Special characters for languages

Welcome to the new special characters page!

     As linguists we are constantly confronted with this issue: we quote data from all kinds of languages in our papers or other publications, letters, etc., and for this we need special characters, e.g. the ß of German, the ø of Old Norse, etc. If you are a computer freak anyway, you may not need the information that follows, but my experience is that often people are happy about it. This is why I supply this internet page. There are a few alternative pages, but I'm trying to make things less technical than most of them, and to serve the special needs of linguists.
     On a usual Latin-script keyboard you of course always have immediate access to a - z and A - Z. Apart from that, what you can reach easily depends on which country you live in or what your university gave to you to work with. In Germany, for instance, you will have ä ö ü Ä Ö Ü ß on your keyboard. Beyond that, things may become difficult.
     There are several ways to obtain special characters. There are for instance True Type Fonts (TTFs), small files which you install with your Windows Control Panel (German Systemsteuerung, Finnish ohjauspaneeli, etc.) and can then reach via a menu in your word processing system (e.g. "Word"). These fall into two groups: those you can purchase somewhere and those you can get for free on the internet, e.g. from SIL or from the Titus pages, University of Frankfurt.
     Another way, unlike using TTFs, is to make use of characters that no additional software is necessary for at all, since they are already there. One just has to know how to reach them. The point is to press the ALT key, keep it pressed, type in a three-digit number on the right of your keyboard, and only then release the ALT key. Try this with ALT - 155, for instance, which should produce the ø of Old Norse, Danish and Norwegian.
     Note that on a usual computer keyboard the digits from 0 to 9 exist twice: above the letters, and on the right arranged to a large extent in a square. It works only with the latter set of digits.
     The following is a list with numbers which can be used in the way described and the characters that will appear. In many instances I added some language names; these serve as an additional confirmation which sign is intended. These are of course incomplete hints; there are usually more languages that could be listed.
     The style sheets of many journals want you to deliver your paper in Unicode. If you use the technique here, this requirement is met.
     Note that what has been said here refers to the Windows world, not to Macintoshs.
     P. S.: You may want to learn some numbers by heart that you need often. The following information may be of help:
- The general arrangement of the numbers has to do with two powers of 2 (as much with computers has), namely 128 and 256.
- At the time of the Cold War, between 128 and 255 most characters were placed that are required to write Western European languages. This is why all characters to write Icelandic, for instance, can be found there (but not Welsh, however, because no independent country is involved).
- Later expansions were made, and numbers above 256 were used as well. From 256 onwards a pattern that can be observed is that the order roughly follows A to Z, and various diacritics are added.
- For the relationship between capital letters and lower case letters the following holds. Between 128 and 255 the distribution is often devoid of any principle; in a few cases the two appear together, first the lower case letter, then the capital letter. From 256 onwards the two appear together, first the capital letter, then the lower case letter.
- For the characters most important for your purposes, focus on learning the numbers for the lower case letters, not those for the capital letters since you will probably need them less often.
But no need to worry; hardly anyone will know all these numbers by heart. Feel free to visit my homepage again.

128     Ç     French
129     ü     German
130     é     French
131     â     French
132     ä     German
133     à     French
134     å     Danish
135     ç     French
136     ê     French
137     ë     French
138     è     French
139     ï     French
140     î     French
141     ì     Italian
142     Ä     German
143     Å     Danish
144     É     French
145     æ     Danish
146     Æ     Danish
147     ô     French
148     ö     German
149     ò     Italian
150     û     French
151     ù     Italian
152     ÿ     French
153     Ö     German
154     Ü     German
155     ø     Danish
157     Ø     Danish
160     á     Spanish
161     í     Spanish
162     ó     Spanish
163     ú     Spanish
164     ñ     Spanish
165     Ñ     Spanish
168     ¿     Spanish
173     ¡     Spanish
181     Á     French
182     Â     French
183     À     French
198     ã     Portuguese
199     Ã     Portuguese
208     ð     Icelandic
209     Ð     Icelandic
210     Ê     French
211     Ë     French
212     È     French
213     ı     Turkish
214     Í     Spanish
215     Î     French
216     Ï     French
222     Ì     Italian
224     Ó     Spanish
225     ß     German
226     Ô     French
227     Ò     Italian
228     õ     Portuguese
229     Õ     Portuguese
231     þ     Icelandic
232     Þ     Icelandic
233     Ú     Spanish
234     Û     French
235     Ù     Italian
236     ý     Icelandic
237     Ý     Icelandic
256     Ā     Latvian
257     ā     Latvian
258     Ă     Romanian
259     ă     Romanian
260     Ą     Polish
261     ą     Polish
262     Ć     Polish
263     ć     Polish
264     Ĉ    
265     ĉ    
266     Ċ     Maltese
267     ċ     Maltese
268     Č     Czech
269     č     Czech
270     Ď     Czech
271     ď     Czech
272     Đ     Croatian
273     đ     Croatian
274     Ē     Latvian
275     ē     Latvian
276     Ĕ     Czech
277     ĕ     Czech
278     Ė     Lithuanian
279     ė     Lithuanian
280     Ę     Polish
281     ę     Polish
282     Ě     Czech
283     ě     Czech
284     Ĝ    
285     ĝ    
286     Ğ     Turkish
287     ğ     Turkish
288     Ġ     Maltese
289     ġ     Maltese
290     Ģ     Latvian
291     ģ     Latvian
292     Ĥ    
293     ĥ    
294     Ħ     Maltese
295     ħ     Maltese
296     Ĩ    
297     ĩ    
298     Ī     Latvian
299     ī     Latvian
300     Ĭ    
301     ĭ    
302     Į     Lithuanian
303     į     Lithuanian
304     İ     Turkish
305     ı     Turkish
306     IJ    
307     ij    
308     Ĵ    
309     ĵ    
310     Ķ     Latvian
311     ķ     Latvian
312     ĸ     Greenlandic
313     Ĺ     Slovak
314     ĺ     Slovak
315     Ļ     Latvian
316     ļ     Latvian
317     Ľ     Slovak
318     ľ     Slovak
319     Ŀ    
320     ŀ    
321     Ł     Polish
322     ł     Polish
323     Ń     Polish
324     ń     Polish
325     Ņ     Latvian
326     ņ     Latvian
327     Ň     Czech
328     ň     Czech
329     ʼn    
330     Ŋ     Ewe
331     ŋ     Ewe
332     Ō    
333     ō    
334     Ŏ    
335     ŏ    
336     Ő     Hungarian
337     ő     Hungarian
338     Œ     French
339     œ     French
340     Ŕ     Slovak
341     ŕ     Slovak
342     Ŗ     Latvian
343     ŗ     Latvian
344     Ř     Czech
345     ř     Czech
346     Ś     Polish
347     ś     Polish
348     Ŝ    
349     ŝ    
350     Ş     Turkish
351     ş     Turkish
352     Š     Czech
353     š     Czech
354     Ţ     Romanian
355     ţ     Romanian
356     Ť     Slovak
357     ť     Slovak
358     Ŧ    
359     ŧ    
360     Ũ    
361     ũ    
362     Ū     Latvian
363     ū     Latvian
364     Ŭ    
365     ŭ    
366     Ů     Czech
367     ů     Czech
368     Ű     Hungarian
369     ű     Hungarian
370     Ų     Lithuanian
371     ų     Lithuanian
372     Ŵ     Welsh
373     ŵ     Welsh
374     Ŷ     Welsh
375     ŷ     Welsh
376     Ÿ    
377     Ź     Polish
378     ź     Polish
379     Ż     Polish
380     ż     Polish
381     Ž     Czech
382     ž     Czech

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