Braille and Translation

08/10/2019 | Jenny Donaldson

This week is National Braille Week, so here at Language Insight we have investigated how braille and translation go hand in hand.

As we all know translation is hugely important in everyday life, changing one language into another in order to be able to read, understand and communicate on an international level. It is no different with braille. Braille is a great way of translating languages for the blind or visually impaired people. Almost every language can also be translated using braille cells, allowing us to communicate on a whole new level.

National Braille Week

What is braille?

Braille is an intricate reading and writing system designed especially for those who cannot access traditional reading materials. A method of communication that does not involve light or sound. It uses a formulated combination of raised dots to represent individual letters of the alphabet or simple words enabling the visually impaired to be able to engage and study written words. Braille allows a level of independence for those who require it, something that we often take for granted.

The braille writing system is made up of 180 different letter contractions and 75 short form words with each braille cell combining a pattern of up to 6 dots. The complex and clever system invented by Louis Braille in 1821, a young boy of just 12 years of age who had been blind since his early years. The system remains largely unchanged to this day.

Communication

Much like languages and translation, braille and translation come together to form a new level of communication worldwide. It doesn’t just stop with words, things like maths and music all have special braille systems too, offering a new level of freedom for the visually impaired. Making the possibilities of translating languages into braille endless.

So are you looking to boost your translation skills? Think about studying braille, a way of translating that can really make a difference. Although not a language itself, it can be used in line with traditional translation to open up so much of the world to those who can’t necessarily see. Looking to get started? Check out different online platforms that will help you learn the basics of braille writing and how to put it into practice when translating documents.