New German / English laptop availability
Thread poster: Trinh Do
Trinh Do  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2007)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
Jun 10, 2012

Dear all,

I am looking for a bilingual laptop in German / English (possibly French, if available) to work in the translation field. It is not available in Australia. I wonder how the warranty / guarantee applies in this case if I order it from Europe to be sent to Australia.

The reason I am keen about this one is because my current laptop is very old now, and the customer services in Australia are not satisfactory.

Thank you for any information. Enjoy translation!

Best regards,

Trinh.


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JuergenZ  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 15:27
Member (2010)
English to German
Different keyboard layout Jun 10, 2012

Dear Trinh,

I am not quite sure what you mean by the term ‘bilingual laptop‘? Let’s assume you buy a laptop in Germany, then it would come with a German keyboard layout to handle Umlauts (ä, ö, ü) or the specific letter ‘ß‘ with ease. (If you would buy a laptop in France it would come with a French keyboard layout, I guess.) It would not be a problem to write English texts on these laptops, even if you had German software versions installed. Please refer to:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tastaturbelegung
http://aktuell.de.selfhtml.org/artikel/sonstiges/windows-tastaturlayout-anpassen/
http://forum.chip.de/maus-tastatur-controller/tastatur-umstellen-englisch-deutsch-820415.html

The main notebook manufacturers offer an international warranty – ask for it when purchasing abroad! If you experienced any problems you would need to consult an Australian branch of this manufacturer. So just check before purchasing a specific brand if there is a branch office in reach where you live.

Best regards,

JuergenZ

PS: I mostly translate from English into German. This is why I need to use a notebook with a German keyboard. As I live in South East Asia, and a German keyboard is kinda hard to get here, I bought my actual notebook back in Germany. It's an Acer (Taiwanese brand, manufactured in China), robust and good value, at least from my point of view. And Acer have branch offices in most major cities in South East Asia. So in case, I can get it repaired over here.

[Edited at 2012-06-10 10:53 GMT]


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Trinh Do  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2007)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
New German / English laptop availability Jun 10, 2012

Dear all,

I guess a German/English laptop would be great, as German and English are Germanic languages. I don't mean anything complicated by the term 'bilingual'. But I want to spell German accurately by actually using the ‘ß‘ as well as the 'a', 'o' and 'u' with umlaut on top. This saves a lot of time.

I have no problems with the French accents, although these - if available - would be most desirable.

Thank you for the information about the warranty.

What I want is a laptop actually from GERMANY, because I have always been satisfied with German products - always good quality.

Any information about the best specific brands from Germany would be much appreciated.

Best regards,

Trinh Do.


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 09:27
English to German
Layout = inscription only Jun 10, 2012

JuergenZ ist right. Just to make it more clear: "layout" means the keyboard's inscription only. Except for this inscription all keyboards and all laptops are - regarding the language - technically identical.

With standard desktop keyboards you can stick some paper labels onto the front of certain keys, but this will not work with flat-style keyboards of laptops.

Another solution: Your new laptop features at least one USB socket. There you can plug in a German keyboard and use it alternatively when needed. Of course, on the road this is no handy solution.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:27
Member
French to English
+ ...
Several different issues here Jun 10, 2012

Hello!

I think you are maybe addressing several different issues here, which really need to be looked at separately.

All of the various diacritical characters are available in the standard character sets — at least to cover most of the requirements for most Western languages based on Roman fonts. So you can access those on any current computer.

However, in terms of ergonomics, it is quicker and more efficient to use a keyboard for the language you do most typing in, as it will have the right accents for you (the ones you are going to be using the most)

As EN doesn't really use accented characters, even though I translate from FR into EN (and do do most of my typing in EN), I still bought a FR keyboard, since I do also type quite a lot of miscellaneous documents in FR, and it is handy to have the accents.

You can easily change the keyboard layout in software, but the problem is that the markings on the keys will no longer be right — which I personally find rather confusing, as I am not a proper touch-typist! I believe there may be a way of getting different keyboard overlays, but I don't have any specific information about that.

As regards buying a computer in Germany, I wouldn't generalize and say that "German products are better" — they do have a traditional reputation for high-quality products, but in these days of globalization, you still have to be sure that the German product was in fact made in Germany. Virtually all computer hardware these days is not made in the country where you buy it, and if you did find a specifically German computer manufacturer (almost certainly simply assembling them from globally-sourced products), you might well find it hard to get any kind of international guarantee from them.

Personally, like Jürgen, I would advocate getting one of the well-known reputable brands that does offer an international guarantee and has a good service presence in your country / region.

[Edited at 2012-06-10 08:46 GMT]


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 09:27
English to German
East Asia is everywhere Jun 10, 2012

Trinh Do wrote:

What I want is a laptop actually from GERMANY, because I have always been satisfied with German products - always good quality.


What's your age? For decades such stuff is manufactured abroad, mostly in East Asia. I don't think that there is any laptop factory in Europe.

Any information about the best specific brands from Germany would be much appreciated.


Look at the following list. "Siemens" is the only German Name but "Fujitsu Siemens Computers" does not exist any more.
http://www.laptop-4u.de/laptop-hersteller.php


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:27
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Using keyboard layout changed in software Jun 10, 2012

Tony M wrote:

You can easily change the keyboard layout in software, but the problem is that the markings on the keys will no longer be right — which I personally find rather confusing, as I am not a proper touch-typist! I believe there may be a way of getting different keyboard overlays, but I don't have any specific information about that.



I don't have a problem with this, and I don't use overlays. I make out keyboard maps for all the languages I have made available, and use them where necessary. In the case of the Cyrillic Russian keyboard, I have become so used to it that I no longer have to refer to the map,
and I also know where to find the most common characters with accents on the German and French layouts.

These are my keyboard layout maps for German and French:





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JuergenZ  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 15:27
Member (2010)
English to German
German notebook brand Jun 10, 2012

Rolf Keller wrote:

Trinh Do wrote:

What I want is a laptop actually from GERMANY, because I have always been satisfied with German products - always good quality.


What's your age? For decades such stuff is manufactured abroad, mostly in East Asia. I don't think that there is any laptop factory in Europe.

Any information about the best specific brands from Germany would be much appreciated.


Look at the following list. "Siemens" is the only German Name but "Fujitsu Siemens Computers" does not exist any more.
http://www.laptop-4u.de/laptop-hersteller.php


Rolf is right. There is not much left of the German computer industry. The only German brand I know is MEDION. However, they just locally assemble the parts they mostly bought from the big manufacturers in East Asia.
http://www.medion.com/de/
http://www.medion.com/au/

[Edited at 2012-06-10 10:40 GMT]


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 09:27
English to German
German MEDION Jun 10, 2012

JuergenZ wrote:
The only German brand I know is MEDION.


Today the owner of MEDION is Lenovo (China).

However, they just locally assemble the parts they mostly bought from the big manufacturers in East Asia.


Do/did they really assemble *laptops* or do/did they just re-label Asian laptops?


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JuergenZ  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 15:27
Member (2010)
English to German
Nothing left Jun 10, 2012

Rolf Keller wrote:

JuergenZ wrote:
The only German brand I know is MEDION.


Today the owner of MEDION is Lenovo (China).

However, they just locally assemble the parts they mostly bought from the big manufacturers in East Asia.


Do/did they really assemble *laptops* or do/did they just re-label Asian laptops?



Sorry. Das ist mir wohl entgangen in meinem Exil.
Den Stellenangeboten nach zu urteilen, lassen sie nun wohl tatsächlich alles in Asien fertigen.


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Wolfgang Vogt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:27
English to German
+ ...
keyboard stickers? Jun 10, 2012

Hi, you could probably just buy keyboard stickers for the characters you're interested in. Another option would be to buy a standard laptop and for example a wireless keyboard with German characters.

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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:27
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Other reasons for a source-text layout Jun 10, 2012

Tony M wrote:
I still bought a FR keyboard, since I do also type quite a lot of miscellaneous documents in FR, and it is handy to have the accents.


And, of course, it's also handy for typing proper names, place names, quoted text and references, etc.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:27
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
I have HP-laptop with German keyboard Jun 11, 2012

I bought this from a German net-shop because it was cheaper there. But I use Finnish character set because I'm used to it.
It is possible to buy sticky letters and put them on the keys of a normal keyboard if you sometimes need to type let's say Russian text and don't remember the locations of the various characters.
In any case you should use an external pc-keyboard with any laptop, if only for ergonomic reasons.


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