The official Purépecha alphabet (P’URHEPECHA JIMBO KARARAKUECHA) is:
- a b ch chʼ d e g i ï j k kʼ m n nh o p pʼ r rh s t tʼ ts tsʼ u x
We used a (Spain) Spanish keyboard as the base for our layout. This is because we wanted the keyboard to be useful for both Spanish and Purépecha speakers. For letters in the alphabet that have two Latin letters such as "ch" and nh," we decided that users would press the "c" key and then the "h" key. This does result in slightly slower typing, but it allows the keyboard to remain versatile to speakers of both languages. For other special letters (particularly the ones with the aspirated apostrophe (ʼ)), we made use of the "Option" key. The second picture above shows which keys are available to the user when they press "Option." The idea is that, for example, if the user presses option and then the letter c, they should get chʼ. The full combinations are:
- OPTION + c = chʼ
- OPTION + i = ï
- OPTION + k = kʼ
- OPTION + p = pʼ
- OPTION + t = tʼ
- OPTION + s = tsʼ
In mapping these new keyboard outputs, we lost a few characters, such as ß, ˆ, and †. Most of the characters we deemed to be insignificant, except the carrot ^ symbol.
Purepechan does not appear to have any keyboard already available. It is assumed that Purépechan speakers type on the Spanish keyboard using Latin letters as the Spanish created an alphabet for their language using latin phonetics. Nearly all sounds from Purépechan are supported (in different ways) by the Spanish language, but could be suboptimal for users.