Good news! The African Keyboard app (for Android phones), which is available for free on the Google Play store, now includes our Massalit alphabet letters!
Here is how to get and use it:
- Download the app from the Google Play store: Click here OR open the Google Play store and search for “African Keyboard”.
- Install the app on your phone.
- Go to your phone Settings to enable the keyboard:
> Languages and Input
> Keyboards & Input Methods
> Current Keyboards
> Choose Keyboards.
Turn on the African Keyboard.
- Go back to Language & Input. Under “Keyboard & Input Methods”, you should now see “African Keyboard” listed. Tap on “African Keyboard” and tap on “Character Set“. Choose “National Alphabet of Chad“.
- Now you can go to any other app, such as WhatsApp or Facebook or Messenger, and when you type, tap the Globe icon to switch between keyboards.
- Use the African Keyboard to type in Massalit:
- To get any of the characters/numbers in blue (e.g. ŋ or 1), press a bit longer than usual.
- To get the accents, just tap the letter first and then tap the accent (e.g. a and ̂ to get â)
- To type the n̰, tap the n first and then tap 2 times on the 7.
Thank you to Dominik and Kobi for your help on this!
For more information and instructions in English or in French, see Dominik’s Web site.
Most Massalit letters can be found on a normal English keyboard.
Almost all the special letters: â ê î ô û and ŋ can be found under
- “Insert” -> “Symbol” if you are using MS Word OR
- “Insert” -> “Special Character” if you are using LibreOffice Writer.
The n̰ is not there, but you could try using the ṉ in MS Word, or simply type ‘ny’ instead. (Also for phones, you can use ‘ng’ instead of ŋ).
However, an easier way to type in Massalit is to use a special keyboard/software installed on your computer, e.g. Keyman.
How to install Keyman Tchad keyboard:
1. Download and install the Keyman 9.0 Free + Tchad Unicode keyboard from the link (14.1 MB)
2. Check if you have the Keyman icon in the Taskbar of your computer (bottom right-hand corner, near the Time and Date). If not, see their ‘Getting Started‘ help file to find the icon.
3. Open your Word processing software (e.g. Word or Writer, etc).
4. Click or right-click on the Keyman icon and choose “Tch” (Tchad Unicode) keyboard.
5. Choose “Charis SIL Literacy” font for best results (the font is available here. Save the zip file and extract it in your C:\Windows\Fonts folder. Another good font is “Andika” which is available here).
See this guide for screenshots and instructions in Massalit (PDF, 293 KB)
For how to type more special characters, see The Tchad Unicode Microsoft Keyboard Summary (PDF, 310 KB)
If you have problems, please leave a comment below and we will try to help.
Another method is to install a modified Turkish (TR) keyboard for Windows that shows up in your language bar (no extra software). Please leave a comment with your email address if you prefer this option and we can email you the files.