Monday, May 13, 2013

Keyboards for Runes

It occurs that I've been typing in Germanic Runes for ages, but never made the keyboards public. Don't know why... In any case, I've got the Mac keyboards up and the Windows ones will be up this week.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cree 1-key keyboards for Mac

Just a quick announcement that I've put up the Cree 1-key keyboard layouts for Mac.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oji-Cree 1-Key Keyboard Layouts


The Oji-Cree 1-Key keyboard layouts are up for download. One of them (Oji-Cree 1) is the standard 1-Key Languagegeek layout. The other (K-Net) is a Unicode keyboard replication of an earlier Oji-Cree font. This hopefully will be useful for those who are already accustomed to this old font.

Both Windows and Mac keyboard layouts are available.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dene Syllabics Keyboards for Windows

After a busy few months away from Languagegeek, I found some time today to add a couple new keyboards: 1-Key Dene Syllabics for Windows. I’m going to keep working on 1-Key syllabics keyboards whenever I can.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dene Syllabics Keyboards

It's been a long time since I updated the Dene Syllabics keyboard layouts. Well, I've gotten around to it today. There are two keyboard layouts up on the page: NWT Dene and Sayisi Dene.

NWT Dene 

This follows the old Catholic Syllabics tradition and is notable in that it indicates:
  • Nasalization with a raised ˋ
  • Aspirated K and the fricative X with a raised ᑦ
  • Some ejective consonants with a raised ˈ 
Because the above diacritics are written at the top-line, the finals (syllable-final consonant characters) should be written mid-line so as not to cause confusion.
  • Nasalization ˋ is distinguished from final K ᐠ
  • Aspirated K and X ᑦ is distinguished from final M ᒼ
  • Ejective ˈ is distinguished from final B ᑊ
There are no fonts out there that I've seen which can indicate these distinctions - except for the Dene-specific Languagegeek fonts, so if you're writing Dene syllabics, you might want to check out

Sayisi Dene

This follows the old Anglican Syllabics tradition and is notable in that it:
  • Differentiates the vowels U and O
  • Has unique characters for the TL CH/SH clusters
  • Can indicate more voicing distinctions
Traditionally, most finals (syllable-final consonant characters) are written on the base line, and there aren't any fonts that can manage this, except the Languagegeek fonts


Dakelh isn't ready yet, but I look forward to working on it soon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

iPhone/iPad app: FV Chat

Happy days, our Chat app is up at the iTunes store!

Over the past year, I have been working with the FirstVoices Team to get out an app for speakers and learners of all the Native Languages in Canada (and beyond). The app works through Google and Facebook Chat systems - but we have added in keyboard support for over a hundred languages from coast to coast to coast, including syllabics. I've been using the App for Cree and Dene syllabics and have found it über useful. Oh, AND IT'S FREE!!!

Each Canadian Native language has its own layout, and where different dialects have different orthographies, multiple keyboards are available to choose from: Kwak̕wala and Kʷak̓ʷala are the same language, but written in two different systems, so there are two keyboard layouts. A generic Australian Aboriginal keyboard layout should cover most of the languages from Australia, there's a Māori layout, and I added in Diné Bizaad (Navajo) to help get people south of the boarder interested. Though once you have a look at the app, the interest generates itself!

iOS won't let me make system-wide keyboard layouts, so we have to do this from within an App, but if you want to use the keyboard in e-mail or something, you can copy/paste out of the Chat App, and there's a "Sandbox" area where you can type without actually chatting with someone.

As usual for Languagegeek, if your language isn't there, we'd like to add it. Please contact the FV team and we'll get started. There will be a one-time fee to get the keyboard programmed, but once it's in the app, users won't have to pay a cent.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Cree Keyboards

I’ve put up 4 new Cree keyboards. They’re of the “one key - one character” variety which I find myself liking more and more. The “type in Roman, get syllabic output” keyboards have ended up being clunkier than I’d like (though I’ll get around to fixing them) and they are only useful if you know Roman Orthography, which many speakers do not.

Similar keyboards for other languages are on the way.

Thinking back to last post... On second thought, I'll keep:
  • the dot-on-top (for long vowels) ᐄ ᑑ ᑳ 
  • the ring-on-top (for Moose Cree y-finals). ᢱ ᢷ ᢸ
  • and any other diacritics that are non-spacing
I tried out using the combining diacritics, and while it worked in some of my fonts, it decidedly did not work in the system font Euphemia. The dot diacritics ended up in bad places, the ring diacritics didn’t end up at all. Granted, Euphemia has not been updated to include the UCAS extended range.

So I'm back to using the on-top diacritics. It does make the keyboard design not quite as intuitive as I would have liked, the dot-on-top is a dead key so must be pressed first, before the base syllabic.