Saturday, December 7, 2019

MacOS: Typing Cantonese

A new feature of MacOS 10.15 Catalina is Cantonese Chinese input, which is explained in this Apple doc..

So far it is only possible via Cangie and Sucheng codes and Stroke.  For those who want to use pinyin-style input, some 3rd party alternatives can be found at this earlier blog entry.

Friday, November 22, 2019

MacOS: Windows Canadian French Keyboard

French Canadian users switching from Windows to Mac who want to keep using the Windows Canadian French keyboard mapping will need to install a custom layout.  One can be found here.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

MacOS: Old Turkic Keyboards and Fonts

For users need to work in Old Turkic, keyboards and other resources can be found at this site.

Thanks to Emir Yâsin SARI for this info.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Main Page Updated For Catalina

I have updated the main Multilingual Mac page to cover Catalina.

Comments/corrections from readers are welcome.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

MacOS: New Language Features in MacOS 10.15 Catalina

From the International section of Apple's Catalina Features Page.

+Cantonese keyboard predictions: The new Cantonese predictions for Traditional Chinese Cangjie, Sucheng, Stroke, and Handwriting keyboards bring more relevant character and emoji predictions to Cantonese users.

+Improved Japanese predictions: A new neural language model takes words typed earlier in the sentence into account, so predictions are more grammatically consistent and relevant to the subject matter.

+New fonts for Indian languages: Get 34 new fonts, including four system fonts and 30 document fonts, for languages like Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Odia, Punjabi, and many more.

+New Indian English Siri voices: All-new Indian English male and female Siri voices allow Siri to be more natural and expressive.

+New dictionaries: New dictionaries include Thai-English and Vietnamese-English.

The interface language of individual apps can now be changed independently of the system language.

Also it appears that Siri can now do translation.

Plus I found new keyboards for Lao, Assamese, Bodo, Cantonese, Dhivehi, Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Manipuri, Marathi, Mongolian, Odia, Sanskrit, Santali, and Sindhi (but still no Amharic).

Friday, October 4, 2019

Using Apple Hardware Language Keyboards With Windows

Because Mac and Windows keyboard layouts for many languages are slightly different, it can be confusing to use an Apple hardware keyboard with Windows which has been installed on a Mac.  The usual fix is to find, inside the WIndows install, a layout which has (Apple) after the normal name.  Where that does not exist, you have to download and install a custom layout in the Windows system.  A source for these is

For Arabic, try

To make custom layouts in Windows, you can use

Saturday, September 21, 2019

iOS 13 Has Lots Of New Language Features

See the sections on Language Support, China, and India in this Apple note.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

MacOS: Using Two Keyboards With Different Layouts

If you want to use two keyboards and have the mac automatically switch input sources depending on which one is active, try this app.

Monday, July 29, 2019

MacOS: US Keyboard Layout With Tilde Under ESC On ISO Keyboard

Users who have to switch from the standard US ANSI keyboard to the European ISO version, which has an additional key between Shift and Z, are sometimes annoyed because the Tilde character moves from under ESC to that extra key.  Here is a custom keyboard layout which puts Tilde back under ESC.

MacOS: New Slovenian Keyboard Layouts

The poster mitjam in the Apple Support Communities has created two custom Slovenian keyboard layouts which readers who use that language may find useful.

Slovenian - @, which is equal to original mac Slovenian one, except there are exchanged key combinations for characters @ and ™. You get '@' with keys ⌥ + 2.

Slovenian - PC, which is a mac Slovenian keyboard layout, useful for Slovenian PC keyboard. The basis is original mac Slovenian layout, whereas there are visible engraved characters from PC keyboard (that are different from Slovenian Mac layout) appropriately attached to particular key combinations. And keyboard is QWERTZ instead of QWERTY, to correspond to PC layout.

You can get these here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

MacOS: Armenian Phonetic Keyboard

For users wishing to supplement the Armenian keyboards supplied by Apple with a "phonetic" version like the one that comes with Windows, here is a source.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

iOS: Custom Keyboard Layouts

While MacOS has had apps enabling ordinary users to easily make custom keyboard layouts (e.g. Ukelele) for a long time already,  the same is not true for iOS.   Users still have to rely on apps produced by developers and offered via the app store.  Below is some info on how these can be made by people with the necessary skills.  The first link relates to making files for the Keyman app, which have to then be compiled on a Windows machine.  The other 3 are tutorials for iOS programmers.

These links are only for screen keyboards.  Development of hardware keyboard layouts remains a mystery.

If you can make do with somewhat more limited custom input functionality, have a look at Unicode Pad Pro.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Fix for "Wrong" Chinese Character Display

In a recent discussion in the Apple Support Community (ASC) a user complained that a certain Chinese character was not being displayed correctly.  As it turned out, it was one of those where the Chinese and Japanese forms are quite different, and his phone was displaying the Japanese version.  This is caused by the device using a Japanese font, instead of a Chinese one, whioh will happen if Japanese is higher than Chinese in the Preferred Languages list.  The particular character was the one for "drink":

For other examples of characters where this can occur, see the chart labeled "Same code point, different language tags" on this page.