We have both spent many minutes searching for the @ sign on computers and trying to figure out exactly what combination of buttons you need to push to make it show up. She has even given up at times, finding somewhere it is already written and copying and pasting it to where she needs it.
Even after years in Germany she still has to stop and think when she wants to use certain symbols. Apparently, typing becomes so natural that trying to to break the patten takes a lot of work.
|A typical American keyboard|
|The most important differences between a German and American keyboard (aufgehts.com)|
The keys Y and Z on the American versus German keyboard are switched. These are the only two switched letters on the entire keyboard and it seems like it would rarely be a problem, yet apparently Americans love the letter Y (Of course, it is a problem for him too but these letters are not as common in German as Y is in English). It is really obvious when she is typing on his computer. It goes something like this... Todaz was the first daz of the new zear. Then you hear a, "Ugh, I hate your stupid computer!!!" It wouldn't make a difference if she used the keyboard every single day...her fingers know where Y and Z should be and it does not want to give it up. After a few minutes it is not so bad, but those first few minutes are killer for her!
The use of a German keyboard has also shown her how many mistakes she makes (even when typing reasonably well) and how often she needs to use control + Z for undo. The mistakes really stick out when she has to stop, look down at they keyboard and remember that no, control Y was not what she was going for.
Luckily, he has his computer and she has hers...and hopefully, with a little more practice, we will both be bilingual typist :)
I am sure there are plenty of worse keyboards to learn to type with. What's your experience?