[ubuntu] switch to a specific keyboard layout

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http://ubuntuforums.org – hello. My keyboard shortcut to switch between languages is alt+shift. However, i'd like to know if there is a way to switch to a specific language with a keyboard shortcut or terminal command. Something like "language us". or alt+shift+1, alt+shift+2, alt+shift+3 (1 would be the first language in the keyboard layouts, 2 the second and so on) I'm asking because some keyboard shortcuts, especially those i use through xdotool or in the Opera browser (eg shift+z, which is the rewind shortcut in opera, never works if i have GR language on) don't work if i am accidentally in a different (Hardware)