At last! An Igbo and Yoruba keyboard developed for Windows and Mac users!


This is the very best news I have heard this month; probably this year! It is of great distress to me that I can barely read Yoruba and I certainly cannot write it. My nomadic upbringing of flitting here there and everywhere meant that I didn’t attend schools in Lagos State long enough to get to the point of reading and writing. Lord knows, I probably would have even hated it if I had got that far. Because children simply don’t know what’s good for them. I only get by on “Lagos Yoruba”; I’m not great with proverbs or any of the things that make my language so great. And so, this inadequacy made me turn to Yoruba films with a passion. Anything that takes me closer to Yoruba is a good thing.

The dots, the accents and all that jazz? They look really complicated to me because I never got the foundation right. But there are some people who LIVE for the Yoruba language. The reading, the writing, the nuances and the accents. And it is for them that the Yoruba keyboard was invented.

Created by Yoruba Name, the keyboard was developed by KọlĂĄ TĂșbọsĂșn, whose bachelor of arts’ thesis formed the backbone of the project. He and his team of linguists and techies got together to solve this old issue and it is a triumph indeed!

Although it originally focused on Yorùbá, the keyboard eventually expanded toIgbo, another major Nigerian language. Laila, one of the volunteers on the Yoruba Name team as well as the keyboard development explained:

When we started sharing the keyboard layout on social media and encouraging our community to use it, we received a number of requests from Igbo speakers to make a similar product for their language. It turns out that Igbo orthography is very similar to Yorùbá, in the sense that it also includes grave and acute accents as tone marks, as well as subdots. Since Igbo requires only a couple of extra characters (ị, Ễ and ñ), it made sense to add them in the updated June 2016 release.

This new Yoruba keyboard is music to my ears even if I can’t use it. The fact that the Igbo language has also been added is doubly exciting!

This link takes you to the updated page for the downloads >>

Igbo/Yorùbá Windows keyboard layout

Download the installation pack here and don’t forget to read the manual to get started typing in Igbo, Yorùbá and English without switching language preferences.

Igbo/Yorùbá Mac keyboard layout

Download the keyboard layout here. The one-page manual will show you how to set it up and use it within minutes.

If you are Yoruba, you might wanna try putting your name in the search bar and getting the meaning>> CLICK HERE!

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