Friday, June 26, 2009

Japanese Braille

One of the photos the guys sent from Japan features *authentic* Japanese Braille. I can read American Braille, so I pored over this particular photo to see what I could decipher.

Braille usually consists of combinations of up to six dots per cell, arranged like a vertical six-pack. There are different degrees of difficulty in Braille. Grade One spells out everything letter by letter. People who read this level only have to know the alphabet and punctuation. Grade Two Braille uses a number of short forms for common words or word parts. For example, "and", "the", "ed", "ar", "ing", and "for" each have their own distinct one-cell short forms. There are other signs to indicate "capital", "numeral" and each bit of punctuation.

So, what did I discover about this photo? The short answer is... nothing. The Japanese short forms are, well, Japanese.

But you get bonus points if you can figure out where they boys took the picture. You know, in general terms. Click on the photo to enlarge.


K.M. Weiland said...

Never thought about how Braille must be different in different languages. As for the pic, my first thought was airplane, second thought was bathroom, third thought was both are probably waaay off base!

Katharine said...

Sorry for the delay -- had to ask Pete if this was taken on the plane. The good news is that half of your guesses were correct! Yep, these are toilet controls. There you go. And I say I don't appreciate bathroom humor, but this post is one of a series. Sorry.