20 Dec 2007

Nifty Online Linguistic Keyboard Tools

Here are some nifty websites offering an online keyboard program free to use without downloads. Simply go to the site and start typing in the field and things will be converted to whatever you need. Perhaps it will be useful to you unicode geeks out there as it has been for me:

This website is handy for writing Classical Greek with a standard keyboard ('q' is used to write theta and 'x' is used to write chi, for example). Be forewarned that the website is bedecked with advertisements by biblethumping literalists like 'Bible Gateway', but I trust that educated people can appreciate the website while shunning this christocentric minefield of religious extremist drivel. Besides, agnostics will inherit the earth anyway (assuming our species lives long enough after the polar ice caps melt thanks to Republicans who are coincidentally also religious extremists).

This is another handy site which converts chinese characters into html code. Considering the thousands of Chinese characters out there and two sets of them to boot (the traditional set and also the simplified versions used in mainland China and Hong Kong), it's nice to not have to waste your time with mindnumbing conversions or memory-hogging downloads. Keep in mind that in order to first type the Chinese on a standard keyboard as I can, you do need to download a special program. Mine allows me to switch easily from English to Chinese and back again with the press of CTRL-SPACE... like this: 太好啦!

I love this one most of all. It allows you to assemble standard IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) together with just a point-and-click. Want a bilabial fricative? No problem! Say, I currently feel the urge to make phonetic transcriptions of Nama sentences!!!


  1. Glottalised clicks?!

    What were they thinking?!

    African languages often present a very different view on 'realistic phonologies', also you see very odd loans. Like Zulu that loaned clicks from the surrounding Khoisan languages. Even when you're surrounded by millions of click using languages, people would not soon expect that a language with a fairly normal phonology (like most Bantu languages) to take up something so exotic like clicks.

    But glottalised clicks. I have never seen that before.

    Nice list of links though; I usually just look everything up in the Unicode Charts :D

  2. Phoenix: "Glottalised clicks?!'

    Yep, actually I don't find it too hard to pronounce as opposed to, say, the Klallam phrase "c'čəct či!!" meaning "wake up!!" (c is for /ts/ and c' is an ejective).

    Phoenix: "Nice list of links though; I usually just look everything up in the Unicode Charts :D"

    Yikes! That task must blow your whole Saturday afternoon :) For me, I have things to do, places to see, people to meet and exotic phonemes to choke on.