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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacIomhair

Suggestion - On Screen Keyboards

For any course involving two different alphabets, we should really offer an on-screen keyboard in those alphabets.

I've only dabbled in the Russian course and was put-off by the input of Cyrillic (not the fact of Cyrillic). I've had a quick go at Hebrew and the only way I could type in Hebrew was to get an answer wrong, copy the suggested answer and paste it in.

I know that it's possible to fiddle about and change keyboard settings etc, but we shouldn't really have to do that. A simple optional onscreen keyboard set-up similarly to the lists of accented characters (in the languages that have them) would be very welcome.

Even if this doesn't happen, I am planning to try the Russian again in the future (when I'm happy with Polish - which will probably be in about 20 years), but solely on my phone as it's a lot simpler to change the keyboard on there (as the symbols change as well as the behind the scenes stuff - on the PC, the keyboard is still in Roman script and in QWERTY layout whatever settings I apply).

I'd even go so far as to say with the addition of many non-European languages that this would be essential rather than just a nice to have.

June 21, 2016

9 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuoFaber

I used to use Windows' on-screen keyboard, until I found an even better way: http://www.fluentin3months.com/speak-russian/

(scroll down until you find the picture with the computer)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

> I know that it's possible to fiddle about and change keyboard settings etc, but we shouldn't really have to do that.

"We shouldn't really have to do that . . . "? Why not? Millions of people are already getting along quite well on Duo doing just that. Keyboards are easy to load under the various operating systems that we consumers use. Do a search in the forum on keyboard and you'll find instructions. If you simply can't figure it out, re-post and ask for instructions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/renatria

Perhaps then there could be a link to a FAQ on changing keyboards that would explain how to change it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

Did you do the search I suggested? This, and this may help you. If you need more help, specify the computer operating system you are using, and someone who knows how to load the keyboard on that system may give you assistance.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/renatria

Thanks, I've got it but a couple of places I know that were excited about the Hebrew are new to duolingo and wouldn't know where to look or that these boards exist. I'm helping the folks there find the resources to install Hebrew typing. I wonder how many people that's a hurdle that makes them quit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MacIomhair

I can figure it out, I'm an IT professional. The fact it can be done like that does not mean it should be done like that.

Also, the physical keyboard does not match the software keyboard.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slogger

> The fact it can be done like that does not mean it should be done like that.

Should? Obviously Duolingo does not agree. This subject has been raised countless times (did you make an attempt to look for such discussions?) and Duo has somehow not done what they "should." So you can stay on your high horse or try the workaround suggested. It's up to you.

> I can figure it out, I'm an IT professional.

Undoubtedly an IT professional can handle it, as millions of non-IT professionals already have.

> Also, the physical keyboard does not match the software keyboard.

Use your IT professional brain. Try installing whichever keyboard you need, then print out all the rows of the keyboard to use as a reference until you master the new layout. Print this either onto paper or into a file that you can popup yourself in a separate window, .

And/or learn how to touch type on the new keyboard. There are great free resources for this. keybr.com is super, as you can upload your own texts to practice on, and klavaro is nice, as you can download the program to your computer to use offline. Or just use a text file on your computer, as outlined in my comment on this thread, which describes pretty much the same tack as klavaro takes.

Best of success. However you go about this, learning to touchtype on a foreign language keyboard will be useful anywhere you use such a keyboard, not just on Duo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrandaUrso

http://russian.typeit.org/

Type what you want and then copy and paste.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZazeLenko

Hi! German course have few German specific letters displayed on-screen. For languages like Russian or Hebrew the full blown keyboard is needed. In my opinion, the best solution is physical keyboard and it is not too expensive. After all, you are learning the language to use it outside Duolingo and you will probably need a decent keyboard. While you are waiting for your new keyboard to be delivered, you could help yourself with on screen keyboard your OS provides, as DuoFaber suggests.

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