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Arctic Keyboard Layouts

Languages of belonging to what linguists call the “Eskimo-Aleut” family are spoken in a territory that spreads across arctic North America. The Inuktitut/Inuvialuktun language of Eastern Canada can be written in either a Syllabic or Roman orthography. The rest of the languages use the Roman orthography alone. Aleut and some Yupik languages also employ a Cyrillic system, historically in Alaska and currently across the Bering Strait in Russia.

Some of these languages have a relatively newly developed “practical alphabet” which differs significantly from the orthography commonly used by linguists. Also, different dialects of the same language may utilise unique characters. Where possible and applicable, several keyboards will be available for each language. For more details, see the keyboard maps or language pages.

Each language will be provided with two keyboards, one for Windows and one for Macs.

Multi-lingual keyboards keep the standard A–Z keys while the special characters used by the languages are mapped to punctuation keys. These keyboards allow for easy typing in both English and the Native langauge at the same time. Accents are typed after the base letter.

Windows Roman Orthography keyboards have been designed in the standard Microsoft Windows key layout file format. Syllabics keyboards for Windows are in Keyman format.

All keyboards (unless otherwise noted) on this site are designed to work with Unicode fonts, and as such, will only work with certain software (e.g. Windows XP, MS Word). See Unicode links page for Unicode friendly software.

I have included keyboards for all the languages whose orthography I am relatively certain, all others show the “at work” graphic. However, the community’s orthographies could be modified by the local authorities in the future.

How The Keyboards Work

The Roman Orthography keyboards place accents and special letters only on punctuation keys, so as not to interfere with letters required by English. This way borrowed words or proper names can be typed in a Native language text without switching keyboard layouts. On these keyboards, accents are typed after the letter they modify. Where a punctuation key has been altered, the original value is typed by holding down the RIGHT-ALT (on Windows) or one of the OPTION keys (on Macs) and hitting the punctuation key.

Syllabics Keyboards

Windows Download (Keyman)
Windows (Keyman) installation instructions

Roman Keyboards

Mac DownloadWindows Download (1.2)
Mac Installation InstructionsWindows Installation Instructions

Specific Orthography
Keyboard Map (pdf)
English Name
View Keymap
Inuktitut/Inuvialuktun Syllabics
Inuktitut/Inuvialuktun Roman
View Keymap
View Keymap
Uummarmiutun Inupiaq
North Alaskan Iñupiaq
View Keymap
Eskimo (Alaska)
Seward Peninsula Inupiaq
View Keymap
Eskimo (Alaska)
View Keymap
(Not available for Mac yet)



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Last Update: November 5, 2008