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Veyboard

presentation by Ms. Marianne van Gool (interpreter for the deaf)

Prague, 30th September 2012

Let me first introduce myself. I am Marianne van Gool and I own an office that provides secretarial services, speech-to-text interpretation, and Veyboard training. I use the Veyboard in all aspects of my work and helped to develop both the Dutch and English version of the training method ‘Getting started with Veyboard’. In this presentation I will explain to you the basic principles of the Veyboard.

The Veyboard consists of a butterfly shaped group of keys, on which a number of letters and symbols are printed. At the bottom left and right are two larger keys with the print ‘H Capital’ and ‘No Space’. On the right is a keypad with function keys. In this presentation I concentrate on the butterfly keys.

Veyboard

The main Veyboard principle is that you type in syllables, not character by character. The first thing you do is splitting up a word in syllables. A word like ‘breakfast’, which consists of two syllables, is typed in two strokes: ‘break’ and ‘fast’. For each stroke, you press all the letters of one syllable at the same time. Since you need less keystrokes to type a word, you can type much faster than on a classical keyboard.

To make typing in syllables possible, the Veyboard has three fields: a field on the left for initial consonants, a field in the middle for vowels and a field on the right for final consonants. This means that you will find the same letters more than once on a Veyboard.

As an example consider the word ‘pit’, which consists of an initial consonant ‘p’, a vowel ‘i’ and a final consonant ‘t’. To type this word, I press the P-key on the left, the I-key in the middle and the T-key on the right, all at the same time. The Veyboard software then produces the word ‘tip’ on the screen, since it builds syllables in the same way as the English language is read; from left to right. So when I want to type the word ‘tip’ – which has the same letters, but in a different sequence – then I press the T-key on the left, the I-key in the middle and the P-key on the right, again all at the same time.

Now consider a word with more syllables, such as ‘letter’. I first type the syllable ‘let’ in the way I explained above and after that I type the second syllable ‘ter’. Note that a space is added between the two syllables. The Veyboard adds an automatic space before and after each syllable. In general this is a good thing, because English texts contain a lot of monosyllabic words. For instance consider the sentence:

He is not in the mood for going to the pub with his friends

This sentence contains 14 words, 13 of which consist of a single syllable.

Still we do have words consisting of multiple syllables, so we must be able to suppress this automatic space. This is the purpose of the big ‘No Space’ key. So to form the word ‘letter’ without a space we first type the syllable ‘let’ and after that we type the second syllable ‘ter’ together with the ‘No Space’ key. This is not an extra stroke! So on Veyboard, spaces are handled exactly the opposite as on Qwerty; on Qwerty you press a key to get a space, while on Veyboard you press a key to get rid of a space.

Since most letters appear twice on the Veyboard it was not possible to give every letter its own key. This is why some letters are created by a combination of keys. The letters on the Veyboard in small print above on the left side (b, d, g, h and w) are made in combination with the J-key. And you use the R-key to form the letters on the Veyboard in small print above on the right side (v and m). So to type the word ‘mud’ I must press not 3, but 5 keys, because for the letters ‘m’ and ‘d’ there are no separate keys in the Veyboard.

Veyboard

Now you know how to create all individual letters, except the q (which is made by pressing c and f at the same time) and the x (which is made by pressing k and z at the same time).

Finally, let’s type a slightly more complex word like ‘spent’. I can type this word by pressing the S and P keys on the left, the E-key in the middle and the N and T keys on the right, all at the same time. If I type multiple keys within a single field at the same time, like two initial consonants ‘s’ and ‘p’ in this example, then the Veyboard will put these letters in the sequence which is most commonly used within the English language. In this case the ‘s’ always precedes the ‘p’, since ‘sp’ at the start of a syllable is much more common than ‘ps’. The same principle holds for the final consonants. So in our example the ‘n’ precedes the ‘t’, since ‘nt’ at the end of a syllable is much more common than ‘tn’.

Incidentally it is also possible to type many of the less common letter combinations in one stroke. For example the initial consonant combination ‘ps’ for the word ‘psycho’ can be typed in one stroke using the P and Z keys on the left. It is not possible to type the final consonant combination ‘tn’ in one stroke since this combination does not occur at the end of a syllable in the English language.

This concludes my explanation of the basic principles of Veyboard. If you would like to know more of the Veyboard, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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