Monday, 15 January 2007


This poster is situated right outside my son's school.
It reads: "Ni voilee, ni violee. Touche pas a ma soeur" which very roughly translated means: neither veiled/hidden nor violated/raped. Keep away from my sister.
This is a slogan belonging to an extreme right political group called Jeunesses Identitaires which has ties to similar groups all over Europe.
The school is an international school which lies in an area with a high immigrant population and I find it interesting that this poster has been put up just here. Was it because the school is international or because of the immigrant population or both, as in kill two birds with one stone?
(I have a QWERTY keyboard thus accents are impossible to type.)


Meg in Nelson said...

At the risk of sounding as dumb as I am, what is QWERTY?

Doug (french property bloger) said...

Hi Meg

Because each language has slightly different characters (e.g. English, French, German), the keyboards are slightly different too. There are also historic reasons for differences, but expaining this would make the post much too long.

If you look at the standard keyboard for the English language, the first 5 letters in the top-left (just under the numbers) are "QWERTY". So, it is referred to as the QWERTY keyboard. Of course, being for the English language, it doesn't have French accents.

I have the same problem as Angela. I have a blog and a site about French property, so often need to use accents for French words. However, because I learned to type on a QWERTY keyboard, I don't want to switch to a French keyboard as that means I would need to relearn how to type. This means that when typing from my keyboard, like Angela, I don't have accents.

If one is working in MSWord (or similar package) one can use the "Insert Symbol" function to put in special characters (including French accented letters). A bit slow, but if one only needs to do it once and a while, acceptable. Unfortunately, most blog SW packages do not have this function yet. The way I get around to it is to type the French bit in MSWord and then COPY/PASTE it into my blog posts. Slightly time-consuming but everything is a tradeoff.

Angela: If you really want to get accents in, the above solution may work for you.

Rudy Girón said...

Thanks for the background information about the poster.

About the qwerty keyboard, if you have a PC with windows, you can try typing alt+060, +061, et-cetera for all the accented characters. You can do a search to find a nice little table with all the alt+# codes for the French letters with tildes. If you have a Mac, you can hold the option/alt key + e or `or c plus the letter you want to put the accent on. On the Mac, you can open a Keyboard viewer application to help you see all the characters, marks, tildes and accents.

angela said...

Thank you, Doug and Rudy. I'll give those suggestions a go.

Sarah said...

It doesn't take long to get used to an AZERTY keyboard. A few days at most. It's not like ALL the keys are different.

I type on an AZERTY at work and QWERTY when I go to the UK to visit my folks. My brain doesn't suffer from overload when it makes the switch. It just takes a bit of getting used to, that's all.

Jean-Louis said...

This sticker is in relation with the French association "Ni putes, ni soumises" created by French woman with maghreb origins.

I am French and I still prefer the QWERTY keyboard. For accents, I use a software called JLG Extended Keyboard Layout. It does not modify at all the QWERTY keybaord, but allow to do the accents like é (CTRL + ', then e), à (CTRL + `, then a), etc.