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Digital form of writing?Edit

I fail to understand the distinction between digital and analogue writing systems alluded to in the very first sentence of this article. I would have thought that all character based writing systems were digital. I will have to see if I can find a copy of 'The World's Writing Systems' in a reference library. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:58, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

By 'digital' they mean binary: each character is composed of six bits, which can be 1 or 0, dot or not, black or white, as in any other binary system. — kwami (talk) 06:45, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
I think the meaning of "The second revision, published in 1837, was the first digital (binary) form of writing." is about Decapoint, Louis Braille invented in 1839. This was the first digital (binary) form of writing latin letters ever. This does not belong here and should be corrected. Fakoo (talk) 20:50, 22 December 2013 (UTC)
No, it's about 6-dot braille, which was published in 1837. — kwami (talk) 07:24, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Preferred terms: contracted and uncontracted brailleEdit

The older historical terms are grade 1 braille and grade 2 braille.

Over 5 years ago, there was a consensus of braille experts and educators to shift to the terms "uncontracted braille" and "contracted braille". The problem is that some people assumed that grade 1 was for use in grade 1 in school (i.e. the year after kindergraden), and you used grade 2 braille the next year. By extension, someone starting high school would be using grade 9 braille.

Anyone who want to confirm this can google the terms involved, and will see the heavier use of contracted braille in recent years, and the decline of the use of the term grade 2 braille.

I wanted to post this first in the talk section, and then make the change, so that people will understand this is the same concept, newer terminology; and not vandalism

Silver dot (talk) 16:06, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

W and Y reversed?Edit

It looks like maybe the W and Y Braille images are reversed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:52, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

W,X,Y all got mixed up. Thanks for catching that. — kwami (talk) 06:57, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Just vandalism. — kwami (talk) 07:10, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Widely used?Edit

The first sentence of the Braille page reads "The Braille system is a method that is widely used by people who are visually impaired...", however other parts of the page seem to contradict the "widely used" part. A further clue that this may not be an accurate statement of fact may be found at this Bank of England FAQ page which answers the question "Has the Bank considered using braille on banknotes to help blind people identify the different denominations?" with "Yes but on the advice of The Royal Institute for the Blind the Bank has not included this because very few blind people now read braille ...".

I would like to see the statement reflect fact; something along the lines of "The Braille system is a method of reading and writing designed for use by the visually impaired. It was the first digital form of writing". Leboite (talk) 13:13, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Lede paragraph structure and "code" snarl wordEdit

I'm writing this note here first to explain that "code" is not used in the "secret code" sense but in both the linguistics and computer science senses. Remember, languages have oral codes and written codes which must be acquired/learned in order to understand and use them.

I'm also revealing the internal structure of the lede paragraphs:

Paragraph 1 = direct orientation: What is Braille, who uses it, where is it used, and how is it produced? [add: how is it used]
Paragraph 2 = source: Who invented Braille and how?
Paragraph 3 = code description-explanation: How does Braille work?
Paragraph 4 = code differences: How does Braille encoding differ?
Paragraph 5 = literacy: What is the impact of Braille literacy? (forthcoming)

I will continute to maintain this structure all the while trying to keep the lede to one (small) screen length. Albeit interesting, any other sidetrack information or modifiers should appear in the proper sections below. --CJ Withers (talk) 15:10, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

There are two relevant uses of the word 'code' here. One is the way that (nearly) all writing systems are a code of a spoken language. However, we don't use the term 'code' in this sense in other writing-system articles, so per expectations of consistency that sense would be inappropriate here. The 2nd sense is that braille is an encoding of print the way that Morse Code, the NATO alphabet, and semaphore are. However, although that is how it was designed, that's not how it is used, any more than the ASL manual alphabet. One of the refs I added was to support that point. One of the conflicts we've been having in organizing braille (in the nav box, cats, etc) is in treating it as a simple code in this latter sense rather than as a script in its own right. (The organization above seems fine.) — kwami (talk) 22:04, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I've reverted. (Kwami: Note that I had included some of of your tweaks, esp. with only a one off-hand reference.) This is a lede, not the place to stir up controversies about what people may or may not think. Also, there is no need whatsoever to repeat info in a lede: explain cells/dots BOTH in the 1st and 2nd paragraphs. Again, please do no remove the purpose of the lede. Debates on whether the general public, not experts in writing systems and linguists such as myself, feel something is a linguistic code or not have no place in the lede. Think: does any layperson call an alphabet a code? What's more, I'm surprised that you would be so moved about this and did not remove the majority of the information BEFORE my intervention, as the previous lede practically delved into ONLY the code.--CJ Withers (talk) 22:31, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm confused by your comments: We should follow the experts, and therefore not reference the experts? Calling it a "code" when we do not call the English alphabet a "code" is NPOV, even if technically correct. Deleting a reference to it not being a code in the commonly understood meaning of the term, while continuing to call it a code, is inappropriate. The difference from s.t. like Morse Code is profound: Morse is used as an ancillary system by people who primarily use print. Braille is the primary script for its users, many of whom have never seen print. For them, it's not a code for print.
Frankly, some of the comments are inane. Braille is a writing system used to write words? Do we say that the English (print) alphabet is a writing system used to write words? What else would it write? All writing systems write words: that's what makes them writing.
Braille doesn't "represent" characters with cells, the cells are the characters.
What is salient about braille is that it is made of dots and is read by the fingers. That's far more relevant that the fact that it can be found on menus! The lead, esp. the first couple lines, is the place for basic orientation, not trivia.
Yes, technically dollar bills are not paper, but we do call them "paper money", so that seems a bit of a stretch. Also, we are not Ameripedia, so we shouldn't specify American/Canadian money.
It's not based on the French version of the Latin alphabet. It's based on the French alphabet. Actually, that's a good place for your word 'code': it was designed as a code for the French alphabet.
kwami (talk) 23:35, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

I've made the lede more concise by using, for example, "improved", removing "fingers" (tactile, palpable + the foto are plenty), removing "supports", etc. Also, the lede, as an introduction starts with what is familiar to the reader, not details, hence mentioning supports where people can commonly find Braille messages. I've also removed the passive voice and weasel words like "may". Now, for the nitpicking. Giving a seemingly American example because it's the only one or one of two is kosher. "Paper money" doesn't work as bills also exist in plastic. Using "bills" the way it was in this article never was or is a problem on Wikipedia, so relax. :-) As for saliency, remember, the lede introduces, not delves into details. Again, the words "palpable" and "tactile" plus the image speak for themselves. If you want to get into reading techniques and rumiate on how sensitive the finger tip must be, then put your info in the reading techniques section. NPOV? I'll dismiss that fallacy. However, I'm sure you're not against the stomach being called an organ or an amoeba being a genus. Again, I wrote "snarl" word as the title of this section because that is exactly what it is for you: a word you're not keen on and which provokes a reaction. Had your read the word "as" in "As a code", you may not have reacted so hastily. Sorry that you feel your opinion to shun "code" save for one instance is more important than precise metalanguage. I'm an expert on writing systems, so saying that improving the quality of an article with precise language thanks to my expertise is NPOV is ludicrous. I repeat, just because the users do not call/consider their writing system a code does not mean it is not one. Languages are social communication codes on several levels. To say otherwise dehuminanizes the marvelous essence of language. To learn more about "snarl" and "purr" words, please see S._I._Hayakawa. It is a major bias error to say that all writing systems "write" words. Writing systems represent all types of concepts, for example numbers, images, commands, in addition to paralinguistic, communicational elements of language such as style, appearance, attitude, etc. Again, you're talking to an expert here. Please study semiotics, semantics and general linguistics so that you can be articulate in writing systems. A good place to start to understand signs and codes is with Sassure. The lede still needs work on two points: 1. concentrating contracted Braille info, and 2. A pithy one-sentence on the relevance of Braille literacy to employability. -CJ Withers (talk) 11:47, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, what is familiar. When we say braille is composed of dots and read with the fingers, everyone will recognize what we are talking about. It is therefore appropriate for the lead. We shouldn't have to rely on the photo to convey what's so easy to say in words. "Tactile writing system" does not capture the fact that it's read with the fingers, not unless the reader already understands that's what it must mean in this case, and we don't use "palpable" in the introduction. We can remove the word "tactile" if you think it's too much.
Writing systems represent words (among other things), because all language consists of words (among other things). Any system which did not represent words would not be writing. To say it's a writing system for writing words is tautologous, but it appears the point in moot.
In the general sense that all writing systems are codes, to say this writing system is a code is also redundant, but again that appears to be moot.
I see we no longer say that bank notes are not paper, so no point in arguing about that either.
Again, cells don't "represent" characters, they *are* the characters. That's like saying ⟨c⟩ represents the letter cee – it's simply incorrect.
BTW, who uses braille on their bills? I'm only aware of braille coinage. (The Canadian system isn't braille, which they found wasn't robust enough.)
kwami (talk) 13:31, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

You are obviously not familiar with Sassure as shown from your "c" tautology. "C" in fact represents the sounds /s/ and /k/ in addition to forming part of a digraph. Please read up on Alphabetic principle. In fact, that is why uncontracted Braille is used to start to learn to read: the Alphabetic principle. As for bills/bank notes in Canada, they use a _tactile_ feature, i.e. the full six-dot Braille cell. The encoding is what's different, not the Braille writing system. If you google Braille banknotes, in one click you can learn that Hong Kong used them too, though with "normal" encoding for digits. --CJ Withers (talk) 15:26, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Two comments. First, let's not dumb down the article by explaining "fingers" when the picture is clear and "tactile" and "palpable" are too. Are people going to use the least sensitive parts of their body to read Braille? Are there people who read Braille with their forehead? Come on, get off it. You're being ridiculous. In fact, the "finger" mention is fit for the Simple English version of the article and for a section on reading techniques (one or two fingers, etc.). Check it out. Second, regarding codes, read up on teaching literacy because the skills taught for reading are called "decoding skills". --CJ Withers (talk) 15:38, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Correct, the letter ⟨c⟩ represents the sounds /s/, /k/, etc. However, it does not generally represent the letter ⟨c⟩. That's a secondary (meta)function of the letter, incorrect as a general statement. Similarly, ⟨⠙⟩ does not represent the character ⟨⠙⟩.
The opening line should also not state that braille is for reading, as if it weren't also for writing.
It's not "fingers" I was thinking of, but reading. Braille is no more tactile when writing than any other script. The difference is that it's tactile when reading. I see no reason to not just say this. That's not dumbing things down, it's just stating the basics to orientate the reader, s.t. we're supposed to do with all our articles. Pictures, BTW, are supplementary. We shouldn't rely on them unless we have to. — kwami (talk) 19:33, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Blank and Space to disambiguateEdit


the filename has been changed. -DePiep (talk) 01:00, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

So "BLANK" is cell with dots-0 (U+2800):   or  .
Now there is also mentioned "SPACE" apparently with dots-45 (U_2818) by File:Braille Space.svg   or   (images NOT to be mixed with visual variants dots-45: file:Japanese YoonDakuten Braille.svg and FILE:Korean Initial B Braille.svg).

  • Where is "SPACE" defined or used this way? Our English braille page uses the word space showing the blank dots-0 image. Is it recognised in Japanese (where the same dots-45 are used for Y DAKUTEN). I think we shold disambiguate these words in braille (only use space when dots-45?, and blank for blank dots-0 I expect.) I can note that in unicode the blank dots-0 character is explicitly defined not behaving as a (western regular) space. -DePiep (talk) 12:04, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Descriptions say that the no-dot cell is used as the space, so even if adopted by Unicode, this is confusing terminology. We need s.t. better. — kwami (talk) 12:42, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Well this I can live with (write space when meaning blank cell). The problem arose when File:Braille Space.svg (dots 45) uses this word. What is the source for this definition (dots 45=space)? -DePiep (talk) 16:03, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
If it is not sourced, I'll propose renaming the file. I started file talk. -DePiep (talk) 16:10, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
These braille files are all hosted on commons. I think any name change needs to happen there VanIsaacWScontribs 20:40, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, and that name change (or deletion) will happen if there is no source. "space" and "braille dots-45"? -DePiep (talk) 21:58, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

The general name for 45 is the 'literal index'. (4 is the 'numerical index' – I have no idea why. Perhaps some non–Grade 2 technical code?) D&B say the "absence of all dots is the space character." — kwami (talk) 20:46, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Braille cell dots-45 has multiple usages, even in Western brailles. But please tell me: which braille (language) definition even suggests dots-45 is space? -DePiep (talk) 21:58, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Don't ask me! — kwami (talk) 05:49, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

They did not rename the file, because minor importance.[1] I have found no source for using dots-45 as Space. -DePiep (talk) 10:56, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Now moved to 'currency', as that's the French Braille usage. — kwami (talk) 21:10, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
So they did act upon your request... ;-) Currency marker though, is this in French braille only AFAIK. Not found in G2. How does G2 define $ or £? -DePiep (talk) 10:13, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, French, but quite a few of them have the French values for names. There's no good English name for it, as it doesn't correspond to anything in print.
G2 just uses dd (period) for $ and l for £, but these were abolished in UEB. Also accent-period for $. — kwami (talk) 21:06, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Verification of chartsEdit

I have started commenting out charts that I cannot confirm. The UNESCO documents have proven to be wrong in every case I was able to confirm, so we cannot in good conscience use them as a primary source. Braille is the kind of thing which is easy to get wrong by people who don't use it. For Russian Braille all we have is a chart published in 1907 which is obsolete in several respects. For Yugoslav and Thai, we have nothing. Etc. — kwami (talk) 21:19, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Vietnamese d is confused in diff. accounts. Sinhalese is uncertain. Dbl check Pakistani Urdu.
To do (on WP-fr): Maltese, Romanian, Nigerian (probably okay), Faroese
To do (other): Persian, Armenian (confirm), Georgian, Twi, Ethiopic

Red linked templateEdit

Template:ISO 639 name fr-Brai shows up in the template list during editing. Some sort of transcluded transclusion? Does it need sorting out? -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 09:48, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

From plain code {{lang|fr-Brai|{{Unicode|⠏⠗⠑⠍⠊⠑⠗}}}}, in section History. If that fr-Brai a correct language code, the template should be created; otherwise the lang-template removed (Unicode kept). -DePiep (talk) 10:48, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

technology is now helping to save brailleEdit


what exactly is a decade?

i think i figured it out.. but i think it should be properly defined. ≈Sensorsweep (talk) 00:07, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Done. — kwami (talk) 01:24, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

How about an explanation of the colors used in the table (black, red, green) or else getting rid of them?Edit

In the Derivation section of the article, it is nothing but confusing to try to understand a new alphabet with a table that employs colors (black, red, green) but with no explanation of them.

Or at least I can say that the article contains zero instances of the words black, red, green, or color.

To whoever is knowledgeable about Braille (I am not), please either get rid of the colors, or explain clearly why they are there. I think getting rid of them would be best, since the article already contains no explanation of them whatsoever.Daqu (talk) 14:30, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Done. — kwami (talk) 01:19, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

File:Alabama quarter, reverse side, 2003.jpgEdit

Is the Braille text actually _Helen _Keller? Where are the second Es of each word? Why don't they match with the translation given @ [2] or the blocks of Braille? Is it a matter of Grade-2 of English Braille or Unified English Braille? Is this official coin wrong? ※ SobreiraSobreira ◣◥ (parlez) 12:48, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

  Based on English Braille, the last cell is 'en' and 'er'. (I maybe wrong since I don't know braille) (talk) 16:00, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

'Literacy' SectionEdit

Is there any particular reason that this entire paragraph even exists? It doesn't really seem to add anything at all:

A sighted child who is reading at a basic level should be able to understand common words and answer simple questions about the information presented.[10] The child should also have enough fluency to get through the material in a timely manner. Over the course of a child's education, these foundations are built upon in order to teach higher levels of math, science, and comprehension skills.[10] Children who are blind not only have the educational disadvantage of not being able to see, but they also miss out on the very fundamental parts of early and advanced education if not provided with the necessary tools. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 1416domination (talkcontribs) 16:46, 10 December 2015 (UTC)


A paragraph here said that “The next ten, ending in w, are the same again, except that for this series position 6 (purple dot) is used without position 3. These are â ê î ô û ë ï ü ö w”. Since native French words don't have O with diaeresis; should ö be changed to œ?- Hello World! 14:13, 3 September 2016 (UTC)

The French wiktionary have 928 French words with a ö : fr:wikt:Catégorie:ö en français (mostly names borrowed from German but at Louis Braille there was some native standard French words like « coöpérer » with a « ö »). Cdlt, VIGNERON * discut. 14:16, 1 March 2017 (UTC)


"64 solutions are possible using one or more dots.[3]" It's literally 63, but maybe the cited source is still more informative?2607:FCC8:620C:A000:4422:9DDB:7D2:C445 (talk) 16:03, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

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