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ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ (Cree Syllabics) Keyboard Help

This keyboard is for typing nêhiyawêwin/Plains Cree/Cree Y-Dialect in syllabics (ᒐᐦᑭᐯᐦᐃᑲᓇ) on smartphones (e.g., Android/iPhone).

Alternate Names

  • Plains Cree
  • Cree Y-dialect


This ᓀᐦᐃᔭᐍᐏᐣ (Cree Syllabics) keyboard is a phonetic keyboard. That is, you type the way you say it in Cree.

For example, the word ᑮᑿᕀ: it's spoken as ᐠ + ᐄ + ᐠ + ᐤ + ᐊ + ᕀ

To type ᑮᑿᕀ on this keyboard, first press the first sound of , which is :

Pressing ᐠ

The keyboard has changed, and now the vowels (ᐁ ᐃ ᐅ ᐊ ᐄ ᐆ ᐋ) have been replaced by all syllables starting with the sound (ᑫ ᑭ ᑯ ᑲ ᑮ ᑰ ᑳ, respectively).

Vowels replaced with ᑫ ᑭ ᑯ ᑲ ᑮ ᑰ ᑳ

Now, press .

Pressing replaces with , the first syllabic of ᑮᑿᕀ.

The next syllabic starts with the sound yet again, so press . We're back to this screen:

Vowels replaced with ᑫ ᑭ ᑯ ᑲ ᑮ ᑰ ᑳ

But this time, the syllabic we want to type, , is nowhere to be found on the screen! This is because the next sound in the syllabic is . We need to add the dot that makes the sound. To do this, press .

Pressing ᐤ after ᐠ

After pressing this, the keys will have changed yet again, with all of the syllables being replaced with syllables that start with the ᐠᐤ sounds, namely, ᑵ ᑷ ᑻ ᑿ ᑹ ᑽ ᒁ:

Syllables replaced with ᑵ ᑷ ᑻ ᑿ ᑹ ᑽ ᒁ

Now, we can press the syllable we want: .

Our keyboard is back on the default screen.

Finally, we want to type . Tap the key, and our word is complete!

pressing ᕀ

In this way, every word is typed phonetically — just as it sounds.

Normal and half spacebar

This keyboard has two spacebars: the normal spacebar      on the very bottom row of the keyboard, and the half spacebar   , on the second-to-bottom row. The half spacebar is not only half the size of a normal spacebar on the keyboard, but it also inserts a thinner space.

When do I use the half spacebar?

When you want to separate components within a word.

If you are familiar with Cree standard Roman orthography (SRO), you use a half space    whenever you'd use a hyphen in SRO. For example, in ê-itwêt, you would write it in syllabics on this keyboard by typing    (ᐁ ᐃᑘᐟ).

Other examples are complex words like ᓂᓇᓅᐦᑌ ᓂᐹᐣ. This is one word, but you can see it has two: the beginning, ᓂᓇᓅᐦᑌ (eng. “I always want to...”) and the core part of the word, ᓂᐹᐣ (eng. “sleep”). Use the half space    between the two parts of the word to insert a small gap between the two parts. The small gap is subtle but noticable — not as large as a normal space, which would indicate a new word.

Unlike the normal space, the half space is not a word-breaker. This means that, when apps see a half-space in a word, they will treat it and its surrounding syllabics as one whole word, rather than breaking it apart and treating it as several smaller words.

Keyboard layout


Default layout

Consonant pressed

A similar layout will appear when pressing , , , , , , , or .

Layout after pressing ᐠ

Consonant and ᐤ pressed

A similar layout will appear when pressing after having already pressed , , , , , , , or .

Layout after pressing ᐠᐤ

ᐤ pressed

layout after pressing ᐤ


After pressing 123 from any other screen.

Numeric layout

Punctuation Subkeys

Obtain this pop-up by pressing-and-holding the key near the bottom-right corner of the keyboard.

Punctuation subkeys

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