One thing that has so far sincerely prevented me from practicing Arabic more often is how lengthy and extenuating I find it to write in Arabic on my laptop, i.e. on Google Translate, clicking on every single letter to form every single word. That alone probably took me at least ten hours when drafting the script for my short film back in November!
While I love calligraphy (oh wait, had I told you before? 😛 ) and hand-writing texts in general, in fact, some things need to be done on a computer. It just doesn’t make much sense to send pictures of Arabic handwritten texts to my friends when really all I want is to send them an email; and though it is easy enough to type in Arabic on smartphones, for longer texts that doesn’t seem too exciting either.
Since starting my Skype lessons with Asmaa, besides, finding an easy way to type in Arabic from my computer has become even more important as otherwise I wouldn’t know how to ask her to correct my pieces of writing! (I mean, would you honestly write it all on WhatsApp? Not to mention that my WhatsApp auto-corrects me on all other languages, except for… yeah you guessed it, Arabic!! Hooray for meaningless technology… or is it just me not knowing how to set up things again?).
For all the above reasons, five minutes ago was The Moment I decided to finally do a little research on the internet, and now that I have I can’t believe I didn’t do it earlier!!! *wants to hit head on wall* It so happens that the first three results I got from Google when searching “how to easily type in Arabic” have pretty much just solved my Arabic-writing life. I am overjoyed 😀 Here they are –
- For total beginners like myself: an alphabet converter that I somehow find much more intuitive and helpful than the Google Translate one: you type your translitterated idea of the word you want to get in Arabic, and it either immediately understands what you want, or it gives you options to choose from. Which also means it shows you words in correct spelling, just in case you didn’t remember whether the term has a ص or a س 😉
- Next step: an on-screen dual Arabic-English keyboard which shows you the correspondence of Arabic letters on Latin ones. For example, on a QWERTY keyboard the Q corresponds to ض, and so on. I’ve got to practice with it till I learn it all!
- For very serious students only (not sure where I stand yet! Haha): a 42-minute YouTube video teaching you how to type Arabic on your keyboard. Oh wait, that’s just lesson SEVEN of the whole package for beginners. Yeaaahhh hahaha. Maybe one day when I’m sick in bed!
Testing result #1 straightaway… one more yay for the net ❤