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Sebatbeit (GFF) (deprecated) Keyboard Help

Keyboard © 2009 Ge'ez Frontier Foundation.

Using this Keyboard
Keyboard Layout
Keyboard Details
Complete Typing Chart
Further Resources
Related Keyboard Layouts
Technical Information


This keyboard is designed for use with the Sebatbeit language (also known as Sebat Bet Gurage) of Ethiopia in Africa. Typing follows a consonant-vowel pattern. It is designed for use with a standard (QWERTY) keyboard.

Most computers will automatically download a special font to display this keyboard correctly. However, if the layout or the charts below do not display correctly, please read the troubleshooting guide.

Click here to see keyboard layouts for other Ethiopic languages, like Amharic, Awngi, Bench, Blin, Dizi, Ge'ez, Me'en, Mursi, Suri and Tigrigna.

Using this Keyboard

Keyboard Layout


This keyboard is designed to work intuitively with a standard (QWERTY) keyboard. This means that the Sebatbeit sounds in this keyboard can be found by thinking of the most similar English letters. For example, you can type selam to get ሰላም.

As you can see, each Sebatbeit character is typed with the base consonant first and then the vowel. For example, is typed T then ie.


Keyboard Details

The Sebatbeit keyboard uses an intuitive phonetic system where the Sebatbeit sounds are matched to the nearest English letters. You can think of how a word sounds in Sebatbeit and then type it out with English.

Example: typing selam produces ሰላም

Because Sebatbeit has more sounds than English, we sometimes have to adjust this rule. For example, English does not have and the closest similar letter would be c. In this case you should type C, for capital C:

Example: typing enCerebie produces እንጨረቤ

Notice that we needed both ie together to make the 5th letter, . When the letter you want to type does not appear when you hit the similar sounding key in English, try using the capital next. If typing the capital does not work, then try hitting the key followed by a y:

Example: typing yetgyekyere produces የትⷘⷈረ

Example: typing qyes produces ⷀስ

Next, when you need to type the extra letters of Sebatbeit like ,, you can do so by typing an extra vowel after a u:

Example: typing mua produces

Example: typing pue produces

Finally, we must introduce a special rule for ' (apostrophe). Some words are spelt with a ሳድስ (6th) letter followed by a vowel, like ርኤ in ገብርኤል. We use the apostrophe here to type gebr'iel to make sure we get ርኤ instead of .

Example: typing mel'ak produces መልአክ

We also use the apostrophe for Ethiopic numbers, so '1 becomes and so on. If an English apostrophe ' is needed in your document, type it twice: ''. This works for other punctuation as well, so typing ; once makes and a second time gives English semi-colon ;.

See Typing in Sebatbeit for full details on how to type all Sebatbeit letters, numbers and punctuation.


If the characters you type or those on the On Screen Keyboard do not appear to display correctly, please read the KeymanWeb troubleshooting guide.

For any other questions, contact us.

Technical Information

System Requirements

It is recommended that you use an English QWERTY hardware keyboard with this keyboard.

Unicode Version

This keyboard complies with Unicode 5.1

Keyboard Authorship

This keyboard was created by the Ge'ez Frontier Foundation. Tavultesoft graciously acknowledges the contribution made by the authors in developing this keyboard and making it freely available for use with Keyman Desktop and KeymanWeb. Their effort assists in enabling people to communicate in their own language.

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