Computers & Writing Systems
Tai Dam Keyboards
Warning: The keyboards on this page are obsolete.
These have been superseded by newer versions, which are now hosted on the Keyman web site at https://keyman.com/keyboards/languages/blt.
Since these keyboards may not work well on later versions of Windows, and Keyman is now available as open source software, we are no longer supporting MSKLC keyboards. If you still prefer them over Keyman, they are available below.
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The Tai Dam language can be written with their traditional script (called the Tai Viet script), the Lao script, or the Latin script. This page provides keyboards for all three scripts.
Tai Viet script layouts
Two keyboard layouts are provided for keying text in the Tai Viet script. The TaiDamUS keyboard is a mnemonic layout based on the US English keyboard, in which each character is assigned to the key that has the nearest equivalent English letter. The TaiDamTW keyboard is based on the keyboard of the Tai Dam typewriter made by the Tai Dam community in Des Moines, IA, in the 1980s.
Both layouts are designed primarily for use with the Tai Dam language. The U.S. mnemonic layout can also generate the Tai Don aspirated consonants, although two keystrokes are required to produce each of these characters.
Each layout is available in either a Tavultesoft Keyman implementation or an MSKLC implementation.
The Tai Viet keyboards can be used with any Tai Viet Unicode font. Refer to Tai Heritage Pro for one font that you can use.
These keyboards are designed for the Windows platform, and have been tested on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
The Keyman implementation requires Keyman Desktop to be installed on the host machine—Keyman Desktop version 9 is recommended.
Tai Dam US mnemonic keyboard
Tai Dam Typewriter keyboard
Lao script layout
The "Tai Dam - Lao/US" keyboard is also a mnemonic layout based on the US English keyboard, similar to the "TaiDamUS" keyboard. Each Lao character is assigned to the English letter that most closely corresponds to it. For the layout, see the documentation that comes with the keyboard.
Latin script (i.e. Vietnamese) layout
The "Tai Dam - VN" keyboard is based on the U.S. English layout, with characters required for Tai Dam and Vietnamese added. To relieve stress on the typist, the keyboard has been optimized by placing the most frequently used characters in the center. For the layout, see the documentation that comes with the keyboard.
Keyman vs MSKLC implementation
The Tai Viet keyboards are available in both Keyman and MSKLC implementations. If you are using the UBS Paratext software or older versions of SIL's Toolbox program, you must use one of the Keyman implementations. These two programs do not work with MSKLC keyboards. Otherwise, the MSKLC implementations are provided for those who do not have and do not wish to purchase a license for Tavultesoft Keyman Desktop.
The Lao and Latin script keyboards are available only in a Keyman implementation.
This software and documentation are copyright ©2008, 2009 by SIL International. It is distributed under the X11 free software license; see SIL International X11-style License for more information.
Tai Dam Keyboards for Windows
As these fonts and utilities are distributed at no cost, we are unable to provide a commercial level of personal technical support. We will, however, try to resolve problems that are reported to us.
We do hope that you will report problems so they can be addressed in future releases. Even if you are not having any specific problems, but have an idea on how this system could be improved, we want to hear your ideas and suggestions.
Please note that these fonts are intended for use by experienced computer users. Installing and using these fonts is not a trivial matter. The most effective technical support is usually provided by an experienced computer user who can personally sit down with you at your computer to troubleshoot the problem.
General troubleshooting information, including frequently asked questions, can be found in the documentation. Additional information is also available on the general Font FAQ page. If that fails to answer your question you can contact us at:
Email: Contact Form