CrackBerry Mailbag: In Bulgaria we can't type in our native language on BlackBerry 10

By Kevin Michaluk on 10 Apr 2014 10:39 am EDT

Today's CrackBerry Mailbag letter comes to us from a CrackBerry reader in Bulgaria, who reminds us that while BlackBerry 10 has come a long way over the past year, there is still some filling in left to do around the edges. Specifically in this case, we're talking about the languages available for typing.

Hi Kevin, I'm from Bulgaria and I currently use my BlackBerry Bold 9900 but if I want to get Q10 I'm not going to be able to write in my native language, because BB OS10 doesn't support Руский Траснлит. We have already have written to BlackBerry Help but they didn't give us any answer so I'm turning to you. With BlackBerry operating system versions 5, 6 and 7, when we click Russian Language we can make choice between Руский and Руский Транслит. In this case when I choose Руский Транслит, I can write in my native language — the alpha-bet letters are the right position on the keyboard. However, if I choose Руский, the letters have a completely different location. BlackBerry 10 currently only offers the Руский (Russian) option - it is the same alphabet but location of letters is very different.

Please could you mention that to BlackBerry Developers or somewhere to fix, so that even if we don't have the Bulgarian language we at least have the Руский Транслит layout for typing. This would be great. Currently this is the reason I'm not going to buy a BlackBerry 10 phone.

Overall, I think the general feelings of language support on BlackBerry 10 have overwhelmingly positive. I know a quite a few people who put the option to have three different languages running at once to full use daily. Hopefully bringing some attention to this request will get it put on BlackBerry's to do list!

Reader comments

CrackBerry Mailbag: In Bulgaria we can't type in our native language on BlackBerry 10


This was one of the first things I noticed when I first tried BB 10. I am originally from Bulgaria myself, and very often write in Bulgarian with my family.

While there are some work-arounds via websites, it definitely doesn't compare to the pre-BB 10 world as I'd completely agree with the mailbag poster.

BlackBerry has really been ticking me off lately, with basic features still missing with no work-around I could find such as how limited sound profiles have gotten (even worse-so since 10.2.1). No app I've tried (even Android ones) has been able to help with this. This is a huge thing to be missing on a smartphone these days, and there are a number of other "smaller" features I miss from "BBOS."

BlackBerry really needs to step its game up, as they're bleeding hard, and they're losing their biggest fanboys/fangirls by leaving very important features out.

Come on BlackBerry, are you listening?

Posted via CB10 on the amazing Q10

Completely agree with the sound profiles in 10.2.1! They suck! How is it worse on 10.2.1 than on 10.1?!? This applies especially to text...they should just continue to add on, not just replace. BlackBerry couldn't possibly have thought the new text notifications profile was better than previous. Just add to it!! Move forward, not back (wrt to this...among others). sigh.

Posted via CB10

How it's worse in comparison to 10.2 (I don't recall if 10.2 had it the same as 10.1), is that the silent profile no longer allows you to turn vibrate on.

So the limitations have just been increased, as I used to have my BB vibrate when I got calls while at work and be silent for any other type of notifications, but now I can't use the silent profile for that and am constantly missing calls :-( I don't want to use my vibrate profile, as I already use it in other environments.

Posted via CB10 on the amazing Q10

Yes, me too - today was about to order the Passport and at the last second I thought "what about Cyrillic?!?"-since my 5320 gave up for some reason and stopped the Russian Translit support... So what about the Passport? I'll keep searching on Internet for info...

Kevin is a good man. He listens to people and tries his best to resolve issues with in his reach.

Q10 \m/

Hopefully for you. Kevin is Canadien, so he is in position to understand multilingual realty). So it's first recommendation will not be...switch to English-speaking.

Posted via CB10

really is sad to hear..
no complaints from me though, the arabic keyboard on BB10 is the best I've ever used!

I think the double typing issue is a bigger problem....and there wasnt any one frontpage entry about that!

Posted via BlackBerry Q10Bold

The same goes for the Persian language, for which there is no support in BB10. This is while there are around 200 million Persian speaking people around the world. In the meantime BlackBerry could as a temporary fix add the four missing letters to the Arabic keyboard: گ ژ چ پ

U cn use the Pakistani keyboard, we have those letters and all the Arabic ones, our language is called Urdu if ur actually gonna try it out :P

Posted via CB10

Just noticed...they had it in older bb's... didn't bother checking as I thought it was a no brainer for them not to just bring it

Posted via CB10

I also have the Problem with bb10 that I cannot use Bluetooth Keyboards with Qwertz Layout. my iOs device supports this layout without a problem.

It's a problem for me as I want to connect my BlackBerry to the big screen and work with remote desktop.

posted with a sexy Z10

In my country it is essential to have 3 languages, and one is still missing!

In fact too many languages (keyboard layouts) are missing! All Baltic states for example: Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian.

Posted via CB10

I'm banging the drum for Bulgarian in BB10 for more than an year now and no effect of any kind. And this is so easy to fix - just make the keyboard pluggable - if we can't have completion, at least allow us to write or to create the layout ourselves.

An example - I had Bulgarian phonetic package ready for Jolla even before the phone was in my hands.

Somehow I feel for you at this moment.

Also, it's interesting to see a Hungarian writing in English but with a french avatar name :)


cite: "Overall, I think the general feelings of language support on BlackBerry 10 have overwhelmingly positive. I know a quite a few people who put the option to have three different languages running at once to full use daily."
Mixing different issues in one pot.
Non-latin alphabet users (Greek, Bulgarian, Russian, etc) are NOT talking that BB10 is laking the language support, but about an inability to transliterate latin letters into non-latin as it was present all way 10 years ago in BOS 5,6,7.
Again, it's not an issue for the "all-touch" Z10 and Z30, there you can have whatever keyboard layout and use whatever alphabet.
It's an issue of the gadgets with the physical keyboard (Q5 and Q10). Language support is indeed implemented into OS, but keyboard fails because simple transliteration app is missing (which was again present in the past in BOS 5,6,7). And since the BB does not allow developers to dig into its "wonderful-all-patented" keyboard API, the tiny app can not be developed by third party.

As a simple example, when non-latin alphabet users push the respective keys on Q5-Q10 physical keyboard and type K-E-V-I-N M-I-C-H-A-L-U-K, they want to see К-Е-В-И-Н М-И-Ч-А-Л-У-К on their screens in whatever app they are typing (mail, sms, BBM, etc.)

Sadly, this is an issue on all touch BlackBerry 10 phones... should be such an easy fix too

Posted via CB10

I do not know what do you mean precisely.
I'm using a Cyrillic keyboard on my Z30 to communicate with some colleagues.
Cyrillic layout is present and language support is available...

Bulgarian and russian have a VERY different layout, and a few letters are different. Cyrillic is the alphabet, bulgarian is the layout. Actually, there are two bulgarian layouts, one is BDS, which nobody uses anymore and was used on typewriters. Phonetic is just replacing the latin letters with their equivalent-sounding Cyrillic letters, and changing a few that don't have direct correspondence. For example, q becomes я, j becomes й and so on... This has been supported on windows and linux for decades, even iOS has it. Not BB10 though. How hard can it be to just take the filed from linux? Nobody is even asking about spell-check or predictive writing, just the f****g layout.

I'm Bulgarian also and experience the same exact issue already for an year with my Z10. It would be the best thing to have a Bulgarian phonetic keyboard on BB10! Actually shouldn't it be a must?!?!?!? I really dream for the moment when we will have it... or maybe will never happen... BlackBerry, pls reply to us!

The magnificent BlackBerry  Z10 ‎

Do not make such ridiculous claims please. I do use it. It is actually a scientifically developed and highly efficient layout. Typing in it is natural and lightning-fast. All pros would use it instead of picking with one finger on the phonetic layout.
Yeah... and I don't need the predictive writing, I just wish they give us the layout and language support. Even the unreleased Tizen platform by Samsung has much better language support incl. Bulgarian. BB10 supports so many lesser features but fails to support keyboard layouts for many languages and it's not even possible to add custom ones. That's a huge miss.

who cares how scientific and efficient it is, when nobody knows where the letters on it are? Pro typists probably use it, yes. And if somebody knows how to type with 10 fingers, they can type in bulgarian with 10 fingers on a qwerty layout without thinking twice. I know, because I do it all the time.

Exactly. Lack of transliteration (dropped somewhere in transition to BB10) has been addressed many times. But no feedback given ever.

Actually, in my case, we use Latin alphabet, but in addition to that we have additional letters:


the thing is - we cannot type those letters!!! they are not existing in BB. BBos and BB10.

and those letters are so common in use...

Of course!

When I say that there is no Lithuanian layout, I mean that there is no such layout.

You can hold it as long as you like, those letters do not appear!

You can have two letters from my post if you use polish language layout, two - if you use Czech.

But all other letters are not here!

Posted via CB10

a layout is an ordering of letters on the keyboard. There are german and english layouts on BB10, main difference being that y and z are swapped, and äöü are added. If you are on the english layout and press and hold a, then ä is one of the letters that appear, no matter if you have german as a second layout or not. The c and Z also appear, even if you have not selected polish or Czech layout.

dude, for real - you do not know what you are talking about.

give me ALL those letters:

Ąą, Čč, Ęę, Ėė, Įį, Šš, Ųų, Ūū, Žž

I am not talking about simple dictionary for spelling.. just give me those letters.

Which of those things I said exactly is not true? I am not saying those letters are there, nor can I GIVE you the missing letters, DUDE. Neither am I talking about a simple dictionary for spelling, where did you get the idea I was?

I noticed 10.3 has added a few more input methods for traditional Chinese.

So it worths checking if the leaked 10.3 has the necessary support already?

I'm thinking to start a separate thread on this - I'm willing to pay a developer (also a BlackBerry in-house one) to create the tiny file needed for Bulgarian language support! Please BlackBerry just give me a price quote please!

No offence meant but my Q1O supports some languages with smaller respective populations :)

I travel often to the Baltic states, mostly Estonia - shocked to see there's no Estonian language support on BB10! Estonia is such a hi tech country...

It's disrespectful of BlackBerry to say the least. And I won't take the response, they are busy to make the company survive - it's a couple of tiny and I imagine readily available files!

Posted via CB10

Count me in:

1. German
2. English
3. French

A fourth language added is aces for me =)

If I could add Italian it would be the best phone, not only now, but forever...

And there's then the unofficial (5th) language my Z10 learned pretty fast: Swiss German dialect... =)

The best of all: all languages together work like a charm =) after the 3rd word that thing knows what language I'm writing in and only suggests words in that language, not an easy task as I often switch languages witin the sentence... Have the Z10 since more than a year and I don't stop wondering how well this works...!

This is in my view the best USP BlackBerry touch screen devices have, would be a shame if they only bring qwerty phones...

Ferrari ZetaDieci

Big Thanks to Kevin for putting this on the front page!
Hopefully BlackBerry team will hear us!

Posted via CB10

In Iran we don't have a native keyboard and BlackBerry maps on our devices. There are lots of BlackBerry fans and users here! There are also tons of immigrant Iranians in other countries who need to text their relatives and friends in Persian language. Please provide us a keyboard. It is very much similar to Arabic keyboard installed on BlackBerry 10.

Posted via CB10

I support you all on these petitions to make your languages implemented.

I have my z10 managing Spanish, English and Basque languages all of them together and with no problem. Thank you Blackberry for having basque into account: we are only one million basque speakers all over the world, most of them in the Basque Country (a small country both sides of the western Pyrenees) and I feel lucky and gratefull, but also concerned when I see there are more widely spoken languages which aren't supported. My biggest support for them, and my request to Blackberry to make the more they can to add them too to this extraordinary OS as it is BB10.

Posted via CB10

It is not a problem of a language support, as many have pointed out in this thread.

With touch-screen devices, you see keyboard on your screen. With physical keyboard devices, like Q10, we need to either have alternate alphabet letter printed on the keys somehow - or have a keyboard layout that is easy to type in with only Latin letters on keyboard (transliterated layout).

The alternative is touch-typing. Not many people are proficient in touch-typing...

Posted via CB10

No, not always.

actually, you do not see those letters, even they are latin.

it's funny, how 1 million population like Basks, have their language and 3 mil Lithuanians - do not...

I can't type in my native language which is Farsi either. It is the same as Arabic with couple of extra letters

Swiss keyboard is wrong too qwerty instead of qwertz... it's not too bad but still... they could have looked it up ^^
Hope these language issues get resolved in an update

Posted via CB10

Thats why i like the touch keyboard i can type in any language but the classic keyboard wont allow me to type in arabic

Posted via CB10

We are hoping just for Bulgarian letters, I can't even dream for prediction support) )

Posted via CB10

Well! Let's sign up a petition. Blackberry 10 MUST support all different languages. All in favor, raise your hand, please..

" Initiated from my QNX10 "

This is embarrassing. I lobbied for Bulgarian input language on several levels, several different managers for more over a year now. It's still at standstill for no obvious technical reason whatsoever.

Posted via CB10

Native Serbian Cyrillic script is not supported as well. BTW, no problems on either Android or iOS.

Another thing I'm missing so much is voice dialing support. We can't use voice dialing while driving for example since we cannot pronounce our names in English.

Not to mention that maps don't work as well. Still, I own two BlackBerry 10 devices... What can I say? :D

Posted via CB10

+ 1 for the language revision!
Although for me it is not as tough as for the person missing the input for Bulgarian cirilic, I type in English, German and Polish, and I miss Russian input...

Posted via CB10

Much more similar - they have the same roots. The problem is only the keyboard layout. Actually there is Russian phonetic keyboard that is similar to ours, but it is also missing - only ИЦУКЕН is available.

dude, English and German - both are germanic languages.
and for me, it sounds, in some cases - similar.

I fluently speak and understand Russian, and can curse in Bulgarian. And believe me, when I hear bulgarian at first - it was more or less the same as german to english :)

i.e. "pogliadni me v ochite i kazhi che me obychesh" or someting - it is in bulgarian
Pogliadi mne v grala i skazhi shto menia liubesh - it is in Russian.

some resemblance, but not the close :)

Both are Slavic languages.

Russian uses the Bulgarian alphabet (cyrillic) with a few extra letters (Cyril was a clever Bulgarian monk that put this alphabet together in the 9th century and didn't seem to bother telling BlackBerry about it) :)

Apart from Bulgaria and Russia, cyrillic is the national alphabet of about a dozen countries with population of ~250 million.

Posted via CB10

Moreover, I would like to state that the input languages limited to 3 is a bit embarassing... People like me (and the fellow from Bulgaria and Persia) suffer this as 'multilanguage speaker'... I'm currently using english, portuguese, spanish, german and japanese and the Word correction just go nuts!

Posted via CB10

Typically support is tied with UI localization, so it's typically slow. and then you'll have to test that the new keyboard doesn't introduce bugs, Eg device lock still enforces an English keyboard, language switch has no problems.

Give it time. There's probably a diverse group of devs in blackberry that are aware of the issue.

Customers would give more time if BB is not so arrogant and lives in denial.
In the run of the last year, there were at least 3 support tickets opened by CB members about this issue (look at the forum threads), unfortunately all of them either are closed or unaccessible via links provided.
For hardly floating company the transparency is outmost important.
So there is no place for guessing like "probably someone is working on this issue".
To keep the customers calm and happy: acknowledge the problem, publish the roadmap how the issue will be resolved, publish the timely updates, that's the way how a modern company works.
And I'm sure if BB would done it, there would not be that kind posts on the CB blog.

funnily enough, that if you choose locale to Lithuanian, even you are unable to type in Lithuanian, date in example, is displayed in perfect Lithuanian.

that's nuts.

The same is with many easter european languages, including Lithuanian, Latvian, etc.

It is not bulgaria only...

And all other systems (windows, android, ios) have absolutely no issues with it. BlackBerry only

Posted via CB10

Finally!! I also asked BlackBerry about this. I need Russian Translit so bad. It was one of the reasons I got the Q10 as I just assumed it would be loaded as with the previous phones. Please sort it out devs!

In general, we ask only for the ability to use keyboard and keys. Predicting is a sweet dream...

Posted via CB10

Couldn't agree more!

BlackBerry should get their act together and solve missing input languages issue. Either by adding them in OS or by app which allows users to modify layout.

And as said above, IOS, android and Windows has no issues with that since early versions!!!

Really pathetic from customers point of view

Posted via CB10

Let me through my hat in there too..
I need Tamil keyboard on BB10 OS.

Currently I use a website to type in Tamil and copy paste in my messages. So please bring in Tamil keyboard.

Posted via CB10

I use the Croatian language and when I type, people think that it's someone else. No one can believe that my written Croatian improved by so much.

I'm from Bulgaria and I've had a Z10 for one year know (that's as soon as it hit the stores here). Truth be told we don't even need Bulgarian layout. We use Cyrillic. With my old Bold I used the phonetic Russian - it's 95% the same as phonetic Bulgarian. Now I realize Bulgaria is not exactly a major market segment for BB. However, phonetic Russian never came to existence in BB10 either, it's the first thing I look for with each update released. The real irony is that I get all the BB10 updates as soon as they are released, probably much faster than most other countries...

I'm Bulgarian too :) Yes, you can use the Russian keyboard but if you turn off corrections, predictions. And I use few other languages daily where spell check helps... So I must have it turned off completely or constantly deal with suggestions for Russian words when typing in Bulgarian - annoying... Still don't know if the Passport supports any Cyrillic (my 5320 stopped showing the Russian Translit out of nowhere...)...

Kevin, please ask them to add Armenian language support as well!

I too have been in touch with BlackBerry but no one has gotten back to me.

Any help is greatly appreciated. THANK YOU!!

You are an idiot.

Why should people write in English when their language is completely different?

Posted via CB10

Hello. Must admit, that bb, shame on you, still no lithuanian, latvian, estonian languages. Would you guys buy phone, which doesn't support your language? That is the situation we live in eastern europe. That's why bb is not popular.

Posted via CB10

They do add languages, just not with a lot of fanfare. I hope a third language option is added to the keyboard as well as more languages.

Tim Smith from my Z10 on Rogers

Have been waiting years for Bulgarian language to come across. The thing is that implementing the language is not a complicated task as explaining your wife the red lipstick on your neck...
The reason for not dumping my Nexus 5 and sticking to my Z30 is the fact that I am unable to write in Bulgarian.
When I asked Alec Saunders a year ago, he advised me to go over the dev forums and see for an advice, but I never actually done that...

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

Yeahp definitely waiting for Ukrainian support here.
Considering the current situation over there you would think a Canadian business would give localisation support, after all that the government is doing to send a msg to Russia.

Posted via CB10

the saddest situation is, that i.e. half of the letters required for Lithuanian keyboard, at the moment, can be found in Czech and Polish keyboard layouts.

there's no miracles - just implement the EASIEST update ever.

And though Russian language is supported you cannot use any android app. Android apps show Russian letters as ÷±][}

So sad... so sad...

I'm Bulgarian and I already use English and Italian on my phone and that works for about 50% of the communication I make with people... probably even less...

We know that BlackBerry is so obsessed with English and the language is important, but it's impossible to neglect in this way so many other languages and cultures! If BlackBerry wanna grow - the have to start listening to customers and answer their needs! At the end that's what a phone is made for! We can't communicate in other languages with local people as some strangers here suggest ("learn some English "). Teach my mum, who has 60 years to speak it first and then suggest me to write her in English! So obscene!

BlackBerry has to understand that in order to grow they have to focus not only on priority markets and never look forward to satisfy other nations' needs! That is not how big companies grow! That is how a big name looses loyal customers like me (a loyal fan since 2009)! And never gains a new portion of the market... sad sad sad...

I'm absolutely sure that is a simple job to do and once there's some interes in doing it, will come out quite easily!
And why you people say that you don't either pretend to have the prediction available?!?!!?! It must be there! It's absolutely mandatory! How come we can't have a device properly working, compared to other people just because they speak the "RIGHT LANGUAGE "?!?!??!? It can't be!

Saint Kevin, I trust in you so much! Please, help this silly company we are all so badly in love with, to do the right thing and stop loosing loyal customers!!!! With all my respect to everyone!

The magnificent BlackBerry  Z10 ‎

I've been waiting for Bulgarian keyboard layout for more than a year. I ended up changing the blackberry keyboard with the google keyboard so I can at least write in my native language in the android apps. Since it's just a keyboard layout that has to be added I don't know why Blackberry is taking so long.

Please ask blackberry to put Russian Translit in Q10, it is extremely important in russian speaking countries, like Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania. There are so many people trying to write with Q10 on russian, but it is impossible. OS 7 has very good solution russian transit, why they can't make the same on OS 10??????

Posted via CB10

Offer your support to help BlackBerry develop it. If they think the market there will support it they might pursue.

Posted via CB10

_Overall, I think the general feelings of language support on BlackBerry 10 have overwhelmingly positive._

Wow, some grammar.

As long as your language is in the list, the support is fine. Otherwise, you cannot even reply to email, so BB10 is a no-go. And trust me, the list of unsupported languages is quite long.

Reading some of these posts, it's amazing how much BlackBerry 10 needs to catch up. I'm astounded there's no Farsi language support, for example, on a system that's been out for well over a year - incredible. How many thousands of BlackBerry users in somewhere like London could you lose by not having that?

My bug bear is the inability to default the $ symbol to our default currency, the £. I know there's a work around under word replacement, but it's not the same thing.
It's these little niggles...

Great job, Crackberry, by the way!

Posted via CB10

Wow, we need the "flying type "of Chinese back. it just in 10.2.1321 ROM, but it doesn't come back on any 10.2.1os right now

BlackBerry Z10

It is a big minus that bb10 does not have russian translit key board layout. It is so inconvenient. I had to send my q10 to Russia to get a keyboard changed to russuan-english ( I live in UAE). Also russian dictionary is very poor compare to os 7 it makes typing on russian horrible. Please crackberry, make them correct this!!! Thanks in advance!

Posted via CB10

Phonetic Cyrillic is available on BlackBerry classic. I checked it at Luton airport. It is Russian translit. Hope it will come to q10 with the 10.3 update.

I wish Blackberry would allow me to add a FOURTH text input language (e.g. German, English, Portuguese, Spanish).
If you are native German, live aborad in a non-English speaking country, that means, you obviously communicate in German and English a lot, but also use the local language (Portuguese). In addition you might have many Spanish/South American friends that you frequently chat with.

Probably there are lot more people out there that even use more language on a regular basis. So I would be appreciated not being limited to only three.