Macbook - Accents? French?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wiresandwaves, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. wiresandwaves macrumors newbie

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    May 25, 2006
    #1
    Will a Macbook let me do accents? Can I change the language (like in Windows XP's regional and language settings) so Word will spell-check my documents properly in Canadian English or French? I can never get accents to work on Windows laptops for some strange reason.

    Also, is the keyboard different on the French version of the Macbook or does the language option just affect the OS? Writing essays and doing copywriting in French on a regular keyboard would be a drag. I'm anglophone, but I can read and understand French perfectly (I watch Lost and Buffy on the French channels all the time) and would like to be able to take French classes and submit assignments in French without being hindered by an English laptop keyboard. Also, I plan to stay in the province and work as a graphic designer, so being able to type in French with ease will be crucial.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #2
    You can do accents even with the English layouts - just hold Option then the required vowel; or for grave accents, press Option-`, then press the vowel.

    I think there is a slight difference between the English/International layout and the French, but not much. If it's a problem, you can switch to the French layout, but you'll still have the problems that the keyboard will appear as an English layout but behave as French. If you're a touch-typist, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
     
  3. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #3
    it took me forever to figure this out. I speak a good amount of spanish, and some italian and welsh, and for the life of me I couldn't figure out accents for the longest time!
     
  4. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #4
    Yeah, it's not exactly intuitive is it? It's a pity Key Caps is gone.

    I'm learning Spanish at the moment, never tried Italian, and wouldn't dare try Welsh. I'm starting Polish lessons this Wednesday though! :p
     
  5. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #5
    Polish? I've always wanted to try learning polish! I've never tried an east european language for very long (I had a short stint with russian).
     
  6. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #6
    Since the EU expansion, a huge immigrant Eastern European (largely Polish) community has sprung up here in Ireland, so I thought it would be a nice one to learn. The fact that there are a lot of very good looking single Polish women in the city is just an added bonus.

    I imagine it'll be a much bigger challenge than learning another Latin-originated language like French, Italian or Portuguese. Still easier than Welsh though! ;)
     
  7. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #7
    I do Spanish and French and it is really useful to know/ setup the the shortcuts.
     
  8. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #8
    Well you know welsh is related to irish ;) My sig is in welsh :)
     
  9. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #9
    Well, Key Caps may be gone. But Keyboard Viewer is available. It's just not as easy to find.

    Open System Preferences and go to the International pane. In the Input Menu tab, check the box that says "Keyboard Viewer". This will automatically check the "Show input menu in menu bar" at the bottom. From now on, click the flag in the menu bar and choose Show Keyboard Viewer. You can probably figure out the rest.
     
  10. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #10
    The French keyboard layout is somewhat different than the English one. I can't remember all of the differences but I do remember that the accents are part of the regular key system rather than being accessed using the option key. I did a semester at the University of Strasbourg when I was in college and I remember it took me about a week using the machines in their computer lab to get used to the French keyboard. Even then I was still pretty slow at typing. Unless you are planning on getting a job in France or somewhere that uses the French keyboard layout I would just stick to the English one and get use to where the accents are on that keyboard. I've gotten to where I can type fairly quickly in French even using accents. It just takes some practice.
     
  11. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #11
    You probably already know these, but I decided to try smashing my keyboard randomly, and came up with other shortcuts useful for people with English keyboards typing in other (particularly Latin) languages:

    Press Option-n, then n for: ñ
    Press Option-c, then c for: ç
    Hold Option-Shift-? for "¿"
    Hold Option-Shift-, for „
    Press Option-k, then a for å
    Press Option-k, then o for ø
    Press Option-w, then i for ı
    Press Option-6, then a vowel for âêîôû
    Press Option-8, then a vowel for äëïöü
     
  12. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #12
    They may be related, but then so are apes and humans, and they're not exactly on talking terms either! ;)

    Welsh is very different from any other language I've seen, though I'm told it shares some origins with Euskara, the Basque language?
     
  13. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #13
    That's Tiger only, I presume? I'll have a look on my Tiger machine when I get home, thanks!
     
  14. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #14
    I believe it's available on Panther (10.3) and Jaguar (10.2) as well, though perhaps somewhat buggy. And I think accessed a little different in Jaguar, IIRC.
     
  15. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000

    ®îçhå®?

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    #15
    No i knew most of them. The upside down question mark (not sure on the proper name) is such a cool thing. I have changed the shortcut though.
     
  16. wiresandwaves thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Ohh, good. That's much easier than Windows... Accents in Windows are a bitch without a numerical pad. I think I'll just stick with the English ver. Thanks guys :D
     
  17. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #17
    Accents in windows I think are easier because they're more built in if you have that language added in your languages toolbar. I think macs lack in ease of use in this category actually.
     
  18. batman123 macrumors regular

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    #18
    Well i speak English lol and i can read and write french reasonably well, the speaking gts me tho... :( i want to learnt italian though...is it hard to learn from scratch...:confused:

    Batman.:D
     
  19. celebrian23 macrumors 65816

    celebrian23

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    #19
    With your romance language background you shouldn't have much of a problem. I started learning italian after spanish, so I haven't had nearly as hard a time as I have with welsh. Italian pronounciation is pretty easy, there's a few sounds a native english speaker won't get right away.
     
  20. guifa macrumors 6502

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    #20
    A number of things to point on this thread.

    First off, the French keyboard is indeed going to be different. If you're used to typing on an English keyboard, the primary difference (annoyance) will be that the z and w keys have been swapped as in a German keyboard but also the a and the q. The left shift key will be smaller than the right one to make room for an extra key that is < (> with shift). You also have to press the option key to get a few of the other characters (I'd assume that like Spanish, option-E is €). For non-English keyboards, anything done with Alt-Gr on a Windows machine is done with options on a Mac.

    So, yes, you'll get a differently shaped keyboard (the return key is also slimmer and tall, rather than the short and long that most English laptops have).

    Secondly...Welsh is not related to Basque at all. Basque is a language isolate with no known relation (in origin) to any other language on Earth. In this way it is similar to, say, Korean, or Japanese, whose origins are also just as unknown.

    If you really need the accents for French, but don't want a keyboard that's radically different, I'd see if you can order it with a Spanish keyboard, which is almost ust like the English except for the addition of keys for Ñ, Ç, and dead keys for the ` ´ ¨ ^ accents (the Ç and ` ^ accents are for when Spaniards use Catalan). Also more logically, shift-period is a colon, and shift-comma is a semi-colon
     
  21. kahos macrumors member

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    Dec 2, 2005
    #21
    You dont need to use the french azerty keyboard layout to type in french, all you will need to do is set you keyboard to "français canadien csa" in system preferences, you will keep your familiar qwerty layout and you will be able to use the accents.

    The biggest difference is going to be for ponctuation as they're not on the same place on the keyboard for exemple, using the french canadian layout , a question mark is shift + 6 while it would be shift + / (next to the right shift key) key on an american keyboard

    It might take you some time to get used to it but it works very well.
    Im a french canadian using an iBook with an "english" keyboard and i've never had any problem writing in french with it

    Its easier then it sounds, im sorry I cant explain it better then that, sometimes I have a time expressing myself in english. :(
     

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