Keyboard Clash! Typing in French – AZERTY Posted by John Bauer on Sep 2, 2015 in Culture
Qfter thqt; there zqs q proble, – After that, there was a problem.
Le clavier (the keyboard) was in French, and Le clavier français is a bit different from le clavier anglais.
Le clavier has to have a way to type les accents, but on top of that le clavier is rearranged! If you’re familiar with QWERTY, you’ll quickly notice that A is where Q normally is, and several other letters and puntuation marks that aren’t in their “normal” locations.
Pour les accents (for the accents), there are keys for é è à ù ç, but for l’accent circonflexe, you have to first hit the ^ key and then the vowel you want it to go on top of:
^ + e = ê
^ + a = â
^ + o = ô
^ + u = û
It works for les lettres majuscules (upper case letters) as well, making it easy to type Ê Â Ô Û if you need to. The same pattern is used for le tréma:
“ + e = ë
“ + a = ä
“ + o = ö
“ + u = ü
Oddly, there is no way to type É È À Ù Ç or the less common French letters œ (oe) and æ (ae). As a result les accents are generally left off of upper case letters and the œ and æ ligatures are often written as two separate letters. Although it varies greatly between les logiciels différents (different software), and often spellcheck or autocorrect will put les accents on for you.
The less obvious things about le clavier français are how the numbers aren’t on by default. You have to hold shift or turn on caps lock in order to type them! That is also why it’s impossible to type é è à ù ç en majuscule. Holding shift and pressing the keys makes a number appear!
It doesn’t take long to get used to le clavier, even with it’s limitations. Switching between the two, zell; thqt cqn be hqrd – well, that can be hard.