French to Braille Translator

WeCapable Braille Translator

French to Braille Translator

Louis Braille, the inventor of braille script, was a Frenchman. He designed braille to be used for the French language. Therefore French braille is the original braille script. All other braille scripts have originated from the French braille. The International Braille script has adopted 25 letters from the French braille.

Why the letter w is weird in braille? Louis Braille arranged 25 letters of his script in a numerical order. These 25 letters did not include the letter w because French did not use the letter w. When braille script spread to other countries where the letter w was used, it was added at the end, i.e. after 25 letters. This is the reason why English braille alphabet, for example, follows the letter order as u, v, x,y, z and w is placed after z.

Numbers in French braille: The French braille uses both international braille number system as well as the Antoine braille digits. These days, in France, the Antoine braille numbers are used in mathematics and other academic braille material. Dot-6 is used as number indicator in Antoine digits. This French to Braille translator uses international number by default. I will soon integrate the Antoine digits as well in this tool.

Braille pattern ⠻ is used in French for ï (in Spanish Braille the same pattern is used for the consonant ñ).

This French to Braille Translator tool has been developed by Lalit Kumar 'Samyak Lalit'.

Louis Braille: Inventor of the Braille Script

Modern Braille script was invented by a French inventor named Louis Braille. Louis was born in Coupvray, France on 04 January 1809. His father was a leather-maker. At the age of three, little Louis was playing in his father's workshop and he accidentally stuck a stitching awl in one of his eyes. Later, his injured eye got infected. Due to lack of antibiotics, soon, the infection spread to his other eye too. Gradually, by the age of five, the Louis Braille lost sight in both of his eyes.

Louis Braille studied at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris. There he met Charles Barbier -- the inventor of the night writing script (also a tactile script). Braille began working on a tactile script as an improvement over night writing. It took him two years but, in 1824, he finally created the Braille script with a six-dot system, in 1824, just at the age of 15 years. His headmaster gave him a dictation to test his new script. Louis wrote the entire article being dictated from the newspaper in his newly developed script and then read it back word-to-word.

Braille Alphabet: 6-dot Cell

The braille script designed by Louis Braille uses tactile patterns made with six raised dots arranged in a 3 x 2 matrix, called the braille cell. One or more braille cells may represent a letter, number, punctuation or a symbol. The following table shows the Unicode Braille characters representing various braille cells.

braille alphabet uses these cells
------ 1 12 14 145 15 124 1245 125 24 245 4 45
3 13 123 134 1345 135 1234 12345 1235 234 2345 34 345
36 136 1236 1346 13456 1356 12346 123456 12356 2346 23456 346 3456
6 16 126 146 1456 156 1246 12456 1256 246 2456 46 456
2 23 25 256 26 235 2356 236 35 356 5 56

Illustration of decades in six dot braille system

As per the international convention, braille is always written in left-to-right direction. This convention is followed even for the languages that are written right-to-left. For example, Arabic is written right-to-left, but Arabic braille is written left-to-right.


Note 1: This braille translation tool and this page uses Unicode braille characters. Without a properly configured computer/mobile device, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of braille characters. If that's the case with you, please contact your computer engineer.

Note 2: Please note that software cannot do a perfect braille translation. Many decisions regarding how to translate something into braille have to be taken by human translators. This is true especially in case of Grade 2 (contracted) braille. This braille translation tool attempts to achieve as much accuracy as possible through a program.

Contact: I welcome your suggestions for improvement in this tool. Also, please let me know if you find any errors. Email me on contact.wecapable AT