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How to write in a different language on the computer??

Some words that I learned are really cool. But sometimes, not just for Japanese, but for all of the languages I'm taking (except French) when they ask to translate the English to that language in words, I can't find out how to write it. Sometimes, in French, I can see the letters that have accents, cedile, e.t.c. Other times, in Russian, I have to write the letters in English, which makes it very hard for me to be able to write it. I know how to write the word, and I can write it on paper, but on the computer, I have a lot of trouble writing in a different language. Are there any ways for me to do this?! Please help!

December 14, 2017



What device are you on? Mac or Windows? Instructions for adding language keyboards vary by brand.


If you are on windows 10 you need to go to settings time and languages then go to region and language click on add language add the language you need

Then you need to click on the icon on the bottom of your screen that says eng (assuming you have a English keyboard) now you can change your keyboard

But you won't be able to see what key does what so you need to go to accessibility then keyboard and here you can turn on the screen keyboard you can use this to see what keys to what or you can just click the letters


I have used these for the Greek and Russian keyboards but of course, there are several others available:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17424/windows-change-keyboard-layout https://www.conversationexchange.com/resources/keyboard-language.php?lg=en

I have not tried these but they've been recommended by other learners. For Mac http://www.wikihow.com/Change-the-Keyboard-Language-of-a-Mac

For a cell phone http://www.wikihow.com/Change-the-Language-on-a-Cell-Phone

  1. Copy + Paste in Google Translate

  2. Get the Keyboard for the Language

  3. Try something else



Make sure NumLock is on. On a newer computer without NumLock, go to Online Keyboard, NumLock, Alt, and then click on each number. Let go, and then your letter will be there.


For any language with a Latin alphabet, I simply learn the shortcuts. It's faster than trying to learn a new keyboard for each language. I don't need the German keyboard to write Mädchen, or ß, nor the Spanish keyboard to write niño or escribí, nor the French keyboard to write garçon. Your keyboard will have shortcuts. For my computer it's OPT + E to get an accent mark that goes ´, `to get one that goes the other way, OPT + N gives ˜, OPT + S gives ß, OPT + U gives ¨. OPT + Shift + ? = ¿, OPT + 1 = ¡.

IMO, learning your keyboard's alt/opt/CRTL/Command shortcuts will hands down be the fastest way to write anything with a Latin alphabet, because you don't have to learn a new keyboard each time.

For Hebrew, I installed the QWERTY keyboard and the letters mostly go with the same sounds as the Latin alphabet. After a while you get used to which Latin letter goes to which Hebrew letter.

Chinese I installed the Pinyin keyboard, which is difficult, and if I learn how to hand-write Chinese I may try the trackpad version. But right now I'm focusing on Spanish, Italian, French, German.


You can learn the keyboard shortcuts for the diacritical marks or you can use character map. I'm afraid I have given up on attempting to deal with foreign alphabets here - I do not think the site is well adapted to it at all and you have to memorise the keyboard layout as well as the alphabet before you can start. When I've leant (or attempted) non Latin languages elsewhere, it has always been pen and paper and I can cope with that.


For Russian, phonetic keyboard layouts are easily had for most anyone. For Greek, the keyboard simply is phonetic.


For Russian, I strongly recommand the Viton Keyboard you can find here http://tnit.fr/aa.htm or here http://tnit.fr/ab.htm

It maps the cyrillic characters to their latin equivalent (type latin S and you get the cyrillic C, or latin V and get cyrillic B, etc.). Very easy to learn and use.


I wrote a page about how I use an on-screen keyboard on Duolingo for the 8 alphabets, syllabaries and character systems: https://languageimmersions.com/how-to-type-letters-from-other-alphabets-on-your-keyboard

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