Friday, March 28, 2008

Romanian keyboards

This is a public service announcement for the Romanians in the audience.

Romanian needs 5 letters outside the Latin alphabet (ă, â, ş, ţ, î). In the dark ages of computers, we would just substitute the Latin/ASCII letter for the Romanian letter, sometimes with comic effects (consider tata=father vs. ţâţă=breast :P ). Fortunately, Unicode has been the Internet reality for quite a few years, so we should now spell correctly.

But how can we generate the Romanian letters easily? Romanian keyboards are terrible in my opinion, because they banish these highly used letters to the edge of the keyboard. The alternative I have found is a little bit of freeware called ER1. This keyboard layout replaces unused Latin letters, which are very conveniently located on the keyboard, with the Romanian letters (e.g. q-->ă, w-->ş etc). I found I was able to type at high speed in a matter of minutes.

In Windows, you can change between keyboard layouts with LeftAlt+LeftShift, so switching between English and Romanian text is extremely easy.

8 comments:

lucian.openid said...

"ş" is not a Romanian character. "ș" is the correct version. Notice that the correct character has a comma underneath, not a cedilla.

You might find secarica.ro useful.

Linux provides (and for a long time) a keyboard layout that is very handy:
AltGr + s = ș
AltGr + t = ț
AltGr + a = ă
AltGr + i = î
AltGr + q = â

You can enable this by running "$ setxkbmap ro comma".

Anonymous said...

Dude, you are so freaking arrogant. Use the same keyboard layout as everyone else, and stop complaining.

yy said...

At least Romanian people are easier than Chinese people. We are using our special made Chinese keyboard, which has 20,000 keys.

MiP said...

Lucian, AltGr+key is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. It's not particularly nice on fingers, from my experience...

rgrig said...

Sorry, but I have to ask:

Mihai, are you trying to attract so many idiots to comment on this blog or it just comes naturally to you?

(self-referential "humor" intended)

MiP said...

rgrig, I am as surprised by the phenomenon as you are... Any constructive suggestions?

The best comment on this was from my officemate:

"Maybe it's a good thing in the grand scheme of things. One of these people could become the next VirginaTech shooter... But this way he can vent his frustration on blogs and won't kill anybody"

:)

rgrig said...

Mihai,

Unfortunately the best advice that comes to mind is this: Adopt a style closer to mine. It guarantees zero comments.

:)

Anonymous said...

fyi, my comment was a joke, poking fun at the other ridiculous comments from posts past.
--anonymous 11:12pm