Tag Archives: typing

How Swedish broke my Typing

So we moved here in January and since March I have been learning Swedish.

It is a wonderful opportunity to learn a new language but what I didn’t realise is that Swedish would break my typing. What on earth do I mean? Well, I pride myself in not making many typos. If I do I spot them, sometimes ‘feel them’ as I type knowing I have made a mistake in the sentence I am on and know to go back and change ‘hte’ to ‘the’ again. (A common typo for me pre-swedish.)

Now, however I have three extra vowels to fit into that qwerty keyboard. It is not like in French or German (correct me if I am wrong) where there are still 26 letters in the alphabet and some have accents, umlauts etc added to the letter. No, here in Sweden, there are three extra vowels, making the Swedish alphabet 29 letters long with 9 vowels. (They sneak ‘y’ into the vowel category.) in a Swedish dictionary after ‘z’ there are three more letters – å, ä and ö.

On a keyboard it means squeezing those three vowels in just to the left of the usual letters. Look…

 

Extra letters

So what impact does this have? Well it means that my natural home position for my fingers now has to move to the left very slightly and my right little finger now has lots more work to do. And my touch-typing is knackered. Everything I type has to be corrected. I have tried switching back to the normal keyboard and that doesn’t help either as my brain knows I have to move my hands a little.

I am assuming, over time, I will re-learn but untoö then I will continue to male mistaked all over the place on the slightly narrower kets.

Touch-Typing: Broken

Typing on a Swedish keyboard has broken my touchtyping.

I used to be able to cope with the frequent swap between Windows and Mac keyboards, between desktop and iOS, and between EN-US and EN-GB. I’d swap from one to the other without even noticing the switch.

But since moving to a Swedish keyboard on my work machine (a Macbook Air), it’s all gone to pot. Not only is my touch typing (especially when I need non-alphanumerics like [~|}<) slow and unsteady on the Swedish layout, all my muscle memory on my home EN-GB Mac is stuttering.