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hpr3175 :: International Keyboard

How I learned to implement a keyboard that lets me type in Spanish

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Hosted by Ahuka on Friday 2020-10-02 is flagged as Clean and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
Tags: Spanish, Language learning, typing foreign characters.

Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. | Comments (2)

Part of the series: Languages

About human languages, including learning them and speaking them

I decided to use my time spent in relative isolation to do something productive and learn another language. I picked Spanish because I am hoping to visit Mexico and other Latin American countries whenever the plague lifts. I decided to document this for anyone who wants to know what options I found and how they have worked for me so far. This is the third part where I explain how I implemented the US International Keyboard on a variety of platforms. This lets me type characters that Spanish uses which do not appear on a standard US English keyboard. And best of all, it a purely free software fix.

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Automatically generated using whisper

whisper --model tiny --language en hpr3175.wav

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Comment #1 posted on 2020-10-03T14:49:29Z by Gumnos

Using the X "Compose" key

When typing in Spanish or French, I've long used the Compose key in X. In my startup script (~/.xinit, ~/.xsession, or for me as a fluxbox user, ~/.fluxbox/startup) I have the following line

setxkbmap -option compose:caps

which turns my Caps key (which I never otherwise use) into a Compose key (here are ways to use other keys instead, if you prefer).

I can then type "{compose}{e}{'}" to get "é" or I type "{compose}{n}{~}" to get "ñ" or "{compose}{c}{,}" to get "ç". Similarly I can use "{compose}{?}{?}" and "{compose}{!}{!}" to get "¿" and "¡". There are hundreds of these composable characters and many are intuitive enough that I can guess them if I don't know them cold.

Should work out of the box on Linux & BSD systems running X, and work with pretty much every X application.

Comment #2 posted on 2020-10-31T14:17:54Z by Ken Fallon

Cheat sheet

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