To our knowledge, there are currently no keyboard layouts specifically for the Waray language. There are a couple of keyboard plug-ins that help with autocorrect and word prediction. However, they use the same standard QWERTY keyboard layout as many other languages with Latin alphabets (ie. English, Spanish, German, etcetera). We wanted to create a layout that better suits the Waray language.
The keyboard we designed is a variant of the standard Latin/English keyboard layout: the (physical) keys are arranged in the same manner but (the letters are) organized based on character frequency.
This keyboard has the following attributes: The Filipino alphabet consists of the 26 ISO basic Latin letters (ie. English alphabet), in addition to the Spanish Ñ and the Tagalog digraph Ng. The letters are pronounced the same as they would in English, aside from the Ñ.
Using the Waray Wikipedia corpus, we counted the first 100,000 characters, keeping track of the frequency of each (novel) character, and sorted the results by frequency. This was to gauge which letters were more commonly used in the Waray language. We first placed more frequently used letters closer to the middle of the keyboard, and then worked outwards toward the less common letters.
Here are some other things we considered:
- Since vowels are critical in this language, they are all placed in the middle row of the keyboard, where the fingers usually lay.
- The placement of some letters was based on common patterns observed in the Waray lexicon.
- For convenience and usability purposes, we tried to place letters, that are commonly paired, on alternate sides (ie. ng).
- Other letters (ie. the least frequently used one) were more arbitrarily placed at the ends of the top and bottom row.
Combination of inputs
Installing for macOS and Windows
- To install this Waray keyboard, do the following steps:
- Install Keyman (macOS) or Keyman Desktop (Windows)
- Download the waray_package.kmp file from this repository
- Open the .kmp file and click install when prompted. Windows will also allow you to install the keyboard through the Keyboard Desktop Configuration window.
Note: On-Screen keyboard is included in this package and can be enabled from the configuration window