Keyboards For the Nkonya Language


Windows Keyboards Ubuntu Keyboard
This page contains keyboard programs for typing the Nkonya Language. Some of the processes involved in setting them up may be complex, and you may want to get help to install and use them.

On this page, when I say "keyboard", I am talking about one of these programs, not a physical keyboard.

Windows Keyboards

There are two keyboard solutions for Microsoft Windows. The first solution is to use one of the languages that comes with Windows, and attach an Nkonya keyboard to it. This can be done for free. It uses a keyboard that has been made already with Microsoft's free program called MSKLC.

To use the second solution, you have to buy the keyboard handler named Keyman from http://www.tavultesoft.com. Download the Nkonya keyboard. The key assignments are the same as the MSKLC solution below, except that, for a high tone, type an apostrophe before the letter, rather than after the letter. The high tone will only come on vowels.

Downloading and Installation (Free version-MSKLC)

A keyboard for Windows (Ghana9Hi.zip - 473K) is available. It works with Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7. You can download it and extract the files. It will create a folder named Ghana9Hi inside the folder you extract it into. Inside the folder Ghana9Hi, there will be a file named setup.exe.

Run setup.exe as adminstrator. It installs the Nkonya keyboard as the Afrikaans language with a keyboard layout named Ghana 9 Vowels With High Tone. You can adjust the settings from the Windows Control Panel. Select Regional settings and choose the Language tab.

If you wish, you can assign the keyboard layout to another language. Windows has a restricted list of languages you can use, and the list does not include Nkonya. Choose one that suits you, and select Ghana 9 Vowels With High Tone as the keyboard layout.

Using the Keyboard

To start the keyboard, Select the language (Afrikaans, unless you changed it) from the language bar.

To Type These
Nkonya Letters:
Use These Keys:
ɛ and Ɛ
[ and {
ɩ and Ɩ
x and X
ŋ and Ŋ
= and +
ɔ and Ɔ
] and }
ʋ and Ʋ
q and Q


If you want a high tone added to a character, type an apostrophe after the character (before for Keyman and Linux):
          á, é, ɛ́, etc          
a'; e'; [', etc —MSKLC
'a; 'e;'[, etc —Keyman/Linux


If you type a semi-colon in front of a key, you will get the normal character, not the Nkonya character.
;' ;[ ;{ ;x ;X ;= ;+, etc
' [ { x X = +, etc

Keyboard for Linux

In Ubuntu, you need the kmfl-ibus package, and the Nkonya Linux keyboard.
  • Download the Nkonya Linux keyboard.
  • Open the compressed file in your home directory.
  • It will create a directory named .kmfl in your home directory. This directory will be hidden unless you have turned on Show Hidden Files in your browser.
  • Add packages.sil.org to Software Sources using the instructions at packages.sil.org.
  • Open either Applications->Ubuntu Software Center or System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager.
  • Type kmfl into the Quick Search box of Synaptic or Software Center (upper right corner). Select the package scim-kmfl-imengine.
  • In Software Center click the Install button. In Synaptic click the box at the start of the package name, select Install, then click the Apply button. In either app, follow the prompts; you may have to supply your password. Close Synaptic or Software Manager once the installation is complete.
  • Restart the computer.

Using the Linux Keyboard

The Linux keyboard uses the same keystrokes as in the table above for the MSKLC keyboard. For a high tone, type an apostrophe before the letter, rather than after the letter. The high tone will only come on vowels.

Modifying the Keyboards (Advanced)

If you want to modify the keyboards, and are comfortable with doing some computer programming, you can do that.

For the Windows MSKLC version, download the MSKLC program from Microsoft. The source of the keyboard is the file Ghana9hi.klc in the keyboard download Ghana9Hi.zip - 473K — the one you downloaded for the keyboard.

To make changes for the Keyman program, you have to purchase a Developer edition of Keyman from http://www.tavultesoft.com. It uses the same source file as the Linux kmfl keyboard, but requires the icon files to be in the same directory as the source. The source file is available in the Nkonya Linux keyboard. The file name is .kmfl/GhanaUnicode-NKO-NFD.kmn

The kmfl program in Linux uses the source file directly. Modify a copy of ~/.kmfl/GhanaUnicode-NKO-NFD.kmn.