What's wrong with the Ukrainian keyboard layout, anyway?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/02/13 11:56 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/02/13/1670097.aspx

Eugene's question:

Hi, Michael. I don`t know is this right place for feature request, but occasion looks too good.

Apostrophe is used in Ukrainian language with near the same frequency, as in English. But default Ukrainian keyboard layout don`t support it. Usual way to enter something like apostrophe is switch to English layout and press (`) or ('). Word recognize sequence Ctrl+(')+(') without necessity to switch layouts, and insert () - but this is U+2019: Right Single Quotation Mark, not U+0027: Apostrophe.

On the other side, default Ukrainian layout have U+0451 and U+0401: Cyrillic Capital and Small Letter Io, on tilda key. These letters does not exists in Ukrainian. On all Russian/Ukrainian keyboards that I saw tilda key is physically marked as Io for Russian and as apostrophe for Ukrainian language, and this is highly desired behavior. With Keyboard Layout Creator this situation can be corrected, but can this change be applied to default Windows Ukrainian layout?

Well, there is good news and bad news here.

First the bad news, which I answered for an analogous question on the Bulgarian keyboard in the middle of this post. We can't change keyboard layouts. Even if it would make a lot of sense.

But there is also good news, which you can find in the list of keyboards in Vista or in the "Load Existing Keyboard" functionality in MSKLC on Vista:

Exactly - a new Ukrainian keyboard layout that addresses a few of the long standing complaints about this keyboard, including another common complaint about a missing letter or two that we have received in the past....

So it looks like we have taken care of this one, Eugene. :-)


This post brought to you by Ґ and ґ (U+0490 and U+0491, a.k.a. CYRILLIC CAPITAL AND SMALL LETTER GHE WITH UPTURN)

# Mike Chaliy on 13 Feb 2007 2:21 PM:

Basically I am always use Alt+039 to enter apostrof. I will try this enhancement at home.

# Mar on 14 Feb 2007 11:57 AM:

The "Bulgarian (Latin)" non-layout has an amusing origin.

The original Bulgarian keyboard from DOS days was quite different from the Bulgarian BDS used today. It had its own Latin layer with the Latin letters apparently synched to the Cyrillic letters, so instead of being qwerty it went jcuken. With I believe the release of Win95 the "Bulgarian" layout was silently overwritten with the BDS layout Bulgarians today know and hate, but in Win9x the DOS Bulgarian Latin jcuken layout remained but was retired in WinXP. Apparently in a guesture to maintaining the consistancy of the user experience the "Bulgarian (Latin" layout became a symlink to the American qwerty layout instead of the entry being removed.

A number of keyboard layouts were quietly removed and replaced like that with the arrival of Win95.

# Mike on 6 Dec 2007 9:43 PM:

Ґ is a russian letter, Ukrainians dont use it no more, its not in the Ukrainian language.  Ґ is a russian letter. Everything  Ґ is automaticly a He. Learn real Ukrainian. Example i was in Ukraine this summer and the cellphones there had no GE on it.

# ml8 on 29 Jan 2008 7:30 PM:

> Ґ is a russian letter, Ukrainians dont use it no more, its not in the Ukrainian language.  

You're wrong. Ґ is as much Ukrainian letter as a aforementioned apostrophe. And I'm ukrainian myself, so to speak :)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Jan 2008 8:38 PM:

I tend to agree; if Boomchyk says it is, I think it is! :-)

# Tatiana Racheva on 18 May 2008 1:10 AM:

The Mac Ukrainian keyboard I'm using right now has the apostrophe in the right place and doesn't include 'ё'.

Ґ is in place of the backslash on this keyboard (don't know where it is in Windows).

In fact, I believe the only language that uses Ґ is in Ukrainian. The sound doesn't exist in many (any?) native Ukrainian words, but it is handy for borrowed words & words imitating sound.

It was not included in ISO-8859-5. It was argued by some Soviet scholars that it is unnecessary, and was in disuse between the 1930-s and 1990.

Wikipedia says that its use varies by region, with Western Ukrainian areas using it more consistently (incidentally, Western Ukraine is where Ukrainian language is more widely used, too, so...).

# Iryna Yasinska Graves on 9 Jun 2008 11:39 PM:

The letter/soun "g" is a Ukrainian letter.  The Russians deleted it from the Ukrainian language log ago in order to make Ukrainian more Russian.  Ukraine an Ukrainians are once again using this letter/sound in order to emphasize the fact that Ukrainian an Russian are tw DIFFERENT languages.

referenced by

2008/06/10 Gee -- No, G.E. -- No, GE (Ґ), aka The good guys can win in the end

2008/04/04 Fight the Future? (#1 of ??), aka The inappropriate nature of getting the Feh out of Uighur

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