Do you speak French, Spanish, Japanese, or another foreign language? Do you know how to read and write that language? Maybe you are learning or hope to one day learn a foreign language. There are people who are braille readers in every country. So, there are braille codes for just about every language so people can read and write in the language they speak.
Remember, there are only 6 dots that make up the braille cell. Therefore, like with the other braille codes such as the music braille code, some symbols have different meanings. To show you how this works, let’s use Spanish as our language example.
Symbols in Spanish Braille
You will usually see Spanish braille written with no contractions, the short way to write words and groups of letters. Each letter is written in braille just as it is written in print. There are braille characters for each letter that is accented in Spanish. Look at the accented letters in the table below and the braille symbols for them.
|ü||u with dieresis|
|ñ||n with tilde|
There are also symbols for the marks of punctuation used in Spanish.¿ ? (to be placed before and at the end of question or word) ¡ ! (to be placed before and at the end of sentence or word) The other marks of punctuation like the period and comma are the same as they are in the Unified English Braille.
What Does This Say?
Using the braille alphabet and the Spanish symbols from above you can read and write Spanish braille. Look at the sentence below.
Here’s an example of Spanish braille:
¿Que hora es por favor, señor?
Do you see how the “¿” is brailled and so is the “?” at the end of the statement. The “ñ” is brailled .
Here is another example:
Soy de México.
Below are five sentences. After you decode the braille (that is, figure out what it says), click here to see if you’re correct. Braille readers, right-click here to download braille-ready files of the same five sentences.
If you or one of your classmates is blind and taking a foreign language class, such as Spanish, then you’ll need your books, worksheets and tests in Spanish braille. The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) will braille the materials or arrange to have them brailled for you. The TVI isn’t going to teach the Spanish to you. You’ll learn it from the Spanish teacher just like everyone else. Many people who are braille readers enjoy learning other languages and traveling to the countries where those languages are spoken.