Ukrainian Keyboard For Future Learners
Hi! Привіт! This is something I will put out there to those wanting to learn Ukrainian on Duolingo. I will of course post these directions later on before release for those starting the course. These are the instructions for downloading a Cyrillic keyboard for those who want to get ready for the Ukraine course release.
The Cyrillic keyboard layout is a challenge to get used to so the best advice I can give you is just practice, practice, practice!
Steps for getting a Ukrainian Keyboard (note this may be different for a Mac):
1: Go to your start menu and search the word "Keyboard Input".
2: Select the one that says something along the lines of changing your input options.
3: A window should open called "Region and Languages", click the button that says "Change Keyboards"
4: Select "Add" and then select which language you want (Ukrainian)
5: Make sure before you are done to click "APPLY".
There are two methods you can use to show your input options:
Buy keyboard stickers for your computer.
(preferred) Turn on the "On-screen keyboard"
On-Screen Keyboard instructions:
Search "On screen keyboard" in the start menu.
Click on "On-screen Keyboard" and it will pop up.
If you want to hot key your keyboard to switch between languages: get to the window where you would add another keyboard language, click on "Advanced Settings", and then click on "Change key sequence". Then when ever you want to change between language keyboards just hit your selected key(s) and it will switch input.
You can move the virtual keyboard around like any other window. The keyboard will remain visible at all times unless you exit out of it/minimize it.
Good luck with learning the language! :D
Thanks! A great thing to do in advance of the lessons.
This is possible with Macs and on Linux, too, as you say. It would be good to have instructions for those systems as well, if someone would care to add them. (I don't know Macs, and I haven't used Linux for more than 5 years and so can't advise just how to set up the keyboard, but I remember it was very easy to do, and was very flexible.)
For Russian Cyrillic there are generally two kinds of keyboards available, the "homophonic," which has the keys arranged as much as possible as on an English keyboard, and the "standard" keyboard, which is like the arrangement for old Soviet typewriters. Neither is very hard to learn, but the homophonic is easier to learn. Once you are in practice with either one, there doesn't seem to be any advantage for one over the other. Unless you have to type on an old Soviet typewriter, of course. It is probably the same with the Ukrainian keyboard layouts.
Here is a good application for learning how to type on the Cyrillic keyboards and many others. The keyboard taught is the standard one for Russian and Ukrainian. Looking at how it works, I highly recommend it, for what that's worth--it uses precisely the method I used to learn to type on the Russian standard keyboard, which is very effective. [added] Oh, I forgot. Here is the arrangement of the Ukrainian keyboard in this app:
(Haven't figured out why the pinky finger is red, yet.)
In my experience, phonetic keyboards are easier to get used to than the standard ones. All Cyrillic letters are mapped to their most logical English equivalent. For example pressing l produces a л, which is the closest equivalent in Ukrainian and Russian to an English sounding l. There are still a couple of keys you need to learn that don't have a phonetic equivalent like pressing q for я (sounds like ya), but you'll probably pick it up much faster (probably within an hour if you're already familiar with the sounds).
By the way, I once made a pretty long post with keyboard advice for people wanting to learn Ukrainian, Russian or even both. It compares phonetic keyboards, Google input tools and the official keyboards. It can be found here.
TypeRacer has helped me a lot to practice typing with a new keyboard. It's not the most modern interface, and the translations are probably really terrible, but it's a great way to get practice "racing" to find the keys. After using it, I don't need stickers or an on screen keyboard; I can type without looking just like I do in English.
What do you mean by shortcuts? These mentioned characters are just normal keys. Also the lessons will not be using the ґ character so you will not have to worry about it. I recommend using just your Bulgarian keyboard for the lessons since, I assume, you are already used to it. It should be like using an English keyboard for French courses. If not let me know and I will figure something out. :D