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

From: John Hudson (
Date: Wed Sep 22 1999 - 15:28:22 EDT

At 12:07 PM 22-09-99 -0700, James E. Agenbroad wrote:

>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.

This presumes that Braille is intended to exactly mirror the structure and
rules of the common script for a given language. Obviously for Chinese this
is impossible, so Braille becomes a form of phonetic notation for the
language, either syllabic or alphabetic. It is a predictable accident of
history that the original Braille scheme mirrors the orthographic system of
the French alphabet. Of course, the advantage of mirroring a non-Braille
orthography, whenever possible, is that this makes possible the easy
automated conversion of texts from, for instance, the Latin script into the
Braille script.

John Hudson

Tiro Typeworks
Vancouver, BC

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