Bharati braille (Hindi: भारती ब्रेल), also known as Bharatiya braille or Indian braille, is the unified braille standard for the Indian languages. All major Indian languages can be written using Bharati braille. This standard has also been adopted by Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Bharati braille can be used to write languages like Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Urdu, Hindi and Sanskrit (Devanagari), Gujarati, Bengali, Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil in braille. It is notable that Urdu braille of Pakistan is not written using Bharati braille standard. Also there are significant differences between Bangla braille used in India and Bangladesh.
Bharati braille is based on 6-dots braille alphabet and it is very close to the English braille. There are no vowel diacritics in Bharati braille. Vowels are written as full letters. Also, except for kṣ and jñ, there are no conjunct letters; which makes Bharati braille quite like Grade-1 braille.
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.
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.
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.
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