Phone pad question ...

28 Jan 2008 - 10:50am
6 years ago
5 replies
1424 reads
Grady Kelly
2007

This may be an odd question ...

I have mentioned in an earlier post about designing a telecommunications
application, and localization.

You all know how the phone dial pad has letters associated with the number?
For instance, 2 is ABC, 3 is DEF, etc. How is this done in other
languages? For instance, Spanish has 2 extra letters than the english
alphabet, the "ñ" and double L "ll" are they on the spanish phones? What
about other languages?

Thanks,

Grady Kelly
grady at gradykelly.com
http://www.gradykelly.com

Comments

28 Jan 2008 - 11:15am
Alexander Baxevanis
2007

Hi Grad,

I don't think I've ever seen the phone keypad lettering being adapted
to other languages in normal (desk) phones. In mobile phones, where
the numeric keypad is used for text entry, the assignment of letters
to keys depends on the manufacturer, but for languages using a
variation of the alphabet accented characters will go on the same key
as the character without the accent, for example "ñ" will go on the
same key as "n". For some languages such as Greek (my native tongue)
I've seen completely different approaches by each manufacturer (not
sure if things have been standardized now) and only a few manufactures
would care to produce a different keyboard faceplate that shows the
Greek key assignment. Other languages/scripts (not sure if this is the
correct terminology) such as Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu etc.
have more complex input methods, you can probably find a lot about
that on the net...

Not sure what you're trying to do, is it related to a service accessed
by a fixed phone or a mobile?

Regards,
Alex

On Jan 28, 2008 3:50 PM, Grady Kelly <grady at simpledesign.org> wrote:
> This may be an odd question ...
>
> I have mentioned in an earlier post about designing a telecommunications
> application, and localization.
>
> You all know how the phone dial pad has letters associated with the number?
> For instance, 2 is ABC, 3 is DEF, etc. How is this done in other
> languages? For instance, Spanish has 2 extra letters than the english
> alphabet, the "ñ" and double L "ll" are they on the spanish phones? What
> about other languages?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Grady Kelly
> grady at gradykelly.com
> http://www.gradykelly.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

28 Jan 2008 - 11:22am
Grady Kelly
2007

Hey Alex,

The software is a softphone (web based phone). The dial pad is really
only used for traversing phone systems. For instance, you call a number and
you have to enter the first 3 digits of the persons last name. When you do
this, the touch tones generated from the keypad are what give the phone
system the information that they need. But now that I am thinking about
that more, it makes me wonder about how a keypad in one language would enter
information into a phone system that is another language ...

Grady Kelly
grady at gradykelly.com
http://www.gradykelly.com

On Jan 28, 2008 9:15 AM, Alexander Baxevanis <alex.baxevanis at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi Grad,
>
> I don't think I've ever seen the phone keypad lettering being adapted
> to other languages in normal (desk) phones. In mobile phones, where
> the numeric keypad is used for text entry, the assignment of letters
> to keys depends on the manufacturer, but for languages using a
> variation of the alphabet accented characters will go on the same key
> as the character without the accent, for example "ñ" will go on the
> same key as "n". For some languages such as Greek (my native tongue)
> I've seen completely different approaches by each manufacturer (not
> sure if things have been standardized now) and only a few manufactures
> would care to produce a different keyboard faceplate that shows the
> Greek key assignment. Other languages/scripts (not sure if this is the
> correct terminology) such as Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu etc.
> have more complex input methods, you can probably find a lot about
> that on the net...
>
> Not sure what you're trying to do, is it related to a service accessed
> by a fixed phone or a mobile?
>
> Regards,
> Alex
>
> On Jan 28, 2008 3:50 PM, Grady Kelly <grady at simpledesign.org> wrote:
> > This may be an odd question ...
> >
> > I have mentioned in an earlier post about designing a telecommunications
> > application, and localization.
> >
> > You all know how the phone dial pad has letters associated with the
> number?
> > For instance, 2 is ABC, 3 is DEF, etc. How is this done in other
> > languages? For instance, Spanish has 2 extra letters than the english
> > alphabet, the "ñ" and double L "ll" are they on the spanish phones?
> What
> > about other languages?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Grady Kelly
> > grady at gradykelly.com
> > http://www.gradykelly.com
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
>

28 Jan 2008 - 11:54am
Alexander Baxevanis
2007

Hi Grad,

AFAIK there is an international standard on how keys should be labeled
with letters. It's called "ITU E.161 : Arrangement of digits, letters
and symbols on telephones and other devices that can be used for
gaining access to a telephone network" :) and if you feel like reading
all the details you can download it at:

http://www.itu.int/rec/T-REC-E.161-200102-I/en

It's quite a recent standard (~2001) and before this there used to be
a few variations (although not in order to accommodate accented
characters) according to this article:

http://dialabc.com/motion/keypads.html

The standard itself doesn't seem to cover any localization concerns,
and I guess because it's an international standard the keyboard is now
the same around the world.

However, as is mentioned towards the end of the 2nd page linked above,
the use of letters on the keypad is mostly an American phenomenon. In
the UK, I have never seen any numbers like 1-800-CALL-NOW and I have
only ever been asked to enter digits in any of the automated telephone
services that I've had to call.

I think you can safely do your keyboard layout according to the ITU
standard, and not worry too much about international users. I suppose
most people who go online or interact with services outside their home
country already know a latin-ized version of their name that they
consistently use.

Cheers,
Alex

On Jan 28, 2008 4:22 PM, Grady Kelly <grady at simpledesign.org> wrote:
> Hey Alex,
>
> The software is a softphone (web based phone). The dial pad is really
> only used for traversing phone systems. For instance, you call a number and
> you have to enter the first 3 digits of the persons last name. When you do
> this, the touch tones generated from the keypad are what give the phone
> system the information that they need. But now that I am thinking about
> that more, it makes me wonder about how a keypad in one language would enter
> information into a phone system that is another language ...
>
>
> Grady Kelly
> grady at gradykelly.com
> http://www.gradykelly.com
>
>
>
> On Jan 28, 2008 9:15 AM, Alexander Baxevanis <alex.baxevanis at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Grad,
> >
> > I don't think I've ever seen the phone keypad lettering being adapted
> > to other languages in normal (desk) phones. In mobile phones, where
> > the numeric keypad is used for text entry, the assignment of letters
> > to keys depends on the manufacturer, but for languages using a
> > variation of the alphabet accented characters will go on the same key
> > as the character without the accent, for example "ñ" will go on the
> > same key as "n". For some languages such as Greek (my native tongue)
> > I've seen completely different approaches by each manufacturer (not
> > sure if things have been standardized now) and only a few manufactures
> > would care to produce a different keyboard faceplate that shows the
> > Greek key assignment. Other languages/scripts (not sure if this is the
> > correct terminology) such as Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu etc.
> > have more complex input methods, you can probably find a lot about
> > that on the net...
> >
> > Not sure what you're trying to do, is it related to a service accessed
> > by a fixed phone or a mobile?
> >
> > Regards,
> > Alex
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Jan 28, 2008 3:50 PM, Grady Kelly <grady at simpledesign.org> wrote:
> > > This may be an odd question ...
> > >
> > > I have mentioned in an earlier post about designing a telecommunications
> > > application, and localization.
> > >
> > > You all know how the phone dial pad has letters associated with the
> number?
> > > For instance, 2 is ABC, 3 is DEF, etc. How is this done in other
> > > languages? For instance, Spanish has 2 extra letters than the english
> > > alphabet, the "ñ" and double L "ll" are they on the spanish phones?
> What
> > > about other languages?
> > >
> > > Thanks,
> > >
> > > Grady Kelly
> > > grady at gradykelly.com
> > > http://www.gradykelly.com
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> > > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> > > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> > >
> > > ________________________________________________________________
> > > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> > >
> >
>
>

28 Jan 2008 - 12:44pm
Alexander Baxevanis
2007

Hi Gil,

thanks a lot for the reference to the ETSI standard, I hope that all
phone manufacturers are using it for text entry. Haven't bought a
phone with Greek localisation for ages, but the Greek mapping that
they give is definitely the most sensible one (following the order of
the Greek alphabet). Previous approaches would map all letters not in
the Latin alphabet to a random key (0, 1 or #).

Once again, thanks a lot, it's great to have such an international list :)

Cheers,
Alex

On Jan 28, 2008 5:26 PM, Gil Barros <gil.barros at formato.com.br> wrote:
> Hi Alex and Grad,
>
> Each manufacturer has his way of implementing non-ascii characters.
>
> There is an ETSI standard which tries to deal with localization
> (complements ITU E.161):
> ETSI ES 202 130 - Character repertoires, ordering rules and assignments
> to the 12-key telephone keypad
> http://portal.etsi.org/docbox/EC_Files/EC_Files/es_202130v010101p.pdf
>
> cheers,
> Gil.
>
> > AFAIK there is an international standard on how keys should be labeled
> > with letters. It's called "ITU E.161 : Arrangement of digits, letters
> > and symbols on telephones and other devices that can be used for
> > gaining access to a telephone network" :) and if you feel like reading
> > all the details you can download it at:
> >
> > http://www.itu.int/rec/T-REC-E.161-200102-I/en
> ...
>
>

28 Jan 2008 - 12:47pm
Bruno Figueiredo
2007

I think that it's pretty standard with the latin alphabet. For
instance, Portuguese has five different accents that we put on vowels
and one on consonants (c) but we can get by without them on mobiles
(we have our own SMS lingo anyway), so the phonepads are identical to
english ones. I guess that when you look into different alphabets then
maybe the phonepads change, like in Russia or China. Still, I know
that in China they have a way to represent their language with a
latin alphabet.

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