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X-post: H-Net Discussion List on History and Study of West Africa <H-WEST-AFRICA@H-NET.MSU.EDU> --------------- Is anyone aware of any typewriters designed for typing in Hausa or other West African languages? All I have on this topic is the following: 1) I recall using an IBM Selectric typeball for Fulfulde in the late 1980s, though you had to remember which keys on the qwerty keyboard were replaced with the modified Latin letters (extended characters) used in the language. I'm not aware of any other African language type balls but it would be interesting to know if there were any. 2) There was also a special "Niamey" typewriter keyboard designed for African languages by David Dalby and Michael Mann (A Thesaurus of African Languages: A Classified and Annotated Inventory of the Spoken Languages of Africa with an Appendix on Their Written Representation_, Hans Zell, London, 1987) that replaced the upper case register with lower case extended characters - though if ever produced, this never caught on. See http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/ page.php?site_id=nrsi&item_id=IntlNiameyKybd ; there was also some discussion about this on the Qalam and A12n-collaboration lists. The reason for bringing this up relates to advice given on keyboard layout design (virtual) that says to look at previous typewriter keyboards first. Though I doubt there would be much to go on in Africa, or at least much that could inform layout of computer keyboards, the question seemed interesting. Don Osborn -- Wannan wasik'ar i-mel ce daga H-Hausa, inda za'a cigaba da hira game da harshe da al'adu da tarihi da sauran lamura na Hausawa da mak'wabtansu.