Talk:Braille/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Year of Invention

In the article, it is said, that braille was devised in 1821, without giving a source. In German and Japanese Wikipedias, I find, that it was invented in 1825, also without a source. What is the correct date? Aleχ (talk) 07:44, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

The right year is 1825. Here is the [source]. Chrismagnus (talk) 16:52, 5 February 2011 (UTC)


Are Grade 2 or 3 machinable? I mean,is there a good enough algorithm that takes plain ASCII and renders it as Grade 2 or 3? I suppose that's what Braille line interfaces use. (by User: 09:37, 2 June 2004)

I'm not sure what you mean by "are grade two and three machineable". (Then again, I hadn't heard of grade 3 until reading the article). If by that you mean grade2 can be taken from plain text, there are programs such as Duxberry that do this (Granted not always perfectly). Duxberry isn't made to handle a lot of symbols that are more commonly rendered in Nemith (Though some surprise me, such as its refusal to print a + correctly). (by USer:, 17:41, 1 April 2005)

Speed & Japanese

Could someone include information about readers of braille? e.g. Do they read faster/slower than visual readers. Also, how do the blind read languages with ideographic alphabets, such as Japanese? (by user:, 06:00, 6 March 2005)

So far as I can tell, the span of speeds for braille readers is similar to the span for sighted readers, though I'm not absolutely certain. I agree that it would be nice to know about such systems for charactersets such as kana or kanji. (by User:, 17:36, 1 April 2005)
How do the blind read Japanese? I will research this! Currently I rely on finding things in romaji. (by USer:, 17:43, 1 April 2005)
There are alternate systems for languages that are very different from english. is a website containing a tootorial for Japanese braille that explains a little (That's just the first result, a google search comes up with much more).
It might also need to be noted that accented characters(ë, ç, ì +ñ) can be displayed in different ways in braille (The methods have say in grade2 sommantics). (by USer:, 17:59, 1 April 2005)


"For example, the numeral 6 stands for "ff," but may only be used within a word, not at the beginning or end." How does this save space, if two characters need to be used to represent the numeral six anyways (the number sign, then F)? Also, why is it explicitly stated that it can't be used at the beginning of a word, since there are no words beginning with "ff"? — Ливай | 23:56, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

Ever hear of Jasper Fforde? DS 12:04, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
The reference to the number 6 means the braille dot pattern that you get for the ASCII number "6" if you send a "6" to a braille embosser or refreshable display. This assumes that the embosser uses the Code for Computer Braille Notation that's in common use in North America. So, this "6" is a single character having dots 2-3-5, what we'd call a "dropped f", the letter "f" lowered in the dot pattern so that it occupies the lower 4 dots area of the standard 6-dot cell. In grade 2 braille, (now often called "contracted braille") the number 6 would be written as a number sign followed by the letter "f", but that's a completely different character than that "6" that represents "ff". As for the position dependence of that "6" for "ff", a dropped f at the beginning of a word is an abbreviation for the word "to". In the middle of the word it's "ff". At the end of a word it's an exclamation point. So you see, it's a busy little symbol. Weichbrodt 16:59, May 17, 2005 (UTC)

Article depends too much on diagrams

The article explains braille number encodings with photographs. This may be a problem for blind users of the Wikipedia. The article could not purport to teach braille to anyone without providing raised dots, of course, but the meaning of the article should not depend on the images. DanielHolth 1 July 2005 00:19 (UTC)

I like the images (I made them...) but you made a good point. Is the previous version any better? Any suggestion?- Nabla 17:53, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
I prefer the diagrams to the older tables. I haven't tried it, but I suspect that the alt text on the diagrams would be at least as intelligible via a screen reader as the diagrams (probably more so). How would you show what Braille was without some diagrams? KayEss | talk 05:20, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps the dot patterns could be laid out in a table. My screen reader, JAWS, permits walking up and down, left and right through a table so that one can visit each location to see what's there. I'm sure the other major screen readers have similar facilities. Alternatively, perhaps 3 lines of 2 characters per line could be used to show what dots were present on each line. I do agree, though, that I groaned a bit when I came across an article on braille that had so much in it that a blind person couldn't really access. It was a little like walking up to most automatic teller machines, finding braille labeling for the keypad, but then having no means of gaining feedback. Perhaps if alternative, more blind-friendly presentations are cumbersome to have on the main page, they could at least be available via links. In particular, I would like to be able to read some of the alternate braille code samples that are shown in the article. Weichbrodt 14:57, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

Do you mean something like this?

Sample 1:
Image Sign Table
A or 1
X .
. .
. .
B or 2
X .
X .
. .

Sample 2
(different table coding, looks almost the same but is probably different for braille readers):
Image Sign Table
A or 1 X .
.  .
.  .
B or 2 X .
.  .
.  .

Sample 3
(yet another table coding, this looks not so good as the previous but if works... fine!):
Image Sign Table
A or 1
X .
. .
. .
B or 2
X .
X .
. .

There are still a few more coding choices that can be done. Anything good on the previous samples, we can use to work on? - Nabla 18:41, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Absolutely, and I personally appreciate the thought that went into the above samples. I personally think the first sample has real elegance--the nested tables where the overall scheme of what's being represented is laid out in the "super-table" and the braille cell itself in the encapsulated "sub-table". Here are a couple of additional thoughts that might be helpful or at least spark discussion. First, can I suggest "Represents" or some similar word for the second column heading? The word "sign" to me implies that there's going to be an actual character under that column, and the stuff in the first and third columns is, I think, ore like a "sign" than what's in the middle column. Maybe the third column could have something a tad more descriptive like "dot pattern grid" (I don't like that, either, but it was the first verbage that came to mind). Otherwise a blind person might not have that "aha" feeling like, "Hey, here's something I can explore to build up the layout in my mind! Cool!" Maybe, somewhere, perhaps even on a separate linked page, there could be a legend that says something like, "In the dot pattern grids, 'x' represents a dot that is present in the cell, and '.' is a placeholder for a dot that is absent." Again, I'm just shooting from the hip, here. The HTML specification for tables includes a table "summary" attribute that might also be useful in cluing in a non-visual viewer of the page about what's in the table representing the braille symbols. The summary could clarify that the first column's a picture of the symbol, the second is what the symbol represents in writing, and the third is a table laying out the dot pattern.
Just some possibilities. Thanks again for giving us some wonderful food for thought.
Weichbrodt 14:29, August 1, 2005 (UTC)
An additional possibility: The numerical specification of the dots used. So adding a column to Sample 1:
Image Sign Table Dots
A or 1
X .
. .
. .
B or 2
X .
X .
. .

--Thnidu (talk) 21:58, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I just added dot numbers to all the diagrams I could find on this page. Anyone putting graphics on pages about BRAILLE should include a caption explaining what the character looks like so blind people can have equal access to the information. Seriously, there's no excuse for not doing this! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Braille gallery

If there was a way to specify thumb sizes for the new <gallery> tag thing, using a gallery would be much neater than the (now) current heap of little images. This would rely on wikimedia introducing new code allowing image size to be specified in a gallery, or on resizing all the images. So I'm keeping an alternative view here, Talk:Braille/gallery, in case one of the above magically happens.

There has also been talk of making the images more accessible to blind readers, which neither display mode helps with at present.

see Talk:Braille/gallery

Pengo 23:36, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

I don't understand what you mean by the gallery being "neater". To me it looks the same as the table, except that the images are larger and the rows are broken in the gallery. That is, to me it is the gallery that looks like a "heap of little images". kwami 23:56, 2005 August 14 (UTC)
The non-gallery images don't line up properly (top and bottom), or at least that happens using a largish font size. Also the gallery images sit next to each other with a "nice" amount of spacing, rather than sitting as seperate entities that (to me at least) look like they're floating in space. Anyway it's a moot point really as long as the gallery tag is as inflexible as it is. —Pengo 01:20, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, the new gallery looks horrible. Anyone able to use Wikipedia can probably read the images at the size they were, and if not, they could use a magnifyer. But now for the rest of us the table has become page after page of jumbled images. The internal organization is lost. kwami 01:43, 23 September 2005 (UTC)
This is now possible; see here HTH HAND —Phil | Talk 16:40, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

History of Braille

The article really needs a History of Braille section, including the history of how it spread and was adopted worldwide. Do we have a good source for this?

Braille has a rich and amazing history. It started when the blind 14 year old Louis Braille adapted the failed military night writing system by simplifying it (iirc the failed system was a syllaby, not an alphabet, and had too many and too large symbols to be practicable). The students at his school found the new ability to write so compelling that they practiced the system underground when the headmaster decided to burn all their books and tools (there might be something to be said about some people not wanting the blind to become too independent). Louis Braille introduced the letter 'W' into the system at the request of a non-Francophone friend.

Other things happen...

Years ca. 1900 ... in America several different writing systems are in use for the blind. New york point was used a lot with symbols two dots high and variable width. Helen Keller knew at least three different tactile writing systems. The British had a different system. The Americans went through a lot of politics and debate known as 'The War of the Dots' with vigorous argument between proponents of each system. Eventually a system similar to the British system was agreed upon, it was compelling that the American blind could read British books. And the British made a few minor changes to their system (things they weren't interested in very much anyway, like the representation of capital letters) to standardize on what we have today.

If this can be written, it's the kind of narrative that would make for a very interesting article instead of a mostly technical one. The references and available online sources are a wonderful read and include entire books written on the subject and history of braille.

Well, if you can provide a reliable source, why don't you add it yourself? The whole point of Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikieditor1988 (talkcontribs) 16:41, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Braille ASCII

I have added an article on Braille ASCII. It could use some attention if anyone is interested. cannona 05:24, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

This section still doesn't work in either Internet Explorer (I tested version 7) or Firefox 2.0 - can anyone actually see something useful in it? Tehniobium 10:51, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I can't see it either in IE6. Would this article be a candidate to merge it into the main article? --BlindEagletalk~contribs 19:21, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Braille printing

Some description of the method by which books in Braille are produced would be useful. (E.g. lacquering so the "bumps" don't wear out, etc.) - Nunh-huh 10:17, 4 January 2006 (UTC)


The gallery is absurd as stands - it should be possible to have all the Braille on screen at once, without making them particularly small. I state here my intention to change it. Morwen - Talk 16:53, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I support that decision. The claim that making them that big would make it any easier for a blind or visually impaired person to see them is absurd. 21:27, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Braille physical diagram

I've made a pair of diagrams detailing the specifications of Braille, as described on However, the current article seems too busy to add them.

Braille (physical) xz-axis.png Braille (physical) xy-axis.png

Daelin2006-01-05 04:19:12

I really like your diagram. However, I think the size, shape and spacing of the cell is sufficiently described in The Braille Cell sub heading. --BlindEagletalk~contribs 19:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Of course the article is at best American... It varies from country to country, and interline and interpoint braille cell sizes are different. Somewhat documented (ISO/IEC note 1N1689) (Seems to be on the web at: ) I'm not sure why some University page (above) is being considered as more authoritative than notes from actual standards organizations. (Particularly since the page disagrees with both the paper in front of me and the "Instruction Manual for Braille Transcribing" on something as basic as the paper size (11x11.5 not 11x11), . I guess that's what happens when information is parroted from something someone finds on the web, instead of going to the actual sources. But I guess that is what qualifies as "sufficiently described" for wikipedia these days. (talk) 22:01, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Note also that for signs many disability laws reference ICC/ANSI 117.1 (2003) for specifications of braille sizes and details, and section 703.4.3 *REQUIRES* that the dots be domed, and not the way the diagram above gives them. (In other words, the diagram is wrong.) And also note that (unlike the diagram) dots are round, not elliptical. (talk) 17:13, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Spoken version of this article

I created a spoken version of this article (for Spoken Wikipedia) but I'm not sure I'm happy with how it came out. The text of the article around the major graphics section doesn't flow well when read out loud; I am probably going to re-record it. (It came out to about 18 minutes, btw.) -Etoile 23:01, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Braille in Pokémon?

Does anyone else find this a little silly? I'm very tempted to delete this entry as I just don't see how it brings any value at all to the article. Phauge 15:21, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Reply to the message above

Phauge, those are some kind of fictional symbols. The Braille alphabet is composed of dots. They are two different things.-student_school09- 14:35, 20 October 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Student school09 (talkcontribs)


Does braile in English use the same crappy spelling system, or is it easier?Cameron Nedland 02:35, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

If we find the answer to that, we might be tempted to use it, and all hell might be let loose. Etaonsh 21:48, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

US Braille is English, so yes. The only diff is that Braille optionally uses a lot of ligatures so that it doesn't take up so much space. A Latin equivalent would be to use & "et", 1 "one", and 8 "eight" for all orthrgraphic instances of et, one, eight, so that better, stone, freight would be written "b&ter, st1, fr8". kwami 23:43, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanx 4 that - I was already using '8' for 'ate'/'-eight' in Qixpel, my reformed spelling system, as chance would have it. But '4' for 'for,' also. Etaonsh 15:56, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Braille 'the world's first binary character encoding'?

When I first found the article alleging this I altered it simply because the writer appears not to have heard of the ancient geomantic figures. I wake up this morning to find that, in the space of my few hours of sleep, a Finnish contributor called Petri Kohn has submitted a discussion article containing the phrase 'occult nonsense' (the article already no longer visible) and the Braille article has reverted to its original apparent inaccuracy. Whatever we think of occult practices, the fact remains that the geomantic figures are a binary code just as much as Braille. This is therefore skulduggery and POV gone mad, but I have merely placed a 'factually disputed' notice for the time being. Etaonsh 04:50, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

as a neutral third party, i will step in and try to resolve this, since i dislike seeing "disputed" signs. i read the pages on geomancy, and see that it is indeed a binary encoding scheme (4-bit), and that it is indeed ancient. however, it is not a character-encoding scheme, rather it is a concept-encoding scheme. the codes are not used in contiguous sequences by themselves to represent natural language, but taken one by one and incorporated into larger structures which they inform. thus the use of the work "character" here is key. i can see how this could be interpreted outside the context of natural language representation, too. my solution is to change the wording to "world's first binary encoding scheme for representing the characters of a writing system", which i will now do, and remove the disputed sign. we'll see if it sticks :) Eupedia 18:41, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Supposing geomantic figures have any claim to being a character encoding (or a binary character encoding), the issue should be covered in the article on character encoding or encoding, not here. If Etaonsh wants to push his point-of-view and advance this new interpritation on the history on computing and information theory, he should first do it in the relevant articles.
The section, originally written by me, tries to give a dense and precise technical definition of Braille, using todays terminology. It is not the the place to point out the fine details of encoding history. If the "claim" of Barille being the first binary character encoding were found not to be true, then the appropriate correction would have been to just simply state that "it is one of the first". Inserting references to the occult serves no purpose.
I still stand by my original "claim". Braille was a binary character encoding a hundred years before anyone knew what a binary encoding is. Morse code is younger then Barille, but even more important, it is not a binary encoding.
I feel that the new text is inferior to the original. What you have done, is spelled out character encoding as an "encoding scheme for representing the characters of a writing system". The orignal emphasis in the sentence was on the word binary. Now I do not know where to place this word.
I propose a return to the original form. If a definition of character encoding is needed, it could be incorporated into the introduction. -- Petri Krohn 23:10, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
I think you are correct to disagree and overtly suggest that geomantic figures have a claim to being an earlier binary character encoding system. But you are the first person to do so - I merely indicated it by repudiating your original claim that Braille was, with likely evidence. The suggested revision "it is one of the first" would obscure the facts of the matter, particularly, as you suggest, as the information still needs to be inserted into the character encoding entry, and it would be best to achieve consensus here before wading into a further altercation. I repudiate your suggestion that I am 'pushing' a 'point-of-view' when merely indicating the existence of what appears to be an earlier binary character encoding system which you weren't aware of. Your continuing public attack on, and link to the 'occult' is, on the other hand, 'pushing a point-of-view' - and an irrelevance.
You say 'I still stand by my original "claim". Braille was a binary character encoding a hundred years before anyone knew what a binary encoding is.' This is not disputed, except in so far as these were not your original words, and doubt remains as to whether Braille himself was aware 'what a binary encoding is.'
I too feel dissatisfied with the text as it stands, and suggest we modify to 'Braille is the world's third known binary character encoding (after geomantic figures and the I Ching).' Etaonsh 07:49, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
I second Petri Krohn's suggestion of returning to the original wording. Even though both geomantic figures and I Ching are binary encodings, they are not character encodings since they don't encode characters, but a small number of certain concepts (or words, if you will). If the wording were only: "Braille can be seen as the world's first binary encoding", then it would be wrong; however, it appears to be correct to assert that "Braille can be seen as the world's first binary character encoding". Likewise, I consider the specification suggested by Eupedia is not necessary, since it is already included within the article on character encodings. ― j. 'mach' wust | 10:24, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
This is getting very technical and quite conceptually tricky so I'm hoping someone isn't going to jump in at this stage, 'revert first and ask questions afterwards.' I've just looked at the character encoding entry and I don't feel convinced, on the basis of the definition given there, that geomantic figures and the I Ching (assuming the I Ching isn't geomantic!) are not examples of character encoding. To answer this question properly, we really need someone at home both with semiotics and with what elements of geomantic figures and the I Ching are used to represent. I don't get the impression that both sides in the argument here are in that position, particularly when mention of geomantic figures was initially repudiated apparently on a dogmatically held point-of-view basis. Etaonsh 14:44, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Having now had a little more time to look at this issue, it seems to hinge on the definition of 'character.' Either we can look upon it as meaning strictly an artificial signum, or we can consider signa as things that occur naturally in the universe around us - this seems very much in accord with the philosophy behind geomantic figures, the I Ching and divination in general (altho the prefix 'super-' in the latter link's definition of divination could be misleading). Clearly the notion that the universe communicates to us with meaningful characters/signa is typically occultist and has the potential to offend the anti-occultist. But science itself habitually reads natural signa in the environment. But can we describe the signum rectus/natural sign, or elements thereof, as a 'character/characters'? Why not? After all, it seems to at last neatly reunite the two otherwise disparate meanings of the word 'character' into a unity, and assists us in understanding the thinking behind what I would, myself, describe as 'the world's earliest known binary character encoding systems' (for which I would like to thank you all for stimulating this insight); and perhaps also explains, at last, why the English homophone 'character' happens to share those two particular meanings (therefore again!). Etaonsh 23:19, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I started a new section in Character encoding on history. This discussion might be more usefull in Talk:Character encoding -- Petri Krohn 00:37, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

I saw your new section in character encoding but it looks more like a history of binary character encoding. The topic you have chosen to initiate is a potentially enormous one, encompassing all known writing systems. Otherwise, I don't oppose your suggestion, and also feel that students of the I Ching and geomantic figures might benefit from a link to this discussion, at least. But to give Braille his due, it is his writing system which initially inspired this fascinating and insightful discussion, not dry character encoding or ancient, occult geomantic figures/the I Ching. Etaonsh 08:02, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I concede that we may debate whether I Ching and geomantic figures are character encodings, but they are certainly not writing systems. The primary purpose of a writing system is to transcribe language which is not possible with these systems – It's only a writing system if you can write with it. Neither am I happy with having them labeled charater encodings, since it appears to be a very specific term from computer science (and as I've said, Braille isn't a character encoding either, but an alphabetic code). ― j. 'mach' wust | 19:38, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't think anyone stated that I Ching and geomantic figures are writing systems - but it could, however, be argued that they are systems for writing something - the language of nature, arguably. I'm a little worried about the way fashionable computer science and its terminology seems to begin in denial of any kind of related precedents and antecedent intelligence, and vies for academic funding with university linguistics departments - sometimes to the cost of the latter, their knowledge database, their work, their students and their witness to posterity. Etaonsh 00:50, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to argue that Braille is not a binary encoding: at least not a pure one. A binary encoding would encode everything with symantic meaning into a pattern that could be interpreted as on/off. It is true that a single braille character consists of 6 points that can be raised or not. However, (please correct me if I'm wrong here) braille text uses whitespace also, which cannot be considered to be part of the string of binary. For example, paragraphs and notes in margins (e.g. this braille page from the Book of Jeremiah). The white space cannot be considered simply "000000" as it is not interpreted as such by the reader.

If braille were binary, then the characters could be turned into a binary sequence and then back into braille without any additional symbols or interpretation and no meaning would be lost. However this is not the case, as paragraph (marks) and margin-text has meaning. It's a technical point but uh, it might stop you arguing :) (All that said, shorter lengths of braille could still be considered a binary sequence). —Pengo 01:52, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Braille uses a whitespace the size of a Braille cell between words. This may be omitted from tables listing the Braille characters, as it's use is assumed to be self-evident. This makes it no less a space character.
"Notes in margins" are not relevant to this issue, as similar layout issues appear with any character set including plain .txt. The fact that Braille does not have non-printing characters for formating like ASCII, does not make it any less a character encoding. -- Petri Krohn 06:58, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

...Does anyone else seem to notice that there is no colon mentioned?

Why isn't 000000, space, considered a character? —Preceding unsigned comment added by TiagoTiago (talkcontribs) 15:56, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Display Braille Characters On Web Pages

Unicode defines "Braille Patterns" character block at codepoint range hex 2800–28FF. As of now (July 2006) following fonts GNU Unifont ("unifont"), Code2000 ("Code2000"), ClearlyU ("ClearlyU"), Y.OzFontN supports / includes Braille characters. Requesting to include the free font GNU Unifont in the class="Unicode". Thanks. ~ Tarikash 21:57, 15 July 2006 (UTC).

  • I'm sorry to say this, but since 99.99% (my own approximation) of readers won't see these characters but "squares" instead, wouldn't it be a good idea to just use small images instead ? (talk) 18:10, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Does the wikimedia software already supports the CSS3 "web fonts" thingy? --TiagoTiago (talk) 17:53, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Links Section

I arranged the external links into sections because I was finding it hard to find what I want. Ideally these sections wouldn't appear in the table of contents, but there doesn't seem to be a nice way of avoiding this. I'm not sure about having all these links present here. More precisely, I think the appearance of completeness may be harmful if it distracts people from finding a better and more complete listing, though if there is none then this isn't a problem. I don't know about any of this but if someone else does they might consider

  • Linking to a more complete listing of resources and removing the links that are dealt with there from this


  • Finding an editable listing somewhere, moving relevant links across and linking to that.

(Alexwright 21:07, 26 December 2006 (UTC))


I just undid an edit by someone who claims that Braille should always be spelt with a lowercase "b" [1]. My Oxford dictionary says that the word should be capitalized. At the moment, this article has a mixture of capitalized and lowercase, so it needs to be sorted out. I reckon we should go with the capital "B". What does everyone else think? -- Sakurambo 桜ん坊 08:46, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

As someone who reads and writes Braille, I believe it should be capitalized. I have not seen the word is lower case very often and capitalized is most text books. --BlindEagletalk~contribs 12:14, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Please see the NBP's explanation of capitalization. Although not official, surely an authoritative source. --wpktsfs 16:22, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

The Library of Congress Braille Transcription Center says:"To highlight the work of Louis Braille, the inventor of the reading and writing system used by blind people everywhere, and to emphasize the importance of the system, it is practice of the National Federation of the Blind to use a capital B when writing any instance of the word "Braille." However, it has been a convention of the Library of Congress to begin the word with lowercase b when used in any context other than a title or as a name. Therefore, to maintain uniformity within this program, the National Federation of the Blind uses the lowercase b on the word "braille" in all written material pertaining to the braille certification courses, unless the word is part of a title or indicates a name." I think that qualifies as "authoritative", and, unlike the NBP's explaination, gives some history as to why the confusion has come about. (talk) 13:56, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
This seems to have been settled over two years ago yet it has never been implemented in this article. Over at the Louis Braille biography, I have already made these changes – i.e. capitalized "[Louis] Braille" and de-capitalized "braille [system]" – so I would like to make them here too, unless someone strongly disagrees. SteveStrummer (talk) 17:14, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Tomb information plate

"Caption: The information about the historic site of Safdarjung’s tomb in Delhi, India. The braille plate is installed near the English version of the same."

The above caption seems misleading, as it suggests that braille is a language (like English), rather than an alphabetic code. Also, the braille shown in the picture does not appear to be Latin braille, and is certainly not in English. Thus the text in the lower (printed English) picture is in a different language, script and alphabet from the braille picture, so it doesn't really illustrate the use of braille. Can someone find a better pair of images to compare, where the printed and braille versions are in the same language? Perhaps we really need two examples (i.e. two pairs of images to compare): one in English, so that English-speaking Wikipedia users can see how braille works in their own language, and one in a different script such as Hebrew or Chinese. Mtford 17:57, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

French grade 2 braille

The article stated that there is no grade 2 braille in French, and that it is always written uncontracted. This is patently false, see for example [2] and [3]. I have removed the paragraph. -- Tim Starling (talk) 00:09, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, most languages have their own version of grade 2 braille, which is used by native speakers of the language. Italian is the only major language without grade 2 braille that I can think of off the top of my head. Most language learners do not use grade II braille in the language they are studying. Graham87 08:23, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Who met Mr. Braille?

"in 1821 he visited the National Institute for the Blind in Paris, France, where he met Louis Braille. " Who is he? Napolion Or Charles Baibier —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:56, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Barbier, clearly. Graham87 08:18, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Splitting the article

If we want to get technical, Braille is a general term applied to a number of different ways of encoding print characters and sets of characters. The Braille explained in many of the sections of the article is properly known as English Braille. For instance, the reader is told that the letter "d" is dots 1-4-5 in braille, but this is not sufficiently specific. This character is in fact the "c" musical note in Music Braille.

On the other hand, the most widely used code (I believe) in the English speaking world is "english braille", and that's what most people mean when they use the term Braille.

Thoughts? cannona (talk) 23:45, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Electronic texts for the visually impaired

"Though Braille is thought to be the main way blind people read and write, in Britain (for example) out of the reported two-million visually impaired population, it is estimated that only around 15-20 thousand people use Braille. Younger people are turning to electronic text on computers instead"

- This requires explanation - how are blind people able to read text on computer screens??? Palefire (talk) 12:50, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Screen readers and a standard keyboard. This costs roughly US$1,500 as opposed to the US$5,000 for a cut rate Braille Display Monitor, and an additional US$500 for a keyboard that is laid out the same way as a Perkins Keyboard.jonathon (talk) 14:06, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Added to article. --Thnidu (talk) 22:05, 8 January 2009 (UTC)]

Why Braille?

Please, I don't consider this a forum question, since it's for my information just as much as it is for my curiosity.

Why does Braille use that domino-style writing? I mean, what's wrong with 3D objects protruding from the page that are the same shapes as letters? Blind people have to rad the letters by feeling them out, and 3D letters would make it much easier for a person who CAN see to be able to write these things for a blind friend, instead of having to go to classes to learn and memorize it. Most blind people I've ever met can usually hold a refrigerator magnet in their hand and tell you what letter it is, so it shouldn't be too hard to educate all the blind people about the "new braille" system, and that still poses the question of why people decided on a Braille standard in the first place.Wikieditor1988 (talk) 16:38, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

a) Economics is one of the major reasons why Braille remained dominant after the introduction of Moon. Braille paper, at US$2.00 per page is cheaper than the US$10.00 per page that Moon requires. b) Mass: A Protestant Bible in Braille weights around 50 pounds. A Protestant Bible in Moon weighs close to one hundred pounds. c) Ease of learning: For a sighted person Moon is easier to learn. However, for a blind person, Braille is easier to learn. The reason for this difference, is that the blind person can more easily differentiate dot positions, than arbitrary line lengths that might be significant clues in what the letter is. Consider, or example, the differences between ד , ך , ן ,and ר. jonathon (talk) 07:27, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
I have heard that one possible reason that Braille is vastly better than earlier "embossed Roman letter" style tactile alphabets for the blind because it is so much easier for blind people to *write* in it.
Can we put that information comparing Moon type to Braille in this article?
Or would the tactile alphabets for the blind article be a better place for a comparison? -- (talk) 00:32, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Go look up the word "braille slate" (or "braille frame" if you live in the U.K.). That is the reason why braille is little dots instead of embossed Roman letters or something like that: since braille is just little dots, it can be written easily with very simple, inexpensive tools called the "slate" ("frame") and "stylus." You can't emboss the kinds of characters used in print (such as Roman letters) without major machinery--a modified printing press in Louis Braille's day, or a specialized embosser ("braille printer") hooked up to a computer nowadays. "Dot-writing" is better because it can be done with low-tech, pocket-sized tools. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:35, 8 July 2011 (UTC)


Good job on your edits. The information is well presented and has good focus. It doesn't seem to have any filler information and everything is on topic.


Nice job on adding sources as well as relevant information. Perhaps, the only section that could use some more information is the "braille reading techniques" section, but that it is not crucial. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ZiTee (talkcontribs) 18:47, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Braille on coins

2003 AL Proof.png
Alabama quarter, reverse side, 2003.jpg

I see some Braille on this "Alabama State Quarter". Alas, the Wikipedia "Braille" article doesn't quite have enough information to figure out exactly what it says -- "Helen Keller". Why are the Braille letters on the actual, physical "2003 Alabama State Quarter" coins so much smaller than standard Braille? Why don't more coins have information in Braille? -- (talk) 00:00, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Comment: Wow your an idiot Hellen Keller was a famous blind person and she used braille other coins dont have braille on them because they dont have blind people on them and they made it small to fit on the coin someone needs to get some common sense

Okay, whoever left that "comment" was pretty rude. The Braille letters are indeed smaller to fit on the coin, and other coins don't have information in Braille because the Braille is not intended to provide information on the Alabama coin nor on any other. It serves a decorative purpose. It does indeed reference to the blind Helen Keller, and would not be there if the main focus of the coin was Alabama's constitution, the longest in the world. (talk) 02:30, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Note: Braille Unicode incompatible with Google Chrome

The Unicode currently used to represent braille in this article does not work with Google Chrome (I'm using version 4.1 on Win 7 x64). It just displays empty boxes. I am unsure of what could resolve this problem and Chrome is the only major browser that does this.

Test Sample: "⠏⠗⠑⠍⠊⠑⠗"

Note: I have tested this on Firefox 3.6, Internet Explorer 8, Opera 10.51, and Safari 4.0; they all support this Unicode. Coopman86 (talk) 19:28, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't normally use Chrome, but have just opened up in Chrome, and the Unicode Braille text on this page displays fine. Oddly, I can't get IE8 to display the Braille text, even when I configure it to do so. BabelStone (talk) 19:38, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
I used Windows 7 Ultimate x64 for my testing. What operating system are you running? Coopman86 (talk) 01:13, 21 April 2010 (UTC)


Here the letters must be writing small not big. --Der Buckesfelder (talk) 15:01, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes! The braille characters shown correspond to UNcapitalized print letters (capital letters require an extra symbol in braille). So I edited this section to change all the print letters to lowercase. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 13 July 2011 (UTC)