Occasional texts in languages other than English
I have many friends whose first language is not English. Most are quite
relaxed about polglotism: they write to me in their first language, and
I reply in mine (English). Sometimes, however, I need to write in their
language. I have been too busy learning the other mechanics of Linux to
worry about non-English characters.
Changing national keyboard layouts is a surprising hassle, not in
software terms but from the user perspective. It is many years since I
lived outside Canada and I no longer recall how layouts differ from
language to language and from country to country. I spent fruitless
hours last year hunting for examples on the Web before I swallowed my
pride and hauled out an old Microsoft manual <grin> which I already
knew had all the layouts I needed neatly laid out in an appendix. Nor
am I willing to give up my ancient but treasured Nothgate keyboards
which, being from the USA, have stolidly unilingual keycaps.
My locale is en_CA_UTF8.
I am looking for the simplest way to enter non-English characters from
an English keyboard (e.g.å é û ). In Windows, it was never hard; there
are few enough that I usually remembered the Alt+nnn keycode for the
437 and 850 codepages. For longer texts, the WordPerfect (Ctrl-w)
function was also dead easy. Rarely, I switched to another keyboard
layout and kept the layout diagram propped open in front of me.
What I am looking for is something comparable to the old ALt+nnn (where
n is the numerical keypad) method. If there is nothing, I will switch
keyboard layouts. I now keep that old Microsoft manual close to my,
ouch, Linux computer.