We recently picked up this cool 1950s Olympia SM2 typewriter with an Arabic keyboard. A typical manual typewriter is already a complex device, but for someone from the west, this machine adds another level of interest.
In the English-speaking world, we call the standard keyboard layout a “Qwerty,” (rhymes with “thirty”) for the first six letters left to right on the keyboard. I’ve seen many “Qwertz” (rhymes with “hurts”) keyboards, the standard in much of Central Europe, including Germany and Switzerland, where so many great typewriters were made.
On the other hand, this Olympia SM2 has a completely different character set. The font is probably 10 point, and the I’ve always found the Arabic characters graceful and artistic. This machine actually types from right to left, the opposite of English language machines, and naturally the carriage return brings the machine to the opposite of the expected position. There are also a few keys that do not advance the carriage, allowing the placement of accent marks.
I also love the color of this SM2, and it’s in great condition. It's on our web site here.
I have a 1990s Olympia Carina Arabic typewriter coming, and we’ll post that on the web site when it’s available.