Why do French use azerty?

Why do French use azerty?

The AZERTY keyboard is the standard keyboard layout used in France, Belgium, and other French-speaking countries.

While it may look similar to the QWERTY keyboard used in many other countries, there are several key differences that make it unique.

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why the French use the AZERTY keyboard and how it became the standard layout for French-speaking countries.

1. Historical tradition

The AZERTY keyboard layout dates back to the early 20th century, when typewriters were first introduced in France.

At the time, the QWERTY layout used in the United States was not yet widely known, and French keyboard manufacturers developed their own layout that was optimized for the French language.

2. Linguistic optimization

The AZERTY keyboard layout is optimized for the French language, with keys arranged to make it easier to type French-specific characters such as accents and special characters.

This is a key reason why the French have continued to use the AZERTY layout, as it makes typing in French more efficient and intuitive.

3. Cultural identity

The use of the AZERTY keyboard is also tied to the cultural identity of French-speaking countries.

While the QWERTY keyboard has become the de facto standard in many countries, the French have chosen to maintain their own unique keyboard layout as a way of preserving their cultural identity.

4. Regulatory standards

The AZERTY keyboard has been standardized by the French government, with regulations in place to ensure that all keyboards sold in France meet certain requirements.

This has helped to ensure that the AZERTY layout remains the standard for French-speaking countries.

5. Resistance to change

Finally, the continued use of the AZERTY keyboard can also be attributed to resistance to change.

While some French users may recognize the advantages of the QWERTY layout, many are accustomed to the AZERTY layout and are reluctant to switch to a different layout.


In conclusion, the use of the AZERTY keyboard in French-speaking countries can be attributed to a combination of historical tradition, linguistic optimization, cultural identity, regulatory standards, and resistance to change.

While it may differ from the QWERTY layout used in many other countries, the AZERTY keyboard remains an important part of French culture and language.

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