Re: REPLY: Foriegn lang. credit for braille / FW: Braille...

From: James E. Agenbroad (
Date: Wed Sep 22 1999 - 15:07:46 EDT

On Wed, 22 Sep 1999 wrote:

> Subject:
> Re: REPLY: Foriegn lang. credit for braille / FW: Braille (was
> M
> ---------------------------------
> >And the message by Jim Angerbrod on UNICODE list (that is
> quoted hereafter) seems an aswer to the current topic on the
> BRAILLE list: not only Braille is not a language per se, but it
> is not even correct to say that it is a different way of
> writing English. Braille is actually a different way of writing
> any language - potentially any language.
> It seems to me that the best way to think of Braille is as a
> script that can be used as the basis for orthographies of many
> different languages, just as Latin, Arabic or any other script
> could be used as the basis for the orthographies of many
> different languages. It just happens that there is a very
> simple mapping between Latin-for-English and
> Braille-for-English, but (apparently) the mapping between
> Han-for-Chinese and Braille-for-Chinese is at all simple
> (indeed, not algorithmic).
> Here's a follow up question of interest: Scripts such as Latin,
> Arabic, Han work well as the basis for orthographies of some
> languages, but not necessarily for other languages. (E.g.
> Arabic script was not that well suited for writing Turkish.)
> Q: Is Braille better suited for writing some languages than for
> others?
> Metrics would be things such as
> - ease of learning
> - ease of remembering spellings or of recognising new words
> - reading fluency
> - writing fluency
> But this question gets us a bit off topic.
> Peter
                                        Wednesday, September 22, 1999

1. Being basically a 6-bit system, Braille has 64 codes to which meanings
can be assigned. It would work less well with any language whose writing
system (letters, digits, punctuation, symbols (e.g. @#$%&*+=)) had more
than 64 elements.

2. I wonder how English in latin script would score with these
metrics? Besides logic and linguistics history, poliitcs and emotions
play a large role in determining how a language is written.

3 Speaking of orthographies, my name is spelled 'Agenbroad' there's no
'Anger' in it. I know this wasn't Peter's error. But thought it best to
set this straight.

          Jim Agenbroad ( )
     The above are purely personal opinions, not necessarily the official
views of any government or any agency of any.
Phone: 202 707-9612; Fax: 202 707-0955; US mail: I.T.S. Dev.Gp.4, Library
of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-9334 U.S.A.

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