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Getting Used to the Hindi Keyboard

Hey! Now that the course is ready, I enabled the Hindi keyboard for the first time, but I find it really overwhelming. This may be a stupid question, but how do you learn which keys correspond to which Hindi letters? Brute memorization? Physically sticking little notes on the keys so that you can see the Hindi letters beside the English ones? =/ Any help is appreciated, thanks!

Also, a shoutout to the wonderful creators of this course for your dedication and hard work! Thank you so much!

April 22, 2014

24 टिप्पणियाँ


Thanks for the kind words :)

On iOS, I use the Apple provided keyboard and my typing is slow. It took me some time to learn and now it is getting easier. The layout is quite logical and auto correct speeds up things. More details: http://theweirdindian.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/typing-hindi-marathi-sanskrit-on-iphone.html.

On the PC, I use Google Hindi input http://www.google.com/inputtools/. With only two keyboards enabled (English and Hindi) switching becomes easier using alt-shift. There is a learning curve in this transliteration based input too, but after some time it becomes second nature, though not as fast as typing in English.

Does this help?

EDIT: Adding the link for Android resource for typing Hindi:

  1. Google हिंदी इनपुट: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.inputmethod.hindi=hi

  2. MultiLing keyboard: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.klye.ime.latin


The iOS keyboard is great! Because you can't hold on keys for more options on PC, it took me a while to find the ़ to be able to write ड़ for "लड़का". Also, the keyboard doesn't seem to have either ? or ! I just love Devanagari though, it looks so neat and nice :)


I too use the Apple provided keyboard, and it is a little confusing in the beginning. But as I'm using it, my subconscious mind is storing the location of the alphabets on the keyboard, and now I'm finding I'm able to type without much effort now. :)


That is nice to hear. I am not a touch typist on a qwerty keyboard., so don't have much hopes of becoming one on a Devanagari keyboard :(


As others have mentioned you may find it easier to use Google Hindi inputs which allows you to type "namaste" to get नमस्ते.

However I prefer to type with a Hindi keyboard - that's just my personal preference. Learning where the characters are on a latin keyboard is something that you will get eventually with enough practice. You can get Hindi keyboard stickers for dirt cheap on amazon (http://www.amazon.com/KEYBOARD-STICKERS-LETTERING-TRANSPARENT-BACKGROUND/dp/B000H7LTJM) which could make your typing a lot quicker!


Good point, _gs9. Practice does make a big difference and there are a few quirks using Google Hindi Input, but one can always find ways to make it work. Similar thing I guess with a Devanagari keyboard. I like the idea of putting stickers, but not being a touch typist on qwerty, I would get lost when typing English on a stickered keyboard :)


You know I've never really tried the Google Hindi input properly, maybe I should give it a go. The stickers only cover the right hand side of the keys by the way, so the English letters are still fully visible!


Good to know! I will try out the stickers then.

The good thing about the Google Hindi input it seems to learn. Suppose you spell a Hindi word a particular way, next time it moves that Hindi word higher on the dropdown list. But it has some quirks as well. It can be hard to type words such as जाएँ. It offers you incorrect spellings such as जाएं, but as I said, it learns!


I am using an extension for chrome called Google input tools. It lets you switch your typing language rather effortlessly. It also includes a phonetic typing feature so if you type " samachar ", it becomes "समाचार ". I am also trying to improve my hindi typing skills.


Oh yes, chrome extension is another option. I have not used that. Whichever way you type, once the beauty of Devanagari appears, the initial pain seems worthwhile.

Interestingly, there have been unsuccessful attempts over the years to romanize Hindi which have not panned out. Mandarin has pinyin, Japanese has romaji, but for any serious learning one has to learn kanji, hiragana and katakana.

Nice part about google input tools is that they adapt to the user based on how prefer to spell a Hindi word in the Roman alphabet.


This one is really helpful: http://www.lexilogos.com/clavier/devanagari.htm (virtual keyboard in Hindi/other language)

Do you think they'll add a support for it?


http://gate2home.com/ is a virtual keyboard for English speakers. Windows 7 also has other languages, which it's necessary to add to change the keyboard. I've done that, but don't know the layout of the keyboard for the different languages.

I learned typing in grade 9 in school. QWERTY keyboard. Other languages would probably be the same. You just have to learn the keyboard.

I think I'll wait till they get those courses for English speakers. I've looked at the Dutch course and the Hindi course and started panicking because it was all in a different language and I wondered if I'd get it back to English. When it asked to pick which was "boy, girl, man, or woman" or whatever, I didn't understand the question, obviously, so I took a wild guess and got it wrong. To get back to English, I found out that the Hindi word for "English" is short and the first letter, looks like a number 3. That's about all I know right now about Hindi.

I have enough with the 5 languages I'm doing now. I have an Arab penpal who I got from Livemocha, who I've been emailing with for the past 1 1/2 years who wanted to improve his English, so I told him about the English for Arab speakers course so we hope it'll be finished soon.


That's a start! The letter that looks like 3 is अ - the first alphabet and also the first vowel and its counterpart in Roman alphabet is guess what? "A". Its pronunciation is same as 'a' (schwa).


Yesterday I tried the English for Hungarian course, while I was in the middle of a German lesson for English speakers. I opened the Hungarian course in a new tab. If I remember right, the interface was in Hungarian. I only did one lesson and closed it. I had to guess at a lot of the answers, but, amazingly, I got some answers right. Just lucky guesses. I used a virtual keyboard from that website to type in Hungarian. After that I finished the German lesson I was doing and then when I clicked on "Strengthen Skills", it had a Hungarian lesson but the interface was in English, which was a pleasant surprise. I've looked at Dutch too, which is more like English and "man" is the same in Dutch as in English. I looked under Discussion and it was all in Hungarian so it meant nothing to me. I could have ran some of the Hungarian through Google Translate, but I didn't. That doesn't translate properly sometimes but it's better than nothing.

When I had tried the Hindi course, it changed everything to Hindi, (where it says Home, Activity, Discussion, Immersion) so it meant nothing to me, so I was panicking about how to get it back to English. So somehow I tried to find which language in the list meant "English" to get it back and could only remember that the word for "English" started with a letter that looked like the number 3 and that it was a short word.


Yes this is a nice virtual keyboard. I have used Google Hindi input and as far supporting this on Duolingo goes, I don't think that is going to happen. They have other set of important priorities. Totally understandable.


It takes a while to get used to the Hindi keyboard, I have had installed for a while before I got the hang of it. On my old computer I got Hindi letter stickies and memorized it that way, I did the same for Arabic. But it does take a lot of time, I think the keyboards on the Ipod and IPhone are so much easier to use :P


French, Spanish, German, Hindi, Arabic, and 224 day streak! Very nice!


My German and Spanish are very bad I can barley say hello in them :P


Thank you for your suggestions, everyone! I will try them out and see what works for me :)


Good luck! after a little practice, you will start liking these tools. I have had Google Input tool installed for several years, but now that I have been recently using it a lot, it is becoming second nature. And I am beginning to like the transliteration free iOS keyboard on my iPAD.


Is there a way to type Devanagari on an Android phone?

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