Portuguese has got some graphic symbols that may not be present on your keyboard. In this article, you will learn how to adapt your computer to Portuguese writing.
The Portuguese language has got some graphic symbols and marks that are used to indicate certain sounds and meanings of its sentences. It may seem just a small detail, but if any of those symbols is missing, people will stumble while reading what was written, specially if they are not native Portuguese speakers. Besides, it is considered a grammar mistake not putting the graphic symbols where they belong.
What are These Graphic Symbols, Anyway?
Basically, we are talking about the following graphic symbols:
- “Til”(~): used above the letter “a” to indicate a nasal pronounce. Ex: mamão, irmão;
- “Acento circunflexo” (^): used above vowels “a”, “e” and “o” to indicate the emphasized syllable and a grave pronounce. Ex: avô, português;
- “Acento grave” (`): also named “crase” is used above the letter “a” to indicate the fusion of the feminine article “a” and the preposition “a” or a pronoun. Ex: Fui à praia, àquele
- “Cedilha” (ç): used to indicate the “c” must have a “ss” pronounce. Ex: coração, maçã
- “Acento agudo” (´): used above the vowels “a”, “e”, “i”, ”o”, “u” to indicate the emphasized syllable and an open pronounce. Ex: café, açaí
You can still see the “trema” mark (¨) around texts in Portuguese, but it was abolished from Brazilian Portuguese Grammar since the Orthographic Agreement of Portuguese Language, in 2009.
Adapting your Keyboard
The latest Brazilian keyboard layout is the ABNT-2, that already has the proper keys to the use of the graphic symbols above. The ABNT-2 can be easily purchased here in Brazil for a reasonable price.
But if that is not a viable option you can set up your keyboard to Brazilian Portuguese. The process to configure is different from country to country and it also varies according to each computer's operational system.
In Windows Starter, follow those steps to configure your keyboard:
- Open Region and Language, by typing the same in start menu search and hitting Enter;
- In the Region and language dialogue box, switch to keyboard and languages tab. Under keyboard and other input languages, click change keyboards buttons to open text services and input Languages dialog-box;
- Under Installed services, click Add button to see the list of languages available;
- Select the language, expend the tree and check the box. Click ok button to revert to Text Services and Input Languages service;
- Under Default input language, select the installed input language in the list that will show up and click Apply button. You are done!
Some shortcuts on the US international keyboard
The most widely used keyboard layout is the US international, which can be used to type in several languages. The key that contains these two symbols (' and “), located on the right side of the keyboard, close to the Enter key is the “dead key”. You will use it to generate the following combinations:
- Dead key + (a, e, i, o, u) = á, é, í, ó, ú
- Dead key + c = ç
- (` and ~) key, located on the upper left side of the keyboard + a = à
- Shift key pressed together with (`and ~) key + a = ã
- Shift key pressed together with 6 key + (a, e, o) = â, ê, ô
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