Keyboards around the world

Photo: laffy4k

Don’t go crazy over finding the @ symbol abroad — get prepared before you go.

IT’S EASILY ONE OF THE MOST ANNOYING THINGS about not bringing a laptop or tablet while traveling: foreign keyboards. Especially when I’m pressed for time and Euros are disappearing while I’m finger-pecking my way around an email to send home. Even when the keys are in my familiar QWERTY layout, just trying to find the right punctuation can be super frustrating.

It’s like playing Where’s Waldo, keyboard style. And the time pressure just makes it worse: the clock in the bottom right is ticking down…Oh, too late, we’re shutting you down…sorry you didn’t locate the @ symbol in time. You lose.

Keyboard layouts

The first thing you might be shocked about when traveling is that the layout of the letters on the keyboard won’t necessarily be the same as at home. QWERTY (check the first six letters on the top row) is the standard for most keyboards around the world, but others exist, including AZERTY, QWERTZ, and ones where it seems the letters are just strewn about randomly, like the Turkish F-keyboard.

Below is a listing of 33 keyboards including annotated image, layout style, and a quick reference guide on common trip-ups.

EUROPE

Belgium

Belgium Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: AZERTY

  1. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access
  2. Quotation mark (“) / Hash symbol (#) – use AltGr to access
  3. Period (.)
  4. Dollar sign ($)

Croatia (also Bosnia, Slovenia, and Serbia)

Croatia Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTZ

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. At symbol (@) – use Alt to access
  3. Question mark (?)

Czech Republic

Czech Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTZ (it’s also common to see QWERTY)

  1. Ampersand (&)
  2. At symbol (@) – use Alt to access
  3. Exclamation mark (!)
  4. Parentheses (())

Denmark

Danish Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge. Photo: frkhansen

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access
  2. Dollar sign ($) – use AltGr to access
  3. Question mark (?)

Finland

Finnish Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge. Photo: nori*

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access / Quotation mark (“)
  2. Dollar sign ($) – use AltGr to access
  3. Question mark (?)

France

French Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: AZERTY

  1. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access
  2. Dollar sign ($)
  3. Exclamation mark (!)

Germany / Austria

German Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTZ

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. Question mark (?)
  3. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access
  4. Hash symbol (#)

Hungary

Hungarian Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTZ

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. Exclamation mark (!)
  3. Hash symbol (#) – use AltGr to access
  4. Ampersand (&) – use AltGr to access
  5. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access
  6. Dollar sign ($)

Iceland

Icelandic Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access
  3. Question mark (?)

Italy

Italian Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. Question mark (?)
  3. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access
  4. Hash symbol (#) – use AltGr to access

Netherlands

Dutch Keyboard

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. At symbol (@)
  2. Quotation mark (“)
  3. Question mark (?)

Portugal

Portuguese Keyboard (Portugal)

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access / Quotation mark (“)
  2. Question mark (?)

Russia

Russian Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

Spain

Spanish Keyboard  (Spain)

CLICK to enlarge. Photo: Yvonne IA

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access / Quotation mark (“)
  2. Hash symbol (#) – use AltGr to access
  3. Question mark (?)

Sweden

Swedish Keyboard

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access / Quotation mark {“)
  2. Dollar sign ($) – use AltGr to access
  3. Question mark (?)

Switzerland

Swiss Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTZ

  1. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access / Quotation mark (“)
  2. Hash symbol (#) – use AltGr to access
  3. Question mark (?)
  4. Exclamation mark (!)
  5. Dollar sign ($)

United Kingdom / Ireland

English Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. At symbol (@)
  3. Hash symbol (#)
LATIN AMERICA

Mexico, Central and South America (except Brazil)

Latin American Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. Question mark (?)
  3. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access

Brazil

Brazilian Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. Forward slash (/) – use AltGr to access
  3. Question mark (?) – use AltGr to access
ASIA

China / Taiwan / Hong Kong

Chinese Taiwanese Keyboard

CICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

India (Hindi)

Indian Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

Japan

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access

Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar / Burmese Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

South Korea

South Korean Keyboard

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

Thailand

Thai Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge. Photo: Daniel Nahabedian

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

Vietnam

Vietnamese Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

MIDDLE EAST / AFRICA

Arab world

Arab Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge. Photo: Daniel Nahabedian

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

Israel (Hebrew)

Israeli Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

Pakistan (Urdu)

Pakistani Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. At symbol (@)

Turkey

Turkish Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. Quotation mark (“)
  2. Hash symbol (#) – use AltGr to access
  3. Dollar sign ($) – use AltGr to access
  4. Question mark (?)
  5. At symbol (@) – use AltGr to access

You may also run into a Turkish F-keyboard, although it’s unlikely. It has an interesting history, though (from Wikipedia):

The Turkish language uses the Turkish Latin alphabet, and a dedicated keyboard layout was designed in 1955 by İhsan Sıtkı Yener. During its design, letter frequencies in the Turkish language were investigated with the aid of Turkish Language Association. These statistics were then combined with studies on bone and muscle anatomy of the fingers to design the Turkish F-keyboard. The keyboard provides a balanced distribution of typing effort between the hands: 49% for the left hand and 51% for the right.

Turkish-F keyboard

Turkish-F keyboard

Afghanistan / Iran / Tajikistan (Persian / Farsi)

Afganistan Iran Tajikistan Persian Farsi Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

Same layout as US keyboard.

US-style keyboard

For those of you not familiar with the US keyboard, take note.

American QWERTY Keyboard

CLICK to enlarge

Keyboard layout: QWERTY

  1. Exclamation mark (!)
  2. At symbol (@)
  3. Hash symbol (#)
  4. Ampersand (&)
  5. Question mark (?)
  6. Quotation mark (“)
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