Has anyone of you learned typing on a russian keyboard?

I’d like to type in russian effortlessly. I’m afraid it’ll mess with my english typing. Can anyone confirm or share their experience?

My English typing doesn’t interfere with the russian one at all, it feels as the two independent sets of muscle memory. I can’t speak for how it goes with 3rd language though, hope some time.

It;s easy. Just get some russian keyboard stickers. Apply them to your keyboard (I like the transparent ones). Then set your keyboard to toggle between english and russian. In windows it is in settings under time and language. Select Russian and you will be able to switch languages with a single click. I now no longer need the keyboard stickers and they have mostly worn off. I also learned to handwrite in Cyrillic.


It’s not necessary to use a russian keyboard to type russian. You can use what is labeled a russian “phonetic/mnemotecnic” keyboard, which is basically: each cyrillic letter is typed with the closest sound of the latin alphabet

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I use a phonetic keyboard layout and it works like a charm, I can touch type both in latin alphabet and Cyrillic with no problem whatsoever and it took me very little time to get used to it. And it won’t mess up your English typing skills.
Here you have an explanation of what phonetic layouts are and kinds there are:

The part about how to install them is very outdated. What system are you on?
In some modern OS you can just look for “phonetic Russian” in the list of keyboard layouts. I downloaded a layout file for ubuntu and added some more keys. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll give you a link to it.

I’ve gotten fairly used to the Russian layout on my phone, but that’s not the same as touch-typing which I do effortlessly on a real keyboard in English and, as @ftornay suggests, with a phonetic Russian keyboard. There are a few variations of those. The YAWERTY (or YAWERTY2?) keyboard that I use has Russian “В” mapped to “W”, which does make some sort of sense, though you’d be justified in thinking that “V” might have been a better choice. I’ve seen the location of ё and Ё vary a bit between various implementations, along with ъ and Ъ. Nevertheless, it took little time to get used the implementation that I use, and I can type as fast in Russian as I can in English, even when there is not a phonetic relationship between the English key and the Cyrillic character it maps to.

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I’ve only done it a little. I have a copy of the old, old, old 1950s linguaphone course but the pdf is scanned not text so I can’t copy and paste.
I tried to type the lessons out using the on-screen keyboard.
It’s doable but painful one letter at a time. I’ve done maybe 10 hours total. I have started to learn where the keys are but even now I still have to scan to see where the different letters are.
I don’t think it really does affect english though to be honest simply because it’s too different.

I use both keyboard layouts every day. I do not use any stickers on the keys during many years because I had to have business trips in Europe. I wanted to be free on any computer with any keyboard. Sometimes I make mistakes while typing.
Этот текст я пишу на той же стандартной немецкой клавиатуре без русских букв.


It only “messes” with your English typing if you stop using your English layout. I use 4 layouts daily for French and English, Japanese, and Russian and only struggle when I’ve mixed up which one I’m using and have to reset my muscle memory in my head. At worst it took maybe ten minutes to do the switch and I was fine again. As an illustrator of that, I typed this in my two Latin layouts with only a minor drop in speed right after I switched and I picked up again within 30 seconds. It’s not anything to worry about, I would say.

And as for the Russian layout I use, it’s «Русская (международная) раскладка клавиатуры» since it gives access to guillemets and some other necessary symbols unfortunately absent from the standard Russian keyboard. It’s not phonetic as I believe it’s best to learn the standard if you ever have to type on a Russian keyboard that isn’t your own.

I switch between english and russian keyboards often. To help you in the beginning you may want to apply russian keyboard stickers. As you get more proficient, you will be less reliant on the stickers.

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Answering my own post here. I’ve learned the keyboard using https://www.keybr.com. I can confirm that it doesn’t interfere with normal typing. I don’t need any stickers anymore and can use any keyboard as long as the layout is installed on the operating system. I’m still on my way to becoming faster (snail pace atm). I would recommend. Its a valuable investiment.


В этом форуме следует писать только по-русски!

winruss.com is a great resource. I use the Student layout, and it’s completely natural to me now. All the download and installation instructions are there.

Learning to type in russian using 10fastfingers to improve speed, its quite good. occasionally I will go for the odd english letter “a” I’ve noticed. But overall getting faster I think.

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I am used to typing on a Ukrainian keyboard: I have never lost my ability to type on a French keyboard.

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First sorry if my english is bad, I’m learning. I have a keyboard with spanish layout, and also I’m good and fast writing in spanish. I bought stickers for russian layout in Amazon, and pasted them on my keyboard. It didn’t take me long to learn where the Russian letters are located on that keyboard. I thought that I was going to cross both dispositions in my head, but by surprise it is not like that, it seems that my head knows how to differentiate when I am with one language and when with the other, it has been a surprise and a good experience.

Regards !

I use the phonetic keyboard also, but not the one that maps russian letters to their closest equivalent on the US layout, but a custom layout that I made which maps russian letters to their closest equivalent on the croatian keyboard layout since it’s the layout I learned to type on. Disadvantage of this is that I’ll be typing on snail speed if I have to use someone else’s PC or a phone.

Нет. Лично, причин использовать другую раскладку клавиатуры не вижу . Стандартная - это то, что используется в офисах, на работе, в телефонах, с друзьями… Хотя у меня есть пользовательские раскладки для русского языка, это просто потому, что я уже освоила ЙЦУКЕН

Don’t worry about that.
I type not looking on the keyboard in 5 different alphabets and they never mess with each other.
Your brain is good enough to “switch mode”.

I have been touchtyping on QWERTY for years. I can do it on AZERTY, but a lot slower. That’s the main layout here in Belgium. When I started learning russian, I decided I wanted to learn to touchtype Cyrillic. So I can write in chat. I also want to be able to sit at a computer in an internet cafe, so I wanted the ‘real’ russian or Ukrainian layout. At first it was super slow, but now my speed is starting to pick up. There is not interference with the QWERTY layout as far as the muscle memory goes. In the beginning it’s a bit confusing, but you get over that after a few weeks.