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Convenient ways to type accents and such?

DuoLingo has now made it impossible to copy and paste into translation boxes. Presumably this was done to discourage idiots who were getting GoogleTranslate results and copying and pasting them into the boxes. However, there are perfectly legitimate uses of copy and paste in the translation process-- one of which is to copy and paste names-- especially names containing special characters-- in order to be sure that one is not introducing typographical errors in them.

One can't even copy and paste special characters from Character Map.

I realize that one can install a Spanish IME, but that requires familiarizing oneself with the positions of these special characters in layouts, as well as the inconvenience of switching back and forth between EN and ES.

How are other people handling this new curve ball DuoLingo has slung at us? I am seriously considering not doing any more translations until this problem is fixed in some way.

October 12, 2012



Sorry, I work on a mac and the combos are really simple, I just assumed it would have been the same on Windows.


I am using this little hotkey caps lock program someone posted http://www.onehourprogramming.com/spanish-accents/ a á i í n ñ Free program works with Windows. Launch the program hold the caps lock key as you type those vowels. Directions on the website with a few other accents as well.


For Windows, there are four possibilities mentioned. One is pasting from Character map, which is now impossible. One applies only to Microsoft Word, so it is not relevant. One is using an IME (input method, international keyboard); I explained the reasons why that is inconvenient. There is a reason we are given buttons to click during the exercises to make letters with accents. The remaining suggestion is to memorize four-digit numerical codes for all of the accented letters and other special symbols. This is not what I call a convenient solution.

For writing entirely in Spanish, I would use the IME solution. For writing in English with occasional names in Spanish, this is also not convenient, both because one has to keep switching back and forth, and because one has to memorize the locations of the special characters on the keyboard, since they do not correspond to keys in a standard US English keyboard layout.

My main point is that DuoLingo made a decision here based on a desire to stop people from copying and pasting machine generated translations, without ever considering the impact it might have on people doing translations legitimately.


I found this site a while ago when I started DuoLingo: http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/international/accents/index.html

It is really worth learning the key combos for your OS, it becomes second nature in no time, and you can type so much faster!


Windows is notorious for its poor user interface support concerning this issue, and I assume that the DuoLingo people are aware of this. In fact, I wrote a utility program for myself long ago to type special characters for Spanish, but it also uses copying and pasting, so DuoLingo has made it impossible to use along with the standard Windows utility program Character Map.


Actually, my utility only uses pasting.


Thank you, Donna Marie.


Thank you, DonnaMarie for that link. It works fine. Now, where's that "thumbs up" smiley :)


you'll have to write a program for that. I know, it is just a neat little program! Surprised that people do these things for free.

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