Web users can type Russian letters with an English keyboard using an online Russian keyboard layout. Users of the Windows operating system can also change the language by adjusting the language input.
Online Russian keyboards, such as those at WinRus.com and Branah.com, are digital interfaces that translate what you type on your English keyboard into Cyrillic letters. Some online Russian keyboards offer the option of a phonetic or standard layout. The phonetic layout aligns the Cyrillic alphabet as closely as possible to an English QWERTY format based upon similar sounds of certain English and Cyrillic letters. This layout is best for native English speakers.
If you speak Russian but have an English keyboard, a standard layout allows you to type as you normally would with a Russian keyboard without having to install any additional language packs or software. The interface translates each keystroke on an English keyboard into the Cyrillic letter that occupies the same position on a Russian keyboard, which has a different layout than an English keyboard.
To change the input language of your English keyboard in Windows XP, go to Control Panel. Click Date, Time, Language and Regional Options. Click Regional and Language Options, Languages, then Details. Under Installed Languages, click Add, and then add Russian as the Input Language. The input language displays within the task bar. Change it to Russian. The keyboard layout is standard.
Instructions for changing the input language within other Windows operating systems are available at ConversationExchange.com.