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

From: Scott Horne (
Date: Thu Sep 23 1999 - 12:17:56 EDT

> 1. Being basically a 6-bit system, Braille has 64 codes to which meanings
> can be assigned.

Sixty-three, rather. The blank cell is not used, for obvious reasons.

> It would work less well with any language whose writing
> system (letters, digits, punctuation, symbols (e.g. @#$%&*+=)) had more
> than 64 elements.

The writing system you are using now has far more than sixty-four
elements, yet it can be transcribed into braille.

Braille codes need not be based on the script that sighted people use,
as we've already observed in the case of Chinese. In English braille,
numerals are written with the letters A-J (1-0), usually with a
special number sign before the entire group. Some punctuation marks
(dashes and brackets, for example) require two cells. Symbols like
_&_ are usually written out in words; when they are required, as is
the case in manuals of typewriting, they are written as <symbol><and>.
If the transcriber has to devise an _ad hoc_ representation of a symbol,
he adds an explanation, usually near the start of the first volume.

Scott Horne

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