Braille


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Braille
Font Braille , alphabet
languages various
inventor Louis Braille
Emergence 1825
ancestry Night
writing Braille
Unicode block U + 2800-U + 28FF
ISO 15924 Brai
The index and middle fingers of a reader slide over the top of two lines of Braille text.  The point-like elevations in the white paper that form the characters are clearly visible.

The Braille [ bʁaj- ] is of blind heavily used and visually impaired, then, is a Braille . It was developed in 1825 by the French Louis Braille . The writing consists of dot patterns, which are usually pressed into the paper from behind and can be felt as bumps with the fingertips.

General

The graphic shows the six Braille dots as circles in which the dot numbers 1 to 6 are entered.
Numbering of the Braille dots
The graphic shows eight Braille dots as circles in which the hexadecimal values ​​of the dot numbers 1 to 8 (1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 20, 40 and 80) are entered.
Hexadecimal values in eight-point characters

Six points, three in height by two points in width, form the grid for the combinations of points with which the characters (letters, numbers, spaces, ...) are displayed. With six (binary) points there are 2 6 = 64 variations ; so 64 different characters can be displayed.

The dots in a Braille cell are numbered from one to three in the left column and from four to six in the right column - from top to bottom within each column. The hexadecimal values 1-2-4 on the left and 8-10-20 on the right (10 16 = 16 10 and 20 16 = 32 10 ) are assigned to this.

Braille displays are used for the output of texts in Braille by the computer . Since more characters are required for working on the computer than can be represented with six dots, two more dots per Braille character are added to the Braille display, so that eight dots, four in height by two in width, are available ( computer braille , special implementation: Eurobraille ). In this way you get 2 8 = 256 variations. The coding of the standard characters remains the same, however, the bottom line only remains empty.

When numbering the points of an eight-point character, the numbering of the upper six points remains unchanged - the two lower points are given the numbers 7 (left) and 8 (right) with corresponding hexadecimal values ​​64 10 = 40 16 and 128 10 = 80 16 .

The narrow limits of the resulting character sets (64 or 256 characters) are expanded using two methods:

  1. For many languages ​​or technical languages ​​there are separate character sets (notations), in which the meaning of the characters is different. These include B. Mathematics, chemistry, music and others. It must therefore be pointed out at the beginning of the text that a special character set follows. With normal 6-point Braille, on the other hand, one speaks of literary braille .
  2. A combination of Braille characters is used to create a black character. The most striking example of this is that there is no difference between upper and lower case in 6-point Braille (basic font). A letter is capitalized by placing a special character in front of it.

Embossing machines and equipment

The machine is T-shaped, has a massive construction and is painted green.  It is mounted on a rectangular board that is apparently part of a transport case.  The part facing the user is narrow and has seven large wooden keys with a white top: six for points 1 to 6 and in the middle between them the space bar protruding forward with its widened end.  The upper, rear part is arranged transversely to it and is reminiscent of the paper carrier trolley of a typewriter.  The paper rollers and the knobs on the right and left are clearly visible.  A sheet of paper is clamped in and shows 2 lines of fully embossed Braille text: "wikipedia the free encyclopedia".  In the middle is a nameplate with the designation "BLINDENSTUDIENANSTALT - Blista - MARBURG-LAHN-GERMANY"
Blind typewriter (also sheet-fed typewriter) for embossing the points in appropriately thick sheets of paper.
A compact green box about the size of a cigar box.  The front part of the housing forms a cover, it is folded down to the front and reveals the control elements: 6 black buttons for points 1 to 6 and in the middle a wide space bar protruding to the front.  A narrow strip of paper emerges from the housing on the left.
Steno machine - a very compact model (after folding in the space bar, the front cover can be folded up) for labeling special paper strips instead of sheets. The paper strip is visible on the left edge of the picture.

When using braille machines, the keys of the dots must be pressed simultaneously in order to write the corresponding character in the code table. The buttons for points one to three are located on the left-hand side in descending order, and the buttons for points four to six in ascending order on the right-hand side. In between is the space bar. For example, if you want to write a R( Points 1, 2, 3, 5), you have to press buttons [3], [2] and [1] with your left hand and button [5] with your right hand at the same time. A distinction is made between sheet-fed machines and steno machines. Both machine types have now largely been replaced by models that save the data on digital media - but precisely because of their reliability (no electricity, etc.), steno machines are still popular.

Writing boards

In addition to machines, writing boards are also in use. They are two panels that are connected by a hinge. The top board has rectangular recesses. which correspond to the size of six points in Braille. The lower board has dimple-shaped depressions at the distance of the six Braille dots.

Writing board for Braille with stylus

A suitable sheet of paper is inserted between the two panels and the required points are "pierced" into the paper with a metal pen.

Please note that in order to obtain legible characters, the reverse side of the paper is "engraved" in mirror writing and from right to left.

There are writing boards made of metal or plastic in different sizes (from about DIN A6 to DIN A4). They are used by non-sighted people for taking notes, but can also be used for additional "writing" on paper with "black print" (postcards, business cards, etc.).

Tape embossers

Embossing devices are available on the market that emboss Braille characters into self-adhesive tapes. The embossing is mostly done from the back, so that you can work from left to right in the correct direction. The tapes produced in this way are well suited to mark a wide variety of objects in daily use. They are also used in public spaces, e.g. B. to mark handrails of banisters.

Code table for the German language

See standard reference

Letters and combinations

Symbols and signs

System of the structure of points

1st to 4th groups of ten
1 Point 1
a
Points 1, 2
b
Points 1, 4
c
Points 1, 4, 5
d
Points 1, 5
e
Points 1, 2, 4
f
Points 1, 2, 4, 5
G
Points 1, 2, 5
H
Points 2, 4
i
Points 2, 4, 5
j
2 Points 1, 3
k
Points 1, 2, 3
l
Points 1, 3, 4
m
Points 1, 3, 4, 5
n
Points 1, 3, 5
O
Points 1, 2, 3, 4
p
Points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
q
Points 1, 2, 3, 5
r
Points 2, 3, 4
s
Points 2, 3, 4, 5
t
3 Points 1, 3, 6
u
Points 1, 2, 3, 6
v
Points 1, 3, 4, 6
x
Points 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
y
Points 1, 3, 5, 6
z
Points 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
&
Points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
%
Points 1, 2, 3, 5, 6
[
Points 2, 3, 4, 6
ß
Points 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
st
4th Points 1, 6
ouch
Points 1, 2, 6
eu
Points 1, 4, 6
egg
Points 1, 4, 5, 6
ch
Points 1, 5, 6
sch
Points 1, 2, 4, 6
`
Points 1, 2, 4, 5, 6
^
Points 1, 2, 5, 6
ü
Points 2, 4, 6
ö
Points 2, 4, 5, 6
w

The first ten letters (A – J) or the digits (0–9) only use the four uppermost of the total of six points ( points no. 1, 2, 4, 5 ): The next ten letters (K – T) distinguish only through an additional point at the bottom left ( point no. 3 ). The following characters (including U – Z) differ in turn by an additional point at the bottom right ( point no. 6 ) next to the bottom left. The W( Points 2, 4, 5, 6) is not used in Braille's native French , and was therefore only added later, based on the basic form of j( Points 2, 4, 5). It therefore only appears in the fourth line of this overview.

All other possible forms (characters) with special and control characters
1 No point
Point 2
,
Points 2, 5
:
point 5
~
Point 4
"
Points 4, 5
>
2 point 3
.
Points 2, 3
;
Points 2, 3, 5
+
Points 3, 5
*
Points 3, 4
uh
Points 3, 4, 5
Ä
3 Points 3, 6
-
Points 2, 3, 6
»
Points 2, 3, 5, 6
()
Points 3, 5, 6
«
Points 3, 4, 6
ie
Points 3, 4, 5, 6
#
4th Point 6
'
Points 2, 6
?
Points 2, 5, 6
/
Points 5, 6
<
Points 4, 6
$
Points 4, 5, 6
_

In other black-written digraphs and other special characters, only point no. 6 is added to the bottom right and the bottom left (point 3) is not set.

Duplicate characters
Points 2, 3, 5, 6
()
=
Points 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
st
]
Points 2, 3, 5
+
!

The symbol for opening parenthesis also (stands for the closing parenthesis )and the equal sign =. Depending on the position of the character before or after letters or spaces, the intended meaning can be recognized. The symbol also ststands for the closing square bracket ]. In addition, the signs for plus +and the exclamation mark are !identical.

Point 2
,
1.
Points 2, 3
;
2.
Points 2, 5
:
3.
Points 2, 5, 6
/
4.
Points 2, 6
?
5.
Points 2, 3, 5
+
6.
Points 2, 3, 5, 6
(
7.
Points 2, 3, 6
»
8.
Points 3, 5
*
9.
Points 3, 5, 6
«
0.

, ; : / ? + ( » * «In the order given, the characters stand for the digits 1–9 and 0, which are subordinated by a row of dots and can be used as ordinal numbers instead of the respective digit; the number sign # is to be set.

Special features of use and control characters

This $denotes the next character as a capital letter and stands z. B. before proper names.

This >is used when all subsequent characters should be treated as uppercase.

The '(apostrophe as a cancellation character) is used when the following characters should be lowercase again.

This #is the number sign that comes before one or more digits. Spaces, apostrophes, or other characters that cannot be confused with digits end the number. The apostrophe is used instead of the space if letters or punctuation marks are to follow directly after the number that can be confused with digits. Numbers in groups of numbers are separated by a point.

Ordinal numbers can be marked by writing the digits one row lower. This is possible because digits only need the top two rows of dots to represent them. The final point on the classic identification of ordinal numbers is then omitted.

Fractions are shown with numerator and denominator one after the other, but the denominator is shifted down by a row of points. Percent and per mille are shown as fractions 0/0 or 0/00, with the denominator 0 or 00 subscripted again. In addition to the comma, the point can also be used as a decimal separator.

In mathematical formulas, the arithmetic symbols can be indicated by an accent mark ( point no. 4 Point 4 ). In the simplified notation, the accent mark can be omitted if there is no risk of confusion with other characters.

The apostrophe '( point no. 6 Point 6 ) is also known as the point of resolution and is used e.g. B. to convert ssin ß.

Shortening of the font for the purpose of acceleration

see legend
The name Helen Keller (⠓⠑⠇⠑⠝⠀⠅⠑⠇⠇⠑⠗) in basic Braille

Efforts to make the writing faster led to a shortening of the word images. In German Braille, there are basically four different degrees of abbreviation for literary braille .

  1. Basic font: Here, in general, each letter corresponds to a Braille character. There are only lower case letters, which is why upper case letters, numbers or accented letters are declared as such by prefixing certain characters.
  2. Full font: Frequent groups of letters in the German language (such as st sch ie ei au) are replaced by their own Braille characters. This shortens the text by around 5% to 10% compared to the basic font.
  3. Shorthand: The shorthand is comparable to the shorthand in black letters (e.g. stands ufor und). The text is shortened by around 30% to 40% compared to the full type. Experienced blind people can read this shorthand almost at the same speed as the seeing blackhand (normalhand).
  4. Stenography for the blind: Complicated set of rules for shortening words, idioms and whole sentences in order to be able to write down spoken language. Only a few trained blind people are proficient in Braille shorthand. In some cases, seven or eight point systems are used.

The Braille shorthand is most often used for the creation of printed products in Braille (80 to 85%) and for transcripts by blind people with the braille machine .

A character in Braille is about 6 mm long and 4 mm wide, so that the sharpness of touch of trained people is not undershot. The point height (elevation) should not be less than 0.4 mm, so that the characters remain tactile .

Reading performance

In an open ring binder, a pack about two fingers thick with Braille printed paper.  A centimeter ruler was placed across the lower right corner to compare sizes;  the paper is about DIN A4 size.  On the upper half of the paper is a narrow paperback about half the size (DIN A5) with the title "Do fish thirst?"
A book in Braille and on it the original edition with the same text for the sighted

Experienced Braille readers can read around 100 words per minute. For comparison: sighted readers manage around 250 to 300 words per minute.

Other braille

Braille for special content

There are special braille fonts for special topics, e.g. B. Braille music script , Braille circuit script , Braille chess script and Braille knitting script .

Braille for other scripts

In addition to additional assignments for characters with diacritics, there are also transfers of Braille to other writing systems than Latin . For the alphabets of the Russian or Greek language , the characters are transferred into the Latin writing system according to their transliteration , i.e. regardless of their order in the alphabet.

For differently structured fonts, such as B. Japanese , Korean or Tibetan , however, the characters have been completely reassigned. In Japanese Braille , for example, each syllable of the kana is assigned its own character.

Braille characters in Unicode / UTF-8

Today (as of 2011) Unicode is available on practically every computer system. Since the Braille characters are available in Unicode, the Braille characters can be displayed on screens etc. without any problems. The Unicode characters are therefore advantageous for the display of Braille for the sighted - the unicode is of little use to the blind themselves (for example, printouts on swell paper in exceptional cases ).

In Unicode, the six-point Braille characters are represented by the character numbers U + 2800 to U + 283F (hexadecimal notation). This is 64 characters including the space. The order of the characters has been defined so that each point of a Braille character corresponds to a set bit. The order of the bits is as described above (see Fig. “Numbering”). A character is thus encoded by # × 2800 + the value of the points . The sequence of the characters encoded in Unicode thus differs considerably from the one shown in paragraph #Systematics of the point structure .

.0 .1 .2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8th .9 .A .B .C .D .E .F
U + 280.
space

A or 1

U + 2802

B or 2

U + 2804

K

U + 2806

L

U + 2808

C or 3

I or 9

F or 6

U + 280C

M

p

P
U + 281.
U + 2810

E or 5

U + 2812

H or 8

U + 2814

O

U + 2816

R

U + 2818

D or 4

J or 0

G or 7

Ä

N

T

Q
U + 282.
U + 2820

U + 2821

U + 2822

U + 2823

U + 2824

U

U + 2826

V

U + 2828

U + 2829

Ö

U + 282B

U + 282C

X

ß

U + 282F
U + 283.
U + 2830

U + 2831

U + 2832

Ü

U + 2834

Z

U + 2836

U + 2837

U + 2838

U + 2839

W

U + 283B

U + 283C

Y

U + 283E

U + 283F
U + 284.
U + 2840

U + 2841

U + 2842

U + 2843

U + 2844

U + 2845

U + 2846

U + 2847

U + 2848

U + 2849

U + 284A

U + 284B

U + 284C

U + 284D

U + 284E

U + 284F
U + 285.
U + 2850

U + 2851

U + 2852

U + 2853

U + 2854

U + 2855

U + 2856

U + 2857

U + 2858

U + 2859

U + 285A

U + 285B

U + 285C

U + 285D

U + 285E

U + 285F
U + 286.
U + 2860

U + 2861

U + 2862

U + 2863

U + 2864

U + 2865

U + 2866

U + 2867

U + 2868

U + 2869

U + 286A

U + 286B

U + 286C

U + 286D

U + 286E

U + 286F
U + 287.
U + 2870

U + 2871

U + 2872

U + 2873

U + 2874

U + 2875

U + 2876

U + 2877

U + 2878

U + 2879

U + 287A

U + 287B

U + 287C

U + 287D

U + 287E

U + 287F
U + 288.
U + 2880

U + 2881

U + 2882

U + 2883

U + 2884

U + 2885

U + 2886

U + 2887

U + 2888

U + 2889

U + 288A

U + 288B

U + 288C

U + 288D

U + 288E

U + 288F
U + 289.
U + 2890

U + 2891

U + 2892

U + 2893

U + 2894

U + 2895

U + 2896

U + 2897

U + 2898

U + 2899

U + 289A

U + 289B

U + 289C

U + 289D

U + 289E

U + 289F
U + 28A.
U + 28A0

U + 28A1

U + 28A2

U + 28A3

U + 28A4

U + 28A5

U + 28A6

U + 28A7

U + 28A8

U + 28A9

U + 28AA

U + 28AB

U + 28AC

U + 28AD

U + 28AE

U + 28AF
U + 28B.
U + 28B0

U + 28B1

U + 28B2

U + 28B3

U + 28B4

U + 28B5

U + 28B6

U + 28B7

U + 28B8

U + 28B9

U + 28BA

U + 28BB

U + 28BC

U + 28BD

U + 28BE

U + 28BF
U + 28C.
U + 28C0

U + 28C1

U + 28C2

U + 28C3

U + 28C4

U + 28C5

U + 28C6

U + 28C7

U + 28C8

U + 28C9

U + 28CA

U + 28CB

U + 28CC

U + 28CD

U + 28CE

U + 28CF
U + 28D.
U + 28D0

U + 28D1

U + 28D2

U + 28D3

U + 28D4

U + 28D5

U + 28D6

U + 28D7

U + 28D8

U + 28D9

U + 28DA

U + 28DB

U + 28DC

U + 28DD

U + 28DE

U + 28DF
U + 28E.
U + 28E0

U + 28E1

U + 28E2

U + 28E3

U + 28E4

U + 28E5

U + 28E6

U + 28E7

U + 28E8

U + 28E9

U + 28EA

U + 28EB

U + 28EC

U + 28ED

U + 28EE

U + 28EF
U + 28F.
U + 28F0

U + 28F1

U + 28F2

U + 28F3

U + 28F4

U + 28F5

U + 28F6

U + 28F7

U + 28F8

U + 28F9

U + 28FA

U + 28FB

U + 28FC

U + 28FD

U + 28FE

U + 28FF

In Unicode, the Braille character set has been expanded to 256 by adding two more dots below the block of six dots (with Braille lines , 8 dots are also usually shown). The characters with 8 points (U + 2840 to U + 28FF) are shown in the table in different colors.

Content created with braille

A weekly sheet from a ring binder calendar in Czech.  The sheet is printed both in black letters (black on white) and in Braille on both sides;  both writings are superimposed on one another.
Czech braille calendar
An oblique view from above of a relief model set up in downtown Wittenberg, which rests on an approximately waist-high base made of white stone.  The relief is made of bronze and has an approximately triangular plan.  It shows a model of buildings, streets, squares and groups of trees;  the houses are a few inches high.  On the front edge there are two text panels in raised normal script and in Braille, and some selected places and buildings are also labeled in this way.
Tactile relief model of the old town of Wittenberg on the market square there
About 20 cm long section of a handrail made of gray steel, in the background you can see the stairs that lead up to it.  Along the side of the steel tube there are characters in Braille with small hemispheres.
Handrail lettering on a staircase in Hamburg Central Station . The lines are read from bottom right to top left in the image. The second and third lines are: KIR (CH) ENALLEE LINKS and CITY: MÖNCKEBERG (ST) RAẞE RE (CH) TS.

The content offered in Braille encompasses a wide range of different works. It ranges from classic and modern literature to specialist books and a wide variety of pornography . There are also magazines on a wide variety of topics. So published z. For example , between 1970 and 1985, Playboy also had its magazine in Braille.

In Germany there is an obligation to mark medicine packaging in Braille .

Documents prepared in Braille are sent free of charge by Deutsche Post as items for the blind .

See also

literature

  • Bernhard Walter Panek: Braille. Font - graphics - print. Production and reproduction of tactile publications. Wiener Universitätsverlag Facultas, Vienna 2004, ISBN 978-3-7089-0153-4

Web links

Wiktionary: Braille  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Fonts

Special braille character sets

Individual evidence

  1. System of the German Braille ( Memento of the original from September 11, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 368 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.blista.de
  2. French code table
  3. The Unicode Standard 5.0, Section 15.10: Braille (PDF; 628 kB)
  4. The Unicode Standard 5.0, Code Chart Braille Patterns (PDF; 83 kB)
  5. Porn in Braille - blind people get sharp curves they can touch , April 13, 2010, spiegel.de .