Although its origin is in typewriters, the popular QWERTY keyboard It has been introduced in all kinds of electronic devices. First it got to computers and then it spread to virtual keyboards of smartphones, tablets and smart televisions. Only the physical keyboards of old phones resisted, although writing an SMS on those phones was an awkward task.
So, if you read these lines it is very possible that your keyboard is of type QWERTY, the most popular for the latin alphabet that use languages such as Spanish, English and many others. But in this shrinking world you have probably also heard of key layouts other than QWERTY for others countries, languages or alphabets.
Here we review the mechanical keyboards, yesterday and today, that you hardly find where you live but that exist in other areas of the planet. Curiosities focused on other alphabets and that represent an alternative to the QWERTY standard, largely imposed by the omnipresence of English in the technological field, for better or worse.
We start with a slight variant of QWERTY that we know. In its name, the only change is the Z for the Y, which on our keyboard is in the lower left corner, or also, in the first place of the third line.
It is mainly used in Central Europe. Specifically, in countries such as Albania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland or Romania. But they can also be seen in countries like Germany or Austria.
This little change is because in German, Z is used more than Y. So if you are looking for keyboards in Germany you may come across a QWERTZ instead of a QWERTY. Of course, the rest of the characters are the same in both cases except the characters next to the Enter keywhere the letters usually appear Ü, Ö and Ä, also frequent in the Germanic language.
The QWERTZ keyboard has other small changes in the other countries that use it, such as an S and a T with cedilla from the Romanian keyboard or special characters from the Slavic Latin keyboard of Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia or Slovenia.
We said that the QWERTY keyboard is the most popular in the Latin alphabet, but if we are going to other alphabets like Cyrillic, there we find the JCUKEN keyboard, or in Cyrillic, ЙЦУКЕН. It is from the reform of the Russian alphabet of 1917 to the present day.
Obviously, having an alphabet that is totally different from Latin, although some characters have certain similarities, the key layout it is completely different.
In addition to being popular in Russia, for cultural reasons it is also popular in other countries where Do you speak Russian or languages that use Cyrillic?. It occurs with Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, etc., where there are also small changes according to each language.
The previous keyboards are due to the particularities of their alphabets and languages. However, when talking about the QWERTY and its possible alternatives, the name of the Dvorak keyboard, named after its inventor, August Dvorak, who in 1936 patented an alternative keyboard.
Initially, August Dvorak and his brother-in-law, William Dealey, promised that his keyboard was more ergonomic and faster. It is also often said that it requires fewer finger movements and that it causes fewer spelling errors.
The Dvorak keyboard failed to overshadow the QWERTY, the de facto standard. All in all, today we can use this keyboard in virtual mode in most operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android or Chrome OS.
The QWERTY keyboard was first released in 1837. Since then it has become the standard. But this does not mean that from time to time they arise alternative proposals like the one we’ve seen before, Dvorak.
Another attempt to improve the alphanumeric keyboard is known as Colemak keyboard due to the name of its creator, Shai Coleman. The curious thing is that this proposal emerged in 2006. Its objective: to be more comfortable and efficient.
Operating systems such as macOS, Linux, Android, BSD or Chrome OS allow it to be used, with a physical or virtual keyboard. Windows needs to install additional software.
The HCESAR keyboard It is very curious. To begin with, it was created by decree by the Portuguese dictator António Salazar in 1937. The objective was to place the most frequent letters of Portuguese in the center of the keyboard.
What is most striking about this keyboard is that in the first row of letters it shows CESAR after H, hence its name.
Was the official keyboard of Portugal during much of the dictatorial period, both in the civil service and in private companies. So with the fall of the regime in 1974 it is not surprising that this keyboard fell into disuse in favor of AZERTY keyboard. And in the 80s, the QWERTY began to be used more and more to this day.