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South African braille

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South African braille

Several braille alphabets are used in South Africa. For English, Unified English Braille has been adopted. Nine other languages have been written in braille: Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sotho, Northern Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.[1] All print alphabets are restricted to the basic Latin alphabet, with diacritics in some cases; the braille alphabets are likewise basic braille with additional letters to render the diacritics.

Basic braille alphabet
⠁ (braille pattern dots-1) ⠃ (braille pattern dots-12) ⠉ (braille pattern dots-14) ⠙ (braille pattern dots-145) ⠑ (braille pattern dots-15) ⠋ (braille pattern dots-124) ⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245) ⠓ (braille pattern dots-125) ⠊ (braille pattern dots-24) ⠚ (braille pattern dots-245) ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13) ⠇ (braille pattern dots-123) ⠍ (braille pattern dots-134)
a b c d e f g h i j k l m
⠝ (braille pattern dots-1345) ⠕ (braille pattern dots-135) ⠏ (braille pattern dots-1234) ⠟ (braille pattern dots-12345) ⠗ (braille pattern dots-1235) ⠎ (braille pattern dots-234) ⠞ (braille pattern dots-2345) ⠥ (braille pattern dots-136) ⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236) ⠺ (braille pattern dots-2456) ⠭ (braille pattern dots-1346) ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456) ⠵ (braille pattern dots-1356)
n o p q r s t u v w x y z

The Nguni languages – Ndebele, Swazi, Xhosa, and Zulu – have no diacritics and will not be discussed further. The braille diacritics are shared by South African languages and are described in the sections that follow.

Punctuation for all South African braille alphabets is as in English Braille.

Afrikaans Braille

Afrikaans Braille
Type
alphabet
Languages Afrikaans
Parent systems
Braille
  • South African
    • Afrikaans Braille
Print basis
Afrikaans alphabet

Afrikaans has braille cells for acute, ; grave, ; circumflex, , and diaeresis, :

á, é, í, ó, ú, ý
à, è
ê, ô, û
ë, ï, ö, ü

Sotho and Tswana Braille

Sotho Braille
Tswana Braille
Type
alphabet
Languages Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tswana
Parent systems
Braille
  • South African
    • Sotho Braille
Print basis
Sotho alphabet
Tswana alphabet

Sotho and Tswana treat the caron (haček) as an acute:

ê, ô, : š

Venda Braille

Venda Braille
Type
alphabet
Languages Venda
Parent systems
Braille
  • South African
    • Venda Braille

Venda has a unique letter, , for the subscript circumflex, and treats as acute:

, , , ,

References

  1. ^ Ethnologue 17 reports that Tsonga is also written in braille.
  • UNESCO (2013) World Braille Usage, 3rd edition.
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