Can't use my new French keyboard on my Lenovo laptop (UK)
Thread poster: Cecile T.

Cecile T.  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:13
English to French
Feb 20, 2016

Hello,

I hope someone else had this issue before and found a way to resolve it.

I thought it would be faster to use a French keyboard (AZERTY) when typing in French, as I don't like typing codes for all the accents. So I ordered one on Amazon.fr. I live in the UK, and recently bought a new laptop (Lenovo) here too, in the UK.

Alas, while the keyboard works as far as typing on keys, the accents are not appearing. It is also programmed to be a QWERTY keyboard by my laptop, so that is a problem too.

Has anybody encountered this problem before or knows what I need to do? I mean, other than returning it back to France...

Thank you.


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Cecile T.  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:13
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
DONE! Feb 20, 2016

I changed the default language to French in my Settings and the problem is solved (however now typing is awkward!)

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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:13
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Keyboard language Feb 20, 2016

I think that's because the keyboard itself does not have a "language". When you press a key, the keyboard driver software only knows the location of that key as a row and column position. It's the language setting that tells the driver which character it is at that row-column position. The markings on the keys (AZERTY...) are helpful to the user, but only if the "language" setting is consistent with this.
On the (English) keyboard that I am now using (still with Windows XP - later Windows will probably be the same or similar), I can press Alt+Shift to cycle through different layouts (that apply to parts of the keyboard, such as punctuation marks). For example: the "apostrophe" key (near the bottom right of the keyboard) can produce the apostrophe (') or a-grave (à), depending on where it is in this cycle. In my case, Alt+Shift cycles through the meanings of some of the keys but it doesn't ever replace QWERTY by AZERTY.
Oliver


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 07:13
English to German
All keyboards work identically Feb 21, 2016

Oliver Walter wrote:

I think that's because the keyboard itself does not have a "language".


Quite right. All keyboards work identically, but the inscriptions of the keycaps differ.


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Cecile T.  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:13
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
2 keyboards: maybe not the best idea Feb 21, 2016

Yes I understand, thank you for explaining.

I didn't want to resort to multiple key pressing and either remembering each one or looking it up on my wall to write in French but now it is obvious that using the AZERTY French keyboard is as confusing, if not more, as I am used to finding "w" on the top left corner and not the bottom left corner, etc. I will use the French AZERTY keyboard when typing a whole document and will have to keep looking carefully as every key I type.


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Ben Senior  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:13
German to English
Which oerating system ... Feb 21, 2016

does your new laptop have? If it has Windows 8 or 10 then if you hold down the Windows key and press the space bar it will change the language on the computer, but the languages first need to be installed on your computer. So if your new keyboard is plugged into the laptop, change the language to French and use the new keyboard, if you then want to type in English Windows key+space bar and use the laptop keyboard. It works fine on my German laptop and my English external keyboard.

Ben


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:13
Member
English to French
Not convenient indeed Feb 22, 2016

Cecile T. wrote:
...using the AZERTY French keyboard is as confusing, if not more, as I am used to finding "w" on the top left corner and not the bottom left corner, etc. I will use the French AZERTY keyboard when typing a whole document and will have to keep looking carefully as every key I type.

Either you learn where keys are placed on the FR keyboard - "switching" requires only a few days/weeks, like UK driving - or you keep using the EN keyboard you're used to and learn key combinations for accents.
If you will use UK keyboards outside, then I suppose it's easier to stick to a UK keyboard and learn key combinations for accents (yuk).

Whatever you decide, stick to it, even if it means importing laptops from France!

FWIW, I have chosen the FR keyboard because typing in English on a French keyboard requires no key combination. Freelance translation is my only activity, I don't type on other keyboards than mine and I don't work on a laptop.
But I need to have a spare French keyboard just in case, because I cannot find any off-the-shelf FR keyboard outside France*. And I don't want to type French on a UK or a Spanish keyboard!

Philippe

*EDIT: and FR-speaking countries

[Edited at 2016-02-22 10:04 GMT]


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Cecile T.  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:13
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
French keyboard Feb 22, 2016

Yes I think maybe I should try to only use the French AZERTY keyboard.

I have strange problems, that started even before changing any settings and plugging any keyboard at all:

one day, out of the blue, when I typed a message online in English, my letters came randomly and I saw that it had switched by itself to a French language keyboard (A instead of Q, etc.). Strange, and that was with my MacPro. As I had had more than enough of the Apple products (many people lost all their pictures overnight, after downloading an upgrade which we had no choice of refusing: every week, sometimes very day, a new update is required and it blocks you from opening any document or using the internet if you don't download the upgrade), in rebellion I chose to buy a Microsoft pc so I got this new Lenovo laptop a few weeks ago.

I then plugged in a USB UK keyboard, because I had elevated my laptop to eye level therefore needed a separate keyboard for easy typing, as opposed to my hands hanging in the air.
One day, I chose to add French as Default Language to the setting for easy typing in French, then unticked this, removed the default option, ticked English as the Default Language...and tadada!! What happened? French AZERTY keyboard settings came out of nowhere. And not that night, but the morning after, after I had been typing in English after having done the English Default settings change.

I don't know how could this automatic AZERTY keyboard change could happen without me doing it, more over on a MAc and on a Microsoft laptop!


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Cecile T.  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:13
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Feb 22, 2016

Ben Senior wrote:

does your new laptop have? If it has Windows 8 or 10 then if you hold down the Windows key and press the space bar it will change the language on the computer
Ben


AHAH! There it is, the strange life-of-its-own phenomena (not sure how it happened on my Mac though, but I don't want to hear about Macs anymore)

Thank you!


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Can't use my new French keyboard on my Lenovo laptop (UK)

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