PDA

View Full Version : Laptops - French keyboard vs English? (Canadian)



AllRadioisDead
December 15th, 2010, 07:03 PM
Hi, I'm going on a trip over the holidays and I'm looking for a cheap laptop to take with me. I've been checking out futur*****.ca and I've come across a nice Dell Inspiron 15" laptop that meets my needs. The only problem is, it has a French keyboard. The French variant of the laptop is currently selling for $399 (http://www.futur*****.ca/en-CA/product/dell-dell-inspiron-15-6-amd-turion-x2-rm-75-laptop-i1546-11913f-french-futur*****-exclusive-i1546-11913f/10148676.aspx?path=3391cb3b10e2420325b6d037c187bb7 9en02) while the English version with the exact same specs is selling for $579 (http://www.futur*****.ca/en-CA/product/dell-dell-inspiron-15-6-amd-turion-x2-dual-core-rm-75-laptop-english-future-shop-exclusive-i1546-11647e/10148675.aspx?path=c6530b954646711b86cd7c654344b56 4en02). I don't understand this at all, but in an effort to save money I'm interested in the french one. (Worst case scenerio, down the road I could always get the keyboard replaced with an English one). I'm just curious how different it actually will be, I know I can change the language in the OS. Does anyone have any experience with this?
Thanks :popcorn:

Edit: It looks like my post is being filtered, but hopefully you guys will be smart enough to repair the links. :)

kaldor
December 15th, 2010, 07:18 PM
I have an HP with a French variant keyboard. There are some extra letters if you're using Windows. If you plan to use Ubuntu/Whatever, it won't make a difference at all.

All English letters are exactly where they are supposed to be; they just have some French keys if you hold Alt I think.

AllRadioisDead
December 15th, 2010, 07:28 PM
That's awesome, exactly what I wanted to hear.
How about all the symbols/punctuation keys?

kaldor
December 15th, 2010, 07:41 PM
They just have secondary keys on mine. I don't know about the Dell, but I assume it's the same.

AllRadioisDead
December 15th, 2010, 07:45 PM
Alright, thanks for the reply. I will go take a look at it tonight!

koenn
December 15th, 2010, 07:46 PM
I have an HP with a French variant keyboard. There are some extra letters if you're using Windows. If you plan to use Ubuntu/Whatever, it won't make a difference at all.

All English letters are exactly where they are supposed to be; they just have some French keys if you hold Alt I think.

AFAIK, French keyboards are pretty similar to Belgian, which means the layout is rather different from a standard US keyboard. French keyboards are AZERTY, not QWERTY.

That means a couple of letters swap places,
A <-> Q
Z<-> W
M moves to a different position
1234567890 require SHIFT
punctuation and other special chars like / \ < > )( {} may not be where you expect them,
but you have direct access to a couple of characters that the French like, s.a. ^

it's manageable if you do 2 finger typing, but blind typing (touch type ?) will be ackward.



hm, should have looked at wikipedia first, they have it all
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_layout#AZERTY

AllRadioisDead
December 15th, 2010, 09:05 PM
AFAIK, French keyboards are pretty similar to Belgian, which means the layout is rather different from a standard US keyboard. French keyboards are AZERTY, not QWERTY.

That means a couple of letters swap places,
A <-> Q
Z<-> W
M moves to a different position
1234567890 require SHIFT
punctuation and other special chars like / \ < > )( {} may not be where you expect them,
but you have direct access to a couple of characters that the French like, s.a. ^

it's manageable if you do 2 finger typing, but blind typing (touch type ?) will be ackward.



hm, should have looked at wikipedia first, they have it all
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyboard_layout#AZERTY

Canadian French, not French French. I believe the Canadian layouts are more bilingual.

kaldor
December 15th, 2010, 09:29 PM
Canadian French, not French French. I believe the Canadian layouts are more bilingual.

Yep.

France:
http://www-01.ibm.com/software/globalization/topics/keyboards/images/fig2.gif

Canadian French:
http://mousely.com/wiki_image/3/36/Keyboard_Layout_Canadian_French.png


Edit: Link (http://www.theblog.ca/bilingual-canadian-keyboard)

Differently shaped keys as well... but doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I prefer having the "<" and ">" on the left next to shift, oddly enough.

AllRadioisDead
December 15th, 2010, 10:10 PM
Yep.

France:
http://www-01.ibm.com/software/globalization/topics/keyboards/images/fig2.gif

Canadian French:
http://mousely.com/wiki_image/3/36/Keyboard_Layout_Canadian_French.png


Edit: Link (http://www.theblog.ca/bilingual-canadian-keyboard)

Differently shaped keys as well... but doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I prefer having the "<" and ">" on the left next to shift, oddly enough.

Thanks for that, it helps a lot. I don't think it'll bother me that much, and worst case scenario I can always replace the keyboard.

koenn
December 15th, 2010, 11:03 PM
Canadian French, not French French. I believe the Canadian layouts are more bilingual.

Hm, confusing.
How would that layout be described in an OS config and stuff like that ?

If I select "Belgian Keyboard", I get Belgian AZERTY (both Windows and Ubuntu)

If I'd select "French Keyboard", I'd expect French AZERTY, not the Canadian bilingual thing.

AllRadioisDead
December 15th, 2010, 11:11 PM
Hm, confusing.
How would that layout be described in an OS config and stuff like that ?

If I select "Belgian Keyboard", I get Belgian AZERTY (both Windows and Ubuntu)

If I'd select "French Keyboard", I'd expect French AZERTY, not the Canadian bilingual thing.

I know Windows offers a Canadian French keyboard, if I had to guess in Ubuntu it would be under English (Canadian)?
I might be wrong, because normally I use English (US).

kaldor
December 15th, 2010, 11:12 PM
Hm, confusing.
How would that layout be described in an OS config and stuff like that ?

If I select "Belgian Keyboard", I get Belgian AZERTY (both Windows and Ubuntu)

If I'd select "French Keyboard", I'd expect French AZERTY, not the Canadian bilingual thing.

Are you on GNOME? If so, in Keyboard preferences add the layout by Country. Select Canada, and use French from the list.

koenn
December 16th, 2010, 12:14 AM
Are you on GNOME? If so, in Keyboard preferences add the layout by Country. Select Canada, and use French from the list.

I usually set the keyboard to Belgian AZERTY when I install the OS.
I've been in a couple of situations where a system reverted to a default of US QWERTY key map after a crash. With an AZERTY keyboard attached to it, inputting a mildly complex password or even basic commands (with \ in DOS paths, | for pipes, ? for help ...) while the underlying keyboard is US QUERTY and all those characters are all over the place is, err, a challenge.

koenn
December 16th, 2010, 12:20 AM
I know Windows offers a Canadian French keyboard,
I thinj I've seen this in a dropdown list or so. It made me wonder 'do the Canadians write their French so differently from the French that they need a specific Keyboard'. didn't occur to me that it would be a compromise between compatibility with English/US and facilities for writing Franch more easily

AllRadioisDead
December 16th, 2010, 03:32 AM
Alright, I purchased the notebook. The keyboard is completely English, exactly as you described kaldor. Thanks! I'm really happy and I saved about $200!

quadibloc
February 2nd, 2012, 09:55 PM
The Canadian French keyboard is not an AZERTY layout, so in this respect it is the same as a conventional keyboard.

However, unlike the U.S. keyboard, it is an ISO keyboard rather than an ANSI keyboard. This means that it will cause some problems for some people: the left-hand shift key, and the Enter key, will be displaced from their positions on the keyboards one may be used to.