For students, some basic tools every student should know if taking a foreign language.
It’s a huge time saver to be able to touch type and not use ALT codes in Word (or worse using Insert -> Symbol) To do this, you’ll first want to add keyboard for your language in Windows of Mac.
Mac has a very nice page that lets you choose your operating system and then provides instructions here. Language keyboards will already be installed on many lab machines as well, look for a flag top right on Macs. If not, you can also add keyboards on lab machines on campus.
For Windows, use the instructions first for “Add a keyboard” on Windows 10 or 11 here. You will then see the keyboard language symbol in your taskbar at the bottom where you can set the keyboard you want to use. You may also see keyboards are already installed on lab machines on campus. If not, you can add them the same way.
Not done yet, though. Of course our physical keyboard is still the same, it’s just the actual keys now map to different letters, accents, etc. If you’re new to this, you’ll need to see the keyboard layout.
For Macs this is called the “keyboard viewer”, instructions to open it are here. In Windows it’s called the “One screen keyboard” in the Ease of Access sections. Instructions are here. One thing to note, while look at you keyboard layout, press SHIFT to see what letter, characters, access are available while holding down SHIFT.
Dictionary Plugin for Chrome
Chrome has a nice dictionary plugin that allows you to see the definition of a word in a foreign language or set to see a translation.
- Install the Google Dictionary.
- To enable, click the puzzle icon top right in Chrome and then the pin.
- To configure, click the vertical three dots next to that pin and choose “options”
- The language is the language in which you want the definition to appear.
- If you check the first box and leave the trigger key as none, any word that you double click on a web page will open a box displaying the definition.
- Note that it can store your history and you can download those words here later for review.
- Click Save.