Russian Phonetic keyboard
Read this first
The following artice describes how to use a special keyboard layout to type Russian on a German keyboard. If you want to type Russian on an English QWERTY keyboard better read up at WinRus.com.
If you want to type Russian on your pc nowadays, this is no big deal. Cyrillic fonts come with any modern operating system and keyboard layouts can easily be changed accordingly.
The keyboard itself is a different story. The standard Russian typewriter layout is awkward to our fingers, without letters on the keys finding the right one can turn into a game of hide and seek. Russian keyboards are not that easy to find and keyboards with Russian and German letters are even harder to find.
So, if you do not want to have more than one keyboard connected to your computer or want to work on your laptop, you are left with buying stickers on the internet and putting them on your existing keyboard. This is tedious task and stickers do not last too long.
Phonetic Keyboard Layout
There is an alternative to the DIY approach, i.e. a phonetic keyboard layout, which is taylor-made to fit the keys present on your keyboard. Several systems can be found on the internet but their layout relies too heavily on the standard English keyboard and the English pronunciation of letters. These systems are therefore not fit for a German keyboard in a German-speaking environment.
Based on the excellent information on this topic at WinRus.com we now offer a Russian phonetic keyboard layout for German keyboard. This means that the cyrillic letters are placed on keys that are close in pronunciation in German. Hence, Russian В can be found on W, Н on N, Р on R etc. The following illustration displays the details:
So, when you type priwet you will get привет. This is a rather intuitive approach and works best if you are able to type with ten fingers without having to look on the keys. A few things should be considered:
- The German umlauts on the keyboard were used for the soft vowels: Ö covers Ё, Ü covers Ю etc. Е is E, though, and Ä is where you find Э.
- A few letters where placed according to their (sometimes very small) resemblance in writing: Х is X, Ч can be found at H, З at C and Ж at V.
- The remaining letters were placed on keys that are not needed in Russian: Я is on key Q, Ш and Щ are to the right on keys + and #. Soft sign (мягкий знак) and hard sign (твёрдый знак) are first and last in the number row on the keyboard. On most of the other phonetic keyboard layouts these lie on different keys for lower and upper case, respectively. We think that that is rather clumsy and managed to avoid it.
- Euro sign and @ have been retained. Key § now prints Russian № which is present in this position on all Russian keyboards.
Download and Installation
This keyboard layout (appearing as Russisch (phonetisch) - Deutsche Tastatur after installation in Windows), can be downloaded as a zip file. Once you unzip it you will find a folder ruphonde containing a setup.exe. Just double-click that and wait for the installation program to report success. After that it should be available like any other keyboard layout in the language settings of your Windows system.
To uninstall simply run setup.exe again and select uninstall.
This keyboard layout was made with Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator 1.4 and works in Windows XP and up, including 64bit versions. Feel free to install the program and create your own variety based on our layout. As always, we would be delighted to get feedback and comments.
A very special thank you goes to Paul Gorodyansky (Павел Городянский) at WinRus.com for his indepth information which triggered this project. Большое тебе спасибо, Павел!