Localise custom ROMs for different Xperia pro and Xperia mini pro keyboards

If you’re an advanced Android™ developer in search of keyboard mapping information in order to make a custom ROM for your Xperia™ pro or Xperia™ mini pro, look no further. In this post, we‘ve listed the keyboard variants for our most recent Xperia™ devices that have keyboards, which will help you create customised ROMs that can handle keyboards with country-specific characters, such as the cedilla in Portugal or stroke keys for Hanzi characters in China. Read more after the jump.

To localise custom ROMs for our most recent Xperia devices that have keyboards – Xperia™ pro or Xperia™ mini pro – you’ll need to ensure that the ROMs properly handle the physical keyboard corresponding to the country you wish to develop for. Below, you’ll find a list of keyboard mappings, by country, for the Xperia™ pro and Xperia™ mini pro. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this post, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


Arabic keyboard

Arabic keyboard layout.

The Arabic keyboard layout is the keyboard layout used for the Arabic languages. The keyboard contains both Arabic and Latin characters, since Latin characters are necessary for URLs and email addresses. 


AZERTY keyboard

AZERTY keyboard layout.

The AZERTY layout takes its name from the first six letters to appear on the first row of alphabetical keys. It is modelled on the English QWERTY layout, and is used most by French speakers based in Europe.

Bopomofo (Zhuyin)

Bopomofo keyboard

Bopomofo keyboard layout.

The Bopomofo keyboard layout is often abbreviated as zhuyin and colloquially called bopomofo. The system consists of 37 characters and four tone marks, and makes it possible to transcribe all possible sounds in Mandarin.


Cyrillic keyboard

Cyrillic keyboard layout.

The Cyrillic keyboard layout is the most common keyboard layout in modern Russia. Keyboards in Russia have Cyrillic letters and numbers on the keytops, as well as Latin characters.


Danish keyboard

Danish/Norwegian keyboard layout.

The Danish/Norwegian keyboard layout includes dedicated keys for the letters Å/å, Æ/æ and Ø/ø.


Greek keyboard

Greek keyboard layout.

The Greek keyboard layout follows the U.S. layout for letters related to Latin letters (ABDEHIKLMNOPRSTXYZ), substitutes visually or phonetically similar letters (Φ at F; Γ at G) and uses the remaining slots for the remaining Greek letters: Ξ at J; Ψ at C; Ω at V; Θ at U).


Hebrew keyboard

Hebrew keyboard layout.

The Hebrew keyboard layout has both Hebrew and Latin letters. Since Hebrew is read and written right to left, as opposed to the left to right system in English, the cursor keys and delete keys work backwards when in left-to-right directionality mode.


Korean keyboard

Korean keyboard layout.

Korean is typed similarly to Western languages. Therefore, its layout (Dubeolsik) shares its symbol layout with the QWERTY keyboard. While Korean consonants and vowels (jamo) are grouped together into syllabic grids when written, the script is essentially alphabetical, and therefore typing in Korean is quite simple for those who understand the Korean alphabet Hangul. 

Latin (Xperia™ mini pro only)

Latin keyboard

Latin keyboard layout.

The Latin keyboard layout is the parent layout for QWERTY, QWERTZ and AZERTY. 


Catalan keyboard

Portuguese/Catalan keyboard layout.

The Portuguese/Catalan keyboard layout follows the QWERTY layout with the addition of the letter Ç, the only application of the cedilla in Portuguese, and which has its own key.


QWERTZ keyboard

QWERTZ keyboard layout.

The QWERTZ keyboard layout is mostly used in Germany and much of Central Europe. The name comes from the first six letters at the top left of the keyboard.


Stroke keyboard

Stroke keyboard layout.

The Stroke keyboard layout refers to strokes needed to form Chinese Hanzi characters currently in use in China, Japan and Korea. The method is widely installed in mobile phones with small screens because the method only requires five key taps for the 5,000 commonly used Chinese characters. It is also considered too tedious requiring a user to type out all the strokes constituting a single Chinese character.


Swedish keyboard

Swedish/Finnish keyboard layout.

The central characteristics of the Swedish/Finish keyboard layout include the letters Å/å, Ä/ä, and Ö/ö.


Thai keyboard

Thai keyboard layout.

The Thai keyboard layout allows you to write Thai script. The less frequently used characters are accessed by the Shift key.

More information

Comments 16

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  1. By Susanne B


    Hi, I recently bought an xperia pro from germany and I would like to change it to a swedish keyboard. I have upgrade to ICS 4.0.4. I have also rooted it to be able to install a keyboard layout zip-file, which I got at the xda-developers thread. But the zip file only made the keyboard even worse, and it didn’t give me any swedish characters.

    I have found instructions to simply change in the keyprint.xml file. Change “qwerty-en” to “qwerty-se-fi”, but the phone will not allow me to save these changes. How can I get permission to change the keyprint.xml file, and will it really help?

    Please help!

    • By Jörn Antonischki


      Hi Susanne!
      I am planning to buy a german Xperia pro myself (as no other versions seem to be available any more), and wish to change to a swedish keyboard layout.
      Thus I am highly interested in whether you managed solving that trick, and how you did.
      I am actually no advanced data-hacker at all, so a simple step-by-step guidance would be extremely appreciated.
      BR Jörn / Karlskrona

    • By Daniel Svensson


      Hi Susanne,

      In your case, I would try to do what I recommended that Athar Kamal should try to do (the post below). Since you have a German (QWERTZ) layout, if you just changed the whole layout to the Swedish version some of the punctuation would be wrong. For example, compare the positions of ! and ? on the QWERTZ keyboard and the Swedish/Finnish keyboard above. If you look at the files in /system/usr/keyboard-config/layouts/ and try to edit the letters (not necessarily the punctuation) of the German file (I guess it’s called qwertz.xml or something like that – I don’t have access to an Xperia Pro anymore) then you should be able to mimic a Swedish keyboard. I don’t know why you wouldn’t be allowed to save the files if the phone is rooted though… Hopefully you will have better luck with these files. If not, let me know and I’ll try to get hold of an Xperia Pro to try it myself.

      Kind regards,
      Daniel, Sony Mobile.

      • By Henrique Menezes do Carmo


        For years my keyboard had changed the symbols and I could never change that. My key “,!” instead displayed “&@” and so on with all the symbol keys. But with his instructions found out a lot about this problem.

        I opened file by file in the folder “layouts” and identified that the file that ran the keyboard was the “qwerty-en.xml”, however, with the help of this webpage, I found that my keyboard is Denmark/Norway . I just delete the file “qwerty-en.xml” and renamed the file “qwerty-cn-hk.xml” (strangely this was the file that matched my keyboard mapping) as “qwerty-en.xml”.

        At first nothing changed and I was confused, but when restarted the smartphone, everything was perfect as it should be since I bought my Xperia Mini Pro!

        I searched the entire internet and its was the only tutorial that worked for me! Thank you so much Daniel Svensson!!!

        P.S.: Obviously, I had to get root access on my phone to be able to manipulate these files .

  2. By Athar Kamal


    Hey i installed a custom rom and kernel… i have a mk16i pro with arabic keyboard layout.. the problem is that when typing through it , it types arabic instead of English… is there anyway to revert to English

    • By Daniel Svensson


      Hi Athar,
      If the “normal” way of changing languages (the “globe key”) doesn’t work with your rom then I suggest you try to modify the xml files that map characters to the keys. Take a look at the files in /system/usr/keyboard-config/layouts/ and experiment with the file called arabic.xml in your case. Try replacing the Arabic characters in that file with Latin letters. You could even try replacing the entire contents of the file with the contents of the qwerty-en.xml file which is the default “English” layout. In this case, please note though that some of the characters may be placed on different keys on the English layout compared with the Arabic layout that you have. For example compare the positions of the “(“ and “)” characters between the two keyboards on the pictures in this thread. So if you do this, you may have to tweak some of the characters to get it right.

      Also, please make sure to make backups of the original files before trying to modify anything!

      Good luck!
      Kind regards,
      Daniel, Sony Mobile.

  3. By 이동규


    Why South Korea, China and Japan use a separate keyboard?
    Why Does not belong to the global keyboard?
    Xperia some of the features of the keyboard is a pity because you can use.
    For example, the limitations of the physical QWERTY keyboard

    • By Daniel Svensson


      Thank you for your question. I guess you are talking about the soft, on-screen input methods. The main reason for having different input methods is that we want to provide the best text input engines possible. As you know, Korean, Japanese and Chinese are very different from the other languages when it comes to text input so other text input engines are better for these languages. That’s why we have made the decision to have different input methods. We are however constantly evaluating our keyboards and their engines so in the future we could be in a position to merge some or all of these keyboards into one.

      Thank you and kind regards,
      Daniel, Sony Mobile.

  4. By mohammad eid


    Hello Every one
    I wanna Ask How can I purchase an Arabic keyboard layout and what does it coast

  5. By Aditya Kothari


    I use ICS Pureness build 13
    only the ‘sym’ and the web key don’t function!
    would this help? if yes which layout?

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  7. By Anonymous


    hy…umm..i have xperia pro mk16i..and i jus had cm7.2…as u might know,,,the keyboard problem…m facing the same problem….and thnx 2 bin4ry for making aa apk named `xperia keyboaard“ which helped me to get the numbers and alphabets properly…but..stil i got problem with SYMBOLS (@ – _) …which country should i choose for having a perfect keyboard like before :D:D:D

    • By Joe Padre


      The best solution would be to go to http://forum.cyanogenmod.com/ and ask bin4ry to fix the keyboard symbols issue.
      Thanks and best regards,
      Joe from Developer World

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