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- Registered: 04-Dec-2018
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I started learning Colemak in December 2018 after a strong mastery of both Qwerty and Dvorak.
You may refer to my first post to learn about my background and motivation: https://forum.colemak.com/topic/2482-fr … o-colemak/
So, a considerable amount of time has passed and I've pretty much tapped out my full potential on Colemak. As I explained in my first post, my main motivation to learn Colemak was to advance further in my typing speed after having attained my full Dvorak potential. What's more, I just enjoy the learning process, I am curious and typing for the sake of typing is my passion.
My experience is personal and I cannot speak for everybody and I don't think there is this one perfect layout for every person, so I strictly refuse bashing different keyboard layouts. Ergonomic typing, typing speed and accuracy is a result of your specific technique and the layout. Even Qwerty can be the ideal keyboard if you have the the right way of typing for this layout, which is surely not the homerow method taught at school or in any courses. Sean Wrona, best known speedtypists, seems to be perfectly adapted to Qwerty, circumventing all shortcomings of Qwerty that apply to me.
Colemak fell short of expectation as I was not able to equal or even surpass my Dvorak speed. In terms of typing speed, Colemak for me is about 20 wpm slower than Dvorak, but still beats Qwerty by 5 wpm. On Typeracer, for example, my average speed speed with Colemak was 113-117, whereas with Dvorak I could achieve an average of 133-140 on a good day. I cannot pinpoint the exact reasons why dvorak wins by such a margin. It seems to be that Dvorak allows me to type more accurately at high speeds. On Colemak, I seem to make tons of mistakes as soon as I try to type at my maximum speed. Additionally, I was younger back in 2012 when I started learning Dvorak. I can just speculate whether that played a role. As to the ergonomic factor, I think Colemak did indeed feel comfortable, especially on my laptop. I think Colemak can match Dvorak in that area.
I switched back to Dvorak after totally not using it for a year and my old abilities came back in a couple of days. That proves to me again that learning a new layout does not eradicate existing layout skills, provided you mastered it properly before switching. While I don't think there is a guarantee that a new layout will endow you with a much higher speed, I am strong proponent of learning and trying new things and a proponent of not putting to much credit in alternative-layout-naysayers. The fact that two alternative layouts that I've learnt were more superior than Qwerty might hint to a considerable chance of gaining more speed. I don't believe that the speed gain on both layouts was just coincidence.
At the moment, I am even learning a fourth layout, namely the NEO 2 keyboard layout, which is optimized for the German language. Its layout is closer to Dvorak's, so I am really interested to see how it will perform.
My learning method is as follows: I open a window where the layout is shown and another window next to it with a typing site. I don't go about it by using sticky keys, since I think that looking at the keyboard should be avoided from the get-go. Having the keys shown on the screen is more effective in my experience. I don't start with advancing from row to row but use all keys from the beginning by trying to type random words that can contain any letter. I am no strict homerow typist, so I avoid starting to learn the homerow first which is the way to do in many touch typing applications. However, I think that its helpful to begin with more frequently used and shorter words when you begin learning a new keyboard. There is not much more to it in my case. I am a very ardent typing enthusiast who can enjoy the process, so the initial slowness is no burden for me,