How fast can you type?

Hello everybody, I sometimes wonder why on forums most users would only read messages but never write anything themselves. I think one of the reasons for this might be because typing takes more time than speaking. Maybe we can talk about this here? Did you learn to type? How many words can you type per minute? As for me, we had a typing course at university and I’m very glad we had because I have to type a lot.
Let’s see how many readers will become writers now :).


I took a typing course in high school, before people had home computers. My mother made me take the course, because she thought that typing was a necessary skill. All the kids in our family, whether they were boys or girls, had to learn to type, swim, cook, do laundry, iron, maintain cars and do simple repairs on them. This meant that no one was helpless at our house, and the women were not waiting on the men or vice versa. (It also meant that we kids had no patience for boyfriends or girlfriends who were helpless.)

After I had learned, I almost never typed until I had finished art school and was working in an office. There I had to reteach it to myself, but it didn’t take long. Then I had to learn to type again when I started using computers. I don’t know how many words I type per minute, but it’s very fast, and it feels as if the words are going right from my head to the keyboard. I don’t have to think about it.

It’s not only a problem for some people to type, but it’s a BIG problem for many people to type in a different language. Part of typing well is for you to have certain letter sequences in “muscle memory”, so that they are automatic. Changing from language to language means that you have to deal with completely different letter sequences, and that slows you down. There are foreign languages I can write very fluently by hand, but that I am VERY slow at typing, so I avoid doing it.

Then there’s the problem of different keyboard layouts. If I type in Russian, I have to use a special phonetic keyboard driver that’s laid out similarly to the American keyboard. I don’t think Windows has this driver, so I have to type Russian on a Macintosh. I have a friend from Iraq who did not learn to type until she was an adult and living in the US. She learned to type in English. I set up her computer so that she could use it to type in Arabic, but she doesn’t do it. The first reason is that she says she has bad feelings about the Arabic language, doesn’t like to use it, and doesn’t like to be around Arabs. The main reason, though, is that in Windows there is no phonetic Arabic keyboard that’s laid out similarly to the US keyboard. This means she would have to learn to type all over again. If she used a Macintosh, she wouldn’t have this problem, but unfortunately, I chose Windows for her.

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Andreana, I’ve also often wondered why people seem so reluctant to write in these forums. Maybe not being allowed to do so in other languages is discouraging for many of them. What I do think, though, is that, since they are told that this is not a chatroom, they fear that what they have to say might not be considered appropriate or too chit-chatty for this site (I have often felt this way myself and thought: ‘Well, I’ll just go ahead and see what happens’).

As for the matter of typing, I learned by myself in my early teens on a portable manual Olivetti typewriter, with a book someone lent me. It was fun and I got quite good at it. Later, subjects at the business school I attended (Business School of Lausanne) included typewriting and shorthand, which, together with the languages, have really been useful in my life. I’m not sure if they still teach shorthand, but it is a very helpful tool and I use it regularly.

Jamie’s story reminded me of a past experience as an export manager (I didn’t like it half as much as teaching: the money was ‘big’, but it didn’t compensate for the stress). In that job I had a special typewriter for Arabic, which I could only use slowly and haltingly and which was one of the many challenges I faced there.

Maybe this gibberish of mine will prompt some folks to give it a try – either that or put them off altogether! Well, what did you expect at this ungodly hour?

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Hi! :smiley:

This topic rings a bell to me. As you know, typing has always been one of the things that interests me. When I was still in grade school, I saw a woman in one of the shows in t.v. type very fast without looking at the keyboard. From that moment, I told myself that time will come, I will be like her. So in my college days, typing is of course, one of the courses. There, I exceled in the course for two reasons: first, my teacher was very strict, she would hit our hands with the stick if we use the wrong fingers in typing the keys and second, I practised typing all by myself using the old typewriter that my cousin had. I pretended that I was the woman I wanted to be, feeling expert, hah :?

Right now, I am very happy that I can brag that I can type at least 90 wpm :smiley: This skill is very helpful, it wasn’t hard for me to find different kinds of jobs because of my being an expert in typing. It helped me when I was in the office, when I was a teacher, the more it helped me with the paperworks and right now that I am working online, it really saves me time to be able to type fast.

So now, I don’t only think in English, speak in English, read in English, write in English, but also, type in English!

Regards :smiley:

Hello Avant, it’s nice to have you with us. I haven’t read all your posts yet, but can see that you are happy here.

Now, what other things can we do in English (there are still quite a few more)? See what you all come up with :slight_smile: .

I think my speed of typing is fine but that’s so since I finnally came to use Turbo Type ( and my typing got way faster and allowed me to forget about typos :). While some people make these kinds of programs I think the best we can do is to use them :slight_smile:

Hope it will do some good to you!

On a regular computer (with keyboard), I type at a rate of about 40 words per minute. On this iPhone, it’s more like five WPM. hehe

I type at the speed of 80-90 wpm in both English and my mother tongue.

Hi Andreana,

I can think of another reason why they don’t write anything themselves. That is, sometimes some of the existing topics sound so sophisticated that I can’t understand what to do with the thread/existing topics while they have no idea to start a new topic themselves.

Yes, I did learn to type. I remember it was 2003 that I began my first typing lesson which lasted 3 months. I think I can type 50 to 60 words per minute in English and I even type more slowly in my language. What a shame! Thanks, Andreana, for initiating an action to start typing…hee.hee :smiley:

Hi Nicholas,

You’ve made an interesting point by saying that some of our topics are too sophisticated for some our forum members to participate. Is that really so? Can you show us such a topic? Most of our forum members don’t learn English for the sake of the language itself. They learn English because they want to improve their career chances, earn a better salary, study at a US or UK university, start their own business, etc. To achieve these goals it’s not enough to just learn English, you also need to understand what is happening in the world.

Let me know what you think.

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Hi Torsten,
Actually, all of us in this forum, as a rule, are allowed to create any topic we like. Sometimes, people like me might want to see and read any existing topic. I like reading what others have to say. But sometimes, some of the forum members say lots of things that are quite sophisticated (I would say). For example, they talk about worldly knowledge or anything that I have never learned as I might learn different things. I don’t know if other members have faced the same challenge as me. I call it a challenge. Others might find it easy so they might join, but not for me. Actually, Torsten, I didn’t claim it’s bad reading their words or ideas. :lol: It has been useful reading all the topics but of course, I can’t contribute anything into such topics.

I couldn’t agree more, Torsten, when you say knowing a language itself isn’t enough. That is why I am here. 8)

Hi, what do you think is the best way to learn how to type? Did you use a software program or a typewriter to get started? Can you suggest a good tutorial for beginners?

Many thanks,

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I used a very stern, priggish but benevolent dowager and the textbook she assigned. There were no personal computers at the time I learned to type.

Some of my friends never did learn to type, because in high school they thought typing was for secretaries. My parents believed that everybody should learn all survival skills, including typing, so I was forced to take a class. Now the computer age is here, and I type super-fast, while those friends are still using two fingers, the hunt-and-peck method.

Well, I’ve never had a typing preparation course. In my coutry it’s pretty difficult to take one of these and I also think it’s unnecessary. I mean, it’s necessary for a person that types a lot but for me it means nothing. I’ve learned how to type a little bit more faster by practicing all over the internet, on the forums, in chat-rooms and so on as much time as I could. I don’t even care about this thing because when I need to type faster than usually I simply type more faster. It’s obvious that my typing abillities are different because of the different situations in wich I need to type.( 4 instance if I have to type a rewiew or an article for one magazine, I type it slower than when I talk with my friends opn messenger because when ypou type faster you make lots and lots of mistakes and you don’t even check them after typing.)
I’ve already typed a lot . You should just shut me up :stuck_out_tongue: .
See ya!

When i see your words on web,i want to make a message my own…but I have nothing much to say…So,i choose one topic for all of you.
An Italian tourist pulled up beside Mr.Bean on a country road.
Tourist: Sir.I think I’ve taken the wrong road somewhere.Where’s the nearest filling station so I can buy a road map?
Mr.Bean: I’m sorry .I don’t know.
Tourist: Then,where can I find a pay phone?
Mr.Bean: I don’t know that earlier.
Tourist: You dont’ know a lot,man.
Mr.Bean: I don’t need to know because I’m not lost.

Well,I’m please to share my fun to you…

Hi, just as a comment, it sounds to curious for me read people should take a typing course and be able to write more messages in the forums , but i think the best way to learn to type is starting trying and trying again each time and soon you´ll get fast writing, for example i only just 5 fingers and i consider I write fast i don´t even look at the keyboard many times, hahaha.
Well i just was giving my opinion, thanks.

well…coming to typing… i had never been to any typing course.
but i learned it all by myself taking online typing courses… although m not good at typing i do it better when i chat with my friends :smiley:

Dear Manchiroujulu,

Many thanks for joining our forum and sharing your opinion on the typing question. Could you please tell me what you think about punctuation and spelling? I understand that when you chat you probably don’t pay much attention to proper punctuation because chat dialogs are supposed to last just a moment. Usually they are read just once and then they are removed. A forum thread is different because it gets indexed by search engines and learners of English find and read it. That’s why it’s vital to follow basic rules of grammar and spelling when you create a forum message.

Please let me know what you think.

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I think typing fast is very important. to be honest i don’t write fast I even look at the keyboard. In order to write fast we have to exercise alot which means write at least every day 2 pages and then we can get use to it.


Hi Julieta,

Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences on this question. Have you learned to type correctly using all 10 fingers? I’m asking because if you you will always be able to type faster than anybody who has never learned it. Also, if you learn how to type you never need to look at the keyboard.


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