French keyboard
French keyboard

If you’re a touch typist you probably don’t think much about the placement of the letters on your keyboard. Neither did I. For 50 years I’ve been pressing the same spots on the keyboard to produce the letters that I wanted. The upper left corner started with a Q followed by a W and the M was in the middle of the bottom row. Well, not anymore, at least in our house.

Knowing that electronics tend to be more expensive in Europe than they are in the US, we both got new computers a bit more than 6 months before we left. That way there would not be any question about importing a new product on which we might have to pay customs duty. Although a lot of people don’t like an operating system that uses your finger, we adapted quickly and loved it. The downside is that if your touchscreen develops a crack, which mine did, then your computer is essentially unusable. The keyboard and touch pad still worked but anytime you tried to do something on the left side of the screen, it went crazy. Time to buy a new computer.

Carcassonne has plenty of places to buy a computer and we checked them all, I think, and didn’t find what we wanted. The next step was to look online where we found this current machine that had good reviews and could be delivered the next business day. As expected, the price was about 100 euro/dollars more than we would have paid for the same computer in the US but when got the detailed bill and saw that the extra fee was all tax, we didn’t mind. We get a lot of services for the money spent here.

As you see from the attached photo, the keyboard arrangement is slightly different from what I’d been using since junior high school. I was actually looking forward to having accented letters like é and ç plus money symbols including € and £ already on the keys but I kind of forgot that letters including A,Z,Q, and S would switch places. So if you suddenly notice a lot of typos, let’s call it a translation problem!

2 thoughts on “QWERTY or AZERTY?

  1. Until my laptop drowned in a thunderstorm I didn’t even realize that there were different keyboards in the world. I was quite surprised!

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  2. If you’re going to live in France, you need the accents. However, learning where the a and m are is painful for an Anglo-Saxon touch typist. While you’re at it, might as well change the onscreeen keyboard of your tablet and smartphone.


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