Typing in Inuit Languages on Mobile Devices - Chieu Nguyen, Theresa Breiner, Evan Crew, & Manasa Prasad
1:45 PM, Dimanche 6 Oct 2019 (30 minutes)
Pavillon Sherbrooke (SH) - SH-3260
As part of its mission to allow users around the world to type in their native languages, Gboard, Google’s mobile keyboard app, has extended support to over 600 language varieties. We present an overview of our progress, focusing on our development of keyboards for Inuit language varieties in particular, and how orthographic variation and morphological complexity has affected our work. Currently, in our Android app, we offer keyboard layouts for Inuktitut in both syllabics (Qaniujaaqpait) and Latin (Qaliujaaqpait) scripts and for Kalaallisut in Latin script. The Inuktitut syllabics keyboard is a dynamic keyboard in which a syllable can be typed by pressing a consonant key followed by a vowel key that changes appearance in response to the preceding consonant. It accommodates variant orthographies including the Nunavik ᕹ series and the Nattiliŋmiutut ᖬ series. The Inuktitut Latin keyboard is based on the standard Cultural Institute orthography of 1976, with a primary key for the letter Ł/ł, but it also includes long-press inputs to support other orthographic varieties of Inuit languages, ranging from Nunatsiavummiutut to Iñupiaq. The Kalaallisut keyboard is based on the Danish keyboard layout and also includes long-press inputs to support the pre-1973 Kleinschmidt orthography. With these layouts, along with limited predictive text support, Gboard strives to facilitate more natural and effcient typing for users across Inuit Nunangat, Kalaallit Nunaat, and beyond.