Swapping between primary and secondary language

How do you swap between primary and secondary languages for the keyboard (using GUI not terminal codes since this is for someone else who is a beginner at computing)? I installed the secondary language in the “language” section of yast, but can’t see any options for swapping on the fly. Lets say they do 99% of stuff in english, but get an email they want to respond to in the secondary language or want to write a text document using the secondary language, is there a way to switch back and forth on the fly? thank you

Tried Personal Settings -> Input Devices -> Layouts ->

Added Layout
Switching Policy: Global
Layout Indicator: Show Layout Indicator + Show Flag

I now get a small flag in my taskbar next to the clock. I can click the flag and it swaps between the two … but the words/letters are still english whichever flag I click and have showing

What you switch there is the keyboard layout (that is the input device layout configuration you found). It sees that the keys on your keyboard create the character codes that belong to the symbol upon the keys. There are different layouts for different scripts/languages, thus the need for a proper keycode to character conversion.

The language used by applications (if they are programmed to support different languages) in their messages, buttons, menus and the like depend on the LANG environment variable. To see what your’s is atm do

echo $LANG

Changing the language of an application is thus not on the flight. An environment variable is part of the environment of a process. It is inherited from the father process. Thus when you login, the processes there inherits most probably a LANG variable with the system wide default. This can be changed in your .profile and will from then on be inherited by all the applications you start in that session. Most applications will not have a possibility to change the LANG variable on the flight (though bash has and maybe others also).

In post #4, this person seems to have a way to do it on an older SUSE using “sax2” … is there something like that on the newer versions? Changing Languages Suse 10.3

In any case there is no sax or sax2 anymore.

But that post only talks about changing the keyboard layout. That is what you allready have. That is the input side of it.

You ask for something different. You ask for applications changing the language in wich they display messages, etc. That is the output side of it.
E.g. when I start KPatience (my default language is Dutch) the upper left button reads “Spel” and when I start it with* LANG=C*, it reads “Game”. I can switch the language at start of the application, but once KPatience is running, I can not change to another language.

ps- post #1 from that link is exactly what I want to do. Sorry for the double post, I can’t find an “edit” button, lol

The display msg’s etc can be in english. It doesn’t matter. That guy is doing what I wanted to do … which is to be able to set it up so the person can type in english and in Greek. For instance, you’re from Netherlands, how do you do this:

Write and email to someone in english, then write an email to someone else in Dutch? Is there an easy way for you to switch your languages when typing in such things as email, office, etc?

To anser your last question first, that switch is purely in my head. As Dutch and English both use the same alphabet there is nothing more needed.
I type English. Ik tik Nederlands. Ich schreibe Deutsch. J’écrit français. No change needed.

For you it is different. When you want an P, you want to type an P. And when you want a Π, you want to type a Π. Are those depicted on the same keyboard or do you swich keyboards also?

I indeed did not understand your question correct. That is because you talk about writing English/Greek words where you mean Latin/Greek characters.

Now I have no deep knowledge here, but those keyboard layouts are for different keyboards. You tell trhe system which keyboard you have. Do you eraly change the keyboard? Or is this a keyboard with Latin and Greek characters on the keys so that you can say: it looks as if I can use it to type Greek characters?

lol, that was a dumb question on my part. haha. It’s a laptop with a standard US english keyboard. No swapping of keyboards / hardware.

Well, not that dumb. I guess you are rather busy with your problem.
I am afraid I can not help you.
I know that every key on the boards has a key code. Also there is a table that translates these keycodes into characer codes. For ASCII this is (in fact was) simple. And when you change to Greek, I guess that that table must be replaced by another one that has UNICODE coding in the Grekk range. But I do not even know if pressing a P should then generate a Π or something different.

What about the Greek subforum. I assume this must be a piece of cake for them?

excellent suggestion, lol

If I understand your question correctly you want to be able to type Greek characters from a Latin (English/US) keyboard. You can add the Greek character set from Personal Settings>Hardware>Input Devices>Keyboard>Layouts>Add Layout. This will add a two-letter language indicator to your System Tray. If you right-click on it you can change from “gr” to “en” whenever you need. Not surpisingly, the Greek characters follow the English characters (on the keyboard) phonetically with five exceptions. These are ς, θ, ξ, ψ, and ω. They are w,u,j,c and v. Then you can prepare a chart with LibreOffice that shows the equivalents and keep it on your desk. It’s amazing how many more hits you get on Google using the correct alphabet. Living in two countries with non-English keyboards my girlfriend and I use Spanish, Greek, English, Danish and Swedish character sets. Aren’t computers just great?


loooool, awesome. thanks!