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Writing special characters in Khoekhoegowab

Writing in Namibia’s indigenous languages can be difficult, since the keyboards we use in Namibia are not designed for typing the special characters used in our country’s languages.

That’s why I created tools to make these special characters more accessible: one for Khoekhoegowab (also known as Nama/Damara) and one for Otjiherero.

Download the Khoekhoegowab tool.

How to use the tool

The table below shows which shortcut keys to use to type the special characters used in Otjiherero and Khoekhoegowab.

Other Khoekhoegowab characters
Vowels with a macron accent (horizontal line)Press the ~ (shift, plus the key to the left of the number 1), then the vowel
Vowels with a circumflex accent (hat)*Press shift+6, then the vowel

* Note that the characters with a circumflex accent can be written this way without the tool.

Only two of the four clicks used in Khoekhoegowab are shown in the table, as the other two click characters (! and |) are easily accessible on a standard Namibian keyboard.

Help banner
If you can’t remember one of the shortcuts, hold down the Windows and press the letter i to temporarily display a banner showing the shortcut codes. The banner will disappear automatically after 20 seconds.


If these shortcuts interfere with anything else you do on your computer, you can temporarily pause the tool by pressing the Pause key on your keyboard.


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