SpaceBar] to move easily back and forth between keyboards.]

Some Russian letters have no direct English equivalent, and must simply be learned. Pressing English “x”, for example, produces Russian “ж” and English “w” produces Russian “ш”.

In order to enable the Russian Mnemonic keyboard, first you will have to load the Russian language module in Control Panel/Languages/add a language. When the Module is loaded, return to Control Panel/Languages/ Русский and click on options. Inside options, click on add an input device. From the list of keyboards that appears, select Russian – Mnemonic, then click on “add”. When you are returned to the list of languages, click on “save”, then exit Control Panel.

You can switch among keyboards by pressing the Windows button and Space-bar. You also find a keyboard-selection button on the taskbar. In using the Mnemonic keyboard, some Russian letters and pronunciation marks do not appear immediately when the key is pressed, but require the pressing of an additional key or the spacebar in order to appear. You will have to do some trial-and-error to figure this out.

Some Russian characters require the pressing of two keys in quick succession, such as “ju” or "yu" to get “ю”.

In using the following chart, you switch to the Windows 10 Russian Mnemonic keyboard using the Win + Space-bar combination or selecting the Russian Keyboard from the task-bar. You press the key(s) listed under the English Keyboard header to get the Russian letter under the Русский Алфабит (Russian Alphabet)

Identical letters:
Русский Алфавит = English Keyboard

а А = a A
е Е = e E
к К = k K
м М = m M
о О = o O
т Т = t T

Russian equivalents
Русский Алфавит = English Keyboard

б Б = b B
д Д = d D
ф Ф = f F
г Г = g G
л Л = l L
и И = i I
н Н = n N
п П = p P
р Р = r R
с С = s S
у У = u U
в В = v V
з З = z Z

Other Russian Letters
Русский Алфавит = English Keyboard

ы Ы = y Y + Space-bar
ц Ц = c C + Space-bar
х Х = h H
й Й = j J + Space-bar
ш Ш = w W
ж Ж = x X
я Я = q Q or ja JA
щ Щ = sc SC
ч Ч = ch CH
ё Ё = jo JO or yo YO
э Э = je JE or ye YE
ю Ю = ju JU or yu YU

Russian Pronunciation “letters”
Русский Алфавит = English Keyboard**

ь Ь = ’ ”
ъ Ъ = ` ~

«Russian Quotation Marks»
Русский Алфавит = English Keyboard

To enter Russian quotation marks using a PC keyboard, you have to use the Alt Key method: Hold down the Alt and enter a four-digit code using the numeric keypad, then release the Alt key, and the special character appears. The four numbers (including 0 = zero) are “Unicode” numbers which translate according to a universal table of symbols developed by Microsoft.

« = Alt + 0171
» = Alt + 0187

All the Russian characters could be entered this way, using different numbers, but why bother when you can use the Russian keyboards available from Microsoft. Some other symbols:

€ = Alt+0128
¡ = Alt+0161
£ = Alt+0163
© = Alt+0169
ª = Alt+0170 (Feminine Ordinal)
« = Alt+0171 (Left Angle Quote)
» = Alt+0187 (Right Angle Quote)
® = Alt+0174
º = Alt+0186 (Masculine Ordinal)
¿ = Alt+0191
ç Alt+0231
÷ = Alt+0247
§ = Alt+0167
æ = Alt+0230
œ = Alt+0156

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