Sunday, September 4, 2011

iOS international keyboards for Latin alphabet languages other than English

Earlier I had noted that, for occasional inclusion of accented characters in, e.g., French or Spanish, there was no need to add the respective iOS virtual international keyboard.

Recently, I was typing in a longer sentence in French. At that time I realized that, for extended writing in a Latin alphabet language other than English, one greatly benefits from switching to the appropriate international keyboard, in order to get proper suggestions for auto-correction, replacement suggestions, etc.

A French teacher long ago had written the following famous phrase on a piece of paper for me:

Ce qui se conçoit bien
s'énonce clairement,
et les mots pour le dire
viennent aisément.

which I subsequently misplaced. The second line eluded my memory for many years, but I recently remembered it, then searched for background on the complete phrase on the mighty Internet.

French Wikipedia says the original is from Nicolas Boileau:

De L'Art poétique (1674)
Ce que l'on conçoit bien s'énonce clairement,
Et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisément. (Chant I)
(bold emphasis is mine -- see below)

I find it a tad odd that multiple people have rendered his original phrase with slightly different words, even, e.g., on a mousepad.

The meaning of the French phrase hasn't changed in any of the slightly-different renditions I've seen, including in the one I got from my French teacher. On the other hand, the Gettysburg Address certainly wouldn't sound the same if someone started reciting it with "87 years ago...".


English translations of this French phrase feel quite awkward to me compared to the original, and I'm not including one here. Interested readers can copy the text and search on the mighty Internet themselves.

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