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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

06 May, 2024


Foreign Language Word Processing


A Primer for using a Foreign Language on a Word Processor


Ninety percent of the problem with writing in a foreign language is choosing your language font and then becoming comfortable typing on it's keyboard layout.  For the first part of this essay I will be using Greek as the language I'll be typing in and Cardo as the font I will be using.  I have described above the process of downloading Cardo and it's Manual and Keyboard Layout.  The Keyboard Layout is very helpful, as it will tell you which keys you will need to press to type the characters you want.  Many times you'll find parallels between the English and the Greek characters, but not always.  The Layout will help you find the keys you need.  I've found it helpful the drastically enlarge the font on the Keyboard Layout, to make it easier to see and use in practice.


Once you've installed your font(s), you will need to change your keyboard.  In Windows 7, open the Control Panel and click on Region and Language.  When the window opens, select the Keyboard and Languages tab.  Click the Change Keyboards Button.  Your default language will probably be English (US).  If I remember right, opening this window and having US English as the default will also have English (US) as the only installed service.  That entry should have a subhead for the Keyboard and that should have a subhead specifying US.


To Add the Greek language, click the Add button.  This will open a huge listing of languages.  To install Greek, click the small box to the left with the + sign.  This will open the list of Keyboards.  Click on the  small box to the left with the + sign and this will let you choose which keyboard you want to use.  I have found that the Greek Polytonic Keyboard is the most useful for me.  The Keyboard Layout I've provided assumes this Keyboard is being used.  Just click on the small box to the left to highlight it.  Leave it open.  Then click OK.  At this point you should see that, installed under the English option, there is now an option for the Greek, along with the Keyboard and a note that you will be using the Polytonic Keyboard.


While you've got this window open, you might want to install the Hebrew keyboard.  Just repeat the steps above, selecting Hebrew (Israel), the Keyboard, and the Hebrew Layout.  Then click OK to save.  When you're done you should have all three languages shown in this window.  Click OK to close, and OK to close the next window.  Close out the Control Panel.


When you are done you should see a small two letter icon in the tray on the lower right of the screen.  With your default ENglish active, the little EN icon should be showing.  If you click on this icon the menu for the different languages will pop up and you can choose another language.  Just for fun, select Greek (EL).  νος υοθ ψανα τυπε ιν Γρεεκ!  Now switch back to ENglish.  Now select HEbrew (HE).  מם' טםו בשמ אטפק ןמ Hקנרק'.  Now switch back to ENglish.  As you may have noted, the Hebrew reads from right to left, instead of the left to right we are used to in English.  That can produce some real difficulty, if you're trying to reproduce a line in Hebrew using a 'hunt and peck' approach to writing.  Regarding the Hebrew, I prefer the SBLHebrew font.  It can be downloaded Here.  The SBL (Society for Biblical Languages) Hebrew User Manual can be downloaded Here.  The SBLHebrew Keyboard Layout sheet in here.  The Keyboard Layout sheet for Mangal Hebrew is here.


You may have noticed that neither of the two brief sentences I wrote above were written using my desired fonts.  I am using LibreOffice 7.2.6, and simply changed the keyboard when I changed the language.  It would probably be nice to change the Keyboard AND change to the desired font at that time too.  As I didn't, I'll now have to highlight and change the fonts to the desired ones.  Please note, however, I've been typing for this essay using the font Source Sans Pro, and when I changed languages, the Greek was automatically displayed using Source Sans Pro, and the Hebrew was automatically displayed using Mangal, an easy-to-read Hebrew font (which is also the default Hebrew font).  Mangal can be very useful at times.  So:


          Source Sans Pro          νος υοθ ψανα τυπε ιν Γρεεκ!

          Cardo                              νος υοθ ψανα τυπε ιν Γρεεκ!


          Mangal                   מם' טםו בשמ אטפק ןמ Hקנרק'

          SBLHebrew         מם' טםו בשמ אטפק ןמ Hקנרק'


I have found that, using this system to insert passages in these languages can be very time consuming.  I cannot 'touch type' in either of them, though I am very much more comfortable in Greek.  The biggest problem I have is forgetting to use the little menu icon on the lower right to switch my input language back to ENglish.  Be sure to keep those Keyboard Layout sheets handy, as you'll refer to them a lot until you begin the learn the Keyboards.


How to Install the Cardo Font


First find the font files you wish to install.  You can do this in the Microsoft Windows OS by opening the program Windows Explorer.  Or look below.  Navigate to the list of files you wish to open.


The files for the Cardo font are:  Cardo104s.ttf     This is the basic Cardo font file

                                                               Cardob101.ttf     This is the Cardo Bold font file

                                                               Cardoi99.ttf         This is the Cardo Italic font file


Next, highlight the first of the files above individually and right-click on it.  This will open a dialog box containing the option to Install the chosen font.  Click on the word Install.  The program will then install the chosen Cardo font for you.


Finally, repeat this process of each of the other Cardo fonts individually.


Here are the Cardo Font files



Here is the Cardo Users Manual104s.pdf

Here is the Cardo Keyboard Layout.odt


     I would like to acknowledge my gratitude to David J. Perry who created the Cardo font used to display the Greek text on this site.  This font is offered freely under the SIL Open Font License, version 1.1.  It can be obtained from: Keep up the good work David!