Braille, CJK and unicode

From: Samuel Thibault (
Date: Sat Jan 31 2009 - 15:25:00 CST

  • Next message: Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven: "Re: Braille, CJK and unicode"


    Let me first explain the context a bit: I'm working in brltty, a
    screen reading daemon. It peeks the text of the screen as unicode
    strings, converts it to braille, and renders that on a braille device.

    As braille uses only 8-dot cells, there are sometimes ambiguities in the
    translation. To solve them, brltty provides the user with a "descchar"
    command that lets the user get information about a precise character ;
    for now it just displays the unicode name of the character. However,
    in the CJK compatibility planes, e.g. U+9000, we just get "CJK UNIFIED
    IDEOGRAPH-9000" which is not particularly helpful to the user. I have
    noticed that provides a Unihan database which includes
    information for such CJK characters, for instance for U+9000 there is
    notably an english description:

    U+9000 kDefinition step back, retreat, withdraw

    and pronunciations in the various languages using it (various chinese,
    japanese and korean languages).

    However, that didn't completely fulfilled our needs: e.g. blind chinese
    people who do not know english will not be able to understand the
    english description, and the pronunciation is not enough since many
    words have exactly the same pronunciation, and chinese braille actually
    precisely encodes the pronunciation... Is there some standard that
    would provide us with a localized description of each character?


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